it just ain't the same

Wanna take a yarn crawl?
yes. yes I do.

Off to The Mannings in PA. (SORRY! Total lack of picture taking brought on by a dozen spinning wheels to play with all in one room.)

Lunch at a great BBQ joint.
You mean I can have mac-and-cheese AND chili mixed together?!
yes. yes you can.

Can Woolstock still out sparkle Liberachi with its novelty yarn collection?
yes. yes it can.

Can you make three garden slugs in a single day if you're high on yarn fumes?

yes. yes you can.

Are yarn crawls the same without Brandy?!!

NO. NO they aren't.

Small consolation...I did finally get my Nantucket Jacket done in time to wear on the trip. Still would have been better with you there!!

Hamburger Dress

Oh my goodness. Check out this dress. Abby, you should totally do this next Halloween.

Haute Coffee

Another excellent pattern found on Ravelry. This one was free. The yarn is Paton's Organic Cotton. The cheap price (less than $6 at Michaels) makes me disinclined to believe the organic claim, but the cotton really is super sofffft. I like it and I imagine I'll make a few more as gifts.

The cup in this picture is from our favorite local coffee shop and their cups don't really need to be insulated, but who's fun!

p.s. If I make any more I might adapt the pattern to be done on dpn's to avoid a seam.

Cable Jumper Part 2

This was a fun project. Just the right level of difficulty for me. The Debbie Bliss Fair Trade Organic cotton was a little bit splitty but usually only after being excessively handled (ie ripped out/tinked). There really is a mistake in the pattern though. When you bind off for the neck the number of stitches she says are left on the straps doesn't add up. But it was fine. Cabling on the straps was difficult too because you don't have enough stitches left to do the full cable pattern. But I improvised. The armholes are a bit big but she will wear a shirt under it during the winter anyway.

The project took about two months. In the back of my mind I thought it would be neat to give to her for her birthday but I didn't pressure myself. I did finish it a few days before and wrapped it for her (even though she had already tried it on). I'm planning on doing her 3 year pics in it.

Cable Jumper

Okay, better pictures in better light when she wears it this Sunday. But for now, here she is wearing it after I gave it to her tonight. And, after ice cream sundaes, birthday cake, and an afternoon with friends, which explains the frantic behavior and funny talking. For the record she does say it's a wedding dress and it's sooo cute.

The Mind Eraser

I spent the day at Six Flags getting beat up by rollercoasters. The wooden ones were especially rough, but the worst was the Mind Eraser. It was like being in a boxing match against Centripetal Force. I was completely exhausted until I got into bed (strange how that happens sometimes). Blogging is a great way to encourage sleep, so I give you: progress.

This awesome, fall-inspired yarn was purchased almost one year ago at Rhinebeck. The foliage was spectacular and it definitely influenced this choice. I'm making the Pimlico Shrug from Knit 2 Together because these aren't colors I will wear all the time, and a shrug is definitely something I only wear occasionally. Since I took this photo, I've added about 5 inches. Only 29 to go for the body, then I have to do sleeves and an edging that I don't quite understand. And there is some seaming involved. Complex piece of knittery, this. You can see (if you click on the photo for more detail) some of the other patterns I considered before choosing the shrug.

Next, I give you the remnants of the Sublime after I finished my little cardigan.

See that long piece? That's for the button. Now to find a button...

I tried to take a photo of me wearing it, but it just ended being a lot of camera flash and a little bit of the bottom edge of the cardigan. Perhaps some action shots will come once I find that button. I'm thinking big, black, and shiny. Who wants to go button shopping?

to twist or not to twist?

Gosh I'm so behind. I shouldn't even try to catch up but here goes...

I've some spinning to show. First, the light green, a three ply light fingering. I had to drop down to a zero needle for the socks I'm making and it could probably take a 00 but I don't have any. They'll just have to be delicate little socks. The purple, green, blue is a two ply lace weight. More pics at ravelry, including the socks wip.

Then, from the "they made me do it" department, a somewhat bulky single. Single?! Yes, single! What in the world!?! There is NO SUCH thing as a "stable" single. What will become of all that lovely twist energy in there just waiting to spring?! OK,OK, I understand there are "usable" singles and I did my best! This was a project for my spinning group and it really was a VERY good learning experience for me. My motto is always that the only right way to spin is the way that gets you the yarn you want, and there is a time to have a lofty usable single yarn. Got. it.

