Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallow's Eve

I did not get yarn stalking done last night. I had a 'date' to meet a friend from out of town for an afternoon of yarn stalking but her appointment ran late and she had to cancel. (sadness) We'll try again next time she is in town.

I finished the sleeve on the modular sweater and another section of the front. If I remember correctly I have three body panels and one sleeve to finish. Then neckband and cuffs. I rechecked the yardage requirements against what I bought and I should have about 30 yards of each color left over. 30 yards really isn't much. I seem to have quite a lot of the main color remaining and not much of the contrast color. (and the yarn is Malabrigo - not whatever name I made up yesterday) I will be cutting it really close.

My mother got her package and liked the sweater. It's a good thing. She has declared that the sweater has never been to Hades. She makes me smile. She also thinks it will fit. I hope so.

We have almost finished laying the floor in the master bedroom. Next weekend we are getting the new furniture for it. I believe that after we finish the master bedroom we are starting my daughter's room. She will be pleased.

I still don't know which yarn I should get for my husband's sweater, other than blue dk wool. I also done have a pattern so that doesn't help much. I should make him come along and choose his own yarn but I'm pretty sure the cost of the yarn would give him a heart attack. He wants something to wear around the house. I'm thinking a nice heathery shetland, but I'm not sure that will not be too scratchy. It doesn't bother me anymore but when I first started wearing it I thought it was pretty scratchy. I'm not sure he'd suck it up long enough to adjust.


Monday, October 30, 2006

The weekend

I am getting nervous about having enough yarn to complete my modular sweater. I bought some lovely hand-dyed Magellans (I think) and there is no way I would be able to ever get more. I decided to knit the sleeves and then finish the body. If I do run out it will be very close. I may have to find an alternative neck treatment. I've decided to finish one sleeve, use the remainder of that ball for body then knit the second sleeve and finish the sweater. I'm not sure what that will really accomplish yarn wise but it's my plan.

I am going out yarn stalking on the way home from work. Blue worsted and a cardigan pattern for my spouse.

Tonight - casting on or finish the sleeve - perhaps both - or - neither.

Friday, October 27, 2006


My spouse has decided that he needs a sweater, a cardigan to be exact. A blue one. The design doesn't matter.

He has never wanted anything I have made ever. I'm perplexed.

I suppose I will find some yarn and a nice pattern and make him a sweater. He will never wear it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

That Sweater!

It is done, in the box and as soon as I get my mother's address it will be in the mail.

Carrie K asked why I was sending it to my mother. Well - firstly it is her sweater, secondly the reason I made her the sweater is because she sews the pieces together for me sometimes. I hate the actual act of finishing a sweater. It isn't that it's difficult or that I don't know how; it is that I don't like it. Waste of good knitting time. Although I almost un-bound the shoulders so I could knit them together and put the neck in before I sent it.

Liz - you are quite capable of knitting your own mittens. But we'll talk - later.

So what neglected project did I pick up next. A pair of socks. They needed the toes done so I did them. They also go to my mother. They are a gift for her friend Lana. I hope they fit.

Next was - tada - the modular knits sweater that I have about 1/3 done. It is really turning out nicely and would have been done sooner but I couldn't find the book for a couple months. I located said book while looking for other stuff that had nothing whatsoever to do with knitting, isn't that always the way.

Again there are no pictures because I'm still not that together. Someday soon, I hope.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The end is near

I completed one front last night. I will complete the other tonight and box it up!

It will be winding it's way to my mother tomorrow!

Next on the agenda - lopi roses.

Or maybe a Starmore.

Or perhaps mittens!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What to say?

I don't have anything to add here but I feel the need to add something to this space. As opposed to letting it sit idle, like so many other things seem to be doing.

I am up to the neck on The Sweater From Hades. If I can actually find some knitting time it will be in the mail by the weekend! Won't that be nice.

Then I need to get busy on Beadwork, St. Bridget and Mary Tudor. That's a whole lotta Starmore. Not to mention that last year my spouse bought me Zauberflote for my birthday and I haven't even balled the yarn yet.

