Tuesday, April 05, 2011


It happened again. Another virus! I'm apologize to everyone who got that stupid email. I have spent the last six hours getting rid of the virus. I hope no one got burned.

Knitting is not happening all that much right now. No motivation and I've been reading a lot. But I'm going to my knitting group tonight, so there'll be at least a few rows on the cardigan I started last November.

Thanks for sticking with me.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Extreme Novelty

What we used to call novelty yarns are now referred to as fashion yarns. Well, I don't see how you could call this yarn anything but novelty. It's about as playful as any yarn I've ever seen. From Pagewood Farms U-Knitted Nations, it's called Giant Purls.

Here it is in the skein.

And here it is in a ball. Wound by hand, very carefully. This is pretty close to the actual color of the yarn.

And a close up.

This was an easy Sunday afternoon knit. Maybe a couple of hours once I got it into a ball.

Trust me. I've already heard all the witticisms about knitting with balls.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Another Boneyard

Man! Thanks some bright blue! It's no where near the color of my latest rendition of the Westknits' Boneyard shawl.

That's not quite it either, but it's closer.

It's more like this. Maybe a little brighter but still this one is the best I got from several attempts.

This is Rowan Summer Tweed in a now discontinued color. I used four skeins. I had planned on using all six that I had in stash but the shawl was getting big enough and I was truly tired of working with the yarn. It's stiff and unyielding. Every stitch was becoming an ordeal. So I'm done.

I do like the finished product though and I'll be starting another one sometime soon.

I just found out that I've won both Westknits books in the Selfish Knit-a-long that the Westknits Ravelry group held during the month of February. I'm really tickled. I've had Book 2 on order since late January and it hasn't shipped yet. So I cancelled the order. I have Book 1 but only as an e-book. Now I'll have hard copies of both books.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Actually I'm much better

I'm at the end, I hope, of the first cold I've had in years. Just the coughing and tissue consumption left. Maybe by the weekend I'll be over it. I worked Monday but probably shouldn't have. Hope no one caught anything.

But I have been knitting, some.

This is my Windschief hat. It's a Stephen West pattern. I really like his designs. This one comes with a pattern for a cowl using the same motif of twisted knit stitches. The yarn is Noro Retro, two skeins. I've wanted to knit something with this yarn for a long time. I'd use it again but probably knit it on a larger needle. I used a 7US but the yarn calls for 9US. Anyway, the hat is done and I'm back to working on some WIPs.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Practically more of the same

Things are pretty quiet around here. I don't have much to report. I'm going to be working at Skein, where I used to teach before I moved to A Stitch in Time. I'll be there today, tomorrow and Saturday (2/16, 2/17 & 2/19) in case anyone wants to stop by for a lesson or a visit.

I'm still knitting hats, among other things. This one is my fourth or fifth Turn A Square by Brooklyn Tweed. I used some scraps from some very old Reynolds Paterna. I guess they don't make it anymore since I couldn't find it anywhere on-line. I used to have a lot of it but some local moths started using it as a drive-thru. This was all I managed to rescue. I really like this pattern. I've yet to make it in anything like the original yarn.

I also knit this ribbed hat using some Colinette Iona that I recycled from a beret I was making. I realized I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish so I frogged it and made the ribbed hat. This is another yarn that no longer exists, according to their website. I didn't read the pattern very carefully so I worked a 2X2 rib instead of 3X3. That meant I had to create the decreasing at the top. It worked out just fine. I didn't get a final picture, one with my daughter wearing it, but it looked really cute on her.

I'm still working on the latest Boneyard shawl as well as the cardigan I started back in November. The rows are long so progress is slow.

Also, I had a birthday last week.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Yarn omelette

Did you know that the groundhog doesn't actually see or not see his shadow? The whole thing is decided weeks in advance by a committee. It's true. It must be. I read it on the internet.

This is so wrong. First, Santa Claus, then the Easter Bunny and now the Groundhog. I'm so depressed. But I hope that committee was right. All this crazy weather needs to end and "they" said he saw his shadow so we only have six more weeks of winter. Or was it that he didn't see his shadow. It hardly matters.

