Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sylvia & Kathy Do Mequon

I finally got the chance to return Sylvia's yellow scarf and give her the new Branching out last night at Friday dinner. We went to the Chancery in Mequon. It's a local restaurant chain that serves bar food. This particular one is in a strip mall in one of the northshore suburbs. It seems to have a fishing decor. I know I shouldn't complain about the decor when I was literally the worst-dressed patron there. But gosh, why does old tackle go to restaurants to die? Actually, there was a birch bark basket hanging on the wall among the fishing rods and junk. Lynne asked me why I thought it was there. I said it was because it's an Artifact. However, on further reflection, why was there a Native American basket among the rusty bass and framed newspaper clippings?

Well, I return to the knitting. As soon as I gave Sylvia the scarves she gave the yellow one to me. I don't believe that she was ever really upset about how I hijacked it from her. I did a lot of worrying for nothing. She was thrilled with the Branching Out. Dutiful blogger that I am trying to be, I whipped out the camera and had it ready when she opened the package. It was a silver gift bag and I used the yellow scarf for pretend tissue paper. (A good blogger would have gotten a pic of that.)

So here's Tante Sylvia enjoying her new scarf.

Sylvia and I modeling both scarves. Please to excuse the quality of this picture. Believe it or not, it is the one of these in which I look the least like a big doofus. Sometimes I'm surprised people will be seen with me!
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One last one. You've got to admit that that girl is photogenic. What a wonderful reaction to get for ones knitting!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fabulous Prizes!

Criosa, from the Knitty Coffeeshop had a little contest (scroll down) on her blog to provide a caption for a kitty picture. I was one of 5 lucky winners and I even got to pick my prize, which you see above and even included some unique, Criosa-made stitch markers. There are some great sweaters in this book by Louisa Harding and Kim Hargreaves. They all go from little to size 10, which is hard to find. Thank you, Criosa.

Criosa is in or near Minneapolis. I'm going to try to hook her up with Jenny Z. for possible stitching and bitching. There are so many yarn shops in Minneapolis, plus my Uncle Al. I am jealous.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wrapping Presents

Have you seen the scissors? I could swear I just had them a second ago!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Presents in Progress

I had to pop into Ruhama's the other day just to get the yarn on the left. It's Brown Sheep Company's Lamb's Pride Worsted, one of my all-time favorites. The color is called fuchsia, though I'd call it magenta. I'm making a pair of somethings to go with the long something that I knit Mrs. Somebody at work last year. It's becoming a set. I would've made a hat, but she's got this lush hair and doesn't wear hats. I thought about a headband, even a pretty one with cables or paisleys that would match the long something from last year. But you can't count on a person who won't wear a hat to wear a headband. Then I thought about mittens, but many are the folk, including me, who don't like to wear mittens. So somethings it is. I've got 4 somethings complete on one and 3.5 on the other. I used purl stitches to put an M on the left one and an H on the right. No reason. I'll wait til they're done to try and get a picture.

So I'm leaving Ruhama's, proud that I didn't stash enhance the Mission Falls wool at $45.00 a bag. I glance to the left at the over-priced Koigu and had to do a double take. It wasn't Koigu anymore. It was Collinette Jitterbug sock yarn from Wales about which I've been reading! Oh-my-effin-GOD! I kind of liked it. Hoo boy. I managed to escape with only 3 colors. It was $21.00 per skein, but I would've paid more because it's not going to last. It was tres difficil to choose. There is one shade that I keep thinking about. That is probably one that I need to go back and buy. I bought 1 skein for a certain other person. The red and purple will be socks for me one day. Lookee, lookee.

If I am diligent I will be able to finish the fuchsia somethings tonight and then can concentrate on Niko's Manly Sweater. I'm on the raglan part and have started the vee for the v-neck, but I think I need to go back and make a less steep decrease. I've been decreasing one on each side every other row. I think a decrease of one every other row will lead to a 45 degree angle. Combining the two will make a 90 degree angle. That is what I call too wide. Here's a pic of work in progress.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's my Happy Birthday

This came in the mail today. It's from Janie and Irv. A knitting birthday card. Well done! The sad thing is, I think Mary here might look better in a halter top than I would. I've gotten lots of other nice wishes and wonderful presents as well. Thank you, everybody.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sylvia's Scarves

