Sunday, December 30, 2007

F.O. Fschmom Socks

These socks were made for my Knitty sock swap pal, Fschmom. They were due Labor Day. They weren't done on Labor Day. As a matter of fact they weren't done for a long time after that. But now they've been completed for a while, hanging out, waiting for me to wash them and mail them. In the mean time Fschmom hurt her arm and can't knit. I certainly hope what little knitting she can do now isn't spent knitting socks for me. O, the guilt! I hope the socks fit her. I'm a little worried about the arch being too tight. We wear the same size and they are a little tight on me. I always assume that other people have finer ankles, wrists, and fingers than I do. This has worked so far.

Color disclaimers: The most accurate color is in the bulletin board photo--naturally the least clear photo. There is no pink in this color scheme. There is a lot of soft salmon/rust. I borrowed a pic of the yarn from the Lorna's Laces website. The beads are bright, clear red which is a color not found in the sock, but I like the way it looks, because I believe it attracts attention.


Pattern: Rolling Thunder by Sivia Harding
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Irving Park
Needles: dpns, 2.25 for top of cuff, 2.0 for remainder
Techniques: Cuff down, hemmed, flap heel, very tightly knit probably 8-9 stitches per inch.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So Many Things to Knit

There are so many things to knit, especially now that there is a dusting of snow on the ground and the temperature is below freezing even in daylight. Wristwarmers-neckwarmers-Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted gloves for me. My fingers want to feel the spring of real wool across the needles and the teasing catch of mohair and the tiny whisper of angora. Shhh.

I'm making progress on this silk, bamboo, and wool stole. (50% bamboo, 25% silk, 25% wool. I'm about half way. The colors are beautiful and it's exciting to see it reaching garment status, but it's not as much fun the way it hangs on the needles. That's more because of the materials, than the size of the object, but it's both. The yarns are soft and yummy to the surface touch but as drapey as I intended. There is the possibility that I may have to knit onto each end because it may be a mite short in length. I just have to see how it behaves when it's off the needles. I don't mind that at all. I'm almost hoping for it so I can flex a little creativity and give it a bit more personality.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baby Hat Revisited & Socks

Here is a better, but still lousy picture of the baby hat for Ethan and 1 and 1/5 of the matching socks. (The second sock is now finished.) I still couldn't get the color right on the hat, so let me throw in the 1,0o0 words that this picture isn't worth. The green of the sock is warmer than in the picture. In fact, it's KnitPicks Essential sock yarn in the color Grass. Here's a picture that I borrowed from Ravelry. It's more accurate than KnitPick's own picture. As a matter of fact, my picture is better than that of KnitPicks. They really should look into that.
Back to the hat. So the green yarn was held together with a self striping yarn in which every other stripe was gray and white mixed like a ragg. The remaining stripes were bright green, orange and hot pink. When knit together, the green of the Essential became infused throughout whereas in my picture it only appears as a stripe. The whites and oranges in the picture are much less prominent and a quick glance might not evev reveal that it is striped. Altogether, it is much warmer than the picture, and quite appealing.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Sorry I haven't blogged lately. It's Friday after work right now. I'm very tired, but it's a good tired for a change, as if I had been productive--which I have--at work--for 3 days now. Woo Hoo. Not to mention I finally managed to buy vinegar on my way home. I didn't bother with the quart or half gallon. I went straight to the gallon this time. Actually it's good that I didn't have any vinegar while I was sick and still thought it was gas. I read a few home remedies on the 'Net that said to drink 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar. I would have drunk some (even tho it's white) and been that much sicker. Yuck! Now I can dye another day.

Hopefully, this weekend I'll be able to take a better pic of the green baby hat (avec pompon) and maybe find the oldest picture of me for week 7 of blogstalking. Yes, I know it's week 10. I've been out of commission. For now, please be content with a picture of my secret project. It's really a shame that I didn't stop when it looked like this. It's needle felting. I bought that bag of roughly used wool roving and a little felting kit (whence the foam) from Mielke's Fibers at the Spin-In in West Bend at the beginning of October. I like needle felting, but man!, try not to poke yourself with those needles. They go in deeper and hurt more than pins or regular needles. TMI? Sorry.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Baby Hat F.O.

