Monday, February 27, 2012

Hopping Along!

Now I admit, I consider myself a sweater knitter.  It is my project of choice.  Sweater knitting encompasses everything I need out of my craft.  Challenge, tedium, familiarity, product.  However, sweaters take awhile to knit.  I do not knit every night, so they take me even longer than those who do.  I enjoy finding a pattern, acquiring the yarn, casting on and laboring away.  

But, there comes a time in the whole sweater knitting process, that I need a break.  A quick fix.  It is usually around the "nearly done" stage of the sweater, but not close enough to finish it that day.  Right about sleeve making time.  

So this weekend, I needed me a quick knitting fix.  A finished project.  This has already happened during the   knitting of Ingenue (remember the cowls? remember the crocheting?  remember the rag rug that got underway?)  This weekend's answer:


Project well underway.  Notice the pretty stitch markers?  I purchased them last November at a craft fair and finally had occasion to use them.  Ooooo, I feel so girly knitty!  I used the old workhorse standard, Paton's Classic Wool.  Great for felting.  Two strands, one each of Aran colorway and Natural Mix colorway.

Hopsalots off the needles, seamed up and ready to agitate in the washing machine.  The pattern called for hand-felting.  I chose to run them through the wash.  They took three cycles: a 12minute agitation, and two 4minute agitations to felt perfectly to fit my feet.  Bunny ears felted one 12minute cycle.

All the parts sat on the furnace vents to dry overnight.  Eagerly, I rushed home from work together to put together my bunny slippers.  Contemplated bolting early from work, but didn't think bunny slipper assemblage to be a good excuse to leave early.  Immediately began attaching ears.  I didn't even start dinner first.  (Did feed the cats first; needed them out of my hair!)
And here they are, perched and posing on my sewing box.  Aren't they cuteness?!?

One little bunny peeks up at her owner.  Hey there, little cutie!  Glad to meet you!

 Heimo prepares to meet the bunny slippers.
We're unsure of this as he's just been roused
from his afternoon nap.

An initial meeting seems promising.  He later 
tried to nibble a bunny ear but was quickly 
diverted with the licking of a Cheetos chip.  
Ready to walk off to the sunset together, my bunny slippers and I 
(or to the sink to do dinner dishes).  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back-Up Plans

My fingers have been lonely.  This is for several reasons.  1)  I've not had any knitting going on with these fingers.  No comfortable yarn wound just so around my fingers to run through and instinctively catch on a needle and be pulled through a loop.  Instead, I've been clumsily attempting crochet.  I like have a back-up skill, or I like the idea of a back-up skill, because trust me, crochet is not yet a skill for me.  I love learning new things, there is an exquisite patience to attempting new skills.  But I do not have the natural rhythm with crochet that I have with knitting.  In fact, yesterday I did neither.  I needed a break from feeling clumsy and out of sorts.   Tonight, I picked up my knitting needles and began the first sleeve of Ingenue.  Ah, that's better!  

The other finger loneliness is due to the fact that 2)  my shiny bauble has been elsewhere getting itself sized to perfectly fit my finger.  I miss that ring.  I got awfully attached to it awfully quickly!  It should be back tomorrow.  I mentioned to the man how sad and lonely my hand looked without that ring on it.  I mentioned that I thought it would be a good idea to have a back-up diamond to wear for occasions such as this: sizing, in the event repairs are ever needed.  I mean, I will be wearing this ring for the rest of my life and there will happen an occasion that I will need to take it in.  Right?  The man nearly choked on his dinner.  He really needs to chew his food more thoroughly, don't you think?

Heimo resting with his mama:

Monday, February 20, 2012


Making a rag rug with old t-shirts and a crochet hook:

I started by cutting old t-shirts from side to side to create loops of fabric.  (Cutting off the bottom hem first)  After all the loops are cut out, join each loop into a chain with a slip knot.

Tighten the slip knots:                                                                          Wind into a ball:

After you've wound your t-shirt yarn into a ball, begin crocheting.
I made a chain of about 40-50 with a size N hook and then began
single crochet.  Whenever I would run out of a color on the yarn
ball, I would simply attach another yarn ball with the slip knot and keep going.  I have included a close up shot of the single crochet t-shirt rug, as well as the work in progress at my feet.  The strip of red is from one adult medium size sleeveless t-shirt, so one shirt does not go very far!

