Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


First off I'll begin with a post I started awhile ago...

What an amazing wonderful thing the internet can be when it comes to being a knitter. I appreciate all the incredible knowledge that people share. Having come to the Nupps on my Swallowtail Shawl and getting sore wrists trying to pearl those 5 stitches together, thinking to myself, carpal tunnel here I come. I looked at what those had done before me. Luckily there was a lot on the subject. Here is where I went
I ended up using a smaller dpn sock needle, just shifting those nupp stitches onto the needle so I could pearl those babies with ease. If only it could solve my inconsistent spinning woes. The control yarn (bit that helps you know how you want your yarn to turn out, instead of your tired and failing memory) probably really is a good idea. oh well. Handmade with love. Not perfect. Now that I have finished the nupps, I ran out of yarn and it's on hold until I figure out what to do.

The Tangled Yoke is truly my humbling project. It seems every two steps forward I take, I must take at least 4 back....I plan on working on it after the holiday knitting.

I've been doing some Christmas knitting....I always say I'm not going to, and then end up with some "small" projects. This year I chose hats. Here is a Thorpe from Through the Loops for Tia made with Rowan Cashsoft chunky

thorpe for tia

I followed the pattern exactly, casting on and knitting from 4 stitches is tricky! I also learned to half double crochet, there is a great tutorial on Youtube:

A hat for baby Judd, with some soft yarn from my stash, pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns

hat for baby judd

and Kim's hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, in Aracania Aysen which is super super soft


I also am making a Devil Hat from Stitch and Bitch, but it is hornless right now. Almost there.

Well, I hope everyone has a fun and restful holiday and that the New Year brings lots of love, happiness, and peace....

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

halloween boys
It's a day late, but here is my ninja monkey and my prisoner monkey ready for Halloween.

Well, one of the troubles I've come across with spinning yarn for a project, is when you can't knit it until you spin more yarn. I guess there are those people who have the patience to spin up all their yarn before they start knitting. I am not one of those people. So my Swallowtail Shawl is on hold. Which is so hard because I've come to the end of the first repeats and now onto something new and different, but can't continue.

The Tangled Yoke cardigan is coming along nicely. I so wish the second sleeve or second sock for that matter were like the drive home. Familiar and faster. But they're not. They're boring. I have finished both of them, and am up to the yoke now, which is why I'm typing and not knitting, because it takes a certain amount of attention which I do not have right now. I'm excited about this sweater.


I started a new scarf,

it's the morning surf scarf. I had this yarn I had spun up that I thought would look great in this pattern. I'm still not sure about how many yards will look like what, but it's fun to knit anyhow. Maybe I'll have a mini scarf, or a hot pad or maybe it will actually be scarf length.

I finished my BFF socks,

They are knit with the Neptune colorway of A Verb for Keeping Warm sock yarn available on Etsy. Size 2 needles. The only change I made is that I did 4 repeats instead of 9 on the ankle part. I loved the yarn and the pattern and would recommend both.

And last, but not least I've been doing some spinning.....


Besides the fact that I've eaten way too much candy in the last couple of days, that's all for now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

hootie cootie rum sum sum

finished Girlfriend's Swing coat, ready to wrap.
swallowtail shawl with handspun.
small monkey with braces.

Knitting the Tangled Yoke a lot, I am almost done with the first sleeve.

There was one woman who did them both at once, that is very smart, but it makes my head hurt when trying to figure out how. I've started my second BFF sock, actually almost to the toe.

Started the Swallowtail Shawl. I'm not a shawl person. I'm already trying to figure out who I can give this to. I wanted to try out spinning laceweight and then see what it looked like knitted up, so there it is. I have to remember that handspun is not like yarn you buy at the store. It's got it's own personality, and is beautiful in different ways.

I'm having one of those hormonal weeks where I'm angry at everything and hate just about everyone. I wish there were some way to turn these feelings off. I do a fair amount of exercise. But I don't stay away from the caffeine and chocolate. But how could you? Wouldn't that make me into more of a monster? Anyhow...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's like a Sickness

Okay, I get these obsessions about what to knit. Really all I want are easy to figure out projects so I can knit them and not have to do things like math, or swatching, or even finding a yarn that will work. A project I can knit while waiting at the dentist, or talking on the phone, or watching a movie, you get the idea.

