I got in trouble this morning.

On Fridays Ellery goes to Mother's Day Out. Today in an effort to squeeze as much joy into the few hours as possible (not that it isn't a joy to be with her, but you know what I mean) I went to the coffee shop before the yarn shop so that I could enjoy my drink while browsing. In Denver this would have been even easier since the coffee shop WAS the yarn shop. Anyway, I was looking for yarn for a blanket for Caleb's sister's little girl who is due to arrive in January. I found some great Mission Falls 1824 cotton for a little eyelet blanket. As we were counting out the balls, I said, "here let me set my drink over here." And she responded, "actually why don't I put it on the table? I'm really not comfortable with you having it in here." And suddenly I was back in kindergarten when that kid with the wart asked if he could borrow my blue crayon and I responded that he could but that it wasn't sharp and then Mrs. Lipsey yelled at me for talking! I felt awful. I apologized and she said "oh don't worry about it, it's okay" which was nice of her, but also not really true because if if really was okay she wouldn't have said anything. Anyway, I was really embarrassed but not angry because I totally understand where she is coming from. And to make up for it, I bought the book with the pattern in it too. I never do that; I always check them out from the library. I'm tempted to never show my face in there again but she really is a very helpful lady. Without Jen to ask my simple questions it's important that I feel like I can talk to the owner.

I need to get started on the blanket. I doubt it will be ready in time for whatever shower she has. I am just hoping it will make it there in time for the birth. And I've got two months. It's not like we're approaching a busy time of the year or anything.

done. finished. over.

FINALLY, some FOs for your perusal. Obviously, I had too many things going at once (like that's anything new) and thus had trouble getting any of them done.

This sweater was done Sept. 2 for Pierce's birthday party but I didn't have time to post about it because I was too busy finishing knitting projects. Did this at Mark's hospital bedside which kept me sane and the nurses entertained. Before I left the night of the birthday party, Pierce had already knocked the head off one of the little dalmation buttons (it was a dalmation themed birthday, more pictures at Ravelry if you want close-ups of the truck or buttons)!!

Most of the other knitting was for my friend Robin's baby shower, which took place this past weekend. Some of this was finished in advance but that blanket was finished at 3am the morning I left for NC!! Oh well, it all got done!

This is the surprise baby jacket from EZ!! I finally did one. It's tiny tiny tiny because I used sock yarn and didn't pay attention to gauge. I just wanted to see how it worked...and WOW! I've been knitting a long time but this one stumped me completely. So cool!!

These are my own design and I spun the wool also. The colors kind of come through in the close-up. There were lots of reds and blues and greens and golds in the roving that give it kind of a heathery look. Her nursery theme is giraffes, hence the button.

Also, this giraffe blanket! (I know, I know, two intarsia patterns in one summer, hot on the heels of the poodle bag last summer, I really do hate intarsia, really, it just keeps getting in there somehow, if I make a move toward intarsia next summer, shoot me)

And no jeekeehoo loved baby can be without a Russell!!

Then just when you're sitting back feelin' really good about your little knitting self, you look over and see this in your knitting basket, 48 (real, known number) 48 thousand (perceived number) squares to be sewn together!!


Chesapeake City and update

Jen and I met up in Chesapeake City, MD and it was a beautiful day! Not only was the weather nice, but the yarn was alllll on sale. Woo! We sat by the canal and watched passing boats while we knitted. Glorious.

I brought some yarns home with me. The purple on the left is supposed to be made into a little sweater of my own design and the oddly coordinating (not done purposely) sock yarn is for...socks.

And, just in case you didn't notice I was wearing it in the above photo, Hey Teach is done. Buttons and all. It was quick, easy, and fun. Cute to wear, too.

Linen Camisole

More photos available on Ravelry. I decided I should probably finish this sucker before summer was over - I wore it to brunch today and it is a nice, light tank top that doesn't stick to my skin like non-natural fibers. Lovely.

Knit Much? I don't.

And here's why:

sheep and stuff

See I actually DID go to MDSW even if you can't tell it from the blog. I make my amends by displaying the cute sheep pictures I took.

So in knitting news, and despite the total lack of posts I have been knitting, here's my yoga bag which I did back in the early early spring. Notice the color matching to the actual yoga mat. This does all kinds of wonderful to my centerednes during yoga I must tell you! Although I'm afraid it also means I'm possibly shallow which rather flies in the face of the whole yoga process of becoming peaceful and above such things!

Here's the sweater for Jennifer (Rick and Patsy's daughter) and Dave's baby girl, Catriona. It doesn't show the color well. It was a lovely dull pink going toward palest orangey. The design didn't work out like I thought it would but I bought the yarn on Monday, designed and knitted the whole thing by the shower on the next Sunday. I was sewing buttons on 30 minutes before church! So we shall forgive a little wonkiness.