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMeet Sylvia, aka Aunt Sylvia of Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Seymour fame. Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Seymour and their daughter Nancy along with (Grandma) Lil and her grown kids & grandkids have been going out to dinner on Friday nights for many, many, many, many years. Being the niece of one of Lil's daughters and the best friend of another, I often tag along. The week before Thanksgiving as we were getting up to leave, I notice Aunt Sylvia's lovely yellow scarf. Aunt Sylvia has wonderful taste and always looks great. But I particularly liked the yellow polka-dot scarf and realize that it would even fit me. So, in a firm, right now sort of voice, I say to Sylvia, "Gimme that scarf." Sylvia says, "What?" So I repeated myself. Naturally, she takes off the scarf and hands it over. You know, sometimes people don't mind giving you stuff if you want it. In fact I know people (Grandma Lil) who will give you things just because you admire the things. Nancy, Sylvia's daughter, says, "You took my Mumma's scarf," in an incredulous and sad voice. My argument is that she gave it to me. She is a grown woman who doesn't have to give anybody anything she doesn't want to give. In the mean time, I will knit her a nice soft scarf of some sort that she can tuck into her coat. When I saw Nancy again on Thanksgiving weekend she told me her mother's heart was broken over the scarf. I hope that's not true, but it finally did occur to me that Aunt Sylvia may have thought I was teasing or playing when I told her to give me the scarf and that she expected it back. I can totally believe that. I am a kind of joker. So tonight at dinner I will give her a wrapped package which will contain her original yellow scarf, plus this blue mohair branching out scarf.
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The facts of the Matter:
Patttern: Branching Out by by Susan Pierce Lawrence from
Yarn: Katia Ingenua. One Ball
Needles: US 9
20 pattern repeats, 10 rows each. A wonderful pattern.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hands across the Yarn

Here are photos from yesterday's knitting club. Not everybody is pictured here. 2 of the hands in the last photo belong to a boy, but otherwise the boys' pictures didn't turn out or they did not want their pictures taken or they wanted their faces in. Those are wonderful faces full of all kinds of things, but I won't put them on the Internet. Sorry, Fellas.

First is Sarah in the pink

Here's Lindsey.

This is Amanda.

I think this is Rebecca.




Jordyn losing a stitch and . . .


Friday, December 01, 2006

The New Recruit

Knitter: Emma MM-G
Age: 7
Grade: 2
Current Project: Sample
Needles: Handmade straights
Yarn: Online #117 City

Yay, Emma!!!

I'm so proud of you!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hairy Lace or Lacy Hair & 1st 06-07 Knitting Club

The beginning of Branching out from Everybody says it's an easy pattern and it is, in that the pattern repeat is only 10 rows, 5 of which are purling back. The difficulty lies in the fact that there is no place to put markers to take intermediate stitch counts as you go across. Missing Yarn Overs or other mistakes don't become apparent until you have the wrong number of stitches at the end of the row or the next odd number row. The moral is: count your stitches at the end of each row. The yarn is Ingenua by Katia. I'm surprised I got such a clear picture. It is actually verrry hairy and the gauge is chunky if not bulky.

Speaking of counting stitches after every row, I told my students that is a rule. We had our first knitting club meeting yesterday on Wednesday. I thought it went well. I didn't take attendance, but I think I had about 16 kids of the 23 or so who registered. I meant to bring great big needles and thick yarn to demo the knit stitch, but I forgot. I managed to use the Elmo machine to show how to make the stitch. I tried this last year & couldn't figure it out. I had many returning students who can already knit and not as many 3rd graders as before. Only one student had huge trouble even with my personal attention and Mrs. S's personal attention. Only a couple so far couldn't make themselves go on when they'd made a perceived or real mistake. Things were pretty calm and mostly kids stayed in their seats. I wonder why? I know it'll get more lively, but I've never seen it so calm before. Maybe it helped that I had the yarn & needles passed out and kids had to sit where there was yarn and were not allowed to move the yarn.

I didn't make everyone say the poem. Not everyone learns with mnemonics, even though they help me. (I find this very annoying. It's like the song says, "Why can't they be like we were, perfect in evaree way?)

In through the front door,
Around in the back,
Down through the middle,
And off jumps Jack.

I've thought to change the "down through the middle" line but I already passed out copies. Maybe next year. I really should have spent a little time finding better pictures to illustrate the knit stitch on that handout. Again, maybe next year. I had the fabric, but I didn't sew up enough non-flowered knitting bags. Nonetheless, I think we are off to a good start.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Yarn Pron Friday #2

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Yep. I know it's Saturday.
This is handpainted merino sock yarn by ChaCha from the Knitty forum. You can just see the horse (mailer) it rode in on. It is called something like desert sunset. Sorry I can't remember the name, ChaCha. I was begifted of such goodness because I destashed some Rowan Cotton Tape on her. Check out how beautifully this is knitting up.
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One more thing: I got this from ChaCha's blog.
What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

It's amazing. Milwaukee is in Wisconsin, on the Great Lake of Michigan, and is 90-120 minutes driving north of Chicago. However, people in my town don't say "pop;" we say "soda."