So once I get the notion I want to knit something, it's like an itch, I can't let it go. So now, I've started the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I have had this Rowanspun DK which I bought for my retro prep, I bought it on sale online, and was unsure about the color. Well, it's been sitting in my closet for a long time, and it looks a little better(hah) well, now that I've gone on Ravelry and saw that someone else is making their tangled yoke cardigan out of Rowanspun DK. I don't know if I love it though. I'm still not sure of the color and I'm not sure that that the pattern will show up well with this yarn. but i still continue to knit.

It's like a sickness.

I've all but abandoned that tank, I still can't bear to look at it.

I'm still knitting the BFF socks. One down, one to go!!

I really like the Neiman sweater in the new Knitty, and Roam. Although with Roam, I want to buy that sweater and wear it more than I want to knit it. It looks so comfy and in such a great yarn.

The 19th was my oldest monkey's birthday. 11. I can hardly believe it. It's amazing how fast these children grow. He's started middle school and seems to be hanging in there, with the big fishes, or should I say, big-ger fishes. I constantly want him to stay young and grow up at the same time. He has taught me a lot about life these past 11 years, I am so incredibly happy and grateful that we are together in this crazy journey called life.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

After a long hiatus...

Wow, okay. It is much easier to be a blog reader than a blog writer. Since I last posted I started and finished a project, a birthday sweater for Stella

Girlfriends Swing Coat by Knit and Tonic
Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in 628 Azul
Size 8 Needles
I made a size between the 2 and 4.

(well mostly finished, I have to add the button), went to the 20, yes count them 20 year high school reunion for which I finished (and wore) the lace wrap. I started the BFF socks with some beautiful sock yarn, dyed by my friend Kristine

What else? Oh yes, turned 38, had my oldest boy start middle school and have turned (once again) into a full fledged soccer mom. I've been busy. I'm still working on the Victoria Tank, although I've hit an obstacle and have put it away, so I don't have to look at it or think about it. Do you do that? Sometimes with knitting projects I have frustration with, I have to them hide away, so that my frustration and general blood boiling can subside.

Here's a picture of some corriedale fiber I dyed this summer, available for sale on
A Verb For Keeping Warm

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

In Order to Be a Better Spinner, you must spin.

That's my mantra. Well we went to Calistoga, in the wine country, and it was beautiful, and hot. It was just what it needed to be, making us feel like we got away even though it was just a short drive. I've been knitting away, my monkeys are done!

My lace wrap is progressing and of course that tank. It feels like it's been the same size forever. I'm hoping it's like the kids, one day it will look huge, maybe even almost done....

Well, I haven't exercised in a while and I'm just realizing that's what's making me blue. I usually go to the gym 3 to 4 times a week. I don't especially like to exercise, but evidently I need to for my mental health. Plus I guess it is good for the physical health as well. I've been questioning my self-worth, and my abilities, personal, creative etc. of late, I hope it's just exercise I need.

So spinning, I seem to forget to spin sometimes in the midst of thinking about spinning. I have a hard time spinning just to spin without a knitting project on the other end. I have to trust that it will come, and the more I spin, the better I will get. Here are some skeins I've done, the two pinky ones are merino dyed with natural dye (madder), one single ply, one two ply. The middle is some Blue Face Leicester dyed with chemical dyes.

I'm working on trying to spin laceweight. How to spin thin enough so that when I ply it will still be laceweight. We'll see.

I feel as though I've become unraveled on ravelry. Not really, but I finally got my invitation and at first glance--very cool. It's a bit overwhelming though, I've stepped back, it can consume you and making you into a digital photo clicking maniac. It seems connect knitters in a new way, it's amazing how many people are knitting, crocheting, making yarn etc. out there.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Trips, Eats and Knits

Yesterday I went to Lambtown with Kristine and Adrienne. They were super nice to invite me and do the driving too. It was fun, my first sheepy show and I got some cool stuff. There were interesting booths, some fiber related and some not. People watching and listening to music was what we did most. It was so hot, about 90 degrees in the shade. The blue is egyptian cotton from Joyful Colors, The purple (purple haze) a merino and silk mix from Chasing Rainbow Dyeworks and some Jacob that I got from Meridian Jacobs. All things I've never spun before, I'm excited!