Finally, here's the coolest story. So the shawl that never ends still isn't ending. I was looking for yarn and thought I'll price cashmere, just for the lark, just for the laugh, knowing I couldn't possibly afford it. The cheapest I found it at my normal yarn sites was $45 a ball and I needed five balls--yeah, I know.

So I googled "cashmere yarn" or something one final time just to see what came up and I found a blog entry entitled "cashmere cheaper than wool." I'm interested yeah? So I go and this woman and her friend have both claimed to have gotten lovely cashmere for dirt cheap. I check out the website. It's a funny little stripped down site, just cashmere and a few weird things, and they claim to be in Inner Mongolia selling cashmere direct. And I quote: "We have established direct connection with yarn factory to provide you with unbeatable." No labeling, no middlemen, so "Thus saves cost dramatically for you." Now, how could you resist that?!

I could get all the cashmere I need for the shawl for $35, less than for one ball from anywhere else!!! AND shipping is a flat $4.99 no matter what you order. COME ON!! What was there to loose? I happily placed my order thinking I'd never see the yarn or my forty bucks again. Then, five weeks later, this arrived. (it's worth clicking to enlarge, the stamps are gorgeous).

And inside...well I can't prove it's cashmere unless I find someone with a diagnostic lab they're not using, but, baby, it's cashmere to me!!


According to Google maps, it is 1.4 miles from my house to the oldest running knit shop in Houston. And would you believe I didn't even know that when we bought the house? I just discovered it yesterday.

The View From Where I Sit

Welcome to my new house. My new house? No. Someone else's house that I'm staying in for the summer. This is the view out my bedroom window. The pool is on its way to being ready, not quite there yet. I LOVE the pool house. LOVE. On mild nights, I might just sleep out there.

My fireplace, which is what I'm facing while I lay in bed. I wasn't too enthusiastic about the empty brick hole all summer, so I planted some flowers in it. The mirror is not mine (it came with the house) but I love it as well. Not as much as the pool house, but almost. The mirror also needs to be hung...I'll get to that eventually. Other great things about my house: comes with 2 awesome dogs, cable tv, air conditioning, and privacy. I might just get the fiddle out this summer, because noone will be able to hear the horrible sounds that I produce with it.

And, a knitting spoiler/teaser: Angela (my little sis) is getting married this summer so I'm making her a wedding gift that is low budget yet still special. Her favorite color is red, she picked the colors.

Sorry for the long hiatus, it's been sort of busy with moving, traveling, and starting new jobs. I'm assisting a curator on an exhibit and working nights as a hostess at a local "upscale casual" Italian restaurant. When I asked what the dress code was for hostesses, they told me "Dress like a whore in church." Have fun imagining that.

technology, making our lives better

Ever heard of Jott? Super fun software that lets you call and leave a voice message that will be transcribed into an email and sent to you.

So, there was a pattern in a knitting book for an afghan I liked but I didn't want to pay the $25. Thinking I could find it at a library, Mark called Jott and left the book's publication info. This is what was emailed!

Sent with my voice via Jott:
ISPN 1579903533. This is most of title, gorgeous medic Afghans by [Language not supported] gorgeous knitted Afghan 33 great designs for creative knickers. The year is 2004.

Doesn't 'creative knickers' just bring all kinds of fun images to mind.

Knitting pictures soon. I really do have FOs!

So, Abby, the clock is ticking! May 31st is right around the bend:-) How goes it?

Status Update

One finished object:
Drops Jacket in black.

I don't have buttons on it yet, but I might just get a pin of some sort instead. I'm not sure that buttons will give me the kind of closure I want. Also, sorry for the bad pic, hopefully I'll have something better after this weekend (jacket gets debuted on Sunday at Point to Point).

I also have made some progress on the linen camisole I started a few weeks ago.
I didn't take any full object shots because it's looking sort of pathetic in its current state (and is on circular and straight needles plus one stitch holder). I love the colors of it though, and I can't wait for it to soften as it ages.
I frogged a hat because the yarn was sun bleached and something in the dye was turning my skin black when I knit. Metal morden perhaps? I washed the yarn, and am now considering my overdying options (I'll deal with that some time this summer).
I haven't touched anything else on the list...it's not going so well. I started rock climbing again and that makes my fingers tired.


I just counted, and I have eight projects on the needles:
2 socks
1 lace stole
1 lace scarf
1 regular scarf
1 cardigan/jacket
1 tank top
1 bag/random felting project

Who thinks I can complete all those projects before I move? May 31. I think I can complete everything except the stole, lace scarf, and bag/random felting project (it will probably get frogged). Opinions?