AND, duh duh duuuuh! The shawl that never ends continues to never end. So I decided to dye the thing, assuming that it would instantly dissolve in the dye bath or turn out splotchy all over. IT DIDN'T. But it also isn't completely black. At least Mark says it's blue. I'm convinced on the black but I think it's wishful thinking. Regardless of color, I just love what lace does when you block it. Couldn't believe how big this became (that's the entire length of our KING size bed and my blocking board) and how lovely the pattern. Also couldn't believe how many pins it took!! Too big for Lily Chin's Blocking Wires!! Here you go...

AND! To twist or not to twist? That is no longer the question! You can do both.
(insert cheesy late night infomercial announcer here)
Don't you hate that second sock syndrome? Hate trying to remember what you made up for that first sock or glove? Now, with the revolutionary new method of "who cares,make it up again" you too can avoid that unpleasant sensation. The freedom! The whimsy! All yours for only $19.99.

I've also made another Russell the Sheep for a new baby cousin AND my brother and his wife had their second baby a few weeks ago. I made that little guy a sweater and a little elephant but totally failed to get pictures of the projects or of him. I'm going home this weekend and will try to rectify that and with the way I post, you'll see those pics around Thanksgiving!!

Next thing you know she'll be asking Santa for yarn...

Right at this very moment, girls, Ellery is lying on the floor kicking and crying, "I want my knitting noodles, I want my knitting noodles!" What she is actually referring to is her Lace and Trace animals. But still, it's important progress I think.

And to answer your previous question, the baby vest was made of mercerized cotton by Plymouth Yarn. I think it was the only non-wool yarn in the store.

Lady Sheldon

It's a bit bigger than the green one, but it's for a bigger size child so I think it's ok. Hopefully the recipient will love it!

Baby V-neck Sweater

Here is the sweater I gave as a gift last month. All of it was fun to knit except the teeny tiny armhole ribbing. I don't knit a lot with dpns so I am sure that was part of it. As a reminder, this is the one that Ellery removed all the needles from one day.

I finished it the night before the shower and still wanted to block it. The yarn (which I bought in Seattle) says you can machine dry on low. I didn't want to go that far, but I did decide I could dry it about half way. As luck would have it, my dad had been over earlier in the day fixing my broken dryer. (Caleb was in England remember.) Except he didn't fix it. We just thought he did. So here I was with a sopping wet sweater and a shower in about 14 hours. I used a fan, a blow dryer, and an iron and had it mostly dry when I wrapped it. If you knew to look for it, you would have noticed it was still a little damp when Jenny opened it. But I don't think anyone noticed it.

It was a hit at the shower and although she received several handknitted/crocheted gifts there wasn't anything like this. So all in all, I think it was a success.

(the pic was taken with my cell phone since Caleb had the camera)

Where did I get this?

Sorry for the poor quality, but I am tooooo lazy to go get my camera, and then find the know how it goes.
Jen, I swear you were making socks with a similar pattern! Am I completely making that up? Was it Rose? Was it someone else? The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Maple Grove (the actual colors are browns, corals, and pinks...LOOOOVE it!) and I used a GC from my brother and his wife to purchase it at Knit Wits in Salem, OH. The sock might actually end up being too wide for my foot, so they might end up being a Christmas know, assuming I get them done before Christmas.

The suspense.

I'm just going to post one picture. It will show you the current progress of my sweater and the amount of yarn I have left to complete said sweater. Just a couple of notes: I actually planned the sleeves to be about the length they are now...they may end up becoming cap sleeves instead. The back is about the same length as the front panels. The length from the top of the collar to the (current) bottom of the back is about 11.5 inches. Go ahead...grab a ruler and put one end at the base of your neck. Feel free to weigh in, but every stitch I complete feels like one step closer to ultimate failure.


Don't know why I tend to finish lovely warm socks in May but...
And this time they happen to be the tallest socks I've ever knit. These are also my own handspun from C*EYE*ber Fiber. Love them. (might have won something at MDSW with them too:)

These little green socks below have been completed since Sheep and Wool which is amazingly quick sock knitting for me, especially since, after the heel, these were not movie knitting. Although I don't really care about being fast, this MIGHT have something to do with the needles. I MIGHT have fallen down in front of the Signature needles booth and to help revive me they MIGHT have let me buy a set of sock needles. AND I MIGHT someday stop feeling guilty about it. (When I think about how many pairs of socks I'll knit on these in my life time, it almost seems worth it...almost.)

I still haven't shown a MDSW haul...maybe soon!

Crisis Averted

I don't even know how to explain what just happened. The other day, Ellery found one of my dpn's and took it to Caleb. He told her thank you for giving it to him and returned it to me.

So today while she was at Mother's Day Out I worked on a little sweater vest I am making as a baby gift for a shower in a week. All I have left is to pick up and knit the side ribbing on the two armholes. But between now and then I have 30 hours of scoring and Caleb will be out of town the entire time.

