Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rogue Delight

The Rogue is up to the underarms, and so are the arms. I'm changing it (I seem to have an inherent dislike for knitting exactly to pattern) to knit it as a raglan. I'd seriously considered making a second one for me out of New Zealand possum yarn (an introduced pest that is damaging ecosystems). But I was checking my blog for information I posted quite a while back, and found a sweater that I'd meant to knit then but forgot about. I think it will be the next one in the queue for me. I pulled out the pattern book too, while I was at it, which makes it harder to forget.

I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'm having trouble knitting for Grandtad because I want to knit things that will be worn. I believe I'll be knitting a lot more baby things just as soon as I know what Grandtad's sex.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I've thought about making a Rogue for several years now. As you can see, I finally started one for me. I really like how this is knitting up.

Serena brought yarn back from Ireland for me. It is Tivoli Aran. When she brought it back, I tried to look it up on the web to find the information that is usually on the ball band, but is missing in this case. The only yarn I could find from them was superwash. So, I automatically assumed that it was superwash. Sad but true. You know what happens when you assume.

I have noticed that this yarn is a bit rough for superwash. And it has a sheepy smell. Which is also not a trait of superwash. Last night I looked again at the ball band. It indicates the yarn needs to be hand washed. Well there went the superwash theory! I am so glad that I'm using this for something for me, as opposed for something for the grand-tad!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


After being without a printer for several months, it is a joy to have one again. My other printer works, it just won't work with Vista. Which is a tiny problem, as my new computer has Vista... So, we bought a new printer. What a pleasure to just print something, instead of asking someone else to do it.

Today I decided to start a sweater. Hey, I was almost out of knitting and I need a project for next week while I fly. So, I pulled up the sweater pattern. Looked at it several times. I finally printed it off. Now I can just look at the paper pattern instead of trying to find my place in the middle of the PDF. Such a pleasure.

And the yarn. Yum. Slightly sheepy smelling Aran yarn that Serena brought back from Ireland. This is a pleasure to knit!

Knitting what?

Last night I was listening to Harry Potter 7 and spinning along. After a while I decided to take a break from spinning and start knitting. There was a small problem. I didn't have anything on the needles! I have a gauge swatch on one set of needles, but that pattern will have to be re-figured to go with the gauge I'm actually getting.

Later I realized that I do have one other thing on the needles, an angora shawl that has made it to the half-way point. But I do not have any other projects "in process." Something is definitely wrong! I guess I've gone far away from the multiple WIP person I used to be!

But last night, when I wanted to sit back and just knit, it felt almost as if it were an emergency! LOL

Do not cut the tip of the finger when cutting other stuff. Just don't. Maybe it is a good thing I didn't find any knitting projects, as the index finger on the left hand has a band-aid on it! Spinning isn't a problem, but since I knit mainly by feel... typing is difficult -- I don't seem to be hitting the keys clearly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Today I've spent spinning. It was FUN! I had to figure out a new Lazy Kate, it took a bit, but I managed to spin up all of one fiber that I'd prepped up. I decided to put the rest of the Cormo aside until later, and am spinning up bits of this and that which I had on hand. Clearing up the fier stash! Whee!

I do have to admit an embarrassing mistake. I washed some gorgeous yarn that my knit buddy had spun up. (She told me it needed to be washed.) I rinsed and rinsed. Suddenly realized that this yarn has firestar. Well duh! Those weren't bits of bubbles from the soap I used, it was the glitter added to the yarn! grin

Sunday, September 23, 2007

knitting along

I believe the caption on this one should be, perhaps "living dangerously!" How long before it collapses without its internal support? I managed to finish the sweater before that happened, though.

This shows the new wheel and the 2 completed sweaters. I've done my best to fix the colors -- these aren't pastels but "IN YOUR FACE!" colors. Easy for Mom to see at a glance from across the play yard! And exactly as requested -- bright green and bright yellow. Well, who knows if it is exactly what the girls each had in mind, my idea of Lellow and Beth's might be different! Same with Sian's and green!