On the way home we saw some cool cars at a Drive In and had to stop

Still working on the tank, it's amazing how tiny little yarn and tiny little needles give so little progress.

I've been working on my monkey (sock, that is), turned the heel and now on to the foot, I should be done shortly. It's amazing to think how fast I could actually knit something if I didn't have ADD and have to have at least 3 projects going at once. Actually that's a lie, I try to limit it to three. But still.

I decided to knit this lace wrap for the reunion, partly because it's cheap, and partly because it's easy. Hopefully it will get done in time. I'd like to knit a pretty shrug when time is not an issue. I'm not really into shrugs, but am slowly seeing their appeal with a dress. Especially when one does not have many coats.

Trying to watch what I eat, so that my "curves" will be less flabby I made this chili, which was very good. It didn't turn out very spicy, and I only used red peppers (I don't much like the green). I'm sorry I didn't take a photo, but it was really good and low fat to boot.

Fnished the Harry Potter book. I liked it. I'm a nerdy sap, don't tell anyone.

We are going away for a few days tomorrow. I'm looking forward to lounging by the pool....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's a thin line between love and lace

It feels like for every row I knit, I have to rip out two. Painstakingly slow, but pretty. Lace seems to be a lesson in patience for me, I don't have very much so I guess it's a good one. If only I can get through a repeat with no mistakes, I'll be happy. If only I can lose 5 lbs., I'll be happy. If only...

I am at the heel of my Monkey sock and have promised myself if I get to the foot part then I can start a new project. Hmmm. It will most likely be the Chevron Scarf. I am wanting a mindless knit--a sweater perhaps? I'm thinking a stripey top down raglan. I have some brown sheep cotton fleece in my stash, I would only have to buy a little to make it stripey...maybe, mebbe not.

I'm going to my 20 year high school reunion next month. It is amazing to me that it has been 20 years. Also it is a bit terrifying, but I'm swallowing that and heading off, I already bought the tickets, there's almost no turning back. I was a bit reluctant to go, especially after having been to the 10 year, and having it be very disappointing. Now we've set up a site on and started relating to one another without the old high school hangups and it could be fun. I bought a dress. It's pretty cute, although it shows a lot of the "curves" I've developed in the last months. I am forever trying to maintain or control my weight, it's stupid, I hate it, but I do it. Mostly because I'm on the verge of what I feel is not a comfortable me. But I love food and cooking it and eating it. Especially sweet food.

Anyhow back to knitting, I bought this dress, and I'm thinking it would be good to make a shrug, as it does get chilly here in the East Bay in the evenings. Can I make a shrug in a month? Especially if I deliberate over what to make for a week or so, shortening my month, to mere weeks or days. We'll see if I find the motivation. My monkey boys are in camp next week, so that means I've have a bit of time to think clearly.

And of course Harry Potter. Yes, Harry..I tried to resist for many years but I must admit, I am excited. I'm reading the book, monkey 1 finished it already. This also may stand in the way of the shrug.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Energize me!

beautiful beach only for looking--no public access--so pretty though

knitting while camping

Well, I'm back from the first family camping trip. We went to Big Sur and it was a lot of fun. Sleeping on the ground really makes you feel old! I have 2 boys (W who is 10 and R who is 8) and they loved camping. Boy monkeys and fire are a match made in heaven. Well, not really, but it is quite amazing how attracted to fire they are. Our first foray was not bad, we got to figure out all the things we'd like for next time we go.

I've finished my energized single socks! I'm very happy with them. I dyed the fiber in an indigo pot in a dye intensive/weekend class I took in June. It is all spun on my drop spindle, and is my first handspun drop spindle project.

Needles: Size 3

Pattern: Ann Budd's sock pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges.

