Monday, January 28, 2008

FO: Anne Wave Scarf

Pattern: Misty Garden by Jo Sharp from Scarf Style

Yarn: Anne Schaefer

Needles: US 7

Start Date: January 12, 2007

End Date: January 27, 2007

Comments: The pattern says to knit with a worsted yarn, and I'm sure if I did I could have knit this sucker in one weekend... need to remember that one, for those quick gift projects.

I was looking for more of a lacy version and it turned out fantastic. It's light enough to drape over the shoulders, do the one flip over or double up and keep it close to the neck.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Guess who won the Lasagna Bake-off?

Me, of course... it was close and L if your reading this...great job! We were all winners that day. It's not an easy task to keep three full sheets of lasagna hot and ready for our crew.

Next competition is a chocolate dessert...gosh I gained two pounds just typing that. Since the winner gets to choose the next food item, I thought we should sweeten it up a bit. Players have to bring in some kind of dessert with chocolate in it...sounds like fun, huh!?

FO: Endpaper Mitts

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny

Yarn: Dale Baby Ull

Needles: US 0 and US 3

Start Date: January 13, 2007

End Date: January 22, 2007

Comments: The instructions have you change needle size in order to get the proper size. I was planning on making a medium but in the decided from a past fair isle project to go with the large.

The mitts turned out snug but a good fit. The yarn was just a dream to work with and I know I will be knitting with this stuff again. The only down fall was I had a case of SMS ~ Second Mitt Syndrome.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I'm sneaking away from my HEAVY work load to keep you all in touch. I never felt it was ever necessary to apologies for not blogging and when I read about others feeling sorry for it...please don't. Life takes over...haven't stopped knitting...have tons to talk about...just can't.

I've taken pictures, just none to post. I need to get an extra cord for the camera...makes blogging on the fly difficult. The Endpaper mitts are slightly obsessive. Sooooo sucked in that I got way to comfortable on the ride home on the train. Yep, creepy guy sat next to me again. He totally caught me off guard and didn't realize who he was until several moments later. He was actually not doing too bad at first. I scooted over so as to leave some breathing room between us. He then relaxed and started to do what he does best... fill in that gap and smoother. I looked over and kinda gasped. How did that did he find me. sigh.

I put my knitting away, grabbed my coat, gloves, scarf, coffee mug and proceeded to remove myself from his presence. Next time I vow to say something. I don't think he should be allowed to go on train commuting without knowing about his poor behavior.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Mitt and The Do

Is anyone else having delayed reaction to the new year? Come on, January is practically over with and I'm still writing 07 on my checks.

With the cold snap this week and no sign of increase in warmth any time soon, I was loving the idea of having my Endpaper Mitts done. Picturing myself at work wearing these on those days when "The Guys" want to open all the windows. I got into a rhythm with the pattern and by holding the extra color yarn in my left hand I was able to complete the first mitt fairly quickly.

Not quite done yet as I have another on the needles, but loving this quick little project.

Lately I've been pondering whether or not to get my hair cut. I love having the length, but have been very disappointed in what others have tried with my do. I gave in and figured...heck it grows right? Here was the before picture in the morning hours before going to the salon.

Not the best I can look, but why do yourself up for the hair stylist to just undo what took you time to make up. Here is me afterwards...

Okay, seriously better and loving the bounciness of my curls. On a side note, I haven't had bangs since High School... a little scared of the whole idea, but I was jumping in with both feet this time. It's growing on me and to really get the full effect of wispy bangs (if I want them) involves the iron. Otherwise they curl right along with everything else...awesome.

It will be another busy week for me but hopefully I'll be able to pop on by with an update. Don't you just hate responsibility;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Little of This... A Little of That

I got the startitis bug over the weekend. Since finishing the Coco socks, I had to get something else on the needles.

Endpaper Mitts knit up with Dale Baby Ull yarn. We wont go into too much detail... started this project way too late on Friday night. The pattern seems to be working out, but too early to really show off.

What else do you say... sure. Dropped by Nana's on Friday night for her Inventory Sale. I was planning on picking up some Cascade Pastaza but once I touched it... I don't think I would have liked the finished hairy sweater. What else could I substitute for this... and ended up choosing this:

Totally off and different then the Cascade yarn, right? Believe me, I've been eying that yarn for awhile and when Tricia suggested it, the yarn was in my arms before I could say Hell Yes!!! It will make for an interesting version of the Fitted Knits Ribbed V-Neck sweater. I haven't cast-on for this yet, but the other purchase that night was some Schaefer Anne Yarn. We are talking 560 yards of goody-mohair. Here is what I have so far.