Have you seen

the cord that connects the camera to the computer? No? How about this Old Finished Object? This little mousie was part of a set of baby gear I made for my ex-coworker Jeanne's baby shower. It all started with the Petal Bib from One Skein. I actually had 2 skeins, so I added a hat, some booties, and then there was still some leftover. That became the mouse. It was the mouse that impressed people (non-knitters) at the shower. Yet it was the easiest, least mentally involved part of the whole ensemble. I've got to admit that it has a certain charm. The baby was a girl named Victoria Jeanne. I met her once and she, too, is charming. Here's the complete ensemble.

The Facts of the Matter
Pattern: Bib: Petal Bib from One Skein by Leigh Radford. Everything else: no patterns.
Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton. 2 skeins from a sale grabbag from Ruhama's
Needles: size 3 or 4
What I Learned: relearned knitted on i-cord for the bib ties.
Regrets: I might begin using elastic or elasticized yarn for bootie ties. It seems more comfortable.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Yarn Pron Friday

Merino dyed by Sue, the Reluctant Blogger, and I, spun by Sue. Generously given to me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Fun

So many things to blog about, so little chance that Blogger will let me put in all the photos. Sue and I met in Germantown this morning and had breakfast together. Here's a hint as to where we ate. That is Sue's lovely and talented right hand and the dead soldier was actually maple syrup. The next picture just shows a few things I picked up on the way out the door. I was tempted by a purse made out of a hollowed-out pink poodle, but I managed

to resist. Although, it would make a great sock-in-progress bag. Hmmm...maybe it's not too late. It definitely would be better for my health. The coconut patties were delicious. A good call. The Squirrel Nut Zippers are an acquired taste. I think I've eaten almost enough of them to acquire the taste. They're just like those peanut butter taffies from Halloween that are wrapped in either orange or black waxed paper. The difference is that they don't have as much peanut flavor. They're nearly translucent. Behind them are 3 of those sticks of candy that are all most kids can afford at any vacation or museum stop. I got Cherry-Cola, Root Beer, and Horehound. Sue got some also.

Sue told me to post a pic of the pink Trekking socks I made even though they are an OFO or old finished object. Not that old, really. I think I finished them in September, or so. I thought this yarn would be very blendy like the ones for which Trekking is famous. But it's stripey as you can see. I don't know why I was attracted to this yarn. These are NOT my colors. On the girlie scale I am a 2 out of 10. These had 72 stitches. I can't remember if I decreased for the foot, but I did knit the foot on smaller needles. I've been trying and trying to post a pic of some other pink socks I made myself with Cascade Fixation from my 2005 Holiday Secret Pal, Doaner827. I'm just not getting anywhere with Blogger.

Well, duh.

Turn the Kujaku bag inside out. Well, duh. My brilliance is only surpassed by my dimness. This is like the time I got a short hair cut and the stylist combed it straight forward. I looked like my little brother when he was a child. I walked around for almost a week like that. I was depressed. I got lots of sympathy. Then I combed it backward, et voila! my normal, nice, bouncy, wavy, & might I add, brown, hair was back.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Knitting with Wire and a Designer

I am now a test knitter. Yes folks, Bev, from Monday Night knitting asked me to test knit a wire and bead bracelet. She is selling kits for bracelets and necklaces. I liked the experience and I thought her pattern was very good. The one I made had gold colored wire and gold colored pearls--the bumpy kind. You can see in the picture. She has all kinds of colors of wire and many types and colors of beads, as well as different patterns.
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This is the clasp:
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I had a contact cement incident earlier that day. You can see some of the glue still on my hand.
Here's Bev. She's wearing a knitted wire and bead necklace of her own design and the hat you saw in a previous post. Too bad I didn't capture the groovy little antenna/tassle/stem thingie. Bev is a master of the funky hat.
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Angora Sockettes

How do you like my new camera? Me, neither. Anyhow, these are the angora bed socks completed.

The Facts of the Matter:

Pattern: None. 2 at once, toe-up, 60 stitches, afterthought heel

Yarn: "Italian Angora" from the 7-dollar yarn man at Stitches Midwest (2006)

Needles: 47" Addi number 1 US--the large number 1

Pluses: Color. I'd call it red hot red. It's love. Too bad you can't see it. Softness: Oh-My-GOD! Mileage: According to the label, this was only 15 grams and I had enough for atleast a couple more inches on both cuffs. The stitch pattern of little tiny purl v. knit triangles actually shows pretty well in real life. The camera does it almost no justice at all.