I think I will concentrate on finishing sweaters rather than starting new sweaters though. I have a lovely lopi that I'd like to finish up this winter. I like lopi sweaters. I can normally knit one up in a couple weeks. I also have a couple of lovely Philosopher's wool kits to knit up. They are also fairly quick knits, once I decide on my color pattern. I have one that I've knitted nearly the entire sweater - but I've only done the first 5 inches of the sleeve, since I keep ripping it back and changing the colors. As soon as I get the sleeve done in a way that is pleasing I'll be able to have the rest done in no time.

We went to Menards (again) instead of IKEA. They had some nice woven baskets. I bought a bunch. They stack nice and one basket will hold at least an entire sweater, and then some. I plan to sort my projects out and put current work in the baskets. They won't be so messy sitting around the family room. I will take pictures of them as I go along and post a list here. Do you suppose that will keep my motivated and focused? We can only hope.

The other problem keeping me from getting much done is that my work room is such a mess, due to remodeling, that just going into it is discouraging. I hope that we can get moving forward again soon. Once we start getting floors down in the second story we can start putting stuff away. This will certainly make life better as we start to settle back into our house rather than living out of boxes as we are now.

Weekends are really focusing on getting the house finished though. We dont' have all that much to do, but we are running out of steam for working on it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Knitting news

I have started the armhole shaping on Mom's sweater! How exciting. My friend Giovanna came to visit, and brought yummy veggies, we sat and knit for about an hour on Tuesday night.

I stayed home with my sinus headache on Wednesday and vaccumed my basement. The carpet is so dirty I don't think it will ever be clean. Or course I always feel that way about carpet.

The house is getting settled painfully slowly. I am going to IKEA Sunday to get some stuff to organize the bathrooms and laundry room. I should also look at getting some stuff to make the kitchen cupboards more user friendly. Perhaps I can get some things to organize my knitting and sewing stuff.

Most of my difficulty is because until the rooms are done there isn't anywhere to really put a lot of stuff. Which means it is all stacked everywhere and never 'put away'. As soon as we can start getting flooring down in the upstairs things will get markedly better very quickly. Once we get moved up stairs we can set aside a weekend to put the tile down on the main floor. We are just at a stall point.

Sort of like that sweater.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And again - no knitting

I have a clean counter and four clean chairs in my downstairs kitchen!

I have a tub full of knitting stuff and the couches appear to exist, sort of. Some of what is there needs to be thrown away and some just put away. Tonight there will be a clean coffee table and two clean sitting areas! I also need to clean the cupboard countertop portion of the kitchen and wash the top of the stove and the floors could use a good scrub. That might happen on Wednesday. There is progress though and that is nice.

There may even be some knitting on Wednesday! You just never can tell.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Progress? Not in the knitting department

I started cleaning the living room last night. I moved the desk and the computer back into place and moved the boxes off the coffee table. I have to find some place to store my knitting which is currently covering the loveseat and put the basket of vaccum stuff back under the end table. I also have a microwave oven that has no place to be anymore that I need to move and several boxes of stuff that need to go to the sewing room and some boxes of bathroom and kitchen stuff that need to make their way to the proper rooms.

I have mounds of laundry to do but the bed has clean sheet. Yes that's right, I could only find the bottom sheet. I know that I had both of them when I took them to the laundry room but I can now find only one. I decided it doesn't matter.

I need to sweep floors again. I think I'll give that job to Liz this evening. She likes to sweep. I'm not sure why, but I'll make use of it while I can.

Perhaps knitting can occur tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13 - my lucky day

I got all the stuff done that I needed to last night. I have a couple of things to finish in the car on the way. I managed to pack this morning and thanks to listmania I don't think I forgot anything important. I also managed to find almost everything I wanted/needed. I'm amazed. Now I just hope it all fits in the car.

I don't know what knitting project to take with me. Probably socks.

We will be home early on Sunday. I will attempt some serious house arrangement on Sunday.

I will have to spend a lot of time at work next week. It will really cut into my knitting time. I also have to get a couple more rooms painted. No knitting will occur - hahahahahaha. Let's be realistic. Some painting and some overtime will occur, so will some knitting.

I have started shopping for my SP9 - FUN!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I am feeling overwhelmed with the stuff I want to do and the stuff I should do first. I have so much. And I will be gone all weekend. I should just take the day off and go home and do stuff. Except work must get done as well.