Friday, January 11, 2008

FO: Hot Coco Toe-up Gusset Socks

Throw some marshmallows on top of this sucker and call it done!

Pattern: Toe-up Socks with Gusset Slip Stitch Heel

Yarn: Shelridge Farms handpainted (bought at Stitches Midwest '06)

Needles: US 1 (2 circ's)

Start Date: December 12, 2007

End Date: January 10, 2007

Comments: Started with Judy's Magic Cast-on and used Knot Another Hat sock formula for the heel flap (download pdf from her sidebar under gratis:: generic toe-up, slip st heel formula). All great reference tools and I think I've been so smitten that this will become my standard sock pattern.

Taking pictures of your feet is sometimes tricky. Yet, I love how funky these shots came out.

Happy Friday Everyone...I leave you with another photo...this was sliced together from this past Wednesday's SnB night. Pictures are layered together for that panoramic shot (click it to go larger) fun. Love you guys!! and Aleta too, as she took the shots;)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Is It Winter In Chicago?

This picture was taken the first Friday of the year from my window. It's the Millennium Park Ice Skating Rink...if your interested it's open till March 16th. This shot got me there a limit as to how many people are allowed on the rink? I just get visions of a pile up of bodies when someone takes a dive.

Now, what is up with the weather? Come got up to 63 on Monday and I'm pealing the coat off, hoping for cool breeze off the lake...getting back to normal as of today.

Well, of course you don't want to hear me complain about warm weather...I should be happy for the relief. Here is some knitting content for you...

The Hot Coco Socks are on their way to being a FO!! Few more rows of rib cuff and done.

Fulmar is coming along smoothly. Not as fast as when I could knit on it all day long, but progress non-the-less.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Gusset Flap on Toe-up Socks

Learning a new technique can sometimes be a bit stressful. You're not quite sure if you're doing it right. You have to let go just a little to allow the magic to happen.

I love the idea of doing socks toe-up, but have always loved the gusset flap on toe-down. I've never seen a good enough tutorial that explains it. There are not many patterns out in the knitting world that explain it. Until Ravelry. Can't praise it enough.

First off I found two references for doing toe-up socks with a gusset heel. Wendy Knits and Knot Another Hat. Both have the PDF downloads on their sidebars. The generic toe-up, slip stitch heel formula from Knot Another Hat is a perfect starting point as you plug in your stitch numbers to get your pattern.

I don't mind the math, but some of you do.

So here the formula for a 64 stitch sock, knit on two circ's, toe-up. This is also assuming that you have Cast-on and knit the toe and foot. The basic premise of knitting with two circ's is to split in half the total number of stitches...32 st on each needle. The pattern says to have the foot measure 3 inches short of full length...because I'm all about the visual...Here is where I stoped:

The toe to food measurement is 7 1/2 inch...I'm shooting for a 9 3/4 length.

Lets Increase for the Gusset::
Designate one needle as "heel" needle and one needle as "instep" needle. Instep needle will be left alone and never has any change in st count. Below also states a an INC (increase)...choose what ever suites your liking. I prefer the knit through front and back loop.

On heel needle, k1, inc, k to last st, inc, k1. K across instep.
K 1 round plain.

Repeat these last 2 rows until you have 52 st on your heel needle.

Lets Turn the Heel:: Back and forth on the heel needle only.

Row 1) k35, inc 1, k1, w&t (wrap and turn)
Row 2) p18, inc 1p, p1, w&t
Row 3) k16, inc 1, k1, w&t
Row 4) p14, inc 1p, p1, w&t
Row 5) k12, inc 1, k1, w&t
Row 6) p10, inc 1p, p1, w&t
Row 7) k8, inc 1, k1, w&t
Row 8) p6, inc 1p, p1, w&t

You have now turned the heel. Knit most of one round by knitting across the rest of the heel and across the instep; pick up the wraps and knit them together with their sts as you come to them.

Lets do the Heel Flap:: Back and forth on heel needle only again

Row 1) K45, ssk, turn (continue picking up remaining wraps and k them tog with their sts)

Row 2) sl 1, p30, p2tog, turn

Row 3) sl 1, *(k1, sl 1) rpt from * to 1 st before gap created by last turn, ssk, turn

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until all heel sts but 1 have been decreased away. On last row, don't turn, and instead continue in the round by knitting across the instep, and then k2tog at the beginning of the heel needle to eliminate this last st.

That's it for the tricky stuff...just keep knitting away for your cuff.