Minuses: Breaks very easily. Grabs onto itself. Almost no memory--notice the cuffs. And the number one minus . . . Pills like crazy! That didn't photograph either, but basically I've only worn them once and they're a mess. I don't expect them to last much longer. I may felt them for a small person when I retire them. Or I could maybe felt them into wrist warmers for me.

Regrets: None, really. This has been an exercise in luxury. What to do with the rest? And the black skein?

Kujaku Bag

This is a felted bag I made from Noro's Kujaku yarn. It's a lot like Kureyon except it's got a very fine polyester ply. Every 1 to 2 feet the wraps of this filament get very close together for an inch to 3 inches, making the yarn look like string there. This may be why I was able to get a deep discount on the price. I believe it's been discontinued.

The Facts of the Matter

Pattern: Bottom is a garter stitch rectangle whose edge stitches are picked up then knit upward in the round in stockinette. I got number-to-cast-on advice from my cyber fiber friend, Sue/Seiding,who's made a brace of booga bags. Click her name to see them on her blog.
Yarn: Noro Kujaku: 4-5 skeins (can't remember), 1 skein Lamb's Pride worsted in Plum (maybe) for the last inch, the handles and a large pocket to be added later possibly.
Needles: 16" circular, size 10.5 US
Details: The worms come from the tightly wrapped parts of the Kujaku. I tied them into loops and did not knit them because I figured that they'd make weak places and probably holes in the felted fabric. On the bottom I actually cut them, pulled off the tight filament, spit-spliced the yarn and kept


Blogger just ate a post on which I've been workin very hard. Harumph!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Yet another OFO (old finished object)

This is Sophie's ballerina outfit/costume/dress. It is adapted from a pattern in the 2005 Filatura di Crosa Baby book. I guess they have one every year. It is called a dress in the book. Of course all of the yarns are subs and I guesstimated the sizing because of the changed gauge. A request has been put in to Sophie's mother to get a photo of Sophie wearing it, especially now that she can walk. It is quite stretchy and I expect it to fit her for a long time I think it would look nice with a white long or short sleeved t-shirt and maybe tights. Tutus: not just for warm weather anymore!.

The Facts of the Matter:

Pattern: Filatura di Crosa

Yarn: TLC Cotton Plus (very nice hand) & some fluffy stuff

Needles: Yes

Adaptations: Copied idea from pattern and used it to figure out the leg openings. You can sort of see a line across the front at the level where the decreases for the halter begin. The back is straight across at that level. It aquired a line because I first tried a scoop neck and didn't like it that much, and anyway I realized that it would not be adjustable or grow with her unless I got fancy and made the shoulder parts longer and added buttons and button holes. So I went back to the way it was originally designed. The straps have knots that act as buttons which slip through small buttonholes at the corners of the front. The straps cross in back so that they will acquire more length when uncrossed. I believe they are anchored to the top back. The skirt was knit with one strand of the Cotton Plus with a strand of the fluff added every other row or so. The original used a pom-pom yarn that was knit alone. (It was really quite nice.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Monday Night Nitting

=For about a year now I've been showing up for Monday Night Knitting at the Borders Bookstore in the strip mall which some of us still call Brownport. I found out this Monday that this group has a name: Northshore Knitters. But I haven't seen any Articles of Confederation, a charter, or even the by-laws. Carolyn has just compiled a list of many of the knitters and I was honored to be on it.
=The group was small this week and it wasn't until after Carolyn had gone home that I remembered my new camera. Melissa has been working off and on on this Fair Isle sweater for a while. I wish the camera could do the blue justice. I'd call it more of a dark ocean blue--bluer than teal, but greener than royal blue. It's absolutely a work of art. Maybe next week she'll have it again and we can get a photo of the bottom border.
=Bev was working up a hat to sell. It is out of Manos. She actually had 2 skeins of this particular colorway and was very pleased with the mileage. She got something like 2 hats and 2 pairs of mittens out of it. At the beginning of the evening, this little beauty was only a thin line on the needle. I'm sure it's done by now.
=I played around with the leftover Paris Night yarn from Janie's beret shown in the previous post. Between knitting that night and the 2 1/2 hours I sat at Saturn waiting for my car, I came up with a scarf pattern with which I am very happy. Since then however, I've decided not to knit it from the Paris Night yarn. (I'm making myself something.) I will keep it in mind for future projects for gifts. It is a quick knit and fairly dressy. Of course "dressy" for me doesn't even involve painful shoes. I'm not showing a picture because A, I didn't take one and C., I'm considering making a sample and entering it in Knitty. Of course, who knows?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bright Red Luv

