Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

In honor of my dad, on Father's Day, I want to thank him, for everything he's done for me. So many things, too numerous to name all, but a few stick out in my mind. He probably won't remember these events, but I recall them vividly, and they've stayed with me.

Dad, thank you for:

  • teaching me to value education.
  • teaching me to use logic and reason, and for using these in specific life lessons
  • when Grandpa died, I asked you if there was a GOD, and you explained to me, that there was. You pointed out, that, "by definition, good cannot exist without evil."
  • when my high school friend got pregnant, you pointed out that "two wrongs, don't make a right," in reference to her getting married. May not seem that dramatic today, but in the early 80's, this was an atypical reaction, especially from a parent.
  • not allowing me to date and go to parties, unsupervised, while in high school. All the reasons you gave, well, they were the exact reasons I wanted to go out. DOH! You protected me, from myself.
  • for the way you handled my first experience with a cigarette, in the house. Wow! I don't know which crime was worse. Smoking? Not good, only 16 years old. In the house??? In Vick's immaculately clean, beautiful house, that she herself, a smoker, wouldn't even smoke in? I about knocked you down, as I ran to the bathroom, to get sick. When you questioned me, I fessed up. You simply asked if I'd ever do it again. I told you I wouldn't (and for the record, I didn't do it again, at least not for more than a quarter century) . You decided I'd learned my lesson, and didn't tell Vick. THANK YOU!

A confession, I did sneak out, one night (er, at least one). Some friends and fake ID's got us into a nightclub on Mt. Baldy. It was great, other than the car breaking down on the way home. I got to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, before she made it big!

You also taught me alot, about the value of money, so I thought you'd appreciate this brief news story.

U.S. To Trade Gold Reserves For Cash Through

And, for your special day, take some time off and relax, dad! I love you! Hey, maybe I'll knit you a tie!! :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Free Wollmeise!!!

Be sure to follow the blog
(see to the right) ----->
To follow the fate of the Wollmeise!
Will it be Free'd?

April Fools!

Wouldn't it be nice though? I think I'll save my pennies and try and actually do this before too long! It really made people happy. :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Malabrigo March Madness and So Many WIPs!

Well, I'm almost to my one year anniversary of the knitting journey! Wow! I can't remember how I spent my "down" time before I started knitting. So many non-knitting years, just wasted!

One year ago tomorrow, Pamela was set to have the baby, so I bought a "Complete Beginners Guide to Knitting" DVD. On April 2, 2009, while she sat in labor, I sat and enjoyed the DVD, it was quite productive and made time go quickly. The DVD was great, it started with how to hold the needles, so simple, you would think, until I realized I was completely wrong....Best money I ever spent. I left the hospital with a Grandson, and without the DVD -- I passed it on to one of the nurses.

I finished Mom's birthday mitts! This was a great knit. The pattern is Susies Reading Mitts and is free from Dancing Ewe Yarns. I made these from just over one skein of Malabrigo Twist in Indiceita colorway.

I'm also working on a cardigan for Shaylin's Graduation present. It's out of some beautiful silk that was gifted to me by my ravelry friend, Gwynneknit. This is another free pattern, it is the "Orange Wave Cardigan" from Jennifer Lang.

One of my most ambitious projects is part of the Malabrigo March Madness. I'm not exaggerating the madness part. I must have been crazy to cast on so many projects at once. This is the Geodesic Cardigan, made from Malabrigo Lace, in colorway Burgundy. I hope to finish this before I retire. Wow...knitting lace, takes fingers far less clumsy than mine! LOL

And one more for the Malabrigo Family...this is my Springtime Bandit. Another great pattern!

And finally, the last part of the set I'm working on for Grandma. These are some beautiful mitts, made out of the Mal Silky in "Lillita" to match the Beret and scarf I finished earlier this month. I feel like I've been a knitting fool. These have been tough because I'm not a dpn person, and I've never knit on anything on size 2 needles. Ouch!

I've got so many WIPs right now, I'm a bit overwhelmed. Hopefully, now that Malabrigo March is about over, I can start wrapping a few of these up!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yes, I've Been Bad...

