Boob Toaster I and II

Sam found a really neat pattern for a "sontag" in a Geody's Ladies Book from late 19th century (I think, I could be really wrong on that date). So I made her one. As soon as she put it on, Alison yelled, "What's that? A boob toaster?" As you can see, the design lends itself to a toasty breast area, but that really isn't it's primary purpose. Alison's birthday was a few days ago, so I made her one, too. It is slightly more embellished than the original - mostly because I found the original to be hideously boring to knit.

Here it is laid out:

Oh yes, Jen. That's a crocheted border on the original. It had to have flair somewhere!
Per Alison's request, I'm attaching some braid ties so she she can close her's like Sam. These are becoming all the rage at the library (as you might imagine...). Very popular with us ultra-cool history nerds.

What next?

So now that Christmas is over, I only have one project going: the cable 8 tank top. I am looking forward to getting back to it, though I have to wait till I have some time to sit and figure it out because I (I can hear Jen sigh all the way here) put it down without noting where I was in the pattern AGAIN. I promise I didn't mean to. I think the phone rang or something like that and I didn't get to pick it back up. After I finish it I would like to attempt the Portland Pullover from the Fall 06 Knits.

So anyway, I like to have an easier project to work on too. A scarf would be the obvious choice but I'm just not feeling inspired. One thing I saw was the coffee cozy on page 41 of knitpicks. I know it sounds totally dorky but I think it is just the thing my parents would like. They seriously take extra paper cozies from Starbucks and keep them in their car for when they get caught without one. The problem is that the free pattern knitpicks offers is fair isle, which I have no interest in attempting. But can't I just adapt the pattern? What I don't understand is that by looking at the chart you increase beginning on row 1. Why? Maybe one of you could take a look at the pattern for me? (enter 50517 at their website

The other thing is that Caleb's office down in our basement is very cold and he could use some wristwarmers. Jen, did you ever make some for Caleb Jones? If so, I would love the pattern.

So I've got lots of options, and a little money to spend at the LYS (ahem...). Now I just need a little free time. Things will slow down for Caleb next week so I am looking forward to some knitting soon.

get yer fiber

This should take care of my daily dose for a while at least!
This past Sunday I took a dyeing class from my friend Erin of MamaE's C*eye*ber Fiber. She is wonderful and the class was a blast. I've bought several of her rovings including the one I spun up for that shrug back in Oct. I came home with all this wonderful fiber as well as two skeins of sock yarn. She let us try Kool-Aid, Wilton food coloring, and then the serious acid professional dyes. The knowledge I gained was great but most importantly the memories of such a fun day are priceless. Erin's studio is fantastic, so cozy and inviting, and that wasn't only because it snowed all day. Yes, I got to play with fiber and watch it snow. all. day.

This was done with the Wilton dye. I had hoped for something darker. I used brown, copper, and orange but I like it.

My first solo attempts with the acid dyes.

I must say, however, that these are my favorites only because I had so little hope for them. I took some horrible pink roving which Mark always referred to as "the intestines" with me thinking it would be a good lesson for "overdyeing" or re-dyeing something already dyed. I had no expectations that I could make it look pretty. I'm not really good with color and this being my first real dye experience I figured I'd mess it up royally. Yet, behold! With some advice and encouragement from my wonderful teacher Erin, I lOVE what I got!!

The really interesting thing will be to see if it spins up anything like what I think it might! The saga will continue...

by the skin of my...skein...

Just barely made it!! I mean look at that little ball of yarn! Whew! The sleeves are actually a bit short I'm afraid but that's less because I ran out of yarn and couldn't make them long enough and more because, apparently, the design is for tiny shouldered women with toothpick arms. This is a drop sleeve sweater with a really big collar that's just supposed to drape around so I think I just feel funny in it and in reality it looks fine on me. Max likes it though!

3 months today

This isn't a baby blog I swear. This is a post about a hat and a blanket, both knitted.

The burprag makes an appearance

I just wanted to show Jen's handywork in action (on Christmas Day no less!). It gets a lot of use. In fact, it kinda feels wrong to let her spit up so much on it.

Also, the outfit she is wearing was mine when I was a baby. My sisters and I all had matching pj's that Christmas.

Reunited and it feels so good

Thank you Abby for allowing me back in.