I can't say that this method is easier then a short-row heel, as it's all about end effect. But I do love the reinforcement of the slip stitch pattern on the heel. I will definitely be using this method again in future sock projects.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Meet Cyber

I love taking pictures. I remember when the digital cameras first came around... wow... no film. This concept as I have envisioned it must be pretty close to the effect of sliced bread. I still have a soft spot for the 35mm cameras, but you can't beat instant gratification.

When little Mac was born I bought my first digital. It's a 3 mega pixel Fuji FinePix and back then that was a standard point and shoot model. As far as "standards" was usable. What do you mean by usable? Well, taking pictures of anything moving is out of the question. Taking pictures in low-light is also out. And God for bid you have to take a close up of anything!

This year is the year that I chose to upgrade. Went to Best Buy to see what was out there. I didn't want some huge honking thing because I carry my camera everywhere. I also don't care about how thin or stylish it is...I did require that there be a no-flash option and macro for those close-ups of yarn.

I walk over to the display and I see a bright yellow Clearance sign for the Fuji FinePix 8.3 mega pixel model. Cool. Same size as my old one. Same function keys, so it felt friendly. I couldn't pass up a the Price of $149!! On top of that they only had the floor model... so another 10% off... sweet!!

I get the thing home and it sucks monkey balls. Yeah... all the features I wanted, but it was slower then my first camera. I just couldn't live with it. Went back and got me a serious upgrade. Meet the new love of my life the Sony Cyber-shot:

Yes I'm a dork taking pictures of myself in the company bathroom. But flash and I got real close to the mirror too!!

Investing a little more money in something you love is always worth it. I would have ended up hating that camera and more then likely not taking any pictures.

Oh, just think of all the yarn p0rn that will be exposing it's self;)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Looking Forward to 2008

I have to say that 2007 was a very good year for me. I can just imagine that this new year will be even better... Full of new friends and new projects.

I'm not to big on resolutions, as I never seem to follow through, but I did want to list some things I'm looking forward too. In no specific order...

1. Learning some new knitting techniques.

2. Losing weight.

3. Getting my first STR sock club yarn.

4. Sketching in my journal.

5. Taking my first soak in my finished master bath.

6. Blocking Fulmar.

7. Sewing curtains for my kitchen.

8. Making sock yarn on my spinning wheel.

9. Knitting and spinning with friends.

10. Blogging about it all.

I'm going to live my life to the fullest... enjoy it baby because it's a short ride.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thursday Update

I'm going bonkers over here. People...seriously. Look:

That is the Fulmar. The back to be more specific. To get even more technical..that main body of patterned cables was done over the course of 5 days...were talking 34 rows of size 2 tight cables. That's something on average of 7 rows a day...and I know I didn't knit every day.

How is this possible you say. How is it that you go from knitting 2-4 rows on average a day to a whopping 7... no cable needle. Oh yeah baby...I've mastered the technique. I'm sooooo thrilled to have this down. Now, I'm back to work and don't have all that free time to knit away. It was nice to get a big chunk done though.

My other work in progress is the hot coco socks...

I was going to rip it out and try the yarn on a larger needle, but I got lazy and just kept knitting. I'm hoping it softens a little with the blocking.

I'm also thinking it's time to try out a heel flap gusset with these bad boys. I like the short-rows and have gotten to the point where it's mindless...which is good, don't get me wrong. I just feel the need to learn a new trick, since I'm on a roll:P

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A Snowy Fiber Adventure

What's the best thing to do on the first day of the first month of the year. The 4th Annual New Year’s Day Open House and Sale at The Fold.

Knitterary and I ventured out into the wind and snow in search of fiber. Toni knows how to throw a party...

We pulled up to this when the store had been open for only 30 minutes. The fiber lovers didn't stop coming. The weather was frightful, but the sales were delightful. We shuffled, and compressed ourselves into the store. Tons of stuff on sale and all the fiber lovers around us were just so pleasant. Makes waiting in the checkout line for 40 minutes not such a bad deal.

Sale bins where scattered through out the house and not to mention the delicious spread for sandwiches, dips and chips.

With our tummies and fiber fix satisfied ... we ventured out for the long stretch home.

This was the best deal of the day. Classic Elite Attitude was on sale at 75% off... yes folks...can you believe it!!! it's a cotton silk blend and gosh is it soft. Now, what to make with it?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

FO: Koolhaas Hat

Pattern: Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood - Interweave Knits, Holiday 2007

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted

Needles: US 5 and US 7

Start Date: December 16, 2007

End Date: December 23, 2007

Comments: I choose to go down on the needle size, well...because that was the needle size I had, really. I did the larger size pattern which is one added repeat, but because of my HUGE ASS HEAD thick hair, I think I need another inch of rib on the bottom. We'll see what I get into this weekend. I might or I might not change it.