On an aside, why is it that I can clear the field of all obstructions when I get ready to take a shot, and then realize I've left SOMETHING in? Each individual picture of the sweaters has the toe of a shoe sticking in there somewhere! sigh

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I didn't think I would, but I finished Wallaby #3 today! It was a slog, as asthma kicked in again, and I had a rough time just knitting. But it is done! I plan to take an "artistic" shot tomorrow, showing the colors but not the way the 2 sweaters actually look, so there will be SOME surprise when they arrive!

I'd planned to spin today, but made the mistake of starting an 800+ page book that is an e-book. Ya know, that is NOT conducive to spinning! sigh The Woolie Winder arrived this week, so I want to try it out before I head out for Colorado again!

Friday, September 21, 2007


We were told that Dad would be leaving the nursing home Monday.

That all hell is going to break loose because there is no seeming suport in place for my dad or mom?

That the sweater for my adopted (I’m trying to come up with the correct term, I’ve accepted her them as grand-children by heart?) is moving along, perhaps to finish knitting tomorrow.

That life, even with its ups and downs continues.

That the Woolie Winder and bobbins for my FANTASTIC new spinning wheel arrived!

That my sister knew to call me and say “help, I need you to research this for Mom”. It took a while, but I was able to come up with answers. Perhaps not the answers either of us WANTED, but it gave us the honest answers we needed, as opposed to the answers we might have gotten otherwise.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Grins and Giggles

Pitti Filati This site just plain tickled my fancy! What imagination to present it this way! What a sensual delight! Don't you want one of each, almost? Okay, there are some that don't tantalize me, but overall...

I was told that the first sweater is appreciated because it is so soft. I figure that if a child loves the texture of a sweater, he/she will wear it more. All to the good! Now I need to find a source of that yarn here, instead of having to buy it on trips to Evergreen! Especially as there is never any guarantee that it will always be carried there! sigh One would think that Wal-Mart would be consistent in the yarns they carry, but no!

Thursday Delights

My 5 things for which I’m grateful today:
1. affirmation from friends. Amazing what a few simple sentences can do. Two letters, each bringing me to tears, affirming me.
2. my new spinning wheel—named Abner. Who knows why, but that is what it wants to be named!
3. my knitting groove is back - I’m on the third child’s sweater in just over a week. That is unusual, but the joy of knitting small things - they go so much faster.
4. incubating a new pattern idea—the yarn Serena brought back from Ireland wants to become something soon.
5. sourdough starter—the smell is so distinctive and seems redolent of creating.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Time is such a strange thing as it relates to projects. I think I started this sweater (child's) Saturday. Maybe Sunday. It is moving along fast. I know it is. Knit in one piece from the bottom up (okay, I knit the sleeves first, then attached them at the appropriate time). Here it is Tuesday morning, and I'm complaining to myself that it isn't done yet? What in the world? I was amazed when I realized how quickly Alyssa's sweater went together. I think the combination of worsted weight and knitting in the round makes the pattern whip along. There is also that possibility that I'm just sitting here and knitting, without doing much else while I'm knitting these! LOL

I'm at the neck. That and the hood are all that need to be done. Whee!

May you see progress in your life today!

Monday, September 17, 2007

One of Life's Little Mysteries

Remember how I've joked the last few days about not bringing along the size 6 circular to start Beth's sweater? I bought one Friday. Can I find it now? Not a chance. I've looked several times yesterday and today, but it has taken a powder. I am sure it will smugly appear soon, just as soon as I have the bottom ribbing finished on this. Or perhaps it will even wait long enough to be absent when I start the ribbing in Sian's. Who knows. But it is missing.

I heaved a massive sigh this mornng, and switched off the needles in my Options kit, so I'd have size 6s on, instead of the 8s for the body. I don't know why I hesitated to do it -- takes but moments and I love the needle tips. Once I'm past the ribbing, I'll continue to use one size 6 tip and one size 8 while I'm going round and round, so the stitches feed off the needles easier. Once I get to knitting back and forth I'll switch to 2 size 8 needles so I don't get a gauge issue.

May you find the things that are missing in YOUR life today!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My new Wheel!

Isn't it beautiful! I love it! We were having "discussions" today, as I wasn't getting the flyer firmly seated, and it would suddenly come flying out at me. Disconcerting, to say the least! But, Howard was able to get it to seat properly. I will keep practicing. I'm spinning Cormo, which isn't the most forgiving fiber I've spun. For the most part it is doing beautifully. I believe all bobbles are user error.