This is a quickie that I made over the past couple of days. I don't usually finish things that fast because of all the frogging and reknitting I do, but I was just laying around and it's all I did. It's not my first baby hat either. I've got experience. One of my very first projects when I restarted knitting was a Lil Devil Baby Hat from There are similarities in that they both have flaps, but the Kittyville one is bottom up and mine is top down. I made the back longer to a. show which side is the back, b. keep that scrawny neck warm and c. keep it from riding up and tilting forward and covering the little dude's eyes all the time. Then there is the eternal question: To pompon or not to pompon?

Not one of these pics shows the color well at all. Sorry. I had trouble just holding the camera still. It is much greener than shown and I like it a lot. I'll probably throw in some little sockies while I'm at it. It is for my friends Nii and Rostian's new baby boy, Ethan. Maybe I'll be able to get pics of him. With or without the knitwear.
Pattern: None
Yarns: Held together throughout: 1. Lion Sassy Stripes in that gray/white vs. orange, fuchsia & bright green striping design, 2. KnitPicks Essential in Grass (solid green). About 25-30 grams of each.
Needles: Various of my size 4 circs and dpns. Incidentally I don't like the KnitPicks #4 nickle plated circs because they're too pointy. I love the cables. The cables make other needle cables almost unendurable. Why aren't others coming out with cables like those?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I am I, Sancho Panza

Back in the saddle again. See that giant ball the Don is carrying for me? That's my former gallstone in my ex-gallbladder. I did get a little knitting done, but I only had the onliest acrylic from a baby blanket. There are now matching acrylic booties and cap with lots of seams to sew and ends to weave in. The baby was born yesterday. A boy named Ethan, Kojo and some other names for good measure. I hope I get to snirfle him.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Pity the Fool!

Because I have had a really, really, really, really bad stomach ache for a week. I believe that most of the people at work think I am malingering. I feel very sorry for myself and would like even more pity. Just for fun, here is a picture of King Tut. OK, thanks.
P.S. I went to the doc. Tests are pending.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Socks, Departed Pot

Started: Way back when
Finished: 11-1-07
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
Content: 70/30 wool/silk
Pattern: No Pattern
Toe up
Cuff A: 2x2 rib w/ 4 stitch cable at sides
Cuff 2: 2x1 rib
Heel A: Afterthought
Heel B: Short Row
In a recent post I told of my plan to boil down some leftover dyebath into a stronger form. Yeah, well. The bubbles are actually the stainless steel finish. Lesson learned: Gosh, I hope so.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Skinny One

Who's as happy to proceed as Stan Laurel?

Nope. It's me and It's I--whichever you prefer.
Because I just wasn't comfortable with that pale green color for socks, I finally decided to re-dye it after doing many swatches with different combos of yarns, needle sizes, etc. I wanted to go a little darker and a little duller. I reskeined the yarn and put it in the giant pot to soak. I mixed up some kelly green Wilton's. Then for the dull I went to the strawberry Kool-Aid I'd used last time. I'd only used a bit before and had saved the rest in the envelope. Figuring that I had about 2/3 of a pack left, I dumped it into my dye mix. To my horror, the whole thing turned a terrible greenish purplish brown. It was putrid! Here comes the wtf? . . .wait for it. . . I poured the evil fluid into the bath with the yarn. Pour it down the drain? No sir! Stan Laurel and I both know it'll be just fine, if not better.

OK, I'll leave it in a brief time only, thought I. Again, wtf? because I left it in too long. It's now olive green withbrown streaks. The brown is beautiful actually--You can't get that on purpose. In the mean time I think it will be too dark to use with the forest green I have for the socks. We'll see how it is when it's completely dry, but I knew right away that it's back to the drawing board for a new light green yarn. Get a load of what happened.
In the meantime there was a lot of dye left in the water and I decided to reskein the KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud laceweight I had earlier wound into a ball and put it in the bath. (Yep, that's what I was doing while I was leaving the other yarn in too long.) So I dropped the hank in and after awhile it was a sort of a tan, almost metallic looking. It was actually a very nice color if you're into tans, which I am not. Therefore, I decided to add more red. The only red Kool-Aid I had left was black cherry. It wasn't my first choice, but hey, what the hell? I used 2 envelopes and got a very nice mauvey-burgundyish shade. It dried much more brown and I like it a lot. I don't like working with yarn finer than sewing thread (for real) but I think I know where it's going to go if I can manage to wind it yet again.
There is still a lot of dye left in the dyebath. So now I have 2 hanks of yarn hanging in the bathroom and a lot of lovely dyebath. So I boiled it down for a while, but then I had to go to bed. I want to be able to use it for painting skeins, so it needs to be less dilute. I'll see if I get a chance to boil it down some more tomorrow.

