Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas is over!

I love Christmas. Really, I do. But I am kind of happy it's over this year, from a knitting perspective. I just took on too much, and it became less fun. However, I am pleased with the outcome of most of my knitting.

My mother's sweater was knit from a Classic Elite pattern booklet. It's ribbed at the bottoms and then goes into cables on the chest. It was pretty fun, but I had hoped to hire out the finishing. However, the woman who does that in this area was out of town, and I couldn't get in touch before she was booked for the holidays. As it was, I procrastinated, so this was sewn together on Christmas day, and was still wet from its final bath when my mom arrived! The yarn was Classic Elite Skye Tweed. It's an awful yarn. I am thrilled they've discontinued it. I've had generally good luck with Classic Elite yarns, so this was a disappointment.

I also finished some toys for my cats. Here they are before they were stuffed with catnip and sewn up. The cats seem to like them OK.

The other items I knit for Christmas: Fiber Trends clogs, a felted wristlet, two pairs of socks, one scarf, one hat, a teddy bear, and an elephant. The last two are unfinished. My husband's sweater also sits unfinished. But he has a January 10 birthday, and there's always Valentine's Day, right?

Now that the Christmas crunch is over, I am itching to cast on for something new. I need to finish the elephant and the bear for Zoey, but those will likely be done in the next couple days. I am definitely going to participate in one mystery lace KAL, but I am not sure which one - Secret of the Stole ii, Spring Shawl Surprice, or Secret of Bad Nauheim. I think I'm leaning toward SSS, because it involves knitting lace on both sides of the stole (is that lace knitting or knitted lace??), and I've never done that.

Additionally, I am going to cast on for Wicked and one other sweater (both for me!). What shall it be - Tomato, Central Park Hoodie, Rogue Hoodie, Dahlia, Sunrise Circle or Twisted Float?

Any thoughts from anyone whose made these?

Happy New Year to everyone. I'm hoping for a better 2008. So is ZEN.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I received a wonderful winter treat in the mail today. Christy (christinajrn on knitty) sent me a great Snow Flake package. The box was bursting with treasures! She sent a lovely skein Highlander yarn, made by Alpaca With a Twist. I love their yarns, and I've never had the chance to play with Highlander, so that's exciting!
She also sent some yummy peppermint bark, which I'm going to try to keep from eating immediately. There are some gorgeous hand-crafted stitchmarkers and an adorable tin to keep everything organized. And finally, and oh so sweetly, Christy sent along a pair of stripey socks that she knit for her daughter. Her daughter has outgrown them, so now they'll be ZEN's to wear in a couple years! And the little characters are wind-up Christmas figurines. I think I'll try to get them to chase my kitties!

I think I mentioned the Fiber Trends felted clogs, right? Well, here they are, in all of their obnoxious, brightly colored glory! I bought some puffy paint at Hobby Lobby last night, and I'm going to use that to paint non-skid surface to the sole. I'm holding off, though, because I think I might have to felt them once more for my mom. I'm going to wait until she gets here though, and we'll let her foot be the judge.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Where have I been?

I've been knitting! Actually, I've been knitting and helping my friend in her yarn store, and knitting, and trying to work, etc., etc. December is so busy! I have some proof that I have been knitting. A couple of holiday FOs...

Here is shedir, knit for my friend who is battling breast cancer, again. I did not use Calmer, but now I wish I would have. Instead I used JaggerSpun Zephyr DK (the yarn is yummy, but I messed with gauge and ended up with a too-big hat - I'm trying to shrink it down, but not having a ton of success). Anyway, regardless of the hat, my thoughts and prayers are with my friend and her family at this tough time.

I also finished a wristlet for my sister. This is "Toothpick Optional". Isn't it adorable? I didn't really do the pattern justice, but I'll definitely knit this again. My photography stinks, but there are shades of pink in there you can't see that well.

In other holiday knitting news, I decided to throw in the towel on my husband's sweater. He has a January 10 birthday, and Valentine's day is coming, too, so he'll get it for one of those. I will finish my mother's sweater. I had planned to hire out the finishing, but I'm not sure if the woman who does the finishing is available. If she's not, I imagine I'll be sewing it up on December 25, because I won't see my mom until December 26.

I also am working on a little elephant for ZEN. Pretty cute, and a good way to use up some yarn.

I finished a pair of Fiber Trends felted clogs, but they're still felting. Those are for my mom, too.