I can see that I will want to purchase a Woolie Winder for this. I'm biased, I loved it on the other wheel, and want it for this one. Other than that, it is perfect! I'm so looking forward to traveling with this.

Even if Mabel and Mary pointed out to me today that trying to spin with it in the car was not one of my wiser ideas. sniffle. That's all right, it will do really well in Colorado with me. I wonder if Tora-chan is still as hopelessly attracted to wool as she was when she lived with us?

C'est Fini!

Well, this one is done. It is in the washer as I type. I figure it is a throw in the wash, throw in the dryer type of sweater, might as well treat it that way from the start.

Not quite enough yarn to do a hood. Instead I did a shawl collar. I think it will be warm and comfortable. Isn't that what a child requires?

And another chuckle at my own expense -- I once again brought the yarn to start Beth's sweater, and once again forgot the needles.

Um, Possibilities

Isn't this a wonderful array of possibilities? I've been thinking in those terms ever since I walked in the fabric store while visiting Nathan and Kim. There were just so many things this wonderful collection could BECOME! It can be this or that or the other. It is up to me to choose wisely (fitting fabric to pattern correctly) and then sew well.

Some of the fabrics seemed to be really out of character for me. Yet they sang to me. They called to be brought home. And, as you can see, they did. They are all now washed, ready for me to make the final decisions. As the ad says, "Umm, ... possibilities!"

Speaking of possibilities, I really that one of the reasons I really don't knit with my handspun is again possibilities. As long as it hasn't been knit up, it remains in the realm of "possibilities." It could be A or B or C. All of it is up to me. BUT if I knit it up it is now fixed. It is no longer a maybe, and a dream.

Perhaps I need to learn to move on from dreaming

Friday, September 14, 2007


I have a new spinning wheel! I am so thrilled! I'll show pictures tomorrow. Tonight, having spent 6+ hours in the car to pick it up, I am womanfully refraining from putting it together and spinning all night! LOL

I did however, get a lot knit in the car. The sweater is up to the neck. Somewhat miraculous, when you think about how a raglan sweater is knit in the round. Who was the wise person who realized that it could be knit that way?

That sweater has been a victim of my knitting mishaps. I read Geina's note as to her daughters sizes. I really did. Several times. Then proceeded to start knitting without looking at her note again. My memory is really "special" right now. Sian won't be able to fit into it for several years, at the rate she is growing. I am finishing this for someone else, and have bought new yarn for Sian's sweater. Disappointing, I was hoping for the same color, but I couldn't find it when I looked. She will be getting a GREEN sweater, just not the original shade planned.

As a testament to my organizational skills (grin) I brought along the yarn to start Beth's sweater today. Luckily I didn't finish with this one, because I forgot to bring along the needles to do the ribbing! I don't know what is going on with my thought processes, but I don't like it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Many many years ago, I worked in San Francisco's Financial District. I worked with some extremely kind people who were gay or lesbian. The AIDS epidemic struck after Howard graduated. I wonder about my friends. I hope they are doing well. I regret that I didn't keep in contact with them, to know how they are doing. Every once in a while something will come up, and I wonder "How is J doing, or...?"

They were so kind to a young woman who was newly married to someone in full-time graduate studies and working part time to make ends meet. I rode the bus more than an hour each way to work -- there were times that Howard had left for his shift before I got home. There are lots of fun memories associated with them -- tea and lunches. I don't think I could ever be as sartorially correct as J who told me one time (with a twinkle in his eyes) that he never threw ANYTHING out in his wardrobe -- just put it by until the fashion cycle moved around again. The man looked as if he dressed from GQ daily -- he was ELEGANT! Even better, in my opinion, he was KIND!

Regrets are the pits.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yarn Vomit

Sigh. I made the mistake of thinking this yarn was a center pull ball. It LOOKS as if it should be. I think that because of the slickeriness (my kids came up with that word, I think it works perfectly here!) of the yarn, that I made a terrible mistake. I took this picture after having rolled up a good deal of the mess already. It isn't pretty, is it. Just a tangled mass that took longer to fix than it should have. I think for the sake of my sanity that I will make center pull balls on the ballwinder, but will knit from the OUTSIDE!