But that isn't what I started to write anyway. You know the expression "you have to break eggs to make an omelette." Well, that's what I have going in my house right now. I told you about having to move a bunch of stuff to get to the loom that I was giving away. Well, all that stuff is still stacked, willy-nilly, on the far side of my bed. Or it was. Some of it is now in my living room while I go through each of the bags (there's a lot of them) and decide which projects that were started sometime in the past, are worthy of saving and which ones need to be frogged. Also, which yarns can I comfortably donate or give to friends. The stack of yarns to be donated isn't anywhere near as big as it should be. I'd show you but I'd die of embarrassment.

No pictures of anything I'm knitting. The Boneyard shawl proceeds apace. It's going to be awesome in its tweedy blueness. I've done a few rows on the top down cardigan. That's my Tuesday night simple knitting for when I'm at knitting group. I also have a pair of socks that is only about four months old. The first sock is more than half way done. Pictures soon.

In one of the bags I found a scarf that I started four or five years ago. It's cabled and I used it to practice cabling without a cable needle. Taking a break from sorting, I tried a couple of rows. It was fun. I think I'll go work on it some more.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I have a small table loom that was given to me by my weaving instructor a few years ago when I thought I might like to weave. It's a hand built copy of a well known brand. It's been sitting, covered, in my yarn stash room for at least five years. As it turned out, weaving didn't really hold my interest.

I've been trying to find someone to give it to and I'm hoping that today will be the day. A friend of a friend is coming by later this morning to look at it. I had to move a lot of yarn and other stuff to get to it. I still have to give is a good dusting. I also have to take the loom part off of the table it sits on or I can't get it through the door.

I found some stuff I had been looking for when I moved the loom. A number of finished pieces that I had put aside for my gift stash. Some more yarn that I couldn't find for a shawl. The second pair of socks I ever knit. I really need to get that room organized. If the loom goes I'll get some more wire cubes and stack them against the wall where the loom was. So I hope that happens.

Here's a small project I'm working on. It's a scarf called Bumble Up, a Spud & Chloe pattern. The pattern and yarn to make it were a gift from my friends L&H. It's been at least a year since they gave it to me. I wonder how they knew I'd be switching my color preferences to gray and neutrals. Anyway, the yarn is Misti Alpaca Chunky and it's so soft. I'm using some size 11US/8.0mm needles. I haven't worked with anything that large since the Great Scarf Explosion back in 1999/2000. I've been working on this scarf when I take a break from my other projects. I should be done in a day or so.

Here's my other current project:

This is my fourth Boneyard Shawl. I'm using some Rowan Summer Tweed from stash. Something I've had since '02. I lost it for a while but found it quite by accident a few days ago. The shawl's quite a bit larger now. I was struggling with the M1 increases. I went to A Stitch In Time and got an Addi Turbo lace needle and that took care of that.

I guess I'd better go dust the loom before it's too late.

p.s. The loom is on its way to its new home.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pogona, a scarf or shawl

I finished the Pogona shawl about an hour ago. I made it for the Selfish Westknits knit-a-long. The idea behind the KAL is that since everyone had been doing so much holiday knitting, no one had had time to knit anything for themselves. I'm not much one for knit-a-longs but this seemed like a good excuse to make one of Stephen West's patterns. I've made three of his Boneyard shawls (I'm starting another one as soon as I finish this post.) I've also made Herbivore. I have his e-book as well. I like most of his patterns. They're simple and well written.

I used a lot of markers. It was easier than paying attention to my work.

In other news. I'm in the middle of a major de-stash. I've run out of room to store any more. It's just unrealistic to think I would ever use up all I have. To make matters worse, I just received four large containers of yarn that has been in storage for a couple of years, since we had a yarn yard sale. My friend who has been storing the yarn is letting her storage space go. This was what was left over. Another friend called this morning and has five or six large boxes of yarn she needs to find a home for. She's having to move and doesn't think she'll be able to keep her yarn. Fortunately her taste in yarn is a lot different from mine so I'm not tempted to take it but I'll see if one of my knitting students would be interested.

Not that I'm only saving gray/grey (my spell check says that grey is wrong) but I'd like to have just stuff that's simple in structure, easy to handle, and good quality. I think you can still be a yarn snob even with those limitations.