Speaking of my mom, I have a sinking feeling that she won't wear the sweater I am knitting for her. Given that, I'm not sure why I'm busting my butt to finish it. She kind of rolls her eyes at my knitting (although she does love felted slippers, so I know the clogs will be a hit). I'm sure that there's some deep psychological reasoning that would require delving into our moderately tortured relationship, but maybe I'd rather not know? I'll be disappointed if she doesn't like the sweater - it's taken a lot of time and work. We'll just have to see - maybe she'll surprise me.

Oh, and did I mention here that ZEN got honoroable mention for the knitty calendar? I'm pretty sure everyone who entered did, but if you want to check out ZEN and the others, go here. There are some really great photos in the calendar. I suppose some of them are even better than a goofy, orange-nosed baby in a pool full of blue yarn! We might try again next year. There are some ideas brewing.

And I'll leave you with a picture of ZEN with Santa. She's not a huge fan just yet. Nat thinks that maybe she was suspicious of him because of his skinny legs. We'll have to see if he forgives her and brings her anything this year.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Moment of Ritual Humiliation

You know how Brenda Dayne has her moments of ritual humiliation on her podcast? Well, I had my very own earlier this week. I am copying a series of emails from earlier this week, removing names to protect the innocent. To help you understand the situation, know that I have a dear female friend who we'll call Chris Jones. Now start at the bottom of the email chain and read to the top... And then feel free to laugh at/with me.

From: Christopher Jones [mailto:chris.jones@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:34 AM
To: Holly
Subject: Re: address

That is hilarious :-) And this female Chris lives/works in the DC area? You should forward my pictures to her so she can see what she would look like if she was Chris Hines the male (A big American Indian) hahahaha. And don't worry, I have only been getting email from you since the beginning of April, and Zoey is a cute baby so it is all good :-)

It is always best to have a kind response, we share this tiny little planet. So I try to be kind to all, as often as I can. Imagine that I was a bouncer for a long time :-) Although I was described as "the nicest bouncer ever". I will have to call the bouncers in Detroit and make sure you behaved yourself :-)

If you allow me to return the favor, I would like a X-mas card.


On Nov 27, 2007 11:20 AM, Holly wrote:

Hi Chris. Thank you for your kind response (and for not completely beating me down for being an idiot). I'm looking for my friend, who is jones.chris@xxxxxxx. I apparently got a little full of myself thinking that I had her email memorized!

And I checked the photo just to be sure, and I can confirm I do not know you. Although you do seem quite pleasant. There are a few bouncers who might know me, but they're all in Iowa City or Detroit.

Thanks again for being so nice to me. If you want, I can send you a Christmas card anyway!



From: Christophen Jones [mailto:chris.jones@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:03 AM

To: Holly
Subject: Re: address


Now, I was wondering if there was some confusion.... but since the 60's were rough on my memories (and I wasn't even born then) I assumed that I knew you in some way, or thru a mutual friend. However the statement " I can't keep up with you, girl!" kinda proves that to be a misconception. I am a 34 year old man, and I haven't worked for the Government since 2000 (Census Bureau). I will attach a picture of me, if you know me, please tell me where from :-) I was a bouncer in DC for 6 years so you can imagine a few people know me that i don't quite remember (damn Jim Beam). If not you will probably delete me and I will miss the legal humor... I am an IT Tech and we have different humor :-)

Have a nice day...


The first photo is recent and the second was taken 3 years ago. Know me?

On Nov 27, 2007 10:28 AM, Holly wrote:

Are you still with the fed. Govt? I can't keep up with you, girl!


From: Christopher Jones [mailto: chris.jones@xxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:16 AM
To: Holly
Subject: Re: address

Actually, I don't work in DC any more (well i am interviewing to go back) I live in Martinsburg, WV and work in Chambersburg PA.

Home address is:

Unit XX
Martinsburg, WV 25401

On Nov 27, 2007 10:03 AM, Newell, Holly wrote:

Hey Chris:

What's your mailing address in D.C.?




My friends, the real "Chris Jones" included, have enjoyed laughing at my error. I'm just happy that I was emailing some kind soul. And heck, he said Zoey was cute, so that makes him a friend, as far as I'm concerned. But still, to think that this poor guy was copied on dozens of emails sent with pictures of Zoey and other emails in which several of us girls were complaining about the legal profession...

That's all for now. I'll leave you with a sweet Christmas picture:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday. I am 33. Birthdays don't mean so much at this age. I'm too old to get excited, but too young to be too freaked out about getting older. Just another day, more or less, but a good one.

I spent the morning with ZEN, and then I went to Borders and to my knitting group. My knitting group is fairly new, but it's been a pleasure to knit with these women every time I've gotten the chance. It's a great group, and everyone brings an interesting project or two for us to enjoy. Jana brought her KnitPicks Harmony needles this time, and being able to fondle them made me want some even more! While I was at Borders I picked up a copy of Scarf Style so that I can consider trying a Lady Eleanor for myself.