As for the knitting itself, it is going along quite nicely, thank you very much! Which is a great relief after the Murphy's socks! I don't know if I should show photos or not, as this is a sweater that is going to England and I know Mommy occasionally reads this blog.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Murphy's Triumph

The sad news is that I have declared a victory to Murphy on these socks. I have struggled with them since December. I have had the stitches jump off the needles resembling rats deserting a sinking ship. I have fixed errors and fixed errors.

I had an ah-ha! moment the other day when talking with my friend, sadly blogless Dianne. We were talking about knitting needles, and the fact that not every needle is right for a specific yarn or project. With renewed heart, I picked these socks up today, and knit away, using different needles. Got to the toe of the second foot, to realize that once again I had made a drastic mistake. Not only was there a place in the gusset where a k2tog hadn't taken, and it was beginning to unravel, but worst of all, when I'd picked it up this morning, I had assumed (we know what happens when you do that!) that I'd finished the gusset decreases. In actuality, I hadn't. The sock was way much greater around than my foot. Which is not good for something that needs negative ease! I started to frog back again. I got all the way to the heel, and didn't have the heart to continue.

I loved this color. I really thought it would look great with my other clothes. Unless I buy the yarn again and make a different pair, I won't have this specific color in my wardrobe. Enough is enough.

Perhaps it has to do with the amount of pred singing through my veins (again.) Whatever. This afternoon I decided that a pair of socks that exemplify "anything that can go wrong will" was more than I was willing to complete.

On a more positive note, the 3 generation afghan is finished with the knitting portion. It is now waiting for Howard to crochet around each piece. In discussing this, we decided it will not only be a trans-generation afghan, but, with Howard's input it will become a trans-gender one too! Big grin!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My family understands me

Yesterday we were driving home from a fun visit with Nathan and Kim. On the way, the following phone call occurred:

Howard: Serena, Mom is nebbing, so she can't talk, but she needs you to look in your first Barbara Walker book and find Mistake Welt or Quaker Welt. (to me -- she has to find the book first.)

Howard: (to me) she doesn't see those, but sees Wager Welt.
Me: That's it.
Howard: That's what she wants, she needs to know how to do it.
Instructions followed.
Howard: Thanks honey, have a good day. Mom thanks you too!

Wonder how many families would understand?

With a total of 10+ hours in the car over 2 days, I accomplished a lot on the 3 generation afghan. Finished the 4th strip, and am tootling along on the 5th. Still talking about how to put it together. I'd hoped to find a green that I could use for an edging, none that I saw really did a good job cooperating. I did buy cream, but also realized I'll have enough of both purple dye lots to combine them and do a crochet edging around each strip in 2 strands (one of each dye lot.) Then perhaps mattress stitch the edgings together?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Eke, eke, eke!

In a wild day of finishing stuff, I knit up 2 more panels on the Presto Chango sweater (total of 4 panels, 2 of them are an inch wilder than the others. I hope this will allow the sweater to be worn a little longer. I need to find buttons for it -- 8 buttons.

I also finished up the third strip of the 3 generation afghan. The last square of the variegated yarn just BARELY made it. As in, I had to keep piecing the yarn. I had 4 grams left when all was said and done. That is WAY too little for my comfort! I'm grateful that it eked out. WAY grateful!

I tried to pick up a pair of socks that have fought, kicked, screamed and whined the entire time I've worked on them. I remember trying to start it while traveling to Omaha last Christmas to either pick up or drop off Serena at the airport. Didn't work out, and frogged. Tried again later. Frogged. I believe I picked them up on the Duluth trip after Easter. One sock has about an inch to inch and a half to go until I'm at the toe decreases. The other has just finished the gusset, so a long way to go yet. The stitches slide off my needles at the wiggle of my fingers. Then the yarn splits when I pick them up. I normally knit with 4 needles, on these I really need to use 5 needles. This is the LAST time that I knit with the old Brown Sheep Wildfoote without washing it ahead of time. There is such a diffference in the pre and post wash. I am just NOT enjoying knitting these. I'd like to get them done, it would be another project off the needles and into the "FINISHED" pile. The annoying thing is that I love the color, they will be perfect for me when I'm done...why can't I get these stupid things done!