Other than that, I've tried three types of plying with two strands of yarn.
1. plying from 2 bobbins 2. andean plying (instructions from here
(no, I haven't been in the spin a long, but think it's really, really cool) and 3. plying from a center pull ball which I believe is described in The Spinner's Companion, by Bobbie Irwin, basically just making a ball and then putting it in a bowl and plying with the yarn coming from both ends. I have to say that plying from a center pull ball has been my favorite so far. I only tried Andean Plying once, so I should give it more of a chance, but I felt with more than 1/2 a bobbin that it would be hard on my poor middle finger. You never know when you might need that one. I had to work at keeping it from turning blue. Maybe I was not doing it quite right. Still working on the Victoria Tank, on repeat 10 of 29. My lonely Monkeys have been neglected, I made myself start the second one and have left it unloved and unknit. Now that one pair of socks are done, I'm having trouble not starting another project. I have the yarn for the Interweave Bonita Shirt, and the yarn I've spun for my Chevron scarf. I have promised myself I would put in some good time with the Monkeys before I get all distracted with something new.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Something I love

I just have to share the love and satisfaction I get from making a knitted item from my handspun, from my drop spindle and hand dyed no less! It goes from: fiber to yarn to sock--

It's so much different than going to the store and buying your yarn and casting on. Now that has it's own merits, of course. I've done that plenty and will do it many more times, no doubt. It's just that there is a completeness about it that is so exciting and satisfying. I really didn't think I would like spinning all that much, but it really is becoming one of the things I love.
My next big goal is to spin enough yarn for a sweater. That will have to be later, I'm still working on the Victoria Tank, Monkey Sock (1 done, 1 to go), and energized single sock (1 done, 1/2 to go).

It's amazing how different it is writing the blog, rather than reading the blog. It's a lot of work and time consuming, I really have a better appreciation for the bloggers out there. Not only does it take a lot of time and energy to try to make it look nice, but also to write something meaningful. Especially when you're like me, stealing time when the kids are watching tv or busy with video games.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I think I can, I think I can

Okay, so I have wanted to knit the Victoria Tank from Interweave Knits
since I first laid eyes on it (only 3 years ago). I'm just getting around to starting it, I was searching for the yarn or what I could sub for the yarn when I came upon Knitting the Blues and saw that she had done hers with brown sheep cotton fine. I have that! I was going to make a beautiful lace coverlet for my mom and only got 3 panels of a billion I needed to do and figured it wasn't really going to happen in this lifetime. So anyhow, I cast on 288 stitches, no gauge swatch for this knitter.....and those stitch markers at every lace repeat they suggested? Ha, I don't need training wheels, I can knit, I can knit lace, I've done it before. So after many rows of "fixing" my number of stitches, because they did not come out right, I realize that I must rip it all out and start over. So then measure just to see how I've done and it's huge. Huge. So I looked back at the Knitting for blues and realized she used a smaller needle. So I re-cast on the 288 stitches on a 2 and started once again. Ha. After the first lace repeat, again I was off and "fixing" again. And by fixing I mean, adding a stitch here or taking one away to try to make it right. It didn't. So avoiding casting on once again, I took it back to the start of the lace and put on my training wheels, and so far so good.

I'm spinning yarn to make my second Chevron scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts,

my first one did not turn out quite like I wanted it to. Being new to spinning, I have a lot to learn about how my yarn will look knit up. Evidently, I have even more to learn about this blogging thing and making it look nice, but for another time.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

am i finally starting this?

Well, I am the lurker extraordinaire, and I feel it is time to start my own blog. I am a mom of two and a knitter, and a spinner and most recently a dyer. Right now I am working on my first pair of handspun on a drop spindle energized socks. The fiber is blue faced leicester and I dyed it with indigo in a dye intensive I took a few weeks turned out very pretty, but it is making my hands blue
Quite a feat for me because my drop spindle and I are not on close terms. My first attempt I have abandoned, after my general disliking it, and then my husband said, "You know what that color is?" "Vomit". That was the final kicker--they are
outta here...
I am also working on the Monkey socks that have been very popular in blogland with Socks That Rock in the Lagoon colorway. I did not want to love the STR, but I do. I thought, how could it be that special? But it is. I'm not usually only knitting socks, but now that it's summer, and the boys are out of school, it's all I can keep my attention on.

So there my first post, not so painful. I think the whole name game was way more painful, finally I had to settle after trying to wrack my brain for some clever witticism...