After I finished with my group, I stopped by the LYS, and I picked up Cat Bordhi's latest book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I finished the Coriolis socks she demonstrated on Knitty Gritty, so I am excited to try her other new techniques, too. These socks for Sockin' It To Maggie. I don't think I did a great job on them, but I am happy they are done, and I hope they will be comfy and cozy for Maggie, even if they're not so gorgeous.

I also finished My So Called Scarf for my scarf swap partner, Bev. Here's a glimpse:

I'm not going to show the entire thing because I want Bev to be at least a tiny bit surprised, even though I used yarn she used, and she knows which pattern I knit. I am pleased with how it came out, and I will put in one final rave about Patons SWS. It's good stuff! Bev, if you're reading, there will be another surprise heading your way, but it will be coming after your first mailing, and probably after Christmas.

My wonderful friends at work got me a yarn bouquet for my birthday! The yarn is a SeaCell blend, and it's in a gorgeous Midnight colorway. I also had some Hiya Hiya bamboo DPNs in the bouquet. It was so generous, and I cannot wait to cast on with the yarn and needles. Christmas projects first, though!

And speaking of that, I'm in much higher Christmas knitting spirits now that I've finished the scarf and socks I mentioned earlier. That leaves two sweaters (both of which are underway), one pair of socks (and I'm about 4 inches from getting to the toe of the second one!), and the other scarf, for which I'm waiting on yarn. At this rate ZEN may get some knitted Christmas gifts, which would be so fun!

On a final note, ZEN's picture didn't make it into the Knitty 2008 Calendar, but we did make honorable mention. I am so jealous of these knitters who knit gorgeous items, and then are able to take breathtaking pictures! It's amazing. The Knitty 2008 calendar is available for purchse here. Maybe Nat will read this and get me one for Christmas?? One can only hope!

I'm off to enjoy my birthday evening with my daughter. I hope you all have a great weekend, too!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The holiday crunch

I read somewhere that there are only 44 knitting days left until Christmas, which has me a little bit on edge... I have six projects I need to finish for the holidays.

1. Husband sweater - it's about 25 percent done. It's times like these that you reconsider having married a 6'5" 225 pound man. It takes a lot of yarn to cover that frame in a sweater! Luckily he has a January 10 birthday, so I can always put it off a bit, if need be.
2. Mom's sweater - 40 percent done. The back is done and I'm about half the way through one sleeve. Mom is coming to town on or around the 28th of December to celebrate ZEN's first birthday, so I might just decide that I don't want to ship it anyway, and buy myself an extra week or so.
3. Husband socks - One done, one half done. These will get finished, if I can motivate myself to keep looking at brown yarn in stockinette stitch for a bit longer.
4. Socks for Maggie - I have one and a half done here, too. And my goal is to finish them before Thanksgiving and send them on their way. The sock drive ends November 30, so I really want to beat that date handily.
5. Scarf for my super-cool scarf swap partner. The lovely Bev has entrusted me with some yummy SWS to make a scarf for her. It's coming along just fine. I have about four feet done, and it will end up being about 5 1/2 or 6 feet long. I'm using the My So Called Scarf pattern. This should be done early this week.
6. Scarf for my sister - this will happen if the yarn I've ordered arrives before December. If it doesn't, she'll get it for her March birthday. Not quite as appropriate as for Christmas, but she can deal.
7. If the yarn for her scarf doesn't arrive, I will make a scarf for my friend/coworker, Jenni. I have yarn in mind for her, but I'm waiting until early December to know whether I can budget the time.

If all of this gets done (Ha!), I might have time to knit a few toys for ZEN, and also for my cats and my sister's cat. And if not, there's always next year, right?

Given that today was Sunday, you'd think it would be a good chance to catch up on some of this knitting, right? Well, actually, no. I did spend 3 hours this morning engaging in knitting pursuits, but they were wholly unrelated to the above tasks. Lily Chin was in town, teaching a workshop at Stitches N Scones. The workshop was about reversibile cables. Both of the Christmas sweaters I'm making involve cables, so it was appropriate, I suppose. It was a pretty good class and a mostly positive experience. I think I would have preferred to take the workshops she offered yesterday - one was on finishing techniques/edgings, and it sounded just wonderful. Hwoever, I'm just happy to have had the chance to attend today. It's not always easy to get away for a chunk of time when you have a 10-month-old!

Maybe I'll try to get my act together and take a few pictures to brighten up this blog. For now, though, good night and have a great week!

