Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dear dad....

I found out my dad has prostate cancer a few months ago and he went in for surgery to remove it on Monday. Everything went well and, fortunately, the doctors think they caught it in time and believe they were able to remove all of it and that he is "cured". It's made me realize how much I miss my dad, I don't see him as much anymore with our busy lives but he is an awesome dad and I don't know what I'd do without him. So after visiting him at the hospital yesterday I had to stop at the yarn store nearby and I bought 4 balls of Cashsoft Aran in a dark green color to make Sharfik for him. I am really looking forward to knitting this for him as I have more of an emotional attatchment to this gift than any other I've made so far. I think he'll really like it. I did 3 repeats on it last night and am in love! It is a beautiful pattern and there's nothing better than Rowan Cashsoft! I really need to branch out an try more yarns but I just can't resist it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I've finally decided to go with the Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine for the cable sweater, I think...LOL, I really can't make up my mind. I got such a great deal on Ebay and it is so soft, I think it will work great. And if not, I'm sure I can find another pattern to use the yarn for. I have finished BIL's Christmas gift and am thinking of making Sharfik for my dad. I'm not really sure if it's something he would wear though and I can't decide on a color (or yarn for that matter, although I'm thinking Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran would be perfect). Here is a picture for your enjoyment of DH helping me wind a ball of Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton. He did a great job holding the hank until he, for some reason, decided to drop the whole thing in his lap at which point it became a huge tangly mess. (And check out the new paint and beautiful crown molding in the background!). And my sweet baby girl got to spend the day with daddy and this is what I came home to :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Another FO!

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, I had a nice long weekend with my hubby! He works all the time and has actually had 5 days off in a row. I finished the Ribbed Sweater but haven't taken pictures yet. I also finished another curtain in the living room. Only 3 more to go....although FIL is talking about adding a screen porch off of that room which will take out one of the windows! He says he needs a winter project, although that is the last thing I would want to do in the cold!!! Right now I'm working on a Christmas present for brother-in-law who I doubt reads this blog but I have shown it to him before so I won't post any more info for now. I also ordered a hank of Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton to try out, I was thinking of using it for my sweater but it is too bulky. I'm still thinking of going with KnitPicks Shine. It was the perfect guage and so soft and machine washable! I bid on some Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine on Ebay which I also thought would work for the sweater but was outbid. I think 100% cotton would be really difficult to work with though. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Ours turned out great, the food was good and we had even better company :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Dining Room!

The room is finally finished! I can't believe it's done. The curtains were a major pain but look awesome. I'm really happy with how the whole room turned out. It all came together just how I imagined it, don't you wish everything in life worked out like that? And just in time to host our very first Thanksgiving :) To refresh your memory, here is the before picture: And now, the after: And, I just finished MIL's Christmas gift. I'll post pictures after the Holidays. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005


For those of you thinking of making your own custom draperies, it's not as easy as one might think. A few months ago I spent over $700 on fabric at Calico Corners for the dining room and living room (5 windows). The plan is to make 2 basic 86" panels for each window, sounds easy right? Well, I spent the entire day making curtains with my MIL and have 1 panel finished! We had to rip out seams and re-cut the fabric a few times to get it just right. It was confusing trying to figure out the measurements with the lining, etc. Hopefully they will go faster now that we have some idea what we're doing. It is beautiful though and really looks good. I just hope we can get the other one finished and hung by Thanksgiving. My brain is so fried. I don't have much knitting news since I've been working on curtains! Sewing really is not my favorite thing to do but the results make it worth it. I'm really getting stressed about getting the house ready for Thanksgiving. Even though it's just close family, I still want everything to be perfect! The house always feels like a bomb hit it with the kids' toys everywhere. Plus, with all the work we've been doing on the house there's always tools and ladders in the way. I have a lot of work to do in the next 2 days!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Ribbed Sweater

I know I keep talking about this Ribbed Sweater by Debbie Bliss (Special Knits) but in all the pictures you are probably wondering, where's the ribbing? Well, I've finally gotten to the ribbing part and the sweater is turning out beautifully. I have a few more inches to go then it'll be ready for seaming. I substituted the Rowan RYC Cashsoft Aran and it is a dream to work with. So soft! And this sweater is knit on US8 needles so it is a quick, easy knit. I can't wait to bundle my daughter up in it, it has gotten into the low 30's (a.k.a. freezing) the last few days so she could use it now!