I haven't really wanted to write in my blog. I've been just knitting up a storm. I've gotten a lot accomplished, so I'll have to do this "update" in two parts. Part I will be, items I've finished since the last post. :-)

I finished John's Jacques Cousteaux Hat, I really like the way it looks, but it is pretty big. He wears it, so I put this in the win column.

I finished the Casual Kaitlyn for Pamela. This was a test knit for a fellow Raveler. I really enjoyed this, and it was a very quick knit. I made a few mods. I didn't put the trim on the end of the sleeves (Pam's request), and rather than long sleeves, I made them shorter. Also, I added waist shaping, and added about 5 inches to the length. So, rather than a short top that shows the belly, it's more a long tunic, to be worn with leggings.

I caught the Malabrigo March Madness Bug. I've been casting-on and knitting Malabrigo projects like crazy. This is the first one. It's a Grace Lace Beret, out of Malabrigo Silky, in colorway Lillita.

Here is the rest of the set I've made out of the Malabrigo Silky. I really like the way that it's comign out. The scarf matches the design of the hat very closely. I'm not done with the mitts yet, but they are in the pic to show their progress.

Here are some gloves, made with Malabrigo Chunky, in colorway Verde Esperanza. I got some Malabrigo Worsted in this same colorway to make a matching scarf. I'm thinking that this can be a Christmas present for one of my Grandmothers.

Here is a cowl out of Malabrigo Worsted, colorway Indigo.

And my Daphne Hat out of Malabrigo Twist. I have to admit, I think that the Malabrigo Twist is my new favorite yarn. All the Mal is so soft and squishy, but I especially like the way the stitches pop when using this yarn!

Almost all of the preceding knits were made with yarn purchased at Little Knits, oh what bargains she has, and the best customer service!

So, that is Part I of the update. Next part will be what is on my needles. I have to take this in managable chunks, so that I don't over-whelm myself (or you!).
Also, for future reference, it is so much easier to prepare a blog post if you upload the pics first, manually add the
tags, and then put in the text!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Too Cold and More Winter Knitting

Wow! It's been cold here. Too cold for me. Of course I'm cold when it drops below 75 F. We are forecasted to have snow again on Friday. Snow. LOL.

This weather is doing a number on my plants. We'll have 2-3 nice warm sunny days, then a week of freezing weather. Well, my hyacinths, tulips and Madonna Lillies are already coming up. They're all about 6" tall (some more, some a little less), but if buds start developing, I'll lose them all. That late snow we had last year, end of March, caused my Gardenia to not flower at all. Let's cross our fingers and hope that they develop really slow!

I start on a Jacquest Cousteau hat for John. I've knit something for everyone, but him. He's so patient and helpful, I want him to have something really special. I'm knitting it in Rowan Felted Tweed, in color "Ancient." I know, pretty expensive for a teenagers hat, but it looks awesome so far. I know it's going to be my favorite man's hat when all is said and done.
Also, I managed to pick up a couple more skeins of the yarn I used for Pamela's Flamboyant Mitts (Classic Elite Desert, shade Northern Lights #2047). She wants a matching hat. I haven't started it yet, apparently, I have 12" needles in every size but the size I need. I've ordered some, so I should be casting on soon.

I started back on my "Experiment in Maybe." It's the wrong yarn, but I really wanted to try this pattern, and I didn't want to use really good expensive wool on it, so I used Ester Britan Hand Dyes - Andes. I have a lot of it, and I got it on sale at Little Knits. It's self striping, usually used for socks I suspect, but I'm getting a stripey type pattern. I should not wear horizontal stripes. LOL. But, again, I'll consider it a win, cause I'm making a hoodie for myself, and it's going to be WARM! I haven't finished up the shoulders yet, and I bet it already weighs 5 pounds. Imagine when I finally get the hood knit!

I've also started Vickeys Textured Shrug. It was supposed to be a Christmas present, but man, there is a ton of knitting. I'm already on my 3rd skein of Elann Sonata, and I'm still not done with the yoke. The knit fabric is gorgeous. The color is so brilliant! I think she will be very pleased.

