Sunday, December 28, 2008

December Knitting

It was a busy month. Since funds were in short supply, I decided to do some Christmas knitting.

I made these for three of my nieces....

Sweetheart Bag for Audrey

Sweetheart Bag in Lavendar

I found this pattern and thought this would make a cute bag for two of my nieces. I made a larger one for Audrey, which in the picture looks a little wonky, but came out quite nice. The pattern is by JanKnit Designs and can be found for free on her blog.

Sweetheart Bag for Leah

Sweetheart Bag in Pink

Leah's, knit to pattern spec, came out quite cute as well. Both were knit using Cascade 220.

Fingerless Lace Mitts for Kaitlin

Fingerless Lace Mitts

When I was in Idaho, I went to the local yarn store with my MIL Sharon and SIL Kelli. I asked Kelli what colors the girls liked, and found a skein of Brown Sheep Wildfoote that Kaitlin might like. Searching through Ravelry, I found this pattern by Monica Jines. Luckily, I had purchased this pattern previously, and they came out great. When I have time, I want to do a pair for me!

Stella for Mom

Stella for Mom

The pattern is from Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders - one of my favorite series so far. I found some Bernat yarn in my stash in a color I knew Mom would like. It only took a couple days to knit up, the pattern repeat was an easy one to remember. She loved it!

Other things I knitted in the last month.....

Chemo Cap in Sky

Knit Picks Shine Chemo Hat - Sky 2/06

This is a picture of one I did a couple of years ago, but they look the same. This pattern is from Knit Picks, and it is another in an ongoing charity project I have been working on. I completed this on our way home from Idaho.

Funky Little Sack

Funky Little Sack

I thought the name fit. It came out much better than I thought. I didn't use a pattern, instead I'm calling this free form knitting. The beads were purchased at Joann's, as was the yarn which is Bernat Felting Natural Wool.

Half of Starry Starry Night

Starry, Starry Night

My MIL mentioned that she liked these socks. I had knit a pair earlier this summer for someone else. Best of intentions and all that, I finished one in time for Christmas with an IOU for the other after the holidays. I wanted to get the gifts for the girls done, so that took priority. Mom's scarf was started on the trip down to LA, and finished while I was there. Hopefully, I will cast on #2 tomorrow.

Well, that's it for my projects for this year. I hope all of your had a happy holiday with your family and friends. Mom was very happy to have us home for the holidays and we were able to spend some time with friends, which happens far too infrequently.

My best wishes to your and yours for the coming New Year. May it bring hope and prosperity to us all.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Little Malabrigo

It is amazing what you can do with one skein of Malabrigo. I give you Fetching.....

Fetching in Malabrigo

and Chainlink.....

Chain Link in Malagrigo

Fetching is from, but Chainlink is mine. I will post the pattern here soon, so check back.

The colorway is Charrua. I really like it.

When you forget your slippers - knit socks

I was going to bring slippers with me to Idaho, but I forgot. So, I knit a pair of house socks in, like, two days.

Watercolor House Socks

I am not ashamed to admit that I use Red Heart. For things like this, it's wonderful. I can throw them in the wash and not have to think twice. Worn over a pair of knitted wool socks, the feet are toasty warm. And in the long run, they are cheaper than slippers.

Blue & Grey Basic Sock

Regia Basic Sock

What is better for mindless travel knitting than a basic sock? These are made with Regia and I knit them on US 0's - they are the densest socks I have ever knit! They took forever - for me. Now to figure out what I can wear them with.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


AC/DC Dec 2, 2008


AC/DC Dec 2, 2008

In Oakland.

AC/DC Dec 2, 2008

And Angus can still bring the f 'in house down.

AC/DC Dec 2, 2008

And Brian isn't so bad either! To borrow a quote from my sister-in-law - Wicked Awesome. Couldn't hear a damn thing for over an hour, but I would do it again in a heart beat.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in Idaho

This may be our last Thanksgiving in Idaho Falls, but as usual, it was an enjoyable week and I regretted that we had to head home. Yes - I enjoy visiting my in-laws. Now that my Mother-In-Law is retired, they will be moving to milder climes, i.e., no snow.

It was cold, but it didn't snow. We drove straight through, going and coming home. It's cheaper than flying and we don't have to worry about a rental car out of Salt Lake.


One of the things I will miss is our annual trip to Buddy's. We didn't get to do it last year, because we thought they were open on Sunday and thought we would stop by on our way to Salt Lake. Nope.