Friday, November 18, 2005

I hate painting

I've been ignoring the construction mess our dining & living rooms have become but I'm getting tired of it. Plus, we're having Thanksgiving at our house this year (for the first time ever). Even though it's only for our immediate family who is over all the time, it would still be nice to have things put together. We just got a huge table so everyone will be able to sit together in our newly renovated dining room. It's going to be so pretty, if it's ever finished. So today I've been painting, which is quite a challenge with 2 little ones. My mother watched the baby, my MIL watched the toddler and FIL helped me paint. And I still didn't get it finished, I just need to do a quick 2nd coat. And I have to make the curtain & hang it. We're about to go to dinner for hubbies birthday which is today! He's 31, hahahaha. I still haven't found my needle so I haven't finished any projects. I only got a little bit done on the Ribbed Jacket last night but it should be finished today or tomorrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Here is a picture of my lovely son modeling the helmet liner. I finished it yesterday and it is awesome! It was really simple to knit and great to do while watching TV. It is absolutely freezing here in Maryland today. Yesterday, it was in the high 60's and I had my windows open for part of the day. But the temperature has severely dropped overnight and it is really cold out today! I guess I need to make some hats for the kids! I also started the snowmen. I was sewing it all together last night and somehow managed to lose my tapestry needle (I lost the other one a few days ago!). It must have slid down into the nether regions of the couch, never to be found again. So the snowman will have to remain as separate pieces until I can make a trip to the store, which is fine with my son because he likes to play with the "snow balls". I better go tend to the screaming children...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I found a great LYS!

Last night I ventured to a LYS (well, not so local, it was about 45 minutes away) called Woolworks in Baltimore. It was great and I liked it a lot better than the one near me. There was yarn everywhere. I ended up getting there 20 minutes before they closed so I didn't get to spend nearly as much time as I wanted to there but I'll definitely go back next time I need some yarn. The LYS near me never seems to have what I want or enough of it for the project so I never end up buying any yarn there! I realized after I took this picture that everything I bought is destined to become a stuffed animal of some sort! The pink and blue balls will become bunnies for the kids at Easter and the white and red will become the snowmen ornaments for Christmas presents. I'm almost finished three other projects, the secret Christmas gift for MIL, a helmetliner and the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Jacket. Here are the pictures I took today (sans MIL gift): And thank you so much Chrissy & Amy for the help with MIL's gift. Once you told me I was doing "short row shaping" I was able to do a google search and figure it out.

Here they are! The finished socks...

Yarn: Knit Picks Simple Stripes (Autumn) Pattern: Two at Once, Toe-Up Sock Pattern by Kelley Petkun (Free at Knitpicks) Needles: 2 pairs of Addi Turbo Circulars size US3 Comments: This was my first pair of socks so I had a few issues. I had to frog the socks twice to get the right size and they're a little shorter than I wanted them but overall they turned out pretty well. The yarn is a little scratchy but did get softer after washing. They feel a little strange on my feet right when I put them on but after I wear them a few minutes they are comfortable. They were fun to make but I probably won't use the same yarn or pattern again!

Friday, November 11, 2005

HELP! I'm stuck...