I'm still working on That Sweater. I am about 1.5 inches from the armhole shaping. I knit and knit and knit on it and even though I know I complete rows I am not sure that I'm getting anywhere. It is so close to being done and yet it is taking so long to finish.

I talked to Mom and she said she'd put the neck on, rather than sending it back. Uh - no - Gauge! Remember? Teeheehehe. She sent me a pair of socks she started, that she doesn't like but thought Liz might, so I could finish them. There is no way I'm going to get the right gauge on that, ever! So my options are 1) send them back to her to knit or 2) frog and start over.

It is snowing. Our coats are lost in the garage. I have no idea where the box of hats and mittens is.

I took Liz' mitten apart because the yarn requires a larger needle.

I still can't find my needle case.

I have things to hem and fix and I need them done tonight. There is no time! I spent last night trying to get ahold of my son, baking pumpkins and buying and mail a coat for aforementioned son.

Tonight I need to package the baked pumpkin, hem some stuff, sew some stuff, pack and get a call through to aforementioned son. GAH!

I'm busy developing a stress headache.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It must be magic!

I was just over reading a post at Franklin's blog. He stated that if you knit long enough a copy of EZ's Knitter's Almanac will likely materialize on your shelves.

I think he might be on to something. This weekend while looking for something completely unrelated I found one in a pile of books in my temporary sewing/knitting room. It appears to be brand new and I don't remember buying it. I had it on my list of things I should buy - but I don't recall actually paying for it. I don't believe I have developed kleptomania in my impending dotage.

The other thing I found is a second copy of Folk Mittens. I know it is a second copy because the first one is currently residing in my knitting bag with some lovely angora/merino that will be mittens for my daughter. The second copy was sitting coyly on the sewing machine table, under my dombek.

I wish the knitting book fairies would kindly provide me with a copy of AS' Aran Knitting.

Tuesday Morning

The joy of the three day weekend!

This weekend I finally got my Beadwork gauge almost correct. The gauge should be 31 stitches to 10cm, with 2mms I finally managed to get 30. I declared it close enough and cast on. I have four rows done.

I also cast on for St. Bridget. I managed to get this guage almost immediately. That was a little unnerving. I saved the swatch. I usually just frog them and use the yarn in the sweater. But I've been working on the class idea and I'll need some samples for it.

I worked on The Sweater From Hades for at least one hour before I did either one of these things. I am about 3 inches from the armhole shaping. I would guess about halfway to a finished front. I can hope that I will be putting it in a box to mail to her by this weekend.

I asked my son if he would wear a button up cardigan (no reason to knit it if he won't wear it). He said "sure". So I have yet another old project to break out and finish. This UFO is 15 years old. Well aged. It isn't be a hard knit and I can certainly take it to karate class and work on it while I wait for my daughter.

He was concerned about taking care of it - I told him I'd show him when he came to visit. I have a few dirty sweaters waiting to be washed. He also requested socks. Which of my precious yarn should I place in his care? I'll have to measure his feet when he comes home. He wants to come home for Halloween.

I really need to focus on getting the house in shape. Except there isn't anywhere to put stuff until the floors are down and so crap is scattered EVERYWHERE.

Some things just never change.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Arrr, Mateys

Yesterday my daughter and I went on the 7 Jewels Treasure Hunt. We had a great time. In addition to the door prize entries each shop had clues you had to solve in order to get a little charm.

We started at The Yarnery. We got there at 9:30 and there was on parking place within blocks of the store. We went and had pastry and coffee while we waited for the store to open. We bought two skeins of yarn.

Next on the list was The 3 Kittens yarn shop. We had several discoveries there. They have new owners. Yikes! they also had the best clue of all the shops. They had several cards that had questions about different yarns. We each got our own clues and went off in search of the answers which took us to different parts of the shop. A lot of work on their part and great fun for us.

We then headed of south to Zandy's Yarn and stuff. She had a Russian Punch work designer there showing off her designs and how to do the work. Her stuff was beautiful.

Fourth on our list was Needlework Unlimited. The place was packed with shoppers and my anxiety kept me from shopping much. My daughter was also hungry and we went off in search of lunch.