Tonight is the first meeting of the knitting group. I wonder who will show up and what they will bring to knit. Actually, I wonder what I will bring to knit!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Victory of sorts!

I come from a family of unhandy people. The plumber threatened to not come if my Dad tried any repairs before calling him in. That is my background. Not ashamed of it, but it does bias me toward trying to fix things.

Ever since I washed the alpaca, I've noticed that the washing machine leaks occasionally. Having heard all of the horror stories, I was sadly sure that I had fiber down the drainpipe. The odd part was that it didn't leak all of the time. Just occasionally. Until the last 2 loads of laundry. Then there were these little puddles on the floor. Almost unperceptable, in fact, the first puddle I excused -- almost -- because my feet are so sweaty from prednisone, that I honestly believed it was because I'd just taken my socks and shoes off! Then I stepped into it further and disabused myself of THAT notion! LOL So, last night in a fit of something, I moved the washer out, to pour chlorine bleach down the drainpipe, to dry to dissolve any blockage there. Prior to calling in a repairman at $50 or so an hour, you know. The cold water hose was leaking. Not badly, but enough to let us know the culprit. So, today Howard extended his walking (he is up to 12,000 steps so far today!) and picked up new hoses for the washing machine, then replaced them when he got home. This seems like such a success! Something we were able to do for ourselves, as opposed to having someone else do it for us! Perhaps you have to have been raised in a non-handy home to feel it is a minor miracle. But it does.

The amazing angora shawl that attacked me is about half today. I really don't think that hot flashes from prednisone and close to 90* temps outside were a kind combination for me yesterday. Today the intensity has lessened. I know it will be finished soon, but the urgency isn't quite as horrid. Right now I'm trying to finish a front panel on the Jimmy Beans baby sweater out of Brown Sheep Superwash. With that done, I'll knit up one more panel, sew in some ends and consider that sweater for the grandtad done. I'd like to have something finished in my knitting life right now. Too many started projects, not much closure. Although the three baby hats for the hospital are done, I won't mail them off until I have enough to make a decent package. And no, I don't have a clue as to what a decent package of them would be yet. I think I have 11 skeins of that yarn, at 3 hats per skein with a little left over which will stripe, I believe I'm in trouble! 35 hats total out of that yarn, with 3 done? Yeesh!

As you can probably tell by my writing, I'm still on prednisone, and it affects all sorts of things in my being. Including my writing. My mind rambles as much as my typing, aren't you glad you aren't trying to keep up with me face to face?

When I told my doc how hard it is for me to write when I'm like this he gave me a gentle look and said, "stay away from the typewriter." Yeah, right.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Oh dear!

I woke up this morning with the idea for a new knitting project just itching to get started. No idea who it should be for, but the yarn, which had been purchased and designated for something else (an Anne Modesitt corset, would you believe!) wants to be a shawl! It even has very specific parameters. Now, do I pull the yarn out and start? I have so many other started objects going right now, it seems silly to start another! This should be fairly quick, and if it works out as I think, I may be able to get two out of the cone of yarn. But still.......

I think my mind had been thinking of the Red Scarf Project, but then it morphed. After all, this is red, angora, worsted weight (but I could knit it up on larger needles so it is cuddly...) Oh dear. Even as I typed I tried to wrestle it into another project, but the yarn is insisting on returning to its original purpose. But who does it want to be for? Sheesh!

Okay, I guess I will surrender to the inevitable. Hm, maybe size 13 needles? I knit loosely, so that is probably about right. I suppose the first step had better be to pull out the yarn. What do you think? I'm trying to tell mself that it will get that much yarn out of my stash fairly quickly... Just think, a pound of expensive yarn out of the stash makes an impressive dent on the total amount of yarn dollars at the end of the year! LOL

By the way, kudos to Howard! He took up the America on the Move Steptember challenge, and decided to take The Pacific Crest Challenge -- 10,095 steps a day for 42 days. So far he is staying near goal, two days over, one day just slightly under. YAY HOWARD! I'm doing the UK National - 4,644 steps per day, and haven't done nearly as well. I've managed to hit goal one day of 3.