Wednesday, November 16, 2005


What is it with us Geminis (Geminians?)? Do we have no self-control? Are we not able to exercise the least bit of restraint? Do we not know how to utter the word 'No'?

Apparently not.

It's not enough that I've already got approximately 283 UFO's strewn around my office. It doesn't matter that I only have 1 more evening of knitting to do until I'm finished with 'My So Called Scarf'. Oh no. Not only do I have to start a new project, I have to start TWO new projects. No one ever said I did things by halves. Okay. Maybe they have. Maybe a LOT of people have. But you don't have to point it out.

First of all, I'm almost done with My So Called Scarf.

I just love the colors that have come out of these skeins. To my mind, it's like a flower garden that I'll be able to wear around my neck. I'm much happier with it after frogging and starting with the other end of the skein. The only color I'm not crazy about is the bit of brown, but I can live with it. But, would someone please tell me what the deal is with the Noro Silk Garden? Can you not buy this stuff without getting at least one knot per ball? The first ball had one knot and the second ball had THREE knots! That's a bit much, if you ask me. Go ahead, ask me.

I'm loving these new Crystal Palace Bamboo needles. There's a sticker on the package proclaiming them a 'new design'. They're slicker than any of the Clover bamboos I've got and they swivel on the cord. REALLY nice to work with and, I think, worth the $14.25 price tag.

Last week I bought the Essential Stripe sweater pattern from Wendy's Knit and Tonic site. This is one of the projects I had to begin before finishing my scarf. I had some skeins of TLC Cara Mia yarn in my stash that I'd bought on sale at JoAnn's. I was just going to use it for making hats, but it's actually really lovely to knit with. It's got 13% angora and it's knitting up really nicely. This is my very first attempt at a sweater and I'm hoping that it's successful. I did have to go up a couple of needle sizes to get the gauge right, so we'll see. At any rate, I'm enjoying it and it's knitting up pretty quickly.

Finally, I just HAD to cast on the Flower Basket Shawl from Interweave Knits Fall 2004. I just HAD to.

Oh, what a treat this yarn is to knit with! I just happened (what are the odds?) to have in my stash the exact yarn called for in the pattern. Misti Alpaca in Laceweight. The very yarn I just happened to buy during one of my (numerous) recent trips to the LYS. What luck! How fortuitous! It must have been destiny. And so I cast on. How could I not? It was destiny, I tell ya.

It's been cooler here in the evenings, which means more cuddling.

Alfie and Ollie, trying to keep warm on a cold (65 degrees) Southern California evening. You can see why I needed to start on the Essential Stripe sweater. We're practically down into single digits! Brrr!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I love Silk Garden

I've had 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden #87 in my stash for quite some time and just didn't know what to do with it. I'd bought it not long after I learned to knit with the intention of knitting a scarf, but quickly got bored with knitting garter stitch scarves. Since I only had 2 skeins, it wasn't enough to knit a very big project with, but I didn't want to waste it on a project unworthy of it's loveliness. So, I just kept it in my stash and fondled it lovingly every so often.

A few months ago, Tammy posted a pic of a scarf she'd knit using the free My So Called Scarf pattern. I immediately knew that it was the perfect pattern for my treasured Silk Garden. A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to casting it on. I think it showcases the yarn beautifully. I got sidetracked with something else and put it aside for a while. The other night I picked it up and started on it again.

Unfortunately, as you can see, my tension changed drastically as I got used to the stitch. Also, I didn't like that the inside of the skein started with brown. That was the only somber bit in the entire skein and I just didn't like the fact that I would always be looking down at brown. Yuck. I love beautiful colors - purples and greens and oranges - and that's what I wanted to see. So I frogged it and started knitting from the other end. Ahhhh! Much better! Lovely pinks, blues, greens, purples, all flowing beautifully. By the time I got to the brown it fit in just right.

I started out knitting this on size 11 aluminum straight needles because they were nice and slippery. Silk is a bit sticky and the aluminum needles worked well with it. However, I couldn't knit sit comfortable in my chair and knit with those long needles. My shoulders started aching and I kept hitting the cat in my lap with the ends. I only had size 11 circulars in plastic and that slowed me waaaaay down. That silk yarn did not want to slide over the plastic. So, what's a girl to do but go out and buy more needles?