The project has been going so smoothly thus far. But the picking up and knitting is a bit of a challenge because the decreases happened on those edges. I spent an hour today just getting the new stitches picked up and correctly spaced on the dpns. I did just a little bit of the ribbing pattern before I had to leave.

I forgot to put my work away when I went to pick Ellery up.

We had been home like five minutes and I was straightening up the house. I realized that I had left my knitting out and went over to pick it up...All 4 needles are gone. Just gone! I asked Ellery, "did you touch my needles?" She responds, "yeah I put them over there..." By over there, she meant on the side table. Poor thing, I think she was just trying to move them and follow Daddy's direction. I didn't yell at her or anything, but she could tell by the look on my face that this was not a good thing. She started rubbing my back and saying "It's okay Mommy. It's okay. I love you." And she kept kissing me. I have never seen her act like this before. Really, it was sweet.

Anyway, so I picked up my knitting and attempted to get it back on my needles. I figured I should just rip it out and start over but it was so darn hard to get those stitches picked up. So I thought I would try fixing things first. Would you believe that after about 5 minutes of putting stitches back on I counted and every single stitch was there, totally unharmed? Even the ribbing stitches are there. And now, I made sure to get the number of stitches on the needles a little more even too.

I have no idea how she managed to get those needles out of the very tight stitches without totally destroying the work!

Cable 8 Top

The cable 8 top. I finished it right after I got back from Baltimore and have worn it several times, including on Go Texan day with blue jeans and boots. I really like it! In the picture it looks like the bottom is slanted but I promise it is not. Ellery insisted on getting in the picture with me and standing the same way.

Unfortunately the pictures of the my other to FO's are also on Caleb's computer but he only sent me this one. I'll put up pics of the baby hat and not-quite-super-long wrap soon.

I am working on a baby gift. I dug around and found a pattern for a little boy's sweater vest that is knitted in the round. I found some yarn that I like for it in Seattle. I checked and double checked that my gauge was correct but now that I am almost finished on the body of it I think it is going to be huge! I checked my gauge again and it is right. I guess this is just the risk entertained when knitting something for the first time as a gift. As long as the neck and armholes are proportionate I don't mind giving them something that fits a 2-year-old. I mean, toddlers need clothes too. I just don't understand what I've done wrong.

spring cleaning

Cleaning out the knitting basket! Done stuff that needs posted. Isn't it funny, projects don't feel done anymore until I've posted here!

DONE: hat

DONE: sweater

DONE: hat and sweater!

DONE: felted bag

DONE: the cherry blossom mitts!! so they were a Christmas present, so sue me


...thy name is skein winder...

found this at a little local antique shop for next to nothing (they tried to give me nothing but I said, "no, that thing beside it please")

I just want to sit and look at it all the time!! I keep telling myself if I'll go spin, I can actually use it to wind yarn instead of just look at it but I'm too obsessed to leave it.

on a roll!!

The new sweater!! I had all the pieces done last spring/summer but it wasn't the weather for finishing a wool sweater:) Plus I've been daunted by the idea of a zipper. Wasn't sure my sewing machine could handle it and actually, an hour, a whole spool of thread and one bent needle later, I WAS SURE it couldn't handle it. In the hands of a more experienced sewer it might have worked. I mostly spent time trying to get the tension right on the machine, which wouldn't have taken so long with more familiarity with my machine. But even after the tension was right, I still couldn't keep it straight. All of that is really ironic of course because I thought the problem would be snagging the knitting but even after a dozen tries (really) the sweater itself showed no signs. Wool is the coolest stuff ever!!! "Want to put a machine driven needle through me a hundred sweat baby"

Crazy for my new sweater!!

Before another month goes by...

I keep thinking, I'll finish this one more project and then I'll post them all, which is such a stupid thought in so many ways, not the least of which is I hate posting multiple items because it takes so long to up load them. It was just a creative procrastination technique obviously.

So, without further project completion (although, really, a zipper and a sleeve and there's two new sweaters to show!! ok ok, I'm posting, I'm posting).

The wedding gift blanket. It's ok that I finished it in October and didn't post it until 4 months later because giving it to them in October was 4 months later than the wedding. So at least I'm consistently untimely.

Christmas presents!!! Only two this year: Pierce's Sheldon and my cousin Natalie's Anemoi mittens. Nothing very exciting but you've got to admit, Sheldon's got the Snoopy dance goin' on!!!

I did design and knit a fingerless mitt/mitten combo for her too but only one is done. Of course, I think you've both seen it. I've been working on it so long that Abby had time to move back and Brandy's been to visit. Sheesh.