30 December 2006

Hand Sewn, or why I knit

See that stitching? That's why I don't sew. Oh, and also because I hate it. I envy people who love to sew and can create beautiful garments in an afternoon (you should see the gems my friend Marianne makes) but I can't stand it.


What's that? Yes, it's another finished holiday knit! This is the Child's Rainbow Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. This scarf is for my step-mom.

There's no natural light at 3am.

Pattern: Child's Rainbow Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Noro Kureyon
Colors: 2 balls of 102, 1 ball each of 194 & 148
Needles: US9, bamboo
Time to complete: About a week or so
Modifications: I cast on 47 stitches instead of 23 and used 4 ball of yarn instead of 2. I don't know how long it is, I just knit until I ran out of yarn.


This is why I love my landlord. Another reason is that when he came to change the batteries in all the smoke detectors (!), he brought his son, Diego, so I could see the sweater I'd made on a real live by. The first picture isn't the best of the boys but the sweater looks great...




And last but not least I had to show you the stitch markers I purchased for my Yarn Aboard pal. Mostly because I want to keep them but if I show them to you then I'll have to send them. They're from a Girl Gone Mod over at Ewe Hoo!

Picture 1

I lied about the last comment before. It's finally snowing! Not dusting, light sprinkle, doesn't want to stick around snow but honest to goodness winter time in Vermont snow. I'm excited now but it'll wear off as soon as I have to go dig my car out. Scout knows what I'm talkin' about.

27 December 2006

Yarn Aboard!

Leif Erikson is here! The Yarn Aboard package made it's way to my house and it was filled with goodies from Manda.


Leif started in Louisiana and has travelled as far as Iceland.


Can you imagine how excited I was when I opened the box to find this?


Here we have super yummy peppermint bark (already gone), homemade stitch markers, needle holders, a black sheep tape measure, two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in Somerset, a whopping skein of Trekking XXL in color 134 and last, but not least, a reindeer with peppermint candies for my daughter.


You need a close up of these beautiful handmade stitch markers from Manda.


I am so amazed by this thoughtful package. Elah was so excited that there was something in one of my secret pal packages for her; she's been sleeping with the reindeer and refusing to eat the candy because she wants to save it. Manda also sent me the lovely red card you see in the previous post and a picture of a building in Dallas. Thank you.

I have almost everything I want to put into the box for the next recipient. Next stop - Brooklyn!

24 December 2006

SP Thank You

As I mentioned in my previous post, I received a package from my SP and the Yarn Aboard package on the same day. These are the two cards I found in the packages; the blue one is from my SP.

I've always been lucky with the SPs I've been paired with and this round is no exception. I don't know much about her, except that she's in Florida (hey, I'll be there in Feb/March!), and that she is extremely generous and thoughtful.

Here you see two yarns, Butterfly mercerized cotton and Katia Sevilla, two tree ornaments (my daughter was thrilled), a snowman notepad, snowman playing cards, letter E post-it notes, and a mystery pink bag.

Look, Knitting Nature! I am super excited about this book and think I'll make the mittens first. She also sent some cute note cards, a patter for those two yarns in the previous picture, and, mystery revealed, the pink bag is for storing needles.

I love everything in this package! I'm excited about the yarn and pattern she sent me as it's something I would not choose for myself; in my experience those are some of the best projects. A special thank you to my SP for yet another thoughtful, beautiful package and a thank you too to her ten year old boy who packaged it up for me.

Happy to Christmas to those who are celebrating. I'm piking Elah up from her dad's at one and we're driving to upstate NY to visit my dad, brother and sister. We'll have our holiday celebration with my mom, step-mom, sister (again) and cousin on January 6th. The nice thing about doing it late is that I have time to finish my knitting.

21 December 2006


Today is awesome! I just went to my post office because I haven't checked mt mail in a couple of days. Imagine my excitement when I found that there were three packages awaiting me. I received a package from my Secret Pal, one from Yarn Aboard and one from my father and stepmother in Idaho. I'll be taking some pictures later and posting all about it. Needles to say I spent most of my morning at work opening presents.

15 December 2006


So, as you may know I joined my first KAL. I started with the Norwegian mitten pattern from EZ's Knitter's Almanac, using Knit Picks Telemark. The first mitten is OK but there were some things I learned along the way and some changes I wanted to make. I rewrote the pattern a little so that the thumb come from the side of the mitten rather than the palm and changed my color scheme. Don't get me wrong, I liked the old colors but my cousin is a HUGE LSU fan and I think he'd rather have a completely different color scheme rather than one that was kinda like LSU's.