I bought the new Crystal Palace Bamboo circulars that swivel on the cord. LOVE them! The needles are just slippery enough and swivel smoothly. They were a bit pricey - $14.25, but worth it. I'll definitely be buying more.

I took the following pics when I was in Michigan last month visiting my parents. The trees were starting to show the fall colors in earnest and I got some good shots. Here's what my Mumma looks out at as she's sitting in bed:

Some lovely little wildflowers:

And, lastly, a little family I happened upon:

Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm on a roll...

2 nights of blogging in a row - woohoo!

I just happened to open up an old issue of Creative Knitting (March 2005) and found a pattern for some cute socks using Paton's Grace. I'd made a cotton chemo cap for my Mom with 2 skeins that Melanie sent me as a surprise and liked working with the yarn. I decided to try out the sock pattern and went out and got 2 skeins of Grace in the same colorway. I'm knitting these on dpn's, so here's the result thus far:

I really like the colorway and the pattern knits up very quickly because they're knit on size 3 needles. I knit up one sock in just a few hours.

Here's the result of a recent visit to my LYS:

Do I know what I'm going to use these for? Not really. I was sort of thinking about using the Kid Merino for the Flower Basket Shawl from the Fall 2004 Interweave Knits. I'm not sure which shawl I'll use the Misti Alpaca for, but I'm sure I'll think of something. I already had 3 skeins of the Elba, but decided I needed a 4th. I'm making a little wrap with a drop stitch, but I'm sure it'll be too cold to wear it by the time I'm finished. I just absolutely fell in love with this colorway way back in May when I first saw it and just had to have it. It makes me smile every time I see it.

Finally, I'll leave you with a shot of Ollie, enjoying some of my knitting magazines:

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Oh man, I suck

It's only been 3 WEEKS since I last posted.

When I was in junior high I was given a 5 year diary for my birthday. For the first year and a half I diligently wrote in it every single day. Of course, there were only about 5 lines available per day, so it's not like it was a huge undertaking. Pretty much, it took 2 minutes and I was done for the day. After about a year and a half the entries kind of dwindled to maybe a couple of times a week, then a few times a month and, finally, there were no more entries for the remaining 2 and a half years.

Then, when I was in 11th grade, I was given a new journal. It looked like blue denim and had little gnomes in the bottom of each page. That was the year I was deeply and passionately in love with Monty Johnson. I'd go on and on for pages about how much I loved Monty and how gorgeous he was. It was really sickening. He liked me, too, but I'm sure he didn't wax poetic about me to his journal. He was a year older than me and I thought he was so sophisticated. We were briefly considered an item until he met *gritted teeth* Melissa in the school musical. He dropped me so fast it wasn't even funny. I was heartsick and couldn't even bring myself to write about it in my journal. Since I didn't have anything else to write about, my journal languished, neglected, in my drawer. That was pretty much the end of my journal writing.

The point is, blogging is online journaling and I suck at it.

Okay, now that you know that I suck, let's see some finished stuff.

Finally, a picture of my blocked Pi Shawl. This pic was taken while it was still pinned out and drying. It took almost 500 pins to block it! The only place with enough room to block it was on the living room floor. We'd just had the carpet professionally shampooed that afternoon, so it was clean and pet hair free (for about 15 minutes). It may look like there's a slight stain in the middle of the shawl, but it's actually on the old sheet underneath.

When I went to visit my Mumma in Michigan last month I gave her this shawl. She's lost so much weight from the cancer that she's cold all the time.

While I was there, I made Fiber Trends felted clogs and felted hat. Both turned out great, but I felted the hat about 5 minutes too long and it's just a bit too snug for either my Mom or me. I'm told that I can re-wet it and really stretch it out so that's what I'll try to do.

I haven't taken a pic of the hat yet. I must say that I'm very pleased with the clogs and I wear them every day. Both the hat and the clogs were very easy to knit and I had them all done in about 4 days.

Yarn: Cascade 220

Needles: Size 13 Bamboo 24" circulars

Pattern: Fiber Trends Felted Clogs #AC-33X

Time: About 3 days

I'll get more stuff up in the next few days and I'll really try not to suck at this blogging thing.