Monday, November 5, 2007

It's the most important meal of the day!

I've heard that you're supposed to eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a pauper for dinner if you're watching your weight. I am watching my weight - watching it mostly go up, unfortunately! My breakfast most days is Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal (with 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber to boot).
At 160 calories and 3 grams of fat, it definitely fits into a healthy-eating profile. I sound like Bob from The Biggest Loser (do any of you watch that show? Holy product placements Batman!). I love me some Bob, though!

I don't think the oatmeal alone fits into the king-prince-pauper formula. And here's my question for any of you who have had this - does one packet really satisfy you all morning? I find that it's tasty and satisfying, but that I'm hungry within an hour or two. Really, that's not a problem because I can grab an apple or a banana. And I suppose I probably should be having something in addition to the oatmeal first thing, anyway. I'm just happy to have anything at all. I don't eat until after I've arrived at work; I'm lucky to have a job where eating a cup of oatmeal at my desk isn't a problem.

If my weight weren't on the rise, and it were convenient, I would happily eat a Dunkin Donuts double chocolate donut every morning, though. Yum! But don't click if you're at all in denial about how bad donuts are for us. Bummer, huh?

Now how many knitting blogs manage to mention The Biggest Loser and Dunkin' Donuts in the same post? I don't know - maybe a ton of them. I'm proud, nonetheless! We'll be back to our regularly scheduled knitting program soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Old pictures, new pictures

The webring assignment this week is to dig out the oldest picture of yourself. I really don't have any old pictures of myself. The problem is two-fold - first, most of the pictures of me in my younger years are still at my mom's house, hundreds of miles away. Second, I don't have a scanner, so I couldn't get them online, anyway. But, perhaps I can get creative and come up with a solution to this problem... I'll think on it a bit. I've missed two blogstalking assignments already, so I need to figure something out!

Out with the old, and in with the new... a new picture of ZEN. Hot off the presses, just hours old...

Quite timely, since today is Halloween and all. It's her first Halloween, and she's had a good day so far. She got to trick or treat at my office, her dad's office, her godmother's office, and the LYS. She was such a good baby, not at all fussy about being stuffed into a puffy duckling outfit. That's my girl! It's pretty mild here today, so I'm going to have her sit on the porch with me, all dressed up in her duckling outfit, and pass out candy.
Trick or Treat goes from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., though, so she probably won't make it past the first hour or so.

As promised, here's a picture of her modeling her pumpkin hat, which turned out a bit small, because her mother CANNOT COUNT OR MEASURE.

And finally, a heartfelt thanks to Lauren, who spoiled me this Halloween with a package filled with great treats! ZEN carried the felt pumpkin around for her trick or treat (despite the fact that she's too little for candy, chocolate found its way inside). And I'm so excited to try my hand at dyeing with the KnitPicks Bare laceweight. I'm going to be a wuss and start with just a basic black, but after the yarn soup debacle of earlier this year, I think it's best to start basic.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Where does the time go?

It has been two weeks since my last blog entry. Bad blogger! Things have been crazy at work and home. I think everything should quiet down this week, though.

I finished the back of my mom's Christmas sweater. Sunny was apparently excited about this, and the rest of my knitting. She insisted on being in most of my pictures. There are a couple of mistakes in the cabling. Can you see them? I'm not ripping back on it, though. I'm using Classic Elite Skye Tweed, and I'm not that impressed with the yarn. I really hope it softens up when I block the sweater.

I made some progress on Nat's sweater, too, but nothing worth showing. Mostly, I got distracted by the weekly pattern in the Stitch'N'Bitch desk calendar. It seemed extremely important that I make this for ZEN! It was great to use up some stash yarn, and she'll need it this week. I am thinking of adding an i-cord so that I can tie it around her chin - she likes to pull hats off. Sorry there are no pictures of ZEN modeling it. She's a little cranky just now, and not up for a photo shoot.

In the world of lace knitting, I cast on for the Mystic Waters mystery shawl. The first clue posted on Wednesday, and I'm not even one-fourth of the way through it. I am already in love with this design, though. I'm adding some beads, but you can't see them that well here. I decided to put down Secret of the Stole. It really just isn't speaking to me. I will watch everyone else's progress, though, before I go so far as to rip it out. I think there's just too much stockinette in it for my tastes. I'm still curious to know about the theme, though!

I think Sunny approves!

And finally, I have a picture of the small bit of progress I've made on My So Called Scarf.