The old mitten (the color is most accurate in the cuff picture):
norwegian_old_back norwegian_old_front

The new mitten:

Holiday knitting would go much faster if I'd stop miking myself socks... I just cast on for Monkey.

10 December 2006

Rainbow Brite

Remember when I started these? Well, a desire to ignore my holiday knitting and watching Reba burn though a pair of awesome socks made me want to pick them up again.

Pattern: Standard toe up, short row sock.
Yarn: Regia Nation, 2 skeins (I still have one left for Elah's socks)
Color: Fun
Source: Somewhere on the interwebs
Needles: USo Addi Turbo, US1 Inox Grey, US3 Addi Turbo
Time to complete: 3 months

A note about the needle sizes used: I knit two socks at once on a long US1 circ then did the ribbing, one sock at a time, on two US0 circs. I used the US3 for my cast off.

A note about toe up: I used the Turkish toe up found at misocrafty. She also has some other great sock knitting resources.

I love these socks and I am totally wearing them to work tomorrow. Soon I'll have some info about the colorwork KAL I joined and my lack of holiday knitting progress.

01 December 2006

You Will Be Mine

I saw these over at Cara's and I am in love. These are my favorites:
Mr Mummy
Jo Ninja
Judo Sensei
Lover Boy
The Zombie
Monkey King
Safety Boy
Cave Boy
Witchy Woman

Like I need more kitsch but it can't be helped.

30 November 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Your Birthdate: November 30

You have the type of personality that people either love or hate.
You're opinionated, dramatic, intense, and very outspoken.
And some people can't get enough of you - they're totally addicted.
Others, well, they wish you were a little more reserved.

Your strength: Your flair

Your weakness: If you think it, you say it

Your power color: Scarlet red

Your power symbol: Inverted triangle

Your power month: March
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

I woke up this morning and found this on the computer. That Grayson sure is sweet. Note that he used the ESPN font; he cannot leave sports alone for even two minutes.

23 November 2006


Tis makes me so confused. I found these ladies sprites on myspace, I don't know what to do with this new found knowledge. I might have to reexamine how I make fun of renaissance fairs.

19 November 2006

Thank You, Part Deux

How effing awesome is that? I got another package from my Secret Pal (so soon after the first!). This one was so fun because everything was individually wrapped, it was like Christmas time. The clouds even parted for a few brief moments so I could photograph everything.

Here's what we've got: A lovely card Honestly, the hand written notes might be my favorite part), Gloves In A Bottle (which I've already used multiple time this weekend), a Burt's Bees Tips & Toes kit, Lovely blank note cards, a felted hot pad pattern (yes, SP, I do like to felt!), a Clover yarn cutter pendant, a skein of Lamb's Pride Burly Spun (in my favorite color),
Vogue Knitting's Stichionary 2 (now I have all 3, see below)
and some black and orange tea lights. I love knitting books, some might say it's unhealthy, I say that when I die every knitter in town will love me because they'll all go straight to the library. I am so excited about the Stitchionary, I've poured over a few time already.

This package was so fun! (I've got to lay off the exclamation points) The felted hot pad pattern calls for the burly spun but I might want to use this skein as the starting point for that jacked from Vogue Knitting (winter 04/05) I've been wanting to make ...

What's Up?

Here's a little knitting update for you. I can't stop buying books.

I also have two more on the way, Magnificent Mittens and Sweater Workshop. Seriously, my books are starting to compete for space with my yarn. I don't know what to do, I feel like I'm torn between my two favorite children...

I've also been trying to practice my color work (with a color in each hand) since I've never done it before and I want to make Grayson a pair of Komi mittens for Solstice. The following examples are with Telemark. First I made a felted java jacket (the second picture has the most accurate color).

And for a swatch I made a mini-thumbless-mitten.

I like the yarn (not the color combo) but I might want to use a yarn that's a little finer. My gauge was 6 sts/1 in and I'd like it to be at least 8.

I also made this hat (wool/angora) for Elah earlier in the fall. It made from yarn by a local hand spinner. I actually saw her today at the big local craft fair and while I didn't buy any yarn I did buy a spectacular green Tara (pics soon).

Finally a picture of the stalled Print O' The Wave stole. Catherine's birthday is in February so I think that's when she'll get the stole. I think I'll make her a pair of Fetching for Solstice. The yarn is Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor.