I'm stuck on a pattern. I can't tell you what it is because it's a Christmas present for MIL who may read this, but this is what the pattern says: Row 28: K across the first 49 sts. Wrap yarn around the 50th st. Place the next 12 sts betweeen the st markers onto a holder. Row 29: P 48 sts, wrapping yarn on the 49th st. Sl the 12 sts between the next set of markers onto another st holder. Cont wrapping in this manner through Row 39 and until 6 sts are wrapped on each edge of the Back Top. So the part where I'm confused is when I get to the end of Row 30. Do I wrap the last stitch again? That doesn't make sense though. I'm so confused. It seems like there is a decrease going on somewhere that I'm missing? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I need the needles from this project to finish the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Jacket so I don't know what I'm going to knit until I figure this out!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I picked up the most recent issue of Knit It! and saw an article about knitting helmetliners for soldiers. I thought it would be something I would like to do, so I bought 5 hanks of Cascade 220 from an awesome eBay seller, pollybud, for only $4.25 a hank! My son thinks the ball my mom and I wound is the neatest thing ever, and it was removed before I could even get the first picture! He is always asking me where it is and rolls it around the room. I better get it on the needles soon! I finally finished the socks, I'll post pictures when I get a chance. They're not very comfortable but I'm glad I finished them. I need a break from socks for a while and think I'll do more research and get a really great pattern and yarn for my next pair. I asked for Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush for Christmas so maybe I'll start my next pair of socks in January.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ho hum...

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a good weekend, we went to Weber's Farm on Saturday and got the best pumpkin pie and lots of great pictures. Then on Sunday I went to see my dad play a concert (Grieg Piano Concerto). And no, he wasn't the one playing the piano, he plays timpani. It was awesome! I had a nice time and it was good to get away from the kids for a while. I got a lot done on the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Jacket this weekend and I've picked up the socks again. I bound them off again so they are loose enough to pull over my heel, kind of important when trying to wear socks. And I put the needles back on the heel so hopefully I will be able to finish them tonight. Of course, it took me a few hours just to re-bind off and put the needles on last night so I'm not sure how much longer these things will take! I've been thinking more about Christmas gifts and found a cute free pattern for little snowmen ornaments. I thought they would be cute and easy to make. I went to Joann's to get some yarn and couldn't find anything I could stand to touch for these. Everything is acrylic! Yuck. But it was the best time I've had in a long time, my husband actually went with me by choice and seemed to enjoy it! I felt so loved. Anyway, I was thinking of using KP Merino Style but don't want to pay shipping for $7 worth of yarn and don't need $30 worth of stuff, although I'm sure I could find something :) It's going to take me forever to build up a yarn stash because I think way too much about everything.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

And now back to knitting...

I am so close to throwing these stupid socks right out the window. I bound off what I thought was "loosely" which obviously was not loose enough because they will not go on my feet anymore. And of course, I already cut the tail (although it is probably long enough to redo). I have been so frustruated with these socks and I'm not sure I even like them. I just don't like to leave things unfinished and I figure I'll at least learn what I like/don't like about these socks by finishing them. That way I can make changes if I ever knit socks again. I'm sure I'll finish them but I think I need to set them aside for a few days (although knowing me I'll jump back in again tonight). I decided to try a swatch of the cable sweater I want to make to see if the KP Shine yarn would work. It looks pretty good and I love the way it feels! And I especially like the price and the fact that it is machine washable. I think I'll throw the swatch in with my laundry today to see how it turns out. I used size 6 needles which is what the pattern calls for and even though the yarn is a little thinner I manged to get the correct guage. Since it's a thinner yarn I was also worried about there being too much space between the stitches but it seems ok. Has anyone else knit Shine with size US6 needles? And by the way, the sweater will not be pink! I just happened to buy a ball of Shine in the color Blush with my last order to try it out. I would do the sweater in cream :)