Fifth was the Coldwater Collaborative. Liz found the clue in this one first and she was soo excited she screeched. One of the clerks giggled about it. This place was also packed with people and cool yarn. I'd like to go back sometime and look so more. I also got to see Deb who we met at the Yarn Harlot book signing in Eau Claire. We bought little tool kits and a cat toy kit.

We went across the street to the Mill Cafe for lunch. It was a great lunch and I wanted more of the great Key Lime pie at afternoon coffee time.

We then headed north to Amazing Threads. I really like this store and I wish it was closer. The staff is always very friendly and helpful. It is a little hard to find and I missed the corner again. Once we got their we found the clue and hit the sales attic where my good intentions of not spending a lot of money went right out the door. I bought yarn to knit Eris and some Silky Wool and Book One of the Viking Knits Collection. But it was CHEAP.

Last on our list is the shop closest to home - the Sheepy Yarn shop. I always have a good experience at this shop. It is one of the first I ever found when we moved here. The staff and Marge have always been so nice to me. I broke down and bought a Strickwear shawl pattern. I wanted the gold one but Liz like the purple/pink one. If the pattern is nice to knit I might make two.

Here we learned that the treasure hunt was a great success. All but two of the shops ran out of charms by 1 (including the Sheepy Shop - but they are going to mail us charms). Their distributors were so excited about the idea that the Grand Prize value increased and some other prizes were added.

They might do it again. I hope so, with some new shops. It was fun to go to stores I like but don't get to very often and some new ones that I have never been to.

We left at 9:20 and got home at 4. It was a very long day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Socktoberfest Questions

When did you start making socks?

I made my first pair of socks while I was traveling in Europe 16 years ago. It was the most fantastic experience. They sell Jawoll yarn in the department stores there! So I bought scads of yarn and a really nice Jawoll knitting mag that had an entire section on knitting socks - to fit your foot, your yarn and gauge.

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I basically taught myself - but my cousin in Switzerland showed me how to do an hourglass (short row) heel. I just couldn't figure out the instructions but once she showed me it all made perfect sense.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

My first pair were made with Jawoll yarn on size 1 needles with three color patterning. I made them for my husband while waiting for trains and planes. They have felted a little (it took him a while to learn to NOT wash the knitwear. I'm surprised he didn't ruined more things) He still wears them on winter Sundays. He thinks they are too warm to wear otherwise.

What would you have done differently?


What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

I love Koigu and nearly anything from Regia.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

I have never crocheted socks. I knit on DPNs. I have tried 2 circulars, this was a complete disaster for the most part. I kept knitting onto the wrong needle and getting a lovely mobius strip type thing happening. I also tried the magic loop method. This wasn't nearly as disasterous but since the whole draw for me was the ability to knit both socks at the same time and I haven't found a circular in the size I want with a long enough cable I won't be doing this again either. I kept losing my loop and having to re-divided that last sock.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

I prefer the short-row hourglass heel - both for wearing and knitting. I dislike picking up stitches and with the hourglass heel I don't have to do that. I find it is a less bulky heal to wear.

How many pairs have you made?

I have never counted my socks, nor have I kept track of the ones I have made for other people. But I usually save up my socks until I have 5 or 6 pairs before I kitchner the toes and I usually do that three or 4 times a year. Someone else do the math - because something tells me I don't really want to know the answer.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Sweater from Hades

(My mother gave me the what for about my language here)

I have once again stopped twitching when I think about working on this item. I thought I was about 1/2 way done with the sleeves so I went to pull it out and finish it - because I'm sure my mother would like to have it eventually. I'm about 1/3 done with the front and the sleeves are finished! YeeeeHaw! I managed about 8 rows before bed last night. It would be nice if I could get it done next week. Then I can mail it for sewing up. It better fit or we will both cry. I think it has taken me at least 4 years to knit this sweater!

I am still looking for my Options needle case. I can't imagine where it could be. I found the second card of buttons for the little green sweater - but now I can't find the first card. I know it's the second card because they are all still on it and I took off one from the first card and put it in my purse so I could buy more. So I have 4 buttons and I need 5.

I have quite a little pile of stuff that needs a little bit of finishing. (seams and buttons and ends) I think I'll spend the evening doing that, maybe tonight.