I have already ordered new yarn. Brown Sheep Wildfoote in Mistletoe. <—Look! In the road, a pun!

Ravishing Other People's Knitting, Part 2

Here it is again with a better seam, more suited for public view. I still don't know if I will felt it. If I don't, it'll be a pretty large bag. It is approx. 14 x 48 inches laid out. There is nothing that says I have to use the whole piece. I can hack it up some more and make other things.
Here is a link to a fabulous and hilarious example of true Frankenknitting: Brouhaha's Blog. There is also good writing there.
I tried to show where I crocheted a rough straight line across the edge. I had earlier sewed across the edge of each panel with a needle and handy sock yarn. Despite my best efforts at measurement (sometimes called "folding things in half") knitting is a living thing and refuses to conform. This knitting especially is a living thing. It's very lively and sproingy. This must be what is causing me to have second thoughts about felting. Even in the center pull ball I wound you can appreciate the loft of this yarn. This piece used three strips and I still have two more plus a skein & a half or so.

Friday, October 26, 2007


of Opinions

Would you wear socks in the color of the light green background in the picture? If it doesn't look very bright on your monitor, look at this, more accurate picture:

A Day in the Life of a Ram

The paper this ram is eating says

Ram for Sale

Not a good day

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tempted by the Fruit of Another (Knitter or 2)

That to which I am up lately is FrankenKnitting. Maybe it's n0t FrankenKnitting in the strictest definition because I'm only remaking the objects, not cobbling disparate parts together.
Seiding made these gloves that didn't fit her right. She's had them for a long time. They are one of her very first knits. (?Como se dice "over-achiever"?) In a brief moment of exasperation with the October hot/cold weather and how to dress for it, she offered them to me. They didn't fit me either. Now here's my kind of challenge. I'm attempting to alter them so that they fit her better. Naturally, I've already frogged my reknit twice.
The pink stuff isn't really pink pink. It's more of a mauve pink. I would call it rose. Dang! I had to write "rose." Now I've got La Vie en Rose stuck again. You know where. It is the product of a swap with Elizabeth from our knitting camp in August. She didn't knit it. She acquired it in this condition. It's very nice vintage, very classic worsted weight wool yarn. No label. There are 4 cable strips, aproximately 6 feet long and two skeins to boot. I'm sewing them together in order to make a bag. At first I was planning to felt it. In fact I hauled it out because I wanted to do some felting this weelend and it fights against my fiber to felt just one or 2 things at a time, it being so fuelish. Because I wanted to felt it, I sewed the seams very loosely. But now I'm thinking maybe I won't felt it. The seams then are too sloppy by far.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stitch Markers

Here are some stitch markers I made the other night. Red is for stop. Green is for go.This is the container in which I keep my stitch markers. It was a long ago present from my Auntie June. It waited for years before I discovered its true use.This is the inside. I especially like how the impromptu yarn stitch markers cling to the inside of the lid. This is one of my favorite objects. It has reached high levels of both form and function. Who could ask for more?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Things up to which I've been.

Wound one of my big hanks of Cherry Tree Hill Super Sock Mill Ends. So who knew it was discontinuous? I know they're called Mill Ends, but I thought I was only buying one end. (Why they would make an end 1200 yards: not my business.) I ended up with seven "balls." I apostrophized balls because one of them only barely qualifies for that definition. Pissed as I was at the time of the winding, I have now come to accept it. Choose your battles, eh whot? I'd rather have the seven "balls" than one ball with all those knots.