I'm sorry the picture isn't great. Maybe I needed Sunny's help on this one, too? Anyway, I'm loving the pattern, and I love the yarn (Patons SWS). I hope that my swap partner loves it as much as I do! I should be able to work on it a good bit this week, and hopefully finish it by mid-November. I think I might have some yarn left over. If it were you, would you want me to send the extra back to you, or if there's enough, make a second scarf (different pattern)?

I'm also aware that I am a very bad blogstalker. Two weeks missed! I will try to get caught up and back in the swing soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Much better now...thanks

I realize now that blogging while under the weather is not a terribly inspired idea. Sorry for that last depressing outing. I am doing much better (flu has passed, ear infection is dissipating; and Zen and her dad are fine, too). Thank you so much for the kind comments, despite my negative post. Have you ever noticed that few men handle being ill very well? All three of us were sick, but my lovely husband was convinced that he was worse off than me, and I can't quite wrap my mind around this - I had the flu and an ear infection and he had just the flu. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that our flu symptoms were identical, yet somehow he was in worse shape than me (I know this because he told me). Nat's a terrific guy; I adore him and think he is a wonderful, perfect dad to ZEN, and a terrific husband to me. But the guy does not handle illness well. This must be the reason that only women can be pregnant.

Really, enough of the sickness now! Onto more exciting things, like milestones and yarn fun.

Our little girl is teaching herself to stand up! I am a typical, cliche mom who would prefer that she not stand, because that means she'll be walking, and there are so many troubles she'll find at that point! I know that's ridiculous, though, so I'm just trying to be excited about her milestone. And besides, when she can walk, I won't have to hold her in the yarn store - more hands available for yarn fondling fun!

In knitting news, I was on target to start Clue 2 of Secret of the Stole when I got sick, but this is Clue 1 done. I didn't block it at all, obviously. I am still a little unsure about the pattern. Clue 2 looked promising though. The double points don't bother me, but it seemed like a lot of stockinette stitch for a lace project. It appears to be opening up with Clue 2, so it will be worth moving forward with for now, at least.

In other fun news, I received yarn from my swap partner - I'm going to knit her a scarf out of yarn she sent. It's Paton's SWS (soy wool stripes). It's a single ply, and I think it will self stripe. It's really soft, so I'm excited to work with it. She very kindly offered some suggestions of scarf patterns she likes. I had planned to play with it this weekend, but the illness derailed that, so I hope to get to it this week. I sent some yarn to my swap partner to knit me a scarf, too. She's received it and said she's already started to lovingly pet it! I sent two colors, just in case she wanted options, and she said she's thinking either cables or fair isle! Holy cow - I got lucky with her, don't you think?

Finally, to get everyone in the Halloween spirit, here's ZEN, all oranged up and no place to go!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A quick list...

Three things I hate...
1. Having a sick kid.
2. Being sick myself.
3. People who are mean to animals

Three things I love...
1. My family
2. My yarn
3. Trashy TV a la the CW (America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl... good stuff!)

I am sick, with a sick kid and sick husband today, so that's all I've got.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Breaking promises, and finishing stuff...

I am really struggling with the promise to myself that I would focus on the following until Christmas (or until all are done in time for Christmas):

1. Mom's sweater (I'm about 1/3 done with the back, which leaves the front and both sleeves, and the turtleneck);
2. Husband sweater (I'm about 1/2 done with the back, which leaves the front and both sleeves);
3. Secret of the Stole (just kicked off on Friday - progress pix below - but I'm through row 53);
4. Husband Socks (one done; one about 3 inches until I reach toe shaping, but I'm seriously stalled out on it);
5. Hats for Alex (done and sent off last week - yeah!). I forgot to take a picture, but it was a little yellow hat, that I hope will warm a needy baby well.

So, in the spirit of breaking promises to myself, I decided to contribute to Sockin' It To Maggie. Now, I don't think it should count against me, since it's for a good cause. And the mission resulted in my casting on the Coriolis sock from Cat Bordhi's new book. I don't have the book, yet, so I used the pattern from her Knitty Gritty appearance. I have to have this book now! I loved making this sock, despite making many mistakes. I think they were mostly well-hidden, though, so I feel comfortable giving the sock to Maggie. This was a two-day sock, something of a feat for my slow hands! The yarn is held doubled (ahhh...cozy socks - hope Maggie likes them toasty!), and they were knit on U.S. 6 needles!

Secret of the Stole kicked off last week. It's an interesting design so far, with two points at the beginning of the stole. I am through row 53. I think there are 83 rows in the first clue. I am pleased with my pace; I should finish Clue 1 by the time Clue 2 publishes on Friday. At that point, I will probably fall behind, as I did with Mystery Stole 3!