11 November 2006

More FOs

Two more hats for kids with whom we carpool. I didn't give the green & black hat a pom pom because I figured that any 7 year old who sings Ramones tunes and scribbles anarchy symbols on his homeowkr wouldn't be into them. The colors in the photo are a little off.

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky
Color: I have the ball bands but the colors are numbers so I have no idea.
Source: Creative Habitat
Needles: US7, bamboo
Time to complete: Each hat takes about 3 hours, one was knit Wednesday and one Thursday.

A holiday FO! This one's for my mom. She's not very girly (how many female plumbers do you know who are?) but I wanted to give her something she could use and that was still feminine. One of the best parts? I has the yarn in my stash.

Pattern: Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style
Yarn: Cascade 220
Color: I don't know he ball band was lost to the stash.
Needles: US7, bamboo
Time to complete: If I kept a knitter's journal I might know that.

Print O' The Wave update: My stepmom's birthday is in February and the way my homework has been going it looks like that may be when she gets the stole. I think I'll knit her Connemara (look in the sidebar for the pattern) for the holidays.

10 November 2006

Old Skool

I love it when crafty people come up with new ways to use old materials. Case in point.

08 November 2006

My Soundtrack

I saw this over at Crafty Brainwave and it seemed like it could be fun (or embarrasing if I got all my crappy, guilty pleasure music). It did make me realize how varied my musical tastes are and I was surprised that no reggae came up since I have a ton.

If your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?

here's how it works:
1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every question, type the song that's playing
5. new question-- press the next button
6. don't lie and try to pretend you're cool

opening credits:
"Slowly We Rot (Reissue)" Obituary

waking up:
"Never Stop" The Brand New Heavies

first day at school:
"Sure Shot (Cut Chemist Remix)" Beastie Boys

falling in love:
"You Turn Me On I'm A Radio" Joni Mitchell

breaking up:
"Booty" Erykah Badu

"Right Here" Little Brother, Median & Symbolyc One & Illmind

life's okay:
"Beautiful Life" Esthero

mental breakdown:
"The Grind Date" De La Soul

"Kese Kese" dj Cheb i Sabbah

"Adia" Sarah McLachlan

getting back together:
"Violin Concerto No. 3 in G, K. 216: I. Allegro" Anne-Sophie Mutter & London Philharmonic Orchestra (Mozart)

"Heartburn" Alicia Keys

birth of child:
"Blue Lou" Duke Ellington

final battle:
"Mano De Mano" Corrosion Of Conformity

death scene:
"He Comes" De La Soul & Ghostface Killah

funeral song:
"Goodbye" Marco Beltrami

end credits:
"Heaven Sent" Donnie

06 November 2006

Update & Thank You

First I need to say thank you to my Secret Pal for sending me a beautiful skein of yarn.

The yarn is Winter Vacation in Tahiti, handspun superwash kona merino by Perchance to Knit. The yarn is beautiful! It's going to take a lot of self control to finish my holiday knitting and do my homework before I cast on with this lovely yarn. It also came with a lovely little stitch marker and a card wishing me an early happy birthday.

My SP must be psychic because I've been on a pink and orange kick. I made a pair of leg warmers for Elah (sorry, no pic) and then made an ear flap hat with the left over yarn.

Elah loves the hat and I love that it only took me a couple of hours to knit.

Pattern: My own, thank you very much.
Yarn: Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky
Source: The Knitting Studio (be patient, their web site is new)
Needles: Denise, US10 16"
Size: I don't know, big enough to fit Elah
Time to finish: 2 or 3 hours

Notes: This yarn is super soft and a pleasure to knit with after working with lace weight. If you're not allergic to alpaca go get some! The pattern was fairly straightforward. I cast on the ear flaps and increased until I reached the desired size, then I cast on for the hat. After I knit it I did some internet poking around and discovered that most patterns call for you to pick up stitches from he finished hat to knit the ear flaps - what a pain in the ass. I also added I-cord ties and lots of pom poms because Elah loves them.

And finally a note about The Knitting Studio. I often find yarn store folks (at least locally) to be kinda rude and generally unhelpful. There's one store I don't go to if I can help it and another where I cross my fingers and hope the nice girl is working. The women at The Knitting Studio were awesome! They were friendly, funny and sweet. I also saw a woman come in with some questions and one of the women working at the shop was excited (!) to sit down and help her figure it out. It's a half an hour drive but I will definitely be going back.

