Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Is A New One ...

I've stayed in lots of hotels, and seen lots of nice ... and odd ... touches in hotel rooms all over the country. But this is a new one.

Bet it's not hard to figure out what goes through my head every time I walk into the bathroom ...

"Rubber ducky, you're the one! You make bath time lots of fun! Rubber ducky, I am awf-u-lly fond of yoooooooo..."

I (obviously) made it to Salem safely, if a little carsick. Things get busy tomorrow, so here's hoping the hotel room bed is comfy. I'm pooped!


Three or four Saturdays ago, I walked in to the store for my shift at Bloomin Yarns and Michelle said "Do you want to knit a chicken?"

Of course I said yes. By the time I left (early) at 2 pm, I had all the green chicken-bits (including beak and legs) all made up. Others in the store have knit other chickens. This past Saturday, Michelle asked me to keep working on getting the chickens ready for their debut. I knit two beaks, seamed up Mr. Pink and crocheted a pathetic pair of legs for Mr. Pink.

They need some beans in their butts, stuffing, beady eyes, combs and tails. I think they're awesome.

I'm off to Salem, Va., until Monday night. I'll try to post while I'm gone, but who knows what life will have in store. Don't get into any trouble while I'm gone.

Pattern is "Gordon, Jamie and Hugh Chickens" from "Rowan Purelife, the Organic Cotton Kids Collection." It's a great book with patterns for many animals and kids age 0-8

Monday, May 18, 2009

Warm Paws

I had been wanting to try colorwork for quite a while. When I started browsing the “Critter Comforts” section in the Winter 2008 Twist Collective, I was pretty sure I had found a great first colorwork project. I think I was right.

Michelle at Bloomin is responsible for those pansies. NOT me.

I started these mittens just before Thanksgiving. They also feature my first-ever knitted hem! I did a provisional cast-on for both mittens, it only unzipped properly on the second mitten, thanks to a Lucy Neatby YouTube video.

They had several stops-and-starts between other projects. They were my Super Bowl project, and I had to tink about two rounds that I knit (incorrectly) during the last minute of the game. But that's OK. I'll take it.

Thanks to CelticQueen for modeling my mittens, since it’s very hard to take pictures of your own hands.

I got a little confused with the decrease instructions on the chart for the mittens. You have to “steal a stitch” from the previous half-round each time you do a double decrease. I figured it out, but not before a few false starts on decreases for the first mitten.

I like the checkerboard pattern on the underside of the thumbs, showing here.

I did do a gauge swatch, but I wound up tighter than I should have been anyway. As a result, they are just barely big enough for my small paws. I’m hoping these mittens loosen up a bit with a good soaking/blocking, but if they don’t they might be a gift for my sister-in-law. And that’s OK too.

Postwar Mittens

Pattern: Postwar Mittens by Mary Ann Stephens
Source: Twist Collective, Winter 2008
Size: one size
Yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull in blue, black and white
Source: Bloomin Yarns
Needles: US 2/2.75mm Hiya Hiya (2-16” circs)
Started: 23 November 2008
Finished: 16 May 2009
Mods: None
Ravelry Project Link

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Better In Person

I’ve been on a vest kick. Not so much with the actual knitting of the vests. More of a “boy, I wish I had more vests!” feeling. I fought it off in the fall, but couldn't resist this spring.

Back at the end of March, we had a quiet afternoon at Bloomin Yarns after running our final set of classes for the Shetland Triangle KAL. We had a couple of knitters concentrating on starting their Shetland Triangles and I started itching for a vest.

I started flipping through the store’s three-ring binders for women’s vests, and I found the perfect pattern. After a brief quest (with an entire LYS at my immediate disposal, I had plenty of options), I settled on Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed cotton. Then I was off to the races.

It was a very quick knit. Would have been well under a month had I not rediscovered my mojo on the evil Cloning Anemone socks. I finally felt like I saw the finish line on those and knew I had to strike while the iron was hot.

The plain stockingette back was my hospital knitting when the Hubster had his shoulder surgery back at the end of March (he’s doing great, BTW! Not quite halfway through his physical therapy, but a couplea weeks out of the sling).

I wanted a pic before I went to Maryland. This was it.

The cable front was fun. I used a modified version of Hungry Stitch (YouTube link) for my SSK’s, so I feel like I learned something on this project. After knitting my armbands and neckband, I chose to bind off all in knit, rather than K1P1 rib. I like the smoother edge.

I should have tucked in my shirt (and lost 30 lbs) before this picture. Oops.

This is the handknit I wore to Maryland Sheep & Wool, as you may remember from my recap post. I got several compliments on the vest while traversing the festival grounds (hence the post title), which was fun. This was a great knit, it fits me perfectly, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if I knit it again. Highly recommend!

Necklace is from CreationsbyUli on etsy. Love. It.

Cabled V-Vest
Pattern: Cabled V-Vests by Lisa Carnahan (pullover version) SW-004
Size: 48”
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed
Color: 310/Coffee
Source: Bloomin Yarns
Needles: US 6 (ribbing)/US 8 (body) Lantern Moon Destiny Circular Needles
Started: 21 March 2009
Finished: 26 April 2009
Mods/Errata: No actual mods, but there is one exceptionally nit-picky small error in the pattern. I have two purl stitches leading up to my cable panel. On Row 1 of the front for my size, it should begin with a purl stitch, not a knit stitch. By the time I got to that point and realized I had a problem, I was not going to rip and re-knit 53 sts of 1x1 ribbing.
Ravelry Project Link

Special thanks to CelticQueen, who was kind enough to take the two "modeled" shots this afternoon when she stopped in at Bloomin Yarns. I particularly like the last one of the neckline!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I think my family started going up to the Lake when I was six. We bought a house the following year. Picture this house, but white with green trim/shutters:

And in a different location. I’ll get to that.