Speaking of secret stoles, I saw some progress pictures from Secret of Chrysopolis. I signed up for this one, but had shied away from it because it's authored in German. However, because it is so freakin' gorgeous, and because it is charted (yeah, universal language of knitters), and because there seem to be plenty of English speakers working on it, I am going to cast on... eventually. It will be a wonderful use of my ebony Sea Silk. Before I cast on for that, though, I think I might cast on for the Mystic Waters stole. I haven't decided on a yarn, yet. First clue posts October 24, so I have time.

Lace knitting is really addictive. The lace yarn is so gorgeous, and the patterns are stunning! I love the secret KAL's because it's so nice to get the pattern piecemeal - I feel like I can keep up. My friend Laura mentioned this the other night when we got together to knit, and I realized that she had summed it up perfectly. Hopefully this new addiction won't keep me from knitting from Victorian Lace Today, though!

I have pictures of the oh-so-cute finished Tulip sweater, finally! As tempting as it was, this ridiculous 90-degree-weather-in-October prevented me from stuffing ZEN in it for a photo shoot.

I made the matching hat from a design I found on Mistress Stash Enhancer's blog. I love that name, and the pattern was great, too, so she definitely has the Zen...Cats...Yarn approval.

And as this blog post comes to an end, we should all note that I blogged without a single ZEN picture! Perhaps I'm becoming a slightly less obnoxious mom? Or maybe I just don't have any good pictures because she's under the weather? I suspect that mentioning her at all means that I'm still an all-out obnoxious mom. I'll work on that, I swear. I would be remiss to end this without some gratuitous cute picture, so we'll leave it up to Sunny, who tonight rediscovered her cat bed (sadly, she also discovered the Tulips sweater, and decided it was a perfect cat bed, too - no pix of that, though).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yarn love and getting from here to there...

ZEN is learning, at a young age, to embrace and love yarn. Perhaps this is her way of asking me to knit her a pair of socks?

In other knitting news... I cast on the cover sweater from Lace Style. I am using T3 Weavers Alpaca, and I am enjoying the pattern (simple feather and fan) so far. I think it will knit up quick, but I have to shift focus to my Christmas knitting, so it won't be done as quickly as I might like. Here's my swatch and progress.

This week's blog stalking assignment was to show how we get from here to there. I don't have any pictures of my cars, but I drive either a Blue Honda Accord or a Black VW Passat Wagon. If I'm lucky, I get to drive the Passat, which means there's a good chance I have company. That always makes for a better ride!

On a final note, Nat read my last blog entry. He has zero faith that I will finish his sweater. Such doubt, and it's only October!

Friday, September 28, 2007

To Nat, with love

I showed my husband my progress on Tulip today. It looks like this now:

Upon review of the sweater, he said: "It would look better if you'd done those color changes right." I said: "You read my blog?!" This is a momentarialy exciting revelation, until he responds: "No. I don't read it that often - you don't mention me enough." I told him that was because I didn't want to put him out there for public consumption against his wishes. After all, there is a decent chance that three or four people might read my blog, and of those maybe one would know Nat and of those, none would care (ZEN can't read yet, so we're not counting her). He reminded me that he's already in the public domain to a certain extent. He's a journalist who covers high school sports for our newspaper, and his stories are published online. In an effort to get him to quit whining, this blog entry is dedicated to him.

Here is the start of his Christmas sweater:

It doesn't look like much, I know. But by December 25, it will be a cabled sweater for him to hopefully enjoy. I really hope to finish it by Christmas, because I don't want to hear him complaining about how I never finish his knitted gifts on time. I have already finished 1 1/2 of his Christmas socks, which I will gag him with if he chooses to whine.

Here's a picture of him and ZEN:

Aren't they cute?

OK, enough of him. Back to the fun yarn stuff. Look what came in the mail today!

Yarn from artsygal. Yummy, don't you think? Especially in the colorway "strawberry milkshake". 100% Superwash Merino Sock yarn. Sorry the picture stinks.

I'm off to try to crank out at least one Hat for Alex tonight. Because it's Friday night, and baby, that's how I roll.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Peer into my purse

...if you dare!

Blogstalking, assignment two:

I almost sat this round out, because I'm so embarrassed of the mess that is in my purse. Here are two other views, but that's all your getting, because anything closer would further humiliate me!

I suppose I should tell you what all that junk is. First, there is the small purse in the big purse. No excuse for this, except sheer laziness. I switched from the small to the large, and didn't bother to shift the contents (yes, I am well aware that I could have just dumped everything in; it was easier this way, somehow). As to the actual contents, here's an edited list (why, you might ask, is this list edited? Because there's just too much crap in there to bother noting all of it - it is not edited to protect my reputation in anyway, so no worries there!)

