Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Trapper Hat

Pattern: Trapper Hat from Vogue Knitting (Winter 05/06) Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky (polar bear 04) Needles: Size US13 Clover Bamboo Circs. (yuck - but I already had them) and US13 Crystal Palace DPNs Comments: I love it! It's a big bulky hat and will definitely keep me warm. I actually wore it today even though it was only in the 40s. The pattern was written strangely IMO but I made it through. It started out with crochet instructions which was like reading a foreign language. A quick Google search had me on my way, albeit grumbling a bit that I had to crochet. The Clover needles were miserable to work with, I actually got a splinter from them! But I've spent enough money on my knitting habit lately and I doubt I will need US13 needles often so I used what I had. Boy, my arms are sore from using bulky yarn on huge crappy needles. It took a lot more physical strength than my usual knitting. It probably took about 3-4 hours to complete, not bad!

Monday, January 30, 2006

My new toy...

I finally got the ballwinder that I ordered from Joann's with a 50% off coupon a few weeks ago. The total came to only $24.09 and that includes shipping & tax. I thought that was pretty good. My son loved the yarn cakes and so did his army man.... The balls turned out HUGE! But it was so much easier than winding it by hand, and more fun too! I'm not sure who had more fun...build a tower... then knock it down...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

One Koigu sock finished!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was great! We got a lot accomplished, mostly cleaning, I finished another curtain and we knocked out a window and replaced it with a door to our new screen room... I finished a Koigu sock. It fits perfectly and there's only a tiny ball left. I really thought I was going to run out of yarn. I think turning the heel was my favorite part. I can see why socks are so addicting. I went from the smallest size needles I own to the biggest (US1 to US13). I started the Trapper Hat from the Winter 05/06 Vogue Knitting magazine. I LOVE the Blue Sky Alpaca yarn, it is so soft. But knitting bulky yarn on such large needles is killing my hands. I learned how to do a felted join which is the most exciting thing I've ever learned! The less ends to weave in the better. I can't even find where on the hat the join is! And I'm really loving the hat, I hope it stays cold enough to wear it...ok, not really, I'm ready for warm weather! The hat can wait to be worn until next year. Since I started the post with baby cuteness...I thought I'd end it with puppy cuteness...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lesson Learned

Yesterday, I was enjoying a quiet moment of knitting mid-day when the kiddies were behaving themselves. I thought my son was falling asleep next the couch since he was being quiet but instead, he was "painting" with Balmex. Needless to say, I now know better than to assume the best. So here is my sock as of yesterday: And today: Do you think I'm going to make it? I'm not so sure, I don't know what I'm going to do if I run out of yarn. I don't know if I have the strength to frog them back. The good news is they fit wonderfully! I am so much happier than I am with my first pair of socks. They were too short so I made these longer but now I may not have enough yarn. Eek! And you won't believe it, but I got the replacement yarn from Knit Happens today! I got an e-mail back from them an hour after I let them know about the mistake and my UPS man showed up with the yarn this morning. I couldn't believe it, awesome! It is gorgeous and so soft, I can't wait to start the hat. I don't usually wear hats but it is just so me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I'm crushed...