I've not done so well on my yarn diet, but I've been destashing like crazy to help compensate. So, it's not a total loss, but still will be a net gain.

Don't think I spend all my time knitting. I watch William a lot as well. So, what happens while Grandma is watching the baby? Hmmmmm, why not see for yourself.

And for the not PG rated crowd, a special episode of Sesame Street...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

William and Wool and Hippie Gear

I've had a productive weekend. I managed to make not just one, but two hats for William, and mitts. The first hat I made him was too small, so I gave it to Lizzie for baby Jake, when he gets here. Should be anyday now!

These wool hats were made from JL yarn. Not one I've used efore. I had a few surprises, for example, the yarn that appeared to be green and blue, surprised me with lots of purple. So, I cut a several purplish color sequences out, so the hat would be boy appropriate. I was a little disappointed with the colors in the yarn, but the texture and the feel of the wool was nice. It's very squishy and fairly soft, before first wash. It's really very soft after wash. It will be a good warm hat for baby hippies.

Chris named the first one a "Hippy Hat" based on the colors. When we gifted the first hat to Dan and Lizzie, Lizzie sent us a "Thank you" for the "Hippie Hat." We never called it a hippie hat to them, so it seems the sentiment is prevalent. No dispute, this is the hippie hat, so one guess what I called the mitts. :-)

The hat was made based on a pattern, but the mitts were pretty much improvised. A lot of things I'll do different next time. At the end of all the photos, I'll put my notes of how they were made.

Notes on the mitts:

Well, I thought I’d give this a try, I used “Mitts 101” from as a guideline. I’ll consider this a good first attempt. I know the things I’ll do differently next time, and next time won’t be too far away as these won’t fit for very long. LOL.

Made for William, almost 10 months old:
Cast on 20.
Knit 10 rows of twisted rib (k1 in back, p1)
Begin St st. & Knit 9 more rows then knit in waste yarn for the thumb.
Continue St st until it measures 2 1/2 inches from the beginning of St st.
Decrease 2 rows (start of each needle k1, ssk, k to last 3, k2tog k), then knit one row even, Twice.
Decrease 1 row (same decrease pattern as above) and one more row even.

Next time:
Ribbing should be doubled (at least) I want this to go further up his wrists to cover any gap left by a jacket. It’s okay for now, but not great and no room to grow.

I measured his hand and started the decreases at the exact point (2.5 inches) which is the distance from wrist to tip of pinky. If this yarn doesn’t grow, next time I’ll know to leave a little wiggle room, but he did seem to get a good grip (even without the thumb being done).

He loves the gloves. I could hardly get them back from him. He wanted to keep feeling everything with the glove on.

Definately not a perfect job, but I still consider it a win!

Note on the yarn: Will not buy again. I lost almost an entire skein of yarn to purple that had to be cut out. Didn’t expect purple on a skein that appeared to be all green and blue on the outside.

Also, there was no consistancy between the color repeats within one skein, nor between the two skeins used. Same dye lot. I tried cutting out the purples, then as I started finding knots (one in one skein, 2 in the other) I figured why not try and cut color sequence so I could match the gloves, but the same colors used in glove one did not show up again for glove two.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hotter Off the Needles and Buggy Things!

I finished these this a.m. in time for Pamela to wear them to school. Pamela and! It's been a long time since I've said those two words together, in a positive way. I think she is as thrilled about going back to school, as I'm about the prospect that she finally realizes where her priorities need to be. So, to the Flamboyant Gloves:

Unfortunately, I lost track of rows early on. I thought I counted right, I double checked 3 times, but with this thick/thin yarn, it's really difficult to see the twists, let alone "count" them. So, the end result is that one glove is about 1/2 inch longer than the other. I figure I'll block them to be the same size. I tried to match the stripes up, but the color repeat was not consistant. There was not another repeat of black to lavendar to pink, other than the cast-on on the first glove. I ended up with less than 1 yard of yarn left, and this is not in one piece, it's what is left from weaving in. All in all, I consider this a win.

Pamela did wear them this a.m. I finished at 7:17 a.m. and she left at 7:29.