1. The knitterly stuff
a. Back issues of Interweave Knits (Spring of 2004, Summer of 2003)
b. WIP - baby jaywalker sock in Panda Cotton (from the dyeing arts, but the link has gone bad, though there is a promise it will return at some point)
c. Mass Ave Knit Shop Discount key chain
d. Secret of the Stole info. sheet
e. Knitty Patterns (Mr. Greenjeans and Muir)
f. Size 9 Crochet hook (for beading)
g. stitch markers (ring style)
2. The money-savers
a. coupons for groceries
b. coupons for Borders
c. coupons for department stores
d. expired coupon for the garden store
3. The reminders that I'm overweight
a. Weight Watchers membership book/bookmark
b. Gum (gotta have something to do with my mouth since I shouldn't be eating!)
c. Jimmy John's menu (there are a few things on there that can be Weight
Watchers friendly)
4. Proof that I'm a mom
a. Toy remote control
b. Pink baby velour pants
5. Proof that I'm a mom, knitter and a woman
a. Bills!
b. Many tubes of lipstick
6. Other junk
a. Saline Solution
b. Coin purse with debit/credit cards and some cash/change
c. Change settled at the bottom of the purse
d. Bookmark (but no book)
e. Non-winning powerball ticket from when the jackpot was huge awhile back.
Yes, this should have been thrown out weeks ago.

OK, I'm sufficiently mortified, but probably not mortified to the point of actually cleaning out the purse. Alas...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tiptoe through the tulip(s)...

I couldn't resist casting on for the Dream in Color Tulip sweater. I have had the kit for a couple months now, and I've been itching to do it. The pattern that I have is written for a six month size, and ZEN is now nine months, so I did my best to upsize it to fit her this winter. We'll see. The thing knits up so fast! Here's my progress:

I have mucked it up to a certain degree, and in retrospect I should have frogged it, especially given how fast it goes together. But, at this point I'm just going to push forward. What I messed up was the seed stitching in the color changes at the top.

As you can see, I changed colors with just stockinette stitch at the first three color changes. It looks so much better with the added texture at the color changes. This is what you get when you don't carefully read patterns. I expect the knitting gods are really getting a kick out of this, given that the pattern specifically stated that you should read through the pattern in its entirety before casting on.

I added the peach and the bottom row of green. I figure that ZEN and her dad can go out together in their sort of matching sweaters. He's getting a cabled sweater knit from the bottom green stripe color. I have to finish the bottom band, complete the border and finish the sleeves. I cast on yesterday afternoon, so I should be able to finish it by Wednesday night - yeah! This leaves me plenty of September knitting time to work on Hats for Alex and the Lace Style sweater for me, before October comes and Christmas knitting must begin in full force.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Time to knit

I finished my mother-in-law's scarf. Her birthday is Monday, so it will not get to her in time, but it is done! It's blocking, but I'll post pix when it's ready. I also finished my father's socks with plenty of time to send them out. However, my own ineptitude at the post office might result in him never receiving the socks, or any part of his birthday package for that matter. Fingers crossed that the postal gods are smiling on me this week!

That means I have a week and a half to knit whatever I want! I am going to try to knit at least one Hat for Alex, and I think I've also settled on starting a sweater from LaceStyle. It's the cover sweater.

I took a photo of the MS3 draped on a hanger.

My friend said that she loved it, and it fit her well. I was a little worried, because I had shortened it. However, it sounds like it all worked out well.

I am busy trying to update my Ravelry profile. It's a bit overwhelming. I am excited to do it, though. What a terrific resource!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Who Am I?

I have joined a new webring - Knittyhead Blogstalker 2. You can link to others in the sidebar of my blog.

This week's question for us blogstalkers is "Who Am I?"

I don't know exactly how to define who I am - should it be in terms of other people/animals? If so, I am a mother (of the lovely ZEN), and a wife (to ZEN's sweet father); I am kitty-mama to three furries - Sunny, Daisy and Jo the Tailless Wonder; I am a daughter and a sister. If I define myself in terms of me, then I am a knitting attorney who has trouble sleeping because she stays up wondering how she'll ever knit through all her yarn, and how she'll be able to afford to send her child to college. I am holly over on ravelry, so come say hi and make me your friend!

I am also averse to having my photo taken, but I'll put one in of me and ZEN, just to stick with the theme.