So here's my news: I was pretty sure I had overheard it when I was in there and a recent check of their website confirms it. Debbie Bliss is coming to the LYS (LYS is Internet jargon for local yarn shop. I assumed you knew this but then got paranoid that you didn't. You might have thought that LYS was some freak cult I had joined out here. Like the Living Yellow Society in which people ate bananas for breakfast, macaroni and cheese for lunch, and corn chowder for dinner followed by that famous pot-luck dish of vanilla pudding and wafers for dessert. But don't worry, yellow has always washed out my complexion.)

So, I was saying. Debbie Bliss. Here. But when I read the details it wasn't quite as exciting. First of all it costs $40 to hear her speak. Second of all, the topic is how she designs her garments. Ho-hum. I mean it sounds exciting, but not THAT exciting. So I'm not sure if I'll go or not. I am wondering if I could just spontaneously show up to do shopping when she is there. And just get a peak...I want to know if she has a denim jacket with sparkles that says "Debbie Bliss" on the back.

In other news, I did get some knitting done. I made my mom an ipod cover. I forgot to take pictures but I did it with a tweedy Rowan yarn and it turned out better than the one I made for myself because I remembered to decrease when I started the flap.

I also made more of these, which you may remember from last year. The girls at church had an ornament exchange. I was a little nervous about giving something homemade; everyone else gave store bought ones. But they seemed to be a hit. The party was fun. They read the lyrics to Silent Night and every time they said the word "silent" you passed to the left and every time they said "night" you passed to the right. This was fun and a little dangerous for people holding hot chocolate in one hand and a newborn in the other.

The other thing I finished was the hat to match Ellery's blanket. It was a Christmas gift. (It seemed kind of odd to do gifts for her, seeing as how she would be completely unaware of it, but then totally wrong not to get her anything. So Caleb and I picked out a few things for her together and then each got her things the opposite spouse didn't know about. The hat was one of those.) I don't have a pic yet but I think she will wear it for her 3 month pics next week.

Somebody call Guinness...

I mean that's got to be a record. Resolution on Saturday...casting on Wednesday. But Santa I can explain...
The resolution really needed a clause that stated it could be violated in case of cute little three year old cousins having a birthday party. I mean look at that face! And those weren't even presents for her!! No resolution can deny knitted goodness for such a kid. So another Russell the Sheep started Wed. for Macy and it's almost done. We're off home for the birthday party tomorrow and one for Grandma Sunday!! So thank you all for your well wishes (even though I know that you know that I know that we all KNEW I really couldn't do such a resolution!!)

Mittens go for a drive and socks work out

I was a little bored in Ohio. Enjoy.
Also, this post was supposed to be a lot more complex but Blogger won't let me upload all the pics I want. :-(

I made Angela a pair of mohair/wool mittens by holding some wonderfully red mohair with some black sock yarn. The finished product is delightfully stretchy and (hopefully) warm (hasn't been cold enough to really test them). The mittens wanted to drive the VW, who was I to object? Luckily I had my camera on hand.

Mom got a pair of socks made from a wool/nylon blend. I think I bought the yarn at Sheep and Wool last year. Mom also got a new exercise bike thingy and the socks really wanted to try it out (they were kind of big and can stand to lose some weight). Look at them go... The socks also used the treadmill and the eliptical, but those pics are unavailable, thanks to Blogger.

Oh, the mittens also learned to play the guitar, that pic is unavailable (it didn't turn out very well anyway) as well.

New Year's Resolutions or...

Pie crust promises? Only time will tell.

As I take stock of this past year (and yes I do think about more than just the knitting of the past year but that's a different story), I am forced to face the fact that I am an unfaithful knitter but more importantly, an unhappy unfaithful knitter:-( I can't seem to stop jumping into new projects when I'm not done with others and when I know this will drive me crazy. Having lots of loose ends (ha! punny) in any part of my life tend to get me nervous.

So why don't I stop doing it...So ok, resolution one: no more than two or three projects started at a time. I like that because I do think it's fun to be able to switch between a few projects, have one that can travel easily, one for the couch, etc. but not overwhelming or embarrassing like the number of projects on needles at the moment. Last year I finished 31 projects, including everthing from lace curtains to dish rags to stuffed sheep and dogs. However, the dregs of the year add up to SEVEN! AHA and they're all driving me crazy. To some this may seem paltry. I know the Harlot does this much in a week for Christmas. I actually was surprised it wasn't more but for me, it's too much! So perhaps chronicling the sad state of affairs will help me keep not only resolution one but resolution two (here's the biggy): I won't start any new projects until all seven of these are done!! Whew! I said it.