Aside from more UFO's than I've ever heard claimed by anybody else, I've started a pair of socks out of the bright, bright, bright red Italian Angora that I got at Stitches Midwest for $7.00. They're totally dreamy. I'd like to wear them on my face. They'll really be for bed I think, because they're too luxurious and a little too big to mash into a stinky ol' pair of shoes. I've got about 4 inches done. I'm putting in a pattern of triangles in rows on the instep. I think you can just make out what look like squares. Those are formed by the rows of triangles. You can also see a little bit of the halo.

I just finished a beret for a friend. She asked me to make it for her. I don't usually do that. It's out of "Paris Night" colored yarn from I'm going to step out on a limb here and say that it's similar to Manos, only softer. I gave it to her and took it back right away because I need to take a picture of it. I can't really explain why I have no expression on my face. I was trying to look at the camera and not look at the camera at the same time. The picture of the back of the beret looks as if the lighter colored areas are ruts, but they are just lighter colored areas. I had to darken the picture and lower the contrast. The actual color and texture is somewhere in the middle between the two pictures. I have christened the place at the end of a hat where you pull the last stitches as a drawstring. It is the sphincter. So there.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Vintage Knitting Basket on the Way

Here it is. It's the knitting basket I purchased on E-Bay today. I've been looking for one of these for a long time. I finally found something I liked at a price that I liked. Unfortunately, it was moments after I had just settled on an even cheaper one that needed work. With the amount of UFO's (unfinished objects) and stash that I have, neither one will be underemployed.

Another Old Finished Object or OFO

Please to excuse the upside-downess of the pic. It is a tunic length sweater I made myself out of Noro's Silk Garden. It was knit top down with advice from Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmerman books. The big story in it's making was the sleeve patterning. I wanted the striping to be similar in width to the body striping. Seeing as how 1. it was knit in the round and b. my body is considerably wider than my arms, the striping was much, much, much wider and much more subtle on the arms. I posted the problem on the Knitty Coffeeshop message board and someone suggested knitting both sleeves in one piece and then steeking them. That is what I did and then kitchenered Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting them onto the rest of the sweater. I think it turned out really well. It was my first adult sized sweater. It's a little big because I used too large a needle so it grows slightly and because I made the raglans a little too long, wanting to err on the generous side. See the waist shaping? It is quite subtle when on because the sweater is fairly loose. The sleeves end with a very simple chevron-y semi-lacy business. I tried this same border on the hem, but I couldn't make it work. Ditto for the collar. I tried about 3 different collar/neckline treatments. I even frogged once after wearing it. I couldn't get anything to lay right. I went with a rolled neck which is not in the photo. I think the collar in the photo is the original turtleneck. I've worn it several times, finding it just a little itchy. I don't care, though. I really love the sweater. I just have to carefully resist the urge to tweak it. I've had dangerous thoughts about turning it into a shrug.
And yes, that is the world's ugliest carpeting. Thanks for asking! And the blackness in the corner is Musette passing through. That is her little white footie near the neck of the sweater.
In other news I bought a vintage knitting basket from E-Bay. I finally found a good one with a decent price. Here is

Friday, October 13, 2006

Who's Your Daddy?

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! I look like Larry King and you don't! Or do you? Click on the picture.MyHeritage - trace your ancestors

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

OFO #2

This baby is Sophie. She is my Goddaughter. She lives in Evanston. She is about 1 month old in the picture taken at the party on the occasion of her baby-naming. I made the bonnet from some vintage sport weight natural cotton I have. It's soft, yummy stuff. I saw the pattern on the Internet. I used it for basic measurements. It was a plain stockinette rectangle with the ruffle. I added a semi-lacy stitch pattern and tried to get a little more shaping at the back. Sophie is now 15 months old. If you want to see her, you'll find her and her big sister on her mother's blog: .

Monday, October 09, 2006

OFO=Old Finished Object

This scarf, made in Spring, 2006, was inspired by the Rainbow Scarf pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It is 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon in contrastive colorways switching between skeins every 2 rows. I changed the stitch to one that was less yarn-thirsty. I also increased the number of stitches cast on. I wanted the scarf to be big enough for an adult. This is blocked. It is destined to be a present for Hanukkah or Christmas. I have 2 other skeins bought for the same purpose in more "manly" colors.
The scarf is posing on the rhubarb plant that grows in the alley next to the garage.