This year we were going to make a point of going, and bringing home some salad dressing. OMG it is fantastic. I view it as a cross between Italian and Cesar and I could have it everyday. They serve a huge salad with the dressing just dripping and they serve peppers, olives, mozzarella and salami on the side. Yum. Combine that with one of their excellent personal pizza's and you will have a memorable meal. This is a favorite place of my husband's dating back to his days at Pocatello High School. I will miss Buddy's.

The Fountain

I didn't have the chance to drive around town much this time, but I did manage to get a shot of the fountain. It really is a beautiful piece of art, and the only time I get to see it is when icicles are hanging off of it.

Future Stanley Cup Winner

We had a family outing on Saturday. We all went down to the skating rink to support my youngest nephew, Tyson. He will be 4 soon. He is learning to play hockey. He is the one looking at the camera.

Tyson and the bucket

He also needs a bucket to stay upright. However, in practice later in the afternoon, he no longer needed said bucket. It was absolutely adorable. It was amazing that we were all there - Kevin and his two sisters, the kids and Mom and Larry. That's what the holidays are all about. I doubt Tyson will remember, but I will.

I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Cheech & Chong

I was commonly referred to as Miss Goody Two Shoes in High School. Anyone familiar with the Adam Ant song will now the chorus, and that was me. So, some of the Cheech & Chong humor was lost on me at the time, but I have lived vicariously through others, and now appreciate the humor.

They were in Berkeley and we went to see them. We had one interesting thing happen. We were in an older auditorium, and the main breaker went. Tommy came out and tried to calm us down. Someone offered him some weed. He accepted. What little light there was only enhanced the general fog that had taken over the auditorium, if you get what I mean.

If there was ever a time to get a secondary high, this was the night.

They got the lights working again, and Cheech & Chong played out the rest of the act. It was quite fun and now I can take them off my Bucket List.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Filipinio Night at the Warrior's Game

We spent Kevin's Birthday at the Warrior's Game. They lost. But the half time performance was quite fun. The video is the greatest quality, since it was recorded on my Canon Powershot camera. That, and it would seem it was compressed by Flickr. At least you get the general idea.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh So Beautiful Socks

Oh So Beautiful Socks

These were designed by Judy Sumner and I knit them with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the colorway Gold Hill.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Big Zipper in progress

I've hinted at the fact that I do needlework. These elusive creatures come out of hiding every once in a while and taunt me. Making clucking noises and whispering "chicken", I smack them down and show them who's boss.

And if you don't use a skill, you lose it. Nature vs. nurture. Woman vs. fiber.

Big Zipper 1st Update

Doesn't look like much, does it? This is called the Big Zipper, in seven parts, by Bent Creek. The finished dimensions are 21" x 21". I'm stitching in hand, and if you couldn't tell, the whole piece is gridded to match the chart. That took way too long. The finished piece can be found here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Flore Hat

I got this as a kit at Stitches West and had to have it.

Flore Hat

Isn't it adorable! The kit is from a company called Knitwhits. They are awesome. The designer is a Bay Area local and she has some really wonderful creations. I may need to pick up another next time I see the kits!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's a beautiful day.....

I feel like singing. I thought I would be up all night waiting for the outcome, but they called it as soon as the California polls closed, 'cause we're it. We took him over the top.

Now, Alex Ross is the bomb.....

...but the President Elect is fierce! I've been feeling a little funny today. Couldn't quite put my finger on it. Oh, wait, that's what hope feels like. I'd forgotten.

This was a San Diego Comic Con exclusive. Go check out the story and see another great print called Bush Sucking Democracy Dry.

I seem to have an earworm today. Anyone remember the theme from Mighty Mouse? Great, now I can't Andy Kaufman out of my head.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Freedom Socks

To commemorate this particular political season, I made these:

Freedom Socks

The yarn is ONline Linie 3 Supersocke 100, colorway is 836. This is the basic stockinette sock. No muss, no fuss. If I hadn't already voted, I would have worn these to the polling booth.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Red Stripe

Socktober Pair No. 8!!!

Red Stripes Opal Socks

Made it with a day to spare! The joy in knitting a basic sock, is that after a while you don't have to think about what you're doing. You just knit. No cable needles. No rows to count. Just knit, or purl. These were knit using Zwerger Garn Opal Prisma, in a 2x2 rib carried onto the instep and knit on size 1US needles.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Socktober Pair No. 7!!!