I was trying to think of things that bug me. I'm happy to say, that I really couldn't think of many things, though. This is all that I could come up with:
  1. When people say "fer" instead of "for" (guilty, but I try and catch myself!)
  2. Like, when people, like, you know, say, "like" (aarrrrggghhh!)
  3. Thin women who claim they are fat (okay, it's probably just thin women period, who bug me)
  4. My neighbors who let their doggies out to poop, and they ALWAYS do it in my yard. We've been here 6 years, and they only poop in our yard...oh well, they're good neighbors, so we bite the bullet.
  5. When premium movie channels show movies that were originally "Movies of the Week" on channels like "Lifetime" or "Hallmark" or any regular station for that matter.

Not a bad little list. And I was worried that I woudn't be able to come up with anything. Apparently, I'm not as cheerful and upbeat as I thought.

So, on that note, let's try these notes:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hot Off the Needles!

I've done some small accessory knitting this past week. Just a few small things to use up single skeins of yarn, or odds and ends. I've taken a shine to making mitts, at least as far as entertainment value, the quality needs serious work. All these items are highly functional, and have already been getting used these past few days (well, except for the Flamboyant Mitts shown last...they are still on the kneedles).

This is my Manos Del Uruguay cap, as modeled by my loving husband. Aaaaah, isn't he cute?

I made these mitts to match the hat. They've both been really very warm. Combined, the two projects used less than 180 yards of yarn. That was a bit of a surprise, but the Manos Del Uruguay feels like an Aran weight to me, so perhaps this is right on mark.

I've also started another pair of mitts for Pamela. She's named them "Flamboyant Mitts." I had one skein of Classic Elite Desert in colorway "Northern Lights." It's very pretty, but the thick/thin of this yarn (and the Manos) makes for a very irregular stitch. I think I'm ready to move to something more consistant in thickness, so that there is more uniformity in some projects for awhile. These mitts have been very quick. Just started yesterday afternoon, and both are done except for the thumbs and weaving in the ends.

Well, it looks like I got my post in for this week, just in time. I'll leave you with this closing thought....Be happy....this could be your kid!

Monday, January 18, 2010

We Interupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming...

I think that it is my ethical responsibility to include public service announcements. We must all work together for the good of our world! So, for all the knitters, and garment wearers out there, please be aware:
And a little humor for our knitting enthusiasts

After reading the worst example of spelling I've ever seen, research was conducted, scientific of course, to ascertain the age of the author of said writing. After all, I don't want to make fun of a kindergardener. I figured, anything older than 3rd grade would make it unacceptable. Well, in fact, it was a 20 year old. Not a single word was spelled right. Even the word "do" was spelled "du." Gotta love the public education in America today. No child left behind. Just make the standard, "no standard" so all just get a pass...

Someone suggested the poor thing use spell check. Well, it appears that even spell check has it's limits...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Resolution Update!

Okay, first things first, obviously I've already gotten off to a poor start with the "write in my blog once a week" resolution....but I have an excuse (to this, I hear in my head, my father's voice saying, "Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one...")..

Quiting the Red Bull took quite a toll on me. I slept almost a week straight. Only waking for a few hours each day. It was rough. I finally broke down and did decide to allow myself one soda a day, so I didn't have such a shock to my system, making such drastic changes all at one time. (I also quit smoking as well, but didn't list this, as I never really felt like a smoker, no one smokes in the house, and I primarily only smoked at work, to get out of my office cage, but I decided since I never really "want one" why smoke any at all? So I dropped those completely...haven 't had one since last another month or so, I can consider that I did quit!)...

well, back to the one soda a day. This definately helped. I now wake up in the morning and actually get out of bed....LOL....

Since I decided to allow small amounts of caffeine into the diet (still, no Red Bull yet this year) I have exercised almost everyday, and I keep increasing the time I exercise...hopefully I'll see results soon. Also, now that I am awake, and among the living again, I will try to get on track with the one blog post a week resolution!

I made some mitts for Pamela this week, to go with her hat...

I also made a hat for Christopher, to go with his beer shooting mitts....these have really gotten a work out!!