My favorite person in the entire World came today (the UPS man). You know that exited feeling you get when you open a package? The anticipation of getting to touch the yarn you've only seen online. Well, it all came to a screeching halt today when I opened the package to find this: The yarn is so soft and I absolutely love it and can't wait to cast on for this hat. The only problem, it's not the right color! Clearly, this yarn is not white. So much for wearing the hat this winter :( At least I love the yarn and I really can't wait to make this hat. This is the first time I've ordered from this store so we'll see how their customer service is. I have a feeling I'm not going to have a problem, but I'm just disappointed to have to wait longer to start this project.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Well, I've decided to go out on a limb and join sockapaloooza! I'm really excited. I wasn't going to join but it seems like everyone is doing it so why shouldn't I. And yes, if everyone jumped off a cliff so would I. It looks like fun, I can't wait to find out what kind of socks my sock pal wants. It should be fun to knit socks that are fun to knit but I might not make for myself. Yay! I've been stalking the mailman and it's just not healthy. I have 2 knitting-related packages on their way and I just can't stand the wait any longer. I've also started knitting bunny rabbits from Debbie Bliss' Special Knits. I'm doing one pink one for my daughter and a blue one for my son for Easter. They're fun but I get irritated making lots of small pieces that need to be sewn together so I'll work on them a little bit at a time. And my hate of sewing brings me to my next topic. I was working on my curtains again and as always I was cutting corners, trying to speed things along, so I didn't pin the lining to the fabric as I was sewing the side seams. Well, the first side went fine and when I got to the bottom of the 2nd side, the lining ended up 1/2 inch below the front. Not good. So now I have to rip it all out with a dull seam ripper and I'm farther behind on them than when I woke up this morning, don't you love those kinds of days?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

First FO of 2006!

Pattern: Picovoli by Grumperina Yarn: KnitPicks Shine in Blush Needles: US5 Addi Turbo 24" circulars Comments: First and foremost, I love the pattern. It was easy to follow and made a beautiful tank. This is the first garment I've knit for myself. Even though I knit swatches, the top ended up being a little too large (as you can see in the pictures). It grew a little after I washed it (machine washed and dried on low) and I used size 5 needles because I was initially worried it would be too small. When I put it flat on the table, it looked square (almost wider than it is tall). Even though I've had 2 kids, I'm definitely not wider than I am tall! I'm thinking of doing this pattern again with the Elsbeth Lavold Cotton Patine yarn I got for Christmas. The changes I would make if I knit it again would be to use size 4 needles and I would do some type of ribbing around the collar, sleeves and bottom because the rolling drives me nuts.

Friday, January 20, 2006

4 Things Meme

Since I don't have much to show you as far as knitting, Lisa from Yarn Botanika tagged me with this meme so here it goes... 4 Jobs You Have Had In Your Life: 1. Usher at an Opera House (I showed people to their seats - 1st job in high school) 2. eBay Seller 3. Secretary at a Law Firm 4. Stay-at-home mom of 2 4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over: 1. Meet the Parents 2. Office Space 3. Toy Story 4. Dave 4 Places You Have Lived: I've always lived in Maryland! 4 TV Shows You Love To Watch: 1. Desperate Housewives 2. CSI 3. Project Runway 4. American Idol 4 Places You Have Been On Vacation: 1. Greece 2. Disney World 3. Hawaii 4. San Francisco 4 Websites You Visit Daily: 1. Google 2. Bloglines 3. Fark 4. Gmail 4 Of Your Favorite Foods: 1. Japanese Steak House 2. Cookie Dough 3. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream 4. Jelly Beans 4 Places You'd Rather Be Right Now: 1. In bed 2. On a warm beach 3. Knitting anywhere 4. Disney World 4 Bloggers You Are Tagging: Anyone who is up for it! (p.s. Finished Picovoli coming soon...)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I realized I never formally posted a FO report for Sharfik, so here it is! Pattern: Sharfik by Grumperina Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft Aran (I think it was color #3 Mole - olive green/med. brown color) Needles: Size US7 Addi Turbo 24" circulars Comments: I loved making this pattern. It was interesting enough to be fun to knit but easy enough to memorize after just one repeat. I used Grumperina's tutorial on how to knit without a cable needle which was also really helpful. I always end up loosing the cable needle in the couch so this was a great technique to learn and made the scarf easy to take with me. The Cashsoft Aran was great to work with, very soft and cuddly and showed the cables beautifully. I made it longer than the 53" that the pattern calls for. I completely used up 5 balls including the fringe. I just kept knitting until I thought it was long enough. I'm not sure how long it ended up being, I forgot to measure it before giving it as a gift to my father for Christmas. He seemed to really like it and I saw him wearing it the other day! I am extremely pleased with how the scarf turned out.