Socktober Conwy in White Willow 100% Merino

The yarn is from White Willow. She referred to the colors as Violet, Olive and Silver. She has a shop on Etsy, which is one of my favorites. The pattern is from one of my favorite designer's, Nancy Bush. This is from the Knitting on the Road book, which is one I go back to often. I think this is my third or fourth completed pair from it.

What I love about Nancy's designs, is that they fit my feet quite well. I always get gauge, and typically use the recommended needle size. The finished product is always amazing. If you haven't had the opportunity to knit a Nancy Bush design, I would highly recommend it. The instructions are very well written, and you learn quite a bit when using one of her books.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Socktober Pair No. 6!

Socktober STR RPM

At Stitches West this year, I bought a skein of mill ends Socks That Rock. It saved me a few bucks, so why not. It's a medium weight, which I hadn't tried before. The pattern RPM, from, called for this specific yarn, so I had to do it.

I knit these in 3 days. The pattern is easy to remember. I will no doubt do these again someday, since it was a piece of cake to do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tirzah's Delight

Socktober Pair No. 5!!!

Chewy Spaghetti Tirzah's Delight in Hazy

Pattern is Tirzah's Delight by Heatherly Walker. It came with my shipment of Chewy Spaghetti yarn in the colorway Hazy. I love these socks! I've already worn them too, and they felt great. The pattern was quick and the sock yarn was a heavy fingering weight. I knit them on US2 needles.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Socktober Slippin' Strippin' Socks

Slippin' Strippin' Socks - Laceweight

These are the Slippin' Strippin', highly irritatin', never knittin' socks with lace weight again socks. The pattern is by Tina Lorin and this was part of Sock Madness 2. I like the pattern and I like the look, but the fabric is so thin in places. I used Jojoland Harmony and Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk.

I started these back in April as we were leaving for our Pacific Northwest Cruise. I actually started them on the way to San Francisco, with the grand plan of having them done by the time we got back. Nope.

Another thing I didn't like - all the ends I had to weave in. Every 10 rows, one yarn changed. Ugh.

Hey - they are done. That's something to be happy about. I probably won't wear these much. I just don't see them holding up well.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Socktober Reversai Redo

Technically, I finished these in April, but I did the second sock on smaller needles and like it better. So sock 1 had to be ripped out and redone. It just took for-ev-er!

Socktober - STR Reversai Re-do

Socktober - STR Reversai Redo

Knit in Socks That Rock Lightweight in Lenore. The pattern in Reversai by Janine Le Cras and knit on size 0US! And they're still "roomy". I knit tight too. At least they're wearable now.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Night Movie

Awesome song - and I don't typically like rap. I am for change. I'm for Obama.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In the sky

As I have done many nights this summer, I went out to do some star gazing. This is the first summer in years that I haven't driven to Southern California to see my mother. It's usually on these drives that I get to do some star gazing. The one I always look for is Orion. Sadly, it has eluded me all summer, until tonight.

Orion, the Hunter, is the first constellation that my father taught me. Ever since my Dad passed away, oddly, it has been the first constellation that I usually noticed when I would be out at night and the sky was clear. For a while after he passed, it gave me the feeling that Dad was looking down on me and that everything would be ok.

This summer has been a time of change for me. I guess you could say that I've been hunting for answers, and many times the answers eluded me, much like Orion has this summer. Seeing it tonight was almost a relief. For me it was a sign that things are going to get back on track again.

I've also missed Dad quite a bit over the last few months. There are some things that have happened recently that I would have wanted to talk to him about. Questions that will have to go unanswered. Also, for the first time really, there is something that has happened that I really can't be open to talk about, because of the impact, good and bad, it will have on those I love. That bothers me quite a bit.

For those of you that have been stopping by for a while, you know that I am pretty open about my thoughts. I can't be this time. It's placed me in a position to understand how some things are better left unsaid. Overall, the situation has opened some doors for me to explore different aspects of my life, at the same time having to keep other doors closed. I'm not used to that.

I've gotten to know some different people, and I look forward to the prospect of deeper understanding and mutual growth. The unknown can be scary though.

This is part of the reason that my posts have been so sporadic and not very deep. I retract, become introspective, and isolate myself when I'm feeling especially vulnerable. I'm sure many of you do the same. My self imposed hermitage is hopefully coming to an end.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to those who have been posting comments. The recognition is much appreciated.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Berries Basic Sock

Socktober pair #2!