Superlong Wrap

This is a pattern from the Knitting on the Go series Caleb's grandmother gave me. The wrap is supposed to be "just the thing for those ever-so-slightly chilly summer nights." Translation for those of us moving to Houston: "just the thing for the coldest January morning." This is going to sound so silly, but to me it looked like something the wife of a Rice professor would wear. We are really hoping we will have more of an opportunity to enjoy the arts once we move because 1) the free babysitting will allow us to spend money on tickets and 2) the university itself has some terrific programs. So that is when I envision using this.

The finished dimensions are supposed to be 16 by 84 inches. But it says a possible adaptation is to make it just 68 inches long. I chose this option not just because it meant I just had to buy one ball of yarn but because honestly the original size seems so big for someone my height.

I really like knitting it. I have already ripped out once. I went several rows without making the selvedge edge (purling instead of knitting) and even though my Knit Fix book made it clear I could fix it, everything got messed up. Plus the pattern called for size 10 needles. The only pair I had were stinky metal ones so I used them. But my gauge ended up being a little small so ripping gave me an excuse to switch to my size 11 bamboo needles. Ahhhhh sweet relief.

It is going to need some serious blocking when I finish. And also, it has a slant to it that doesn't show up in the pattern. I imagine blocking will fix that too, right?

Oh, FYI I am using the yarn the pattern calls for and I really like it: Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool.

To answer your question Jen, I keep trying to come up with a way for me to get to MDSW festival. But I'm not having much luck. The next few months has quite a bit going on and a lot up in the air too, what with the going back and forth to Houston to try to find a place to live. I haven't given up hope yet but you probably should.

Yarn injury

A few weeks ago Caleb took Ellery to the park. She was wearing the hat that Jen knitted her. Well she fell flat on her face at the playground and you can see the results on her forehead. The individual stitches of the hat left polka-dot marks on her skin. Isn't that funny? (Okay, well it was sad when she cried but we can laugh now because there are no long term scars.)

I've been called out

So here it is, all finished and what not. I wore it to the museum today and got many compliments. I had to modify the pattern a little - for some reason the sleeves were waaay too small as written so I left out the decreasing in the patterned stitches. And I have pretty small arms, so I'm not sure what was going on with that.
Just a random life update (because I know you're on the edges of your seats...): so far, it's looking like I will not be going on to a PhD program next year. I still have one school to hear from, but in all other cases it was flat out bad news. So, I'm probably taking a year off to regroup and reconfigure. I'm applying for jobs in the Wilmington area because I have a great living arrangement worked out for the summer and I need to stay here for that. So that's the report. I wish I had better news, but like I said...I'm trying to view this as an opportunity to explore some things. So we'll see. I really just need a job that has benefits and pays enough so that I can buy yarn. Should be possible...right?

this is the shawl that never ends...

it just goes on and on my friends, I started knitting it not knowing what it was, and I will keep on knitting it forever just because this is the shawl that never ends...

Talking lace weight, size 3 needles, and multiply this patch (which takes me 45 minutes cause I'm SLOW) by 108 times and that's without the borders...someday, someday

In the meantime, lovely llama scarf for a cousin who sent me a lovely wooden bowl he had made.

And don't forget the spinnin' y'all. I couldn't quite capture the beautiful colors of this. My friend Erin dyed the roving and it's full of burgundy and light green and brown and gold and pinky-red. LOVE IT! Hard to tell but this is sock weight and probably my most even yet!

Sent in my registration form for a MDSW class. Oh yes, the time is nigh! Any plans, either of you, to come?!

Speaking of MDSW, Abby, your Ravelry pics of the fitted knit tunic sweater with MDSW festival yarn looked suspiciously finished? Did I miss an entry? Something you're not telling us? Anything you'd like to share with the group?

Ravelry Casualty

I've had my first Ravelry meltdown - and it feels so good. I was just browsing. What I was really, honestly doing is searching for a pattern for some yarn I already have in my stash. Then I saw this jacket which I liked but knew it would not work with the stash yarn. But, I thought it wouldn't hurt to see what types of yarns others had used. And of course, I found a version of the jacket in Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL (you can buy it at WEBS online). So I thought, well it can't hurt to see how much it costs at WEBS. What do you know? It was on closeout - half price! I think we all know what happened next. I'll be happily knitting my new jacket in just a few days.

thought I was kidding, didn't ya!

So I really did knit two sweaters, a scarf, two hats, a pair of mittens AND slippers this week...so I didn't mention they were all for four inch high wooden toy mice!!

Meet Basil and Lily, two little mice my Aunt Rhonda ordered from a German company. They are adorable and she's making them a house that is just as adorable. She's making it as if the little mice would have "found" the items. So there is a little vanity table for Lily made out of a sardines can. Their little bed is a cigar box. Think old old Warner or Disney cartoon ideas. I'll try to get some pictures of it when she's done. Lily also happens to be a spinner and knitter, so really she knit these!!

Last night "she" also finished a little vest for Basil to wear when he's feeling especially spiffy. You can see the slippers a little too. If you want to see all the shots from the fashion shoot, check out ravelry!!