I ransacked the closets for t-shirts that are never seen on bodies in this house.  I did not ransack my own closet, because I only hang in my closet clothes that I actually wear.  When the man came home and found me happily cutting up shirts, he immediately went to the pile of folded t-shirts and began to protest.  "This is a good shirt.  Look at it!  No holes or stains on it.  Why would you want to cut this up?"  When I showed him the rug in progress, he was instantly ready to head to his own and the boy's closets to gather more t-shirts, including ones that are still in wear rotation.  He was amazed and transfixed by the process.

It is slow going, as one t-shirt does not go very far in the rug growth process.  What lays at my feet is four t-shirts, one of which was long sleeved and I was able to get more loops out of the sleeves.    I can tell you that my hand hurts like all get out from the cutting of t-shirts!

I did pick up Ingenue today.  With all the crochet that I've been experimenting (badly) with lately, fun though it be, I needed to feel smart and accomplished and choose my more proficient art form.  The body is now off of the needles with arms ready to start.  I plan to get the arm stitches on the needles tomorrow.  

Monday, February 13, 2012


This man makes my heart smile and sing. He is the love of my life. This Christmas he asked me to marry him. It was a perfect moment. It was all caught on video because everyone knew but me (and maybe the 1 1/2 year old grandbaby). My sister-in-law slyly filmed it all. There was a little joke involved between Terry and me. It all began with the stockings. My first stocking present was the joke part. While inspecting my little joke gift, Terry went down on one knee and when I looked at him he said the most beautiful and wonderful things to me and asked me to marry him. He was holding out to me a gorgeous diamond ring. A perfect diamond ring. Simple and stunning.
Now, remember, stockings had just been passed out and despite the fact that everyone was in on it, my dad, in his glee, began opening his stocking stuffers. So, when all the ladies in the room started crying (as ladies are wont to do when something that gosh darn romantic is occurring), my dad says loudly "Why is everyone crying?". It's all on video.
When you don't know that you're going to be proposed to in front of your entire family (minus his eldest son, daughter-in-law and grandbaby), well, then, you're wearing jeans and a plain long sleeved t-shirt, and fiddling with your bra strap ALL CAUGHT ON CAMERA.
And it was perfect. Just perfect.
And I didn't say yes. Well, I did, but first I circulated the room, crying with the ladies, showing off my lovely new ring. My poor man stood there, waiting patiently for an answer to his question. Which wasn't a question how the answer would be...
Apparently you can create a photo from a video, but I've yet to figure out how to do that.
The following picture is of the ring, while blogging. It's now in the shop being sized.
How lucky am I? Lucky in love.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Summer Day Break (FO Friday)

Ok, first let me say that I had been wearing Francis, Revisited, which I skinned out of to model Summer Day Break. Thus, the green fibrous matter all over my black shirt. Also, I don't think I normally have a flat spot of hair on the back of my head, but aseyes are in the front of my head, I will need to be more cautious when styling in the morning!
I finished Daybreak by Stephen West this past fall and it has not made its appearance yet on this blog. Beautiful shawl. Someone organized the desk drawer and my yarn bands are gone. I know I've written notes on this project, so will have to look them up and update the information on this post. I'm pretty sure they were Zauerballs, a lovely wool. I did drop a stitch midway into the shawl and did not notice that mistake until I had already cast off. I did the unthinkable. I knotted it! Yikes.
Knit this lovely project over my summer break, thus the change in name.

Week's wear in review:

Monday: Bulky Moebius, Tuesday: Central Park Hoodie, Chausettes Pour Moi, Wednesday: Drop Stitch Cowl, Thursday: Shalom, Friday: Heather Hoodie Vest and of course, as it's winter, each day I have worn my Cable Hat, which has never been photographed and uploaded to Ravelry or my blog. I love that hat. Will have to post pics soon. It's my go to hat.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Ingenue and Hooks