Monday, January 16, 2006

My trip to Grandma's house...

Well, our electricity is back on so I'm in a better mood today! Once we got the generator up and running things weren't so bad. The house already has a generator hook-up outside that turns on the entire house, so I get the feeling this happens often around here. Anyway, we got the heat on and it was actually rather comfortable last night and when we woke up the electricity was back on. We had a fun trip but it was thoroughly exhausting. It was just me, my mom and the 2 kids. The hardest part was loading and unloading the car over and over. We broke up the trip and stopped at my aunt's house both ways which was nice that the driving wasn't too long (about 6 hours each segment) but we would have to pack everything up every time. It didn't seem like we had enough time to get everything done. As soon as we would get somewhere it was time to leave again. But it was well worth all the trouble so my grandmother could see the kids. My grandmother went with me on our yarn-hunt. Our first stop was Charlotte Yarnwhich was my favorite and the only place I actually purchased anything (I know, I have amazing restraint). They had a great selection of yarn, all my favorites brands. The staff was really friendly and the prices were good. I got 2 hanks of Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton (pale yellow and pale blue), a bottle of Euclan and folding scissors (since my son has been emptying my knitting bag a lot lately I needed something child-proof). Then, we went to Sewing Bird. It was also a nice store with a good selection. I really didn't have any projects in mind and I'm not much of a "stash" person so I enjoyed just browsing and feeling all the different brands. And lastly we visited Stitch Fine Yarns. It was a beautiful store and in a gorgeous up-scale building. They also seemed to have a good selection but was a little pricey, probably because of the location. But a beautiful store nonetheless. And here's my Koigu sock. As you can see, not a whole lot of progress. I really didn't get any knitting done on the trip since I hardly had a chance to sit down! I'm not sure about the fit, my guage is off I think but they are 9" around as the pattern states. But I didn't realize when I looked at the pattern that the finished size is 9" around which is the size of my ankle. I think there should be 1" of negative ease, is that right? So I may frog this and start over with a few less stitches if I can figure out what that magic number is. I started with 72 stitches on size US1 DPNs. I'm getting about 17 stitches for 2" so I should cast on 68 stitches to get 8"? Any suggestions welcome! I seem to have trouble with socks.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I'm Home!!!

I just got home a few hours ago, only to return to a house with no electricity. We finally got the generator hooked up which is why I'm able to tell you about it. Apparently we've been out about 24 hours, and it's freezing outside! I've heard this has happened before in our neighborhood and it took a week for BGE to come out to fix it (which was just a breaker that took 5 minutes to fix). So, I'm very thankful that my in-laws have a generator we are able to use so I can sleep in my own bed tonight :) I have 344 blogline messages to catch up on! I'll write more about our trip soon, including my visits to 4 North Carolina yarn shops.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

More picovoli...

I've made some progress on Picovoli, I'm almost done with the waist decreases. I tried it on again to check the fit and it seems like it'll be perfect! Also, as you can see I finally have a gallery of my completed objects. And I also added progress bars so you can see what I'm working on. Well, I don't have much more news to report. I'm heading to the Carolinas tomorrow to visit my grandmother and aunt. I'm taking the kids with me and leaving hubby behind. My mother is also going. So it should be interesting. Hopefully I'll get a lot of knitting done but I have a feeling I won't have much down time between chasing the kids around. I've already mapped out a few yarn stores I plan to visit. There are 3 yarn stores within 5 miles of my grandmother (she's in Charlotte, NC). So wish me luck, I'll be gone all week and I'll update you all as soon as I get home :)

Friday, January 06, 2006

A few random things...