I joined a Kauni KAL, but haven't managed to participate. My new schedule of helping my daughter with William while he is at school is pretty intense. I've only gotten as far as winding the first skein of Kauni...

Watching William has been fun. The biggest hurdle I have, is keeping him from biting the dogs nails (I've heard of biting your own, but the DOGS??) LOL

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 New Year's Resolutions

Happy Happy New Years to Everyone!

I am ready for an awesome year! So, resolutions? Well, nothing too shocking, several are recycled just packaged differently, but they have all been given considerable thought.

  1. Lose Weight!! Must lose weight. Not talking about dieting, it has to be the whole package, because this is aweful. I have the time and opportunity, so I am committed to this. I have identified my motivation for this, I'll list them at the end of this list. If you want to join me in any of the ventures, please, let me know! I'd love to have company!!
  2. Exercise daily, everyday. I'm getting older, and I don't want to start feeling it. I need to make a point to get regular exercise daily, I won't commit to daily time, because I want to take various opportunities throughout the day to get my blood flowing. So many way: wii sports and games, walking with the baby, walking with the handsome hubby, free weights, I need to take several breaks during my day and be active!!!
  3. No more Red Bulls. OUCH. Okay, don't tell DH, but I was up to 3 a day before Thanksgiving (for about a year) and managed to bring that number down to 2 a day since then, but now it's down to ZERO.
  4. No more Soda. Period. Water, and only filtered water from the tap, will be all I drink from now on.
  5. Spiritual/Intellectual growth daily. I will spend time, everyday, to reading something that will help me to grow, on the inside. I have plenty of books around here. I will be starting with "The Purpose Driven Life."
  6. Everyday I will make a point to notice, identify and acknowledge something that someone else has done or contributed to make life better/happier/more pleasant, and let them know. It has to be sincere, I know that I will be able to find something everyday. It can also be a memory of something that I recall from years ago, but only today have come to realize.
  7. Knit more, buy less yarn!
  8. Learn to speak with a Scottish Accent
  9. I will write in my blog at least once every 7 days. There it is. You knew it was coming...

So, these are my completely attainable, highly achievable goals for this year. I'll work on a template, so on my weekly posts I can post my progress/status on these.

Means and Motivation for Goal #1

"Yarn Diet-Diet"

It's a "Yarn Diet" Diet....How is that for a catchy name? Basically, I need to control the new yarn coming in, as well as lose weight (I've gained 25 pounds since I quite working in August!!!!). Obviously, my big resolution is to lose weight, but you could modify and use something like this to acheive whatever your New Years Resolution is!!!

I am a firm believer of success through rewards, smaller, more frequent rewards. So I thought I'd combine the two ideas...this one sounds good to me, lots of incentive and I get yarn if I'm good, lose yarn if I back pedal. I bet there are others out there too, who could use something similar to control the stash growth and weight all at once. Maybe we could collect ideas here!!

January 1 a.m. is my start weight.


1. Weigh-in is each Friday. There is a
48 hour re-weigh that can be called
by either party, to allow for things
like water retention or just to be
sure it's an actual stable weight.

2. For every 10 pounds of weight I lose,
DH buys me a sweaters worth of yarn
of my choice. Ceiling price is $60
(if I choose a more expensive yarn, I
must pay the difference).

3. For every 5 pounds I gain (from the
latest weigh-in weight) I have to
forfeit a sweaters worth of yarn to
my DH. I can't destash or use that
yarn as long as it's in the forfeit
state (can't even pet it).

4. If there is any yarn in forfeiture,
DH does not buy me new yarn, I must
select a sweaters worth of "forfeited
yarn." No new yarn will be bought by
DH until all forfeited yarn has been
earned back (making the incentive
that if I backpedal and put on 5
pounds, I must again lose 10 pounds
to get it back....kewl, huh?)

Motivation for Resolutions #1-4

Body For Life

While the prize is no longer $1 Million, $25K isn't something to laugh at, and again, I have no excuses not to commit to this completely. I have the time, need and commitment (yes, I know, I need to be committed).

If you want to join me in the Yarn Diet-Diet or the Body For Life, let me know, just give me the signal!