In 1990, my parents decided that rather than doing all the fixing that was going to be needed on the old/existing cottage, we’d build a new cottage on the same site, from scratch. You’ve seen a million pictures of this house. Here’s the easiest one for me to grab, since I'm too lazy to go hunt for a better one:

In order to clear the site for the new cottage, we sold the existing cottage for a paltry sum on the condition that it was moved off-site by a certain date. Somewhere, I have pictures of that white-and-green cottage on a cart, being moved down to the end of the street.

That’s where it stood for 18+ years. Down at the end of the street. We passed it on the way to our (shiny new) cottage every time we came in or out of VBP. At one point, it was sold and the new owners did an amazing job of fixing it up. They had cool flowering bushes up on the street, flowers in the boxes, the whole shebang.

Sunday morning, my mom called. The old cottage? It went BOOM on Saturday night.

The owners -- the ones who did all the work to make it look great and be comfy for the bulk of the year -- were at the restaurant just outside of the community when a fire started, probably in an upstairs bedroom. It consumed enough of the house that (they think) it got to the gas water heater, gas stove, gas furnace. Explosions were heard. Shockingly, the next-door neighbors slept through the whole thing.

I’m quite interested to see what it looks like when I get up there in a few weeks. And I’m very thankful nobody was hurt in the fire! Pardon me while I scurry off to find fire extinguishers for this house and the lake!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Holi-Dazed and Confused

Well, not really.

After my painful experience with the Cloning Anemone Socks (I wore them over the weekend and they are quite comfy, in case you were curious), I needed a ‘palate cleanser.’ The lemon ice of my knitting world at this point of time was Socks that Rock Mediumweight.

I couldn’t find my Turtle Daddy blockers immediately, so the cedar ones are in this photo

The pattern provided with this Rockin’ Sock Club kit was a traditional cuff-down pattern. But that’s just boring.

Toe Pic! - I tried to do a standard toe and it wouldn't cooperate. So Garter Toe it is!

Well, that and why should I pick up heel flap stitches when I don’t have to?

New Pathways heel

So I took the 8-stitch, 16-row stitch pattern and plunked that bad boy right into a Riverbed architecture from New Pathways for Sock Knitters (c’mon. You knew I’d do that, right?)

Mirror image cuffs!

I also took the pattern and did a mirror image chart for use on the second sock. I think it turned out just great!

Nice spring sky!

Of course, when I went to make that mirrored chart, I realized that I had omitted a row from my “portable chart.” Oops.

Oh well. Nobody will notice. Right?

Holidazed Socks
Pattern: Holidazed by Anne Hanson
Source: Rockin’ Sock Club, November 2008
Yarn: BMFA Socks that Rock Mediumweight
Color: Muddy Autumn Rainbow
Needles: US 2/2.75mm, Addi Lace, Magic Loop
Started: 22 April 2009
Finished: 12 May 2009
Mods: Diagonal Twill Rib pattern knit toe-up into the Riverbed architecture from New Pathways for Sock Knitters
Ravelry Link

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sheep. Wool. People.

It’s been a week, and I’m just getting together the energy to blog about my trip to the 2009 Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Pathetic.

But, the website for my fabulous job was down from noon Friday until noon on Monday last weekend, resulting in about 300 emails coming through all at the same time. All-America nominations for my division closed on Wednesday and my phone was ringing off the hook. It was a completely miserable week of work.

I’ll get back to blogging more regularly very soon. I miss it and I miss all of you guys!

Meanwhile, my mom, my aunt and I drove down to Maryland last Friday and went to the Festival on Saturday. I almost immediately ran into the group of people I most wanted to find. If you read Turtlegirl’s blog, you already know the amazing group of women she hung out with last weekend. Shortly after meeting up with all of them, I met Javajem …

Cristi (Turtlegirl76), Pam (Trillian42), yours truly, Jody (Javajem). Photo borrowed with permission, since I had major Camnesia all day.

And, this year, I made sure I got my picture taken with my favorite Turtle

Again, stolen with permission. Isn't Cristi's sweater awesome?

I spent the rest of the day wandering around, meeting up with mom and Suzie on occasion and basically enjoying the day.

The one and only time I busted out my camera was just before I met up with the aforementioned bloggers. Roaming Tigger takes requests, especially from dyers we really like. So just for Roxanne

And, in case you can’t figure out what dyer that might be, here’s where you can see her labels a little better below.

Tigger likes pretty yarn!

I hardly bought any yarn, but did buy a decent amount of non-yarn stuff, so here’s a photo of all the loot

One skein of Autumn House Farm sock yarn, two STR-M mill ends, a Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted Rare Gem, a lucet, a nostepinne (both rosewood), a pair of mittens made from recycled felted sweater and fleece-lined, the paper bag is soap, there’s a festival tote bag on the right, a set of Signature Needles DPNs (2.5mm, 5”) and it’s all lying on the sheepskin I brought home to keep my feet from becoming blocks of ice next winter.

Our TV room is right above our garage, so my feet get really cold really fast on the floor in this room during the winter. We have at least one more winter in this room before we start moving things around on this floor, so I figured that purchase was worth it.

I also got some Hiya Hiya sock needles, in pairs of 16” circs, but I forgot to put those in the picture and they aren’t very exciting anyway.

I’ll try to come back and blog a little more about some of the non-yarny bits soon. Here’s hoping I can throw up another post tomorrow!