Indeed, if you count there are only six. Number seven is actually the unwound strands in the picture. A total of five grams worth.
Stitch Markers & Felting: I made a bunch of stitch markers yesterday and I am learning to needle felt. I can't show you all the stitch markers or the front of the felting project. They are secret. I will upload pictures later when Blogger cooperates.
Ripple/feather and fan/old shale stitch shawl. An emergency project for a dear friend who recently lost her sister. The death was unexpected and my friend had already been going through the wringer. She needs a lot of hugs, so in a way, this is like a prayer shawl. (I really know nothing about the prayer shawl ministry. Please excuse my ignorance if there is a particular definition or use which I have just trampled.) I broke out my Schaefer Marjaana in the Eleanor Roosevelt color. It's 550 yards, a 50/50 silk and wool blend. To it I'm adding (after lots of other choices were started and abandoned) a soysilk ribbon by South West Trading Company. I think it's called Phoenix. I bought it at French Knots just for the project. It goes very nicely even though it doesn't match any of the colors of Eleanor Roosevelt. My friend definitely is a green girl. At least in my mind if not in hers. She doesn't wear green come to think of it. Well, I know I'm right. Naturally the colors in the picture are off. The green in particular came out poorly. It is much less dusty and pale in person. I've tried to show both the front and back because I think I like the back better. I reduced the multiple of the pattern to 12 stitches instead of 18. I'm trying to keep it from looking like an afghan and I was hoping reducing the scale of the pattern would help.

I also love

October roses.

Friday, October 12, 2007

123 is Six

The assignment:

3 things I love + 3 things I hate = 6 things

1. COLOR. It's a pet peeve of mine that most of the cars around here don't have vivid colors. I usually say that they don't have a color. They almost exclusively come in various shades of silver & gold, black, and white. Red & blue are the only real colors you get to see much at all. I especially dislike the silver ones. I saw a fantastic hopped up irridescent car the other day. We were next to each other at 2 stop lights in a row. The colors were really bright and strong. It was wild. It had a fatal flaw however. The hubcaps kept spinning after the rest of the car had stopped. I can't handle something like that.

I can kind of understand the lack of color that we tend toward when painting the exteriors of houses and buildings. We want them to fit into their environments or we want to showcase the natural materials, though I'd prefer to paint them fuchsia and other good colors. But you'd think we'd want our cars to be stand-out bright colors that would aid in being able to keep them from being cracked up.

You can play with color on your blog if you know the html hex codes. Here are a couple of links that tell you. (That's not how I made the picture. That's from MS Paint.)

2. Cucumbers. I hate them. They are my most hated food. They can make me throw up. I went looking on Google Images for a picture of cucumbers. I found the ad below. I don't think I would enjoy that kind of cucumber either! But I did enjoy the ad. Link to original ad.
"Sea Cucumbers Ready to Cook
Detailed Product Description
Sea cucumber is a famous nourishment amoung the Chinese. What we servered is not
The trditional sea cucumber which is dried and the consumers have to dip them in Water for a considerable period of time. Our sea cucumbers fead for cooking are Handpicked from local sea cucumber and processed carefully to make them maintain Their protein and nutrition maximumly. Customers have no need to dip them in Water any more but just to uppack to cook. Their taste and feeling in mounth is Better than the dried one dipped in the water."
3. Yarn. I love yarn. Duh.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I'm In Love With My Car part 1

Words, music & vocals by Roger Taylor,
from Queen

The machine of a dream
Such a clean machine
With the pistons a pumpin
And the hub caps all gleam

When Im holdin your wheel
All I hear is your gear
When my hands on your grease gun
Oh its like a disease son

Im in love with my car
Gotta feel for my automobile
Get a grip on my boy racer rollbar
Such a thrill when your radials squeal

Told my girl Ill have to forget her
Rather buy me a new carburetor
So she made tracks sayin
This is the end now
Cars dont talk back
Theyre just four wheeled friends now

When Im holdin your wheel
All I hear is your gear
When Im cruisin in overdrive
Dont have to listen to no run of the mill talk jive

Im in love with my car
Gotta feel for my automobile
Im in love with my car
String back gloves in my automolove

I've been taking pictures of my car off and on all week, but it wasn't until I had a meeting with a financial planner and he asked me how much my car is worth and I was obliged to say, "Nothing" that I realized I love my car.