Here is the amazing hand-knit Christmas gift I received from my best friend, Jes. It's an intarsia baby blanket made with KnitPicks Shine yarn. It is so soft, I love the colors and it's even machine washable! Her room has colored squares painted on the walls so it also matches that. I knew she was knitting something for me but I had no idea what! I was so excited when I saw the blanket, it's absolutely gorgeous! She also got me two hanks of pink Manos Cotton Stria and a basket full of homemade cookies, pancake mix and a little knit sweater ornamenet. And I finally have a swift. Now hubby doesn't have to hold the yarn while I wind it, I'm sure he's very grateful for that! (Remember the knotted mess the last time he "helped"). My grandmother-in-law had it and wasn't using it so I scooped it up. I'd really like a ball winder but on our very limited budget I'd much rather buy yarn! Do you think someone still wants to be the baby?

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I re-sewed the zipper on and Accordion is officially finished! Pattern: Accordion from Knitty Yarn: Plymouth Encore Yarn (left-over from an abandoned sweater I knit in college) Needles: US7 Addi Turbo 24" circulars Comments: Another great Knitty pattern, I didn't make any changes. The only difficulty I had was sewing on the zipper and finding the right length zipper at any local stores. I ended up buying it online at Zipper Stop.

An old FO...

I really need to organize my FO's into a gallery of some sort like I've seen on so many other blogs. I'm all about the knitting, not the finishing so I tend to move on to the next project as soon as I'm done. I just realized I never formally showed off the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Sweater, so here it is: Pattern: Ribbed Sweater by Debbie Bliss from Special Knits Yarn: Rowan (RYC) Cashsoft Aran #02 Foxglove (lilac) Needles: US8 Addi Turbo 24" circulars Comments: I loved knitting this sweater, as I've said before Cashsoft is one of my favorite yarns. It was a quick knit since it is an aran weight on size 8 needles and only needs to be seamed up the sides, which I love. The only thing I should have changed was to add a button hole for the front closure. You're supposed to use a brooch which is probably not the best idea for a baby. My daughter wears it all the time and I just wrap her up in it, which makes it easy as to take on and off when we go in and out of places. Also, the bottom edge rolls a bit since it's just stockinette stitch but I think it would look strange with another sort of edge so I don't mind it. I'm sure some blocking might help but I'm lazy in that area.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Koigu, Koigu, Koigu!!!

I can't say enough about this yarn. My Purl Soho order finally arrived yesterday and the Koigu yarn is yummylicious! It's truly even more beautiful than I had imagined. These photos don't do the yarn justice but here they are anyway. So far I'm following the pattern for Hiumaa Mates (striped socks but I'm not doing the stripes) from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. They're basic socks, 1x1 ribbing at the top and SS stitch for the rest of the sock. I wanted a simple pattern that would show off the color of the yarn. I feel sorry for my other projects, I can't put the Koigu down!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

Ok, I seriously am the biggest dork in the world but I just discovered podcasts today and am so excited I can hardly contain myself. iPods are the best invention ever! I've been downloading knitting podcasts from KnitCast and Cast On all day and will be listening to them on my iPod tomorrow while trying to drown out Barney & Clifford playing in the background. I had a really nice weekend. It's been a while since hubby has had 3 days off in a row! We went to Susquehanna State Park (even though it was raining) on Saturday and the kids had a great time. Of course, Picovoli came along with us (I'm now finished with the bust section). And finally I can post the FO that was MIL's Christmas gift! Pattern: Button Clutch from Fall 2005 issue of Knit It! magazine Yarn: Lion Brand Incredible - 2 balls - "Autumn Leaves" Needles: US7 DPNs and US7 24" Addi Turbo circular Comments: This pattern was really fun. I had some trouble getting started because you cast on at the bottom of the purse and divide the stitches for the front and back and knit in the round. It was really tight and I only had 4 DPNs (and you definitely need 5) so I ended up using my circular as the 5th. I also had trouble with the short row shaping because it is worded strangely and I had no idea what short row shaping was. The purse ended up being a lot smaller than I had imagined (which is my fault because the dimensions are stated in the pattern). I learned a few new techniques like short row shaping and I-cords.