I feel like I haven't had any time to knit but maybe that's not entirely true. Still to come, picture of Print O' The Wave in progress, another completed hat and a completes Backyard Leaves scarf. I've also done a little on Forbes Forest but that's a back burner project.

31 October 2006

Quick Update

Just a quick update - I'm still alive but my car died :(

I've been trying to navigate homework, parenting, car shopping (and loan shopping) and supporting my stepmother while she went through an unexpected surgery and now, her recovery.

I have managed to knit jus a little and I promise that soon you will see a proper post from me.

Happy Hallowe'en!
(Does anyone know why Halloween used to be spelled like that, with the weird little apostrophe?)

08 October 2006

Secret Pal 9

So I was going to sit out this round of SP but this one contains my birthday and I couldn't pass it up.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I prefer natural fibers and have been wanting to try some silk. I’m not a big acrylic fan (the squeak of it across the needles *shiver*) buy feel is more important than content.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a needle case, the top drawer of a yarn trunk and a vase.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I’ve been knitting about 2 1/2 years; I’d rate myself as intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, it’s here.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I’m not s huge Yanke Candle fan but I do love the sage and citrus scent. I also like nag champa, white musk from the Body Shop, I like lavender, I like Skin Trip coconut lotion because it reminds me of my mom when I was a kid and sandalwood.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes, I like milk chocolate, almost anything with nuts, good coffee (straight joe, not flavored).

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Well, after work, parenting, and homework the only DIY thing I can manage is dragging my ass to bed. I don’t spin and I am a beginning crochetier.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like everything, well everything that doesn't suck. But seriously Fear Factor to Common, Amiel to Emmy Lou Harris, Nikka Costa to Super Cat, Miles Davis to Stereolab, Chromeo to Coal Chamber - I like it all. Yes my computer can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Orange is my favorite color but I don't think my own coloring lends to my being able to really wear it. There aren't really colors I don't like except maybe dusty rose and anything da-glo.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm single with a daughter who is 6 and a 19-year old cousin who also lives with us. We have 1 indoor cat. I have a lot of family and good friends in the area.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I actually wear all of them, the ponchos I wear (I only have 2) are more like plain wraps sewn up on one side.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I don’t really have anything that I love above all else or anything that I abhor.

13. What are you knitting right now?
I have a pair of socks, 2 scarves, a hat and a possible sweater on the needles.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
That’s a little personal don’t you think? I mean we just met.
It really depends on the project, they all have their pros and cons.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yay! I do now.

17. How did you learn to knit?
My gramdmother’s friend taught me when I was a kid and I promptly put down my needles to go play in the dirt, I picked it up again when I was pregnant and knit 1 and 1/2 squares of a 9 square blanket and abandon it again. About two and a half years ago I picked up a book and got together with some knitters and have been obsessive ever since.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
About a year old.

19. What is your favorite holiday?
Winter Solstice because we all get together to hang out, open gifts, and eat my mom's yummy grits for breakfast.

20. Is there anything that you collect?
I try not to do a ton of collecting because I have enough stuff but anything that catches my eye has the potential, I like dark woods, boxes, random trinkets from India, and I could go on and on, it's more about the item than the completion of or addition to a collection. The closest I come are items related to goddesses and female saints.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I’ve rated my books by preference on my Amazon wish list. I have a subscription to Craft.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Not that I can think of.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, I have huge feet; 8.5 in. around the ball of my foot and 10 in. from tow to heel.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

25 September 2006

Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet

At this height, Kansas
is just a concept,
a checkerboard design of wheat and corn

no larger than the foldout section
of my neighbor's travel magazine.
At this stage of the journey

I would estimate the distance
between myself and my own feelings
is roughly the same as the mileage

from Seattle to New York,
so I can lean back into the upholstered interval
between Muzak and lunch,

a little bored, a little old and strange.
I remember, as a dreamy
backyard kind of kid,

tilting up my head to watch
those planes engrave the sky
in lines so steady and so straight

they implied the enormous concentration
of good men,
but now my eyes flicker

from the in-flight movie
to the stewardess's pantyline,
then back into my book,

where men throw harpoons at something
much bigger and probably
better than themselves,

wanting to kill it, wanting
to see great clouds of blood erupt
to prove that they exist.

Imagine being born and growing up,
rushing through the world for sixty years
at unimaginable speeds.