It's--She's--14 years old. How much is that in car years? We can give it the equivalent of dog years. Let's see now, commencin to cypherin .... carry the one, ought, ought, ought, that's 98 years old. Then we can knock off 10 to 15 years for low miles. What we have here is an old car. It doesn't look it. Until you get a little closer, that is. We have loose moldings and rear door sills nearly eaten through with rust. (I have a bad habit of leaving the windows open in the rain.) It's a good thing that a lot of the body of this car is plastic. The driver's side visor is scraped up and showing it's innards due to being swung over to the side position when the automatic shoulder belts activated. The bit of elastic there lost its stretch many long years ago. There are cricks and cracks and stains all over. We got into an accident last fall and the insurance company paid 2500 dollars to repair it when the mechanic told them it wasn't totaled because I got all sentimental and choked up when I told him "It's a been a good car" as if he were the vet and my horse had a broken leg.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hello? Hello in there!!!

Just what is it about "Meow" that you don't understand?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Who am I and what's in my pants? --I mean my purse!

I'm sort of a stream of consciousness-zen type of person. Some people see that as disorganized and laid back. Hah!

The little picture of spilt yarn on the sidebar doesn't say it all, but it says a lot of it. I'm not one of the tidier people roaming the planet. If something falls on the floor, sometimes I leave it there because it can't fall any further. Safety first. I brag, but I'm not necessarily proud. My current life struggles are about decluttering and energizing.

I'm an elementary school teacher. I have the worst classroom management in the building. I asked the 5th graders, our top class, why all the classes come unglued when they're with me. They said I'm too nice. We were reading some parent comments at a staff meeting. In one, a disgruntled parent implied that the kids were scared of me. The other teachers laughed really hard. I didn't know I was the nicest teacher. I thought I was just the comic relief.

Oh, and I have the messiest desk in the building. Surprised? Are you going to be surprised when you see my purse? Are you scared? It's actually not that bad. I keep switching purses lately to cover different circumstances, so some things are missing (like the pharmacy: ibuprofen, dramamine, eyedrops, dental floss, and an antacid) and it's a little more jumbled than usual. I try to have whatever a person could need at any given moment. For instance, bandaids. I keep bandaids in there. I keep supplies that women need. I keep a pair of emergency socks. There are prescription sunglasses and coupons in case I end up at a JoAnn's or Michael's. I've at least one pen, a hairbrush, my wallet, Tic Tacs or other mints, a little pack of kleenex and a tape measure. There are a few things in the pic that there just to be of use on certain occasions, like bug spray and anti-histamine gel. Others don't really belong there at all, like crumpled up receipts and candy wrappers and business cards that I accepted to be polite.

The wallet itself is the repository of many useful things. The most useful is the yellow card in the picture to the right. It is with this magical little thing that I purchase yarn and other knitterly things online and elsewhere. Also lunch. I also have coffee cards, discount cards, an AAA card, the phone number of a good plumber, a library card, driver's license, cash sometimes, postage stamps, and if you look carefully in the left photo you can see a sewing needle to the right of the blue card. It was utilized just yesterday.

Knitting content alert: -->My purse socks somehow escaped the picture. Not the emergency socks--the purse socks! Are you not listening? The purse socks are my knitting. Sometimes I have two different ones, but usually only one. I only take one sock at a time from any pair, to reduce bulk. I try to use point protectors. Here's a lesson I learned earlier in my career: Addi circular size 0 is to can of Sprite as iceberg is to hull of Titanic. (Yes, I aced the Miller Anaolgies Test)

I don't keep my cell phone in my purse usually. I often walk away from my purse and then I miss phone calls. Post a comment telling me where you think I keep my cell phone. If you are correct, I will send you some ho-made stitch markers or some destash yarn or both.

The pictorial testimony of the wallet shows some organization. I think I get a point for that. Did you ever hear this line from a Woody Allen story? The butler had an airtight alibi for the time of the murder. He claimed that he had been downstairs in the kitchen washing dishes and produced some suds from his wallet to corroborate his testimony. I want to be that butler, to be never caught unawares, unprepared, or without an alibi.