Socktober - Basic Socks in Red Heart Berries

Should it count if it's Red Heart? Yes, I knit a pair of socks with Red Heart. The reality is I like wearing socks or slippers, or both, in the winter. We have hard wood floors and lousy insulation, and my feet get cold. Do I want to waste good wool yarn on these floors? No. Red Heart wears like iron and I can throw them in the washer AND dryer and not have to think twice about it. Besides, I usually wear a pair of light cotton socks inside the Red Heart socks. Worsted weight socks knit very fast too - another plus.

Again, a basic 2x2 rib pattern continued onto the instep. 2 days start to finish. You have to love it!

Harris Tweed and Socktober

I am officially caught up. I am now officially posting completed items in the month they were completed. I have no more backlogged projects. Yipee!

It is officially Socktober, so my intention this month is to knit lots of socks. Here is pair number 1!

Socktober Harris Tweed Socks in Melienweit Cotton Spirit

When I was visiting the Yarn Boutique earlier this month, my hands discovered this beautiful skein of Melienweit Cotton Spirit and wouldn't let it go. I came home and searched Ravelry until I found a pattern that I could do quickly and would be one that I would enjoy wearing. I came across Harris Tweed, and cast on.

I worked on these socks while I was in Santa Rosa at the Harlot event. I guess these will be my Harlot socks. They took 3 days from start to finish and I can't wait to wear them. No, it isn't cold enough yet!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bath Puff Obsession, and a washcloth for good measure

I blame Carin of Lime N Violet -

Bath Puff

Bath Puff

Bath Puff

The the diagonal

Carin had mentioned a Bath Puff that she had crocheted. I thought, "hey, I could get rid of more of my Sugar n' Cream". Four skeins later, I had three bath puffs and a washcloth. I tried a bath puff and realized that the nylon ones that I can buy in the store for a buck actually work. Maybe I missed something in that "bath" is meant literally. It took 3 days for the thing to dry out naturally and then it was a crusty little rock. Throwing it in the wash, and then the dryer, made it soft and pliable again.

The idea is a great one. The results as far as construction is concerned is just fine. It isn't practical, at least for shower use with bath gel. Here I was hoping that I had found a way to beat the system and use my fiber skills to save myself some money in the long run. Nope, not unless I want to crochet with tulle, and I see no cost savings in that one either.

Oh well. My intentions were good. I look forward to the day I have a tub that is acceptable for a proper soak and I can use one of my eco-friendly bath puffs.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Regia Grey & Black Stripe

Regia Black and Grey Stripe

I wanted to knit some basic socks. This was a 2 x 2 rib that I continued onto the instep. I used Regia 4-ply color number 5165. I finished these last month, and I am still behind in posting finished projects. I'm getting closer though!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Starry Starry Night Socks

Starry Starry Night

These socks were knit as part of the advanced sock competition in Yarn Smack Down. The yarn is Knit Picks Bare, and was passed along to me from the lady that I did the Flying Arrows socks. She had finished half of the first sock. It took a while for me to get these started, but once I got the hang of it, they knit up fairly well and quickly.

I have to admit, I was impressed by the hand of the Knit Picks Bare. If I ever run out of sock yarn, I may have to buy some.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Wench meets a Harlot

I was pleased and surprised to find out that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was going to be withing driving range. She was doing a book signing at Copperfield Books in Santa Rosa. She is promoting her new book Free Range Knitter. Janet and Barbara, two of my knitting friends from my Wednesday night SNB were going, and I was able to tag along. We also had another knitter from Porterville join us, Jasmine. Janet offered to drive and we had a wonderful day.

Waiting for the Yarn Harlot

This was the line outside the store waiting to get seated. I had not pre-purchased my book, so I didn't have a reserved seat, but Jasmin and Gigi from the Knitmore Girls Podcast were there, and we had attended the Cat Bordhi class together. They had an extra ticket and they gave it to me! Score! Awesome! They were recording some comments for their podcast, so I may hear myself in the podosphere.

Waiting for the Yarn Harlot

Here is a shot of the crowd. It is hard to tell that there were close to 200 people there that day.

The Yarn Harlot

And here she is - the Yarn Harlot - actually reading from her book, which she says is something she hasn't done before.