I don't want Abby to think she's the only one knitting.

So we got back from the Christmas holidays and started to catch up. Then Caleb and Ellery got the flu. Then they got better and Caleb went out of town. Then Caleb got the offer from Rice and we walked around in a daze. And then Ellery got a cold. It's been an odd few weeks.

Anyway, in the midst of the flu misery I managed to get to Michaels and buy some organic cotton for a baby shower that was four days away. I couldn't find a pattern I liked so I had to wing it. This is the result. It was done on time and I think the recipient liked it though I had to miss the shower itself to take care of my two patients.

Kitchner Stitchner

I made a sock, and when I gave it to the recipient to try on (because there's no sense in making 2 socks that don't fit), found that it was about 5 rounds too big in the instep. Well shoot. That meant I'd have to tear out the cuff and heel. Or did it? I could tear out the toe and pull out the rounds on that end...but then I'd have to KITCHNER. I've done the Kitchner before and let me tell you, it wasn't pretty. I was working off some written instructions and things just didn't turn out. What should have been an invisible seam was actually a very visible, very large-and-in-charge mountain of a seam. I have no idea what I did wrong. But, thanks to Knitty and the wonderful illustrations they provided, I made something wonderful. This is the best I have ever made a Kitchner seam look. And, instead of giving the sock away, I'm thinking of framing it.

Oh, and what's that under the sock? That's right...thesis draft. Written words. Please don't read them though. Wow, how many things does that photo reveal about me?

A solution to 2 problems

Grad school induces poverty and thesising induces the need to finish SOMETHING: one page, one chapter, one paragraph even (it's problematic). I have discovered a solution to both these problems, though it is not novel nor is it exciting.

Well, the way the colors arranged themselves on the green one is kind of exciting...

Ballband dishcloths saved my life. Well, they saved my weekend. I can make one of these in approximately 4 hours. Perhaps less than that now that I don't need the pattern anymore. The best part is that I bought yarn for 4 dishcloths and it cost less than $10! I think there are a lot of dishcloths in my future, and if you're someone who might be getting a gift from me in the next few months, one might be in your future, too. Just let me know what colors you want.

My first Etsy purchase!

Ok, it's an awful picture, but you can tell there are two tiny sheep kissing each other, right? How CUTE is that? They are so perfect. As soon as I saw them (the shop is jelby.etsy.com) I knew they would be mine. And the very nice crafter threw in one extra one that has a tiny heart on it (not shown in pic). Tiny little felted balls of joy. My week is made! Which is funny, considering that I was so sick Monday and Tuesday and JUST FOUND OUT that I have...MONO!!! Ugh! I thought that was something you got in high school or college? Lucky me... I'm down to 10 hrs of sleep a day instead of 20, so improvement is in the air. Bon weekend!

4 years ago, cool things happened

You probably caught wind that the Yarn Harlot celebrated her 4 year blogiversary. Well, 4 years ago something momentous happened to me, too. My roommate, Lexi, taught me how to knit.

We lived in the dorms together, and she watched me produce crocheted afghans in my spare time. One day, she got out the aluminum needles that her grandmother had given her and showed me how to cast on, knit and purl. Well Lex, you really started something, didn't you?
So how did I celebrate this anniversary?

I crocheted myself a bracelet out of Jen's homespun. Sorry Jen, I had just enough left. Hehe.

and there was knitting, just not much

I really have been doing the handcraft thing you just can't tell from this blog. I have a major time-sucking project that still is only half completed so I haven't much to show for myself otherwise. Also, I chose not to knit much for Christmas. I just did two projects for little nephew Pierce and one for my sis-in-law. I'm not a mommy and thus have no free pass to show innumerable shots of the kid but I shall rely on the time-tested excuse that there are knitted objects in the pictures!! Finally, I did some other knitting for a gift exchange and totally failed to take pictures. They were felted hot pads and I liked the way they turned out but you'll never know!!

So, here's Pierce loving the football I knit.

He's such a funny little guy though. He'll love on you one second and the next he's all little boy action! So here's him throwing the ball immediately. The kid's got quite an arm too!

My favorite was that he put the little football in his new car and drove around with it!

I also made him a little Estonian sheep puppet.

Apparently, they know the ways of the Snoopy Christmas dance in Estonia as evidenced by this photo.

My sis-in-law with her wrist warmers. Alpaca we love thee. They were supposed to be 'Fetching' from knitty.com but I didn't have internet access at Mark's parents so I made them up!

And a little winter tatting to distract you from the fact that this is really very little knitting output for me!

I'd planned a very long post where I went back to my new year's resolution post from last January and did some soul searching about how I'd done on that...but my new resolution is never to look at old resolutions. Perhaps I'll show you an in-progress picture of the all-consuming shawl sometime.