Ladies, I present to you the first seven knitting projects of 2007!
From smallest to biggest/most complete:
Mosaic socks made with yarn all the way from Zimbabwe where yarn enough for two pairs of socks costs $140,000.00 (yes that's the right number of zeros:-(

NOT PICTURED: insert picture of the second Pheonix sock. It'll look just like the one you've already seen providing I can remember what I did! It's not even on the needles yet but since one sock is completed I feel like this is a started project.

The Morehouse Merino scarf which I loved at the time I started in May and which I slowly hate more and more as each unending row crawls by.

Don't even know quite what this is. guessin' sweater.

The beginnings of the red/orange handspun. GOT to get this done soon because Carolyn surprised me with beautiful hand made glass earrings for Christmas to match the sweater just because she'd seen on the blog that I was making it! Isn't that the most thoughtful thing. (Hi Carolyn!)

Remember this? MDSW in'05? maybe? started this past summer and it always gets pushed aside

Worst of all cause it's been on the needles so long (but closest to done). Started this back in the spring. Geeze. Sleeves are all it needs but I have a sinking feeling that I'm running out of yarn and I used a discontinued Debbie Bliss. It will be so sad when the first project of 2007 can't be finished for lack of yarn.

Not so bad I guess, even the projects that have lingered for months. Actually, one of the things I like about knitting and spinning is that it takes time. In a world of instant everything, projects that actually take time are grounding. I've often thought about ages past where time was marked by seasons as the smallest unit, not seconds. Part of me longs for that and knitting speaks to that part. I have to plan now for things I might want to wear next fall and that large scale is connecting and comforting.

Knitting stock taken, resolutions drawn, and now...the spinning...

sheep for Christmas

It sings or rather bah's "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" too! Can't get better than that. (Sorry the picture's blurry-it's the only one I have)
But it wasnt' just me. When Max unwrapped his present he also found a sheep! He loved his just as much as I loved mine. Of course I didn't immediately chew the nose off of my sheep but everyone expresses love in their own way.

I love this last one because you can see he is playing so hard his ears are flying! He even still has ribbon wrapped around his leg!

I did get other fibery related Christmas gifts: a Barbara Walker treasury I didn't have from Mom/Dad, some knitpicks yarn from sis-in-law Carolyn, a ball winder from Mark's brother, and several nice things from Mark's mom and dad like a blocking board, new needles, and a magnetic board to hold patterns. I'd take a picture of the haul but honestly we're still unpacking (do not shame me, I am embarrassed enough already!)

the year in scarves

My family draws names for Christmas and I got my mom. For weeks everytime she walked past me she'd pretend to cough "scarves" at me! So I decided to make her a scarf for every season, knitting it in that season. Here she is opening them - you can see she is putting them all on as she goes!

This was the winter scarf. It's a mobius made from kid mohair. Red is her favorite color.

The spring scarf was inspired by redbud trees against the kelly green newly leaved trees on the mountains between here and home. I even stopped and bought the yarn in Cumberland which is roughly half way there. It's rayon. Nice drape!

I was determined to buy the summer scarf materials at MDSW because that is the start of summer to me and I succeeded in finding a pretty little silk boucle yarn in late summer colors. Mom's really not a pastel kind of gal. I almost missed knitting it in summer though and didn't finish it 'til Labor Day, the end of summer to me!

I tought she'd like the first three scarves but they were all lacy and a bit foofoo so the fall scarf had to be straight forward, chunky, warm, and in neutral colors.

Then I discovered from Dad that he was getting her a new camel colored long coat for Christmas and I thought she really needed a soft little alpaca blue scarf to match her beautiful blue eyes. The "Christmas season" scarf. I can pretend there are five seasons if I want to!! I finished this one the day before Christmas and worked on it while moving my brother from Texas!

The project was really fun because it lasted all year and all the scarves have fun memories attached. She seemed to like all of them! So there are five projects completed last year that I couldn't show because Mom sometimes looks here!