I also have a small unhealthy addiction to some trashy television programs, which shall remain unnamed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Swan Lake's Swan Song

It's done! It's really, really done! I thought I might never finish, especially as I saw everyone turning out their beautiful stoles. But that wing finally reached its conclusion. The pictures obviously show it blocking. I really suck at lace blocking. I did my best to follow the Harlot's instructions, but I apparently didn't quite get it - I had trouble getting tension on the straight lines, and I know my wing shouldn't dip down below the straight edge. However, I'm so happy it's done, that I really can't complain. It's a gift for a dear friend, so I hope she likes it and ignores my mistakes. The largest errors are pointed out by the friendly sheep, below. But I bet you didn't need their help to see them!

I don't know if I will have a chance to post a picture of it draped; I hope to see my friend in it someday, and I will take a picture of her then.

Now that the MS3 is done, I can focus on my mother in law's scarf and my dad's socks. Both need to be done by Wednesday so they can ship for their birthdays, which are early the following week. I have to tear out the toe and rip back on one of my dad's socks. I was so worried about making sure they'd be wide enough for his feet that I ended up shorting him. It shouldn't take too long to correct, though. I have decided that I will delve back into my mom's and husband's Christmas sweaters come October 1. So that means I will have 11 days of knitting whatever I want to! I can be good, and finish up a couple pairs of socks for ZEN that are on the needles, or I could finish the Colinette throw that's been on the needles forever. Or I could start ZEN's tulip sweater or perhaps a sweater for me. I'm leaning toward the latter, but I probably would be bummed when 10 days later I have nothing to show for my effort but ANOTHER WIP. Decisions, decisions.

I took some pictures of my stash today.

This should shame me into knitting it up, shouldn't it? After all, it looks like it could eat Sunny in any minute! Sadly, that's not all.
There's also this...

...and this...

See something you like? Let me know and we can make a deal!

There is more, which is sort of embarrassing to admit. But perhaps that's reason enough to start a new project when I finish the birthday presents?

One of the malls here hosted the 2007 Knit Out. I stopped by, but I didn't really feel comfortable enough to stay. I did pick up the charity knitting information, but I want to focus on kntiting some Hats for Alex. Truth be told - that's how I should spend those last days of September! And maybe you should, too!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stolen from the knittibell

Annie said anyone who read this on her blog was tagged, so I guess I'm it. I'm probably the only one taking her to heart on it, though!

1. Three films you rented recently
This is a hard one for me, because I've been mostly pulling TV shows with Netflix, but a review of my returns there tells me I've recently rented the following:

The Illusionist - This was a strange movie, and I wasn't sure I would like it. It ended up being pretty good, though. Edward Norton is pretty great in just about everything he does, though. I just can't jump on the Jessica Biel bandwagon. She seems to definitely be more about style than substance. Of course there's a decent chance I'm just really jealous!

Thank You For Smoking - Very enjoyable. I'm not sure what all the fuss was about Katie Holmes' bedroom scene, though. Not such a big deal at all. I like Aaron Eckhart a lot - he was great in Erin Brockovich - and he didn't disappoint here.

Junebug - I really liked this sweet movie. So did EW, which I implicitly trust! Rent this and enjoy, and Go Amy Adams!

2. Are you into any other crafts other than knitting?
Not really, given that I don't want to share the time I have for knitting with anything else. I have done some quilting in the past. I have probably completed four or five quilts, none full-size. Quilting is nice, but it's not portable like knitting. Quilters do create beautiful things, though, like this - ZEN's crib quilt, lovingly handcrafted by her very generous and very talented grandmother.

3.Any new stash or notions acquisitions?
But of course! I bought some Trekking XXL while in Cincinnati at Lambikin's Hideaway. I also got some sea silk in ebony, which I'm currently still drooling over. That came from a LYS and is likely to be made into a creation from Victorian Lace Today. That book is a recent addition. My husband had it stashed away for Christmas, but when Borders had a coupon recently, he feared I was going to go buy it for myself, so Christmas came early!

4. What are you listening to?
Mostly podcasts (Stash and Burn, Sticks and String, Cast-On, Lime N Violet, We're Almost There). Aimee Mann, Neil Diamond (yep, I'm not afraid to admit that I love this man, who had made it big before I was born), Daughtry (I also have to admit I'm a huge American Idol fan, but I don't usually follow the music the contestants create. However, I loved me some Chris Daughtry). I also get my daily dose of NPR on the way to and from work.

5. Name Five Things on Your Knitting Wishlist
Only five!?!?!

1. The Barbara Walker Treasury books
2. Sea Wool yarn
3. No Sheep For You
4. Knit Picks Options Harmony needles (they sure look cool!)
5. Lace Blocking Wires

I'll say the same thing Annie did - if you're reading this, you're tagged, so go answer the questions on your blog!