Monday, January 17, 2011

M1R, M1L

It's what I've been doing for the past couple of weeks. I started this top down cardigan at the beginning of November and then put it aside so I could get my holiday knitting done. I picked it up again at the beginning of January and got as far as the underarms. It's been on hold for a couple of weeks pending my daughter trying it on for size and fit. And that happened last night. Looks like it's going to be fine.

And this is a shawl I'm making as part of a knit-a-long with the Westknits Ravelry group.

What these two things have in common is the increases, M1L and M1R. I'm getting pretty good at it. The shawl is almost done, a couple of inches to go. The cardigan not so much. The sleeves and body are just beginning.

I really need to think about getting a better camera. These colors are just a hint of what they really are. I tried shooting them this morning in natural light and it was worse. I'm thinking about building a light box but I don't know where I'd store it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More "good luck"

It just keeps coming. Today I twisted my ankle. I can walk but it's not pretty. Damned Dansko shoes. I like 'em. They look good. But I just can't walk right in them.

I also have misplaced six skeins of Rowan Summer Tweed. I've had it in stash for a long time and I came across it the other night and decided it would be perfect for another Boneyard shawl. (I'm doing a KAL with the Westknits Fan Club.) Somehow, in tidying up, I put the yarn away and haven't been able to find it. I did find some Araucania Nature Wool that I had forgotten so I'm using that. It's probably a lot easier to work with anyway.

I had pizza for lunch and I'm having the leftovers tonight. Sometimes life compensates.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Sometimes I get so bogged down in all my projects, all my stash, all the things I want to knit that I get almost frantic. It's overwhelming at times. Teaching a couple of days a week, trying to get all the holiday knitting done and all the time I spend on Ravelry, it's enough to make you forget why you started in the first place.

But then, every so often, I get to go to TNNA, the National Needlework Association's big semi-annual trade show. (I couldn't find a decent link.)It's an amazing experience. Your mind explodes, your eyes start to glaze over, you get weak in the knees. And that's just the first row of booths.

I went today. It's being held in Long Beach at the Convention Center. I don't know how many vendors are represented but it's just about every major yarn company and lots of smaller up-and coming ones as well. There is so much yarn and so many pattern and book selections that you begin to lose track of where you are. And that doesn't even cover the needlepoint half of the show.

I made some notes of yarns I liked and met with my boss, the owner of A Stitch in Time in San Marino, and went over what I had seen and what my favorites were. She will check everything I liked and decide what we'll be having in the shop in the coming months. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

When does the good luck begin?

This is the last photo I'll be posting for a while. Something happened to my photo upload program and I'm still not sure how to use some of the other ones I have.

So far this year I've managed to get a virus that has affected my email. I've spent some time and money talking to the people at AT&T and they think they have fixed the problem. I'm not so sure since I'm still getting messages that emails have been bounced. Well, that's an improvement, I suppose. Still not quite what I paid for. So it's back to the phone tomorrow.

And the washing machine broke down in the middle of my second load. That was Tuesday. The technician showed up late today to repair it. So, I'm a couple of days behind on my normal schedule/routine. I hate that. The last load is in the dryer right now.

So, I'm not so sure that the good luck dinner on New Year's Day is actually working.

About the photo though. I'm making a cardigan using some yarn I got in a swap or a destash. It's called Kelly and is from Filtes King which appears to be a Canadian company but it might be German. Anyway, it's cotton and feels like dried grass. But it's easy to see what you're doing. I made the pattern using my pattern making program. I've done a bit more since I took that photo. That was two skeins. I'm just starting the fourth.

I was hoping for some sunshine to get a better photo but that hasn't happened so far.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


It's only day one and I'm already behind. I had planned to finish this Boneyard shawl last night. But I was tired and sleepy and I could tell that there weren't enough hours left in 2010 to get it done. I was sound asleep shortly before midnight.

Those are some really washed out photos. I used six skeins of Noro Silk Garden Lite in color 2049. I started with five but had to get one more so I could put the wide border that the pattern stipulates.

I haven't woven the end or blocked the shawl as yet. Maybe tomorrow.

I fixed myself a "good luck" dinner today. Black eyed peas, ham, sweet potatoes and corn bread. I don't know if it's working yet. The first piece of cornbread fell on the floor and went everywhere. The second piece and all else was good.

I've been browsing my books and Ravelry. I have lots of ideas for projects for the coming year. Now I need to quit looking and make some decisions.