Well, Halloween was pretty crappy overall this year. I was sick with mastitis and my fever made me so achy I couldn't move off of the couch. I at least made it from our couch to the in-laws couch so I could be part of the action. James would not put his costume on for anything. He was supposed to be Buzz Lightyear. My husband picked it out because James wouldn't tell us what he wanted to be and he loves Toy Story so we though why not. I have no idea why he didn't want to dress up. Some of his friends came over and they were dressed up but he just wouldn't do it. I was going to make them costumes this year because I was feeling particularly crafty but ended up realizing I just didn't have the time and it wasn't worth the trouble this year. I'm glad I didn't because I would have been really frustruated if I made something and he didn't wear it. So he went trick-or-treating in his regular clothes, with a plastic B&N bag and he was filthy dirty. I wasn't sure we should let him go without dressing up but he had a lot of fun and that's all that matters. Claire, on the other hand, was a great sport and had no problem putting her costume on. She didn't even mind the hat! She went trick-or-treating in her stroller and laughed at all the kids running around. So hopefully I won't be sick next year and we can get into it a little more. It's such a fun holiday but for some reason none of us were really into it this year. We never even got pumpkins or anything! And here is a shot of me and the kids with my dad from dinner last week.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Knitting meme

Thanks so much for the tag Caitlyn! You really made my day when I saw this! Here it goes...

What's Your All Time Favorite Yarn To Knit With? Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino or Rowan Cashsoft.

Your Favorite Needles? I've recently discovered Addi Turbo circulars and have been buying them as I need them for each project. I used to use Susan Bates Silvalume circulars but the cords drive me nuts! I use circulars for just about everything.

The Worst Thing You've Ever Knit? That would have to be the sweater I attempted to knit for myself in college. It was a Plymouth pattern using Plymouth Encore yarn, so out of style now (and probably then)! It was my first attempt at any pattern and I never finished it because once I finished the back, the sweater was way too long and I didn't feel like redoing it so I never finished it.

I just finished a sweater (Accordion) for my son out of 3 unused skeins from that project so it feels good to at least use the yarn for something! I hate not finishing projects...

Your Most Favorite Knit Pattern? (Maybe You Don't Like Wearing It, But It Was The Most Fun To Knit) Probably the Fair Isle Top by Debbie Bliss I recently finished for my daughter. I used Rowan Cashsoft DK and I loved the way the colors looked together and the way the yarn felt. It was my first project with more than one color and I loved fair isle! I'm really proud of the way it turned out and loved knitting it (although I didn't enjoy weaving in all those ends!).

Most Valuable Knitting Technique? I guess knitting in the round since I don't particularly enjoy seaming.

Best Knit Book or Magazine? I don't have much of a collection yet but I'm hoping to get some good books and magazines for Christmas. I just bought Knit It! the other day and enjoyed it a lot. They had an interesting article about knitting helmetliners for soldiers, which you'll hear more about later this week!

Favorite Knit-A-Long? I haven't done any yet but hope to soon!

Your Favorite Knitblogs? I'm relatively new to this but my favorites are Brynne, Jes (my best friend), Amy, Chrissy and Caitlyn.

Your Favorite Knitwear Designer? So far I've mostly knit Debbie Bliss patterns because her books are so pretty and I usually like a lot of the designs in one book. I've sat in Barnes & Noble for hours in front of the knitting section and so many patterns are so out of date. That's why I love these blogs so much, I love getting ideas from what everyone else is knitting. Hopefully I'll be able to branch out from the Debbie Bliss patterns soon :)

The Knit Item You Wear Most Often? I haven't knit anything for myself yet but my son often wears the Sweater with Ribbed Yoke by none other than Debbie Bliss! Now I tag Jes....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Next project idea...

I need your advice. I've wanted to make the Cable Hooded Jacket from Debbie Bliss Cotton Knits for a long time but don't want to shell out over $100 for the yarn. The pattern calls for 21 balls of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK (100% cotton, 5 st./inch #6 needles, 50g/95y). I found Jo Sharp Soho Summer on WEBS and was wondering if it would make a good substitution? It's much cheaper and I was thinking I could hint to MIL that this would be a nice Christmas present. Any other suggestions for an inexpensive cotton yarn? I love cotton yarns. I'm fairly new to knitting so I haven't used many yarns and it can be hard to just order something off the internet without having put my hands on it. My LYS never seems to have what I want in stock (or enough of it). I'll post more about our Halloween once I get the pictures off my camera. It wasn't the greatest but I think I at least got some cute pictures of Claire (James absolutely refused to wear his costume).