She was funny and amazing and completely worth the trip to see her. She had a lot of great things to say, and many things to think about, especially how knitting is perceived in the bigger world. For all the work that we do, and the level of expertise we achieve, it's still viewed as a hobby and not an art form. One of the many reasons that knitting, and it my mind most of the other hand crafts, is not taken seriously.

She also said that the knitters she meets are some of the most amazing, smart and creative women that she has known. I would have to agree.

After waiting in line for what seemed forever to get my book signed, I also got this picture, thanks to Barbara:

The Yarn Harlot and I

Proof I met the Harlot. Her t-shirt says "I'm kind of a knitting Superhero. I want to be her when I grow up.

I can also be seen in a picture she took at Copperfield and it's on her blog for October 6th. Imagine, I'm on the Yarn Harlot's blog, along with several hundred others!

I hope I can see her again someday. If you have the chance to meet her - do it!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Montego Bay

Montego Bay in Seasilk Rose Garden

Another one of my finds at Stitches West, but this year. I really love Handmaiden Sea Silk. It has a beautiful hand, and the colors in this skein, called Rose Garden, made it a joy to work with. I had been playing with this for a while, trying to figure out what would be the best pattern for it. After searching the Ravelry database for a while, I kept coming back to Amy Singer's Montego Bay scarf from an issue of Interweave from last year. I'm glad I cast it on.

The fringe was interesting. It is braided and knotted, and adds some nice weight at the ends of the scarf. If you have the chance to work with Sea Silk, it is totally worth it. This scarf would be a wonderful addition to your wardrobe!

MItered Square Scarf

Tess Designs Mitered Scarf

Last year when I was at Stitches West, I came across a few different skeins of yarn that I fell in love with at the booth for Tess" Designer Yarns. This was a microfiber ribbon, and I haven't tried yet. So I bought a skein and a pattern and it went into the stash.

I dug it out earlier this summer, after having finally tries mitered squares, and thought it was time to give the microfiber a try. It was slippery as all out to wind into a ball, but knitting with it was easy enough. The added frill ruffle has an interesting, and it is one of the more colorful scarfs I have made.

All in all, a quick project. It took a few nights to finish. Now I need to figure out what I can wear it with!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ladders Washcloth

Ladders Washcloth

Playing around with patterns again, and the need to get rid of more Sugar n'Cream, I came upon this sequence. Overall, quick and easy. I like a washcloth that has some openness to it and offers some more scrubbing quality.

Another skein bites the dust.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Manos Italian Chain Scarf

Manos Italian Chain Scarf

I don't know what I would do without Barbara Walker or her knitting pattern treasuries.

Some time ago I bought two skeins of Manos del Uruguay 100% Wool, colorway 113 Jewel Tones. It was one of those "I'm not going to use this yarn until I have the perfect pattern" scenarios. With a bit of research, I found one I liked. The pattern had to be open and airy and look good from both sides. After some test runs, I ended up using the Italian Chain pattern on size 10.5US needles. The scarf is a little over 5' long.

I can hardly wait until it gets cold enough to wear!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rattlesnake Creek Socks

Rattlesnake Creek Socks

These are called Rattlesnake Creek by Anne Podlesak. I used Tess' Designer Yarns Super Socks & Baby in the colorway Tequila Sunrise. I made these as part of the Sock Knitters Pentathalon KAL on Ravelry. That's 3 for 3 so far. We'll see what they come up with for next month!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Cat Bordhi Experience

Cat Bordhi and I

The shop owner of my local yarn shop is Marianne of Yarn Boutique. She also attends the same weekly SNB I go to. She suggested, rather convincingly, that I should go to the sock class that she had arranged with Cat Bordhi. It's been years (5+) since I took a full day class, and I thought what could I learn about socks, having knit in excess of 60 pairs at this point.

Guess what? I learned something.

I have had Cat's book New Pathways for Sock Knitters since it was published. Have I tried to knit one of the patterns? No. It seemed overly involved, and I don't knit socks to think. I brought the book, some supplies and an open mind.

I learned 3 new things that will make my life easier: heel turns, a new cast on method and different ways to bind off for a looser edge.

Was it worth it? Oh, yes.

Am I thankful to Marianne for coaxing me? Definitely.

This is what I accomplished during the class:

Cat Bordhi Class Socks

A lovely pair of baby socks that someday will have some use!

I learned more from Cat in a few hours than I thought possible and her teaching style is warm and open and giving. She is a remarkable individual and I hope that I can spend some time with her again in the future.

Next weekend - the Yarnharlot!