Work in Progress Wednesday:
Ingenue by Wendy Bernard. Have had this pattern queued for quite some time. I believe I blogged last year about coveting this sweater. It has been cast on. I am using size 8 needles and Cascade Yarn 220 Heathers in a rich purpley grape color. This picture, surprisingly, is actually fairly accurate in representing the color of this yarn. My sleeves are on waste yarn. Currently, I am into the bottom ridge stitch.
Modifications I've made have been few: did not do the last increase round in collar ridge stitch. Didn't want a size small sweater, but wanted a more fitted sweater. I have not been trying on as I go, so we'll see how this plays out for me. Also, my decreases were knit on the sides, rather than distributed throughout. I am not fond of visible decreases in the body. My hip increases have been every 6 rounds instead of every 5 to add a wee bit of length to the sweater, per many ravelry projects wishing their sweaters were a touch longer. I have toyed with the idea of changing the sleeves to be longer and more fitted, but I chose the pattern because I like the sweater, so I'm going to follow the pattern for the sleeves as written. I'll update with any sleeve modifications should I choose to make any.

The other Work in Progress for me is crochet. I'm teaching myself, which consultation from friends, how to crochet because I covet me some granny squares! When the Babette Blanket pattern came out, I immediately purchased and downloaded, despite the fact that I did not know how to crochet a stitch. I even purchased some yarn for the blanket. That yarn is still in my stash. I recently came across the wonderful blog The Adventures of the Gingerbread Lady. On her blog she has a beautiful Babette Blanket and a fabulous iPad cozy of granny squares. I am single crocheting a swatch and am now pleased with my consistent gauge. Onto double crochet....

Toivo ate decently for me today and is now resting comfortably on the monkey chair (so named because there is one monkey in the fabric). Today, the sunshine was out and all things were shiny. A ring of love surrounds me.
p.s. today I fashioned my new drop stitch cowl

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'm a Scribble Globe!

Lucy and Bob, mom's and dad's cats, (don't ask - weird family gift giving tradition) gifted me this scribble globe for Christmas. It's awesome! Mom thought I could take it to the classroom, but instead it sits front and center atop our entertainment center. It even came with chalk! I love changing the message often. I even put an "x" over our location and wrote "You Are Here" for those who stop by questioning their location. Which could happen to you in Illinois.
Today's knitwear of choice was the iconic Central Park Hoodie. I love this sweater. It was my first foray into cables. The buttons were chosen by mom and she has impeccable taste.

In addition to the CPH, I was also sporting my Chaussettes Pour Moi. Comfy comfy handknit socks! Yes, that's me sitting in the Dr.'s office. No worries, just routine stuff.

Work in progress, which did sit at the Dr.'s office with me, is Ingenue, about which I hope to post to WIP Wednesday tomorrow. Haven't done one of those posts in ages.

Don't keep scrolling, there are no gratuitous cat pictures today. But that scribble globe was a beaut', eh?

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Week of Handknits

I was perusing the closet of handknits very closely last night. It was not self-indulgent, gratuitous, self-admiration at play here, but rather, thought I caught a shadow
of a glimpse
of a moth
with the
Needless to say, ran straight off to local "everything" store and bought lavendar and cedar chips in BULK, folks.
Anyway, back to my story.
I was perusing my closet of handknits very closely last night and marvelled at the sheer amount of knitting that has graced these hands. So, my goal this week is to wear a handknit each day. I'm sure this goal could extend past the week, but we'll start with that.
Today's choice, obviously, was the newly knit Bulky Moebius Cowl. Here is a gratuitous boob shot of me at work sporting its lovely blacks and purples. A co-worker who spins oo-ed and ahh-ed appropriately at not only the yarn, but the magic that is moebius. I love working with other yarn junkies! What to wear tomorrow??? Stay tuned.
Need to tell you all that my big boy Toivo is not well. We are battling feline chronic renal failure. Received the diagnosis this summer. Currently he has very limited interest in eating and his acidy tummy frequently returns its contents very quickly. If I can keep little bits in him often, he does eat better, but I do have a day job. I'm doing the best that I can with him right now. He has lost a lot of weight. He sleeps a lot more. But, each morning he does play a bit with Boots. He gets goo-gobs of attention and loving from everyone. What will our little Heimo do when Toivo leaves us? Heimo adores his big brother. When Heimo first joined our family, Toivo was having none of it, or him. He acted the big bully to that little kitten full of energy and zip and zim. And Heimo was having none of it. Heimo is like his mama in that he feels if someone doesn't like him, they obviously have not spent enough time with him.
Time and Heimo wore Toivo down and now they spend a great deal of sleeping and cuddling time together. Remember, Heimo is an attention and heat seeking missile. Toivo will bathe him. Toivo is warm. Target achieved.
The man loves Toivo too, and Toivo loves the man. Toivo has never liked any man until the man. I knew this man was a keeper when on one of his first visits to my home Toivo actually climbed into his lap. Mostly. Well, onto one leg. He had never climbed into anyone's lap other than mine before this, and he wasn't a young cat. And now nightly, he gets the good lovin' from the man. As soon as the man settles into bed, Toivo comes running up the side, nearly frantic and leans into him and gets his dose of loving, until he gets too warm and then walks contentedly down to the end of the bed and goes to sleep. This man of mine is a keeper. I think I'll keep him forever, I do.