Imagine a century like a room so large,
a corridor so long
you could travel for a lifetime

and never find the door,
until you had forgotten
that such a thing as doors exist.

Better to be on board the Pequod,
with a mad one-legged captain
living for revenge.

Better to feel the salt wind
spitting in your face,
to hold your sharpened weapon high,

to see the glisten
of the beast beneath the waves.
What a relief it would be

to hear someone in the crew
cry out like a gull,
Oh Captain, Captain!
Where are we going now?

© Tony Hoagland

24 September 2006

Where is Emily?

I have been crazy busy with work and school and parenting so not much knitting has been happening around here. I've knit a few more rows on the Rainbow Brite socks and cast on a hat with some Fun With Yarn for a quick project but that's it. Once I get whip my schedule ino submission (or forsake responsibility for knitting) you'll be hearing from me.

15 September 2006

Christmas in October

The President of the college where I work sent this to me today, I told him I needed a raise...

Small Dog Electronics, New England'’s premier Apple Computer Specialist and a top five Apple Specialist in the USA, announces the opening of its first retail store in Chittenden County, located at 100 Dorset Street in South Burlington, one of New England'’s most popular shopping destinations. This will be Small Dog Electronics flagship retail operation, and will offer an unprecedented Apple Computer shopping, service, and education experience. The retail store plans to open in mid-October of 2006.

In blogging news, this is my 200th post! I will celebrate by eating cake at Elah's 6th birthday party tomorrow.

12 September 2006

Sheep & Wool 06

The VT Sheep & Wool festival was this weekend and I went with some fellow knitters. Go check out some pictures here:

I purchased 1 skein f yarn while I was there, 500 yards of an 80 wool, 20 nylon sock yarn from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm. She also has straight wool, wool/tencel blends and wool/silk blends displayed on a wall of socky goodness.

Emily Stoneking was home sick and we all missed her very much.


06 September 2006

Burn Your Bra

OK, so it's not a bra for Barbie nor Betty Boop. I'm knitting toe up socks with Regia Nation Fun. I don't know where I'll wear them; I must be having some kind of weird 1984 Rainbow Brite flashback. My original plan was to knit the 3 skeins I have until I ran out of yarn and hope it was enough for knee highs but Elah loves them so much I'll use 2 skeins for my ginormous feet and 1 skein for her.

School's started and my knitting is suffering but I hope to be done with these soon. In the mean time go check out the socks Jared just finished; I am totally in love (with the socks). Also go check out Cara, I'm pretty sure she's responsible for my knee high obsession.


02 September 2006

New Beginnings

So Scatter's been scrapped for now; she too short and too wide. I should have realized the problem earlier (and indeed did) but I was hoping against hope that the situation would magically rectify itself. I know better and have no one to blame but myself. I will reknit it eventually but not quite yet.

To make myself feel better I cast on a new project, can you guess what it is? *Hint: It's not a bikini for Barbie.


PS Did you listen to Cast-On this week? The intro if effing high-larious.

30 August 2006


Here's that Scatter progress shot I promised. It's not the greatest picture but you get the idea. I'm loving the pattern and the yarn; hopefully I'll be done by the weekend.


29 August 2006

The Big Reveal

Yesterday I received the final package from my Secret Pal. I was amazed at the plethora of great gifts and totally stunned that she managed to be such a great pal through a very chaotic summer.

Without further ado:

Look, not only did she wrap everything (just like Solstice!), she even matched the tissue paper to the card - amazing.

Lemon parsley anti-bacterial hand gel and lavender mint hand lotion.

Mmmm, hot cocoa mix, perfect for these rainy days we've been having.

I think the only material thing I love more than shoes is yarn; this notepad is perfect.

Chocolate covered sunflower seeds (already hidden from my daughter) and strawberry Pocky (which I will share).

Caffeine, my drug of choice.

Little Savory Bites crackers - these are already gone.

And last but certainly not least, 320 yards of beautiful orange yarn hand spun by my Secret Pal especially for me! I am so touched that someone would take the time to do this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Finally, I know you're all asking who the fantabulous SP is............it's Carla from My Little Tribe. Stop by her blog and say hello, get a good dose of liberal activism and learn how to make yogurt.

Thank you again, Carla, I love everything.

In other knitting news I've been working on Scatter and will post a progress shot soon. I'm a little worried that I might not have enough yarn but I always worry about that so I am choosing to trust the designer. I didn't work on it yesterday but pick it up every chance I get and just reached the neck shaping.