(on top of man is Heimo, the heat seeking missile. The man, apparently, has a very warm belly. After all these years of just me and the cats, I now get leg room and the remote control. Someone else gets the cats. A very nice deal.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Big Cowls and Little Clues

Friday evening I found myself alone in the house (which is a good thing on occasion!). I was trolling around on Ravelry and came across this big, warm, wonderful cowl pattern. Pattern called for one skein of Lion Brand Thick and Quick. I have plenty of those in stash (remember, resolution to stash knit?) PERFECT. Dug out this red, dug out size 17 needles, put some nice, mindless t.v. on and away I went.
No cleaning, though at one point I did stop to eat. Took the following picture today and see now that I need to water the plant behind me (oops!). The darn thing sits by the heat duct and needs constant watering in the winter. The pattern is free(!) here on spiderwoman knits blog. She has adorable hand crafted items in her Etsy shop. Spent quite a bit of time perusing her blog. Wonderful, interesting and fun. Three essential adjectives for a blog. You should pop over and check it out. I am wearing the cowl today. Wore it to the fancy store as I was dropping something off (clue to you, dear reader). Was sweating in the store. I took my jacket off. I continued to sweat. I took my zip up sweatshirt off. More sweating ensued. Pulled Drop Stitch Cowl off. Whew, that's better! They need to turn the heat down in that store! A girl needs to be able to wear a fine knitted accessory inside as well as outside, am I right? Within my blog post are a few clues, as to an upcoming blog post news. I dropped something off and feel a little bit blue, but it will be back in a week or two. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


(If you've not read my photo essay on Why I Need a Swift and Ballwinder, here's where you can find it on my blog.)
Lookee what I found under the tree this past Christmas! Yippee! I've been asking for just these two items for many Christmases. Being persistent, and apparently optimistic and cheap as I've not made the purchase for myself, I was finally the recipient of every knitter's desire: a swift and ballwinder.
Here the two are, working in concert. A thing of beauty to behold. It keeps the cats at bay. I am no longer fighting with yarn attackers as I drape hanks over a chair and wind by hand. The first night, Boots sat on the kitchen table (not pictured), and tried to figure out how he could have yarn playing benefits from the moving apparatus, but gave up. Hee hee.
This handspun, hand-colored loveliness (which I purchased at a Santa's craft fair this past November), was lickety-swift neatly balled.
And two short hours later, became this:
It is knitomatic's Bulky Moebius Cowl. The pattern (free!) calls for bulky yarn, Malabrigo Rasta to be exact. My resolution this year (more detail about that to follow), is to knit more from my stash, so I pulled out this loveliness, wound it and followed Cat Bordhi's youtube tutorial on moebius cast-on. The original cast on amount was 50 stitches for the larger size, but this is not bulky yarn, so I cast on 72 stitches and away I went. Honestly, I thought I'd mucked the whole thing up, "surely I will be frogging this when it comes off the needles". The whole moebius knitting process is weird, wacky, and when finished, magical!
These pictures are pre-blocking, so there is a bit of wonk in the cowl
(but at least the bathroom mirror was clean)

It was a busy cowl weekend. I also cranked out a cowl last night after work, as the boys went to some races. I knit the Drop Stitch Cowl, but will save that for another post. I promise (as I do several times each year) to keep my blog more updated.

Why do I always take FO pics on the weekends when I have on no make-up and my hair isn't done????