Friday, January 27, 2006

Did you hear the thumping?

Don't worry, it was just me doing the happy, jumping-up-and-down dance. I got a package on the doorstep when I got home from running errands. Hmmm, from I know I didn't order anything from there and it has MY name on it. Little tendrils of "is it an SP7 thing" started humming in my brain. I open it up and it is Holiday Knits! Whoohoo. Thank you, Secret Pal!

OTN: I'm knitting away on the FLAK and have about 3 inched of the back done so far. I'm really enjoying the cables and the color and the yarn.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Lacy Ribs update

A picture from a few days ago. Now it is longer and has part of an arm.

chickie sayings....

KT and I were walking to the bus stop. The collar of her winter coat was pushing the furry trim on the hood of her cardigan up around her chin and cheeks. She says to me, "Look, I'm a poodle! This makes me feel as warm as a marshmallow in a s'mores." Ah, this girl at 6 years of age has talent that I always struggled with. I cannot think up metaphors other than very trite, unoriginal ones. Mr. E. in high school English class always seemed too joyful when he would grade my paper "C", "trite". Another favorite saying of KT when she is cold and shivering is, "I'm colder than an ice cube."

I'll leave you with that less than warm thought...however it is dry outside today which makes it 2 in a row (after about 35 days of precipitation).

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oooo, the excitement

I feel like Christmas is approaching (so soon). My Secret Pal contacted me and I've got those little butterflies of excitement in the bottom of my stomach! Or maybe it's just gastro-intestinal complaints about the stressful afternoon volunteering in a 3rd grade class. I'm really thinking it's the first and not the second possibility.

On the knitting scene...since the next FLAK installment isn't coming out until Tuesday, I have time to start something new. Ha ha. Please don't ask if I've finished the Three Penny Pullover yet since the answer is "no". I love the yarn, but it is a labor intensive project and I was thinking more about a simple to make yet textured sweater using the Webs Valley Merino. So, I've settled on the Lace Ribs Pullover from Knitter's Stash. It is not complicated, but I do like its uncommon cast on for the neck and knitting it top down with shoulder saddles and all. I am already done with the front down to the bottom of the arm holes and am starting on the back. I am wondering how far I will get before Tuesday and the FLAK once again consumes my knitting time.

A month ago I started an Excel file labelled "Yarn Inventory" so I could list the yarn, fiber type, yardage, # of skeins and most importantly, the intended project. I have enough yarn for 5 sweaters. Yikes! However, I have no sock yarn and am sad about that. It is hard justifying the acquisition of more yarn (for socks) when I have so much yarn already. My feet are begging for another pair of jaywalkers and I was looking at the Koigu and Socks that Rocks colors. Finally, I just had to walk away from the computer and it's screen full of tempting, soft socky-goodness.

Maybe it's better to focus on those bridesmaids dresses I need to work on...April 29th is approaching quickly. It is sometime hard to be motivated for someone elses' bridesmaids' dresses. Big Sigh. Okay, no more feeling sorry for myself when I joyfully accepted the project in order to help a friend. Moving on...

Monday, January 16, 2006

And the chart

Just in case anyone wants to see my pretty FLAK chart

This is better

Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran
Size 5 needles

FLAK swatch with Webs Valley Merino

ick...looks nice, but very hard to do on size 5 needles.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Lame brain

Yes, I'm a bit slow with the brain power and I finally noticed that my Jaywalker sock picture didn't upload. They are from Knitpicks and are soft and warm. I really enjoyed making these socks and am glad that the next one will take half as long since I won't have to knit & frog the heel 4 times! I'm off to stash dive and see if I have any more sock yarn...


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

SP7 Questionnaire answers....

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? My personal preferences for my own knitting projects are natural fibers, but I don’t purposely avoid certain labels. My decisions are based on the softness, appropriateness for the project, color, etc. and I avoid those fibers that are scratchy. I am usually cold all winter and my aim this winter is to stay warm. The latest projects I have made have all been merino or merino blend and I am definitely warmer (and therefore happier).

2. Do you spin? Crochet? I am a new spindle owner and have 8 oz. of roving. I have spun up a little bit, but am not proficient in any way. I do enjoy watching the spindle spin and see the twist run up the fiber. Very cool! A would like to become proficient at crochet as I love some of the arigurumi critters I see on the web. So far I can do the basics, but have trouble following the directions and easily lose my place.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? My straight needles are standing upright in a basket and my circulars and dpns are in zippered pencil pouches contained in a large binder.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting for 14 years and consider my skill level to be intermediate. I started with cables, then did intarsia before doing anything considered "beginner". This last year I’ve done gloves and socks as well as a Rogue sweater that I love.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I have a short Amazon wish list.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Lightly scented items are nice and I enjoy the cucumber melon or citrus scents very much.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I love dark chocolate and candies with texture (i.e. nuts, coconut, crunchy stuff). My sweet tooth extends widely to all sorts of candy, cookies, pastries, muffins, cakes, etc.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I am a dabbler and admitted hobby junky so here is the incomplete list: jewelry – sterling silver chains, beading, metal work, etc.; rubberstamping and paper crafts in general; bookbinding, sewing; mixed media art – watercolor, acrylics, collage; gardening (because tomatoes in the store just don’t taste as good); making jam/jelly, baking/cooking. Maybe it’s easier to list what I don’t do and that would be cross stitch. I am so slow at it and tend to poke my finger with the needle all too often which causes consternation at my bleeding on my project.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like Christian worship music and am tending towards some of the more rock-like sounds. I blame this on my learning to play the electric bass guitar this last year. I play at church, but don’t consider myself beyond the beginner stage yet. I also like Sarah Brightman, Enya, Sting...basically a wide variety except not really any country-style music.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? My absolute favorite color is a dark blue-violet that looks like ripe blueberries. About the only color I don’t like in my clothes is orange and yellow as they make me look sickly. Jewel colors (i.e. dark blue, deep purples, burgundy/wines) look best on me.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am delightfully married to Chris (14 years) and we have 3 girls, Kimmy (11), Kristen (8) and Katie (6). We adore our mini rex rabbit, cinnamon, whom we generally call "Bun".

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear scarves and hats. I prefer gloves to mittens except that I love both fingerless gloves and fingerless mittens. I am not a poncho person as it just seems to get in the way or twisted about me. I do like shawls and I love my Clapotis as it can be used as a scarf and a shawl. I have a Punta (headband/earwarmer) on my list of projects to make.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Right now I love merino wools, baby alpaca, cotton/microfiber blends...basically anything soft.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Scratchy yarn, yarn that splits easily (lion brand microfiber would be an example), 100% acrylics and yarns that contain VM as it causes my hayfever to flair up.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? I feel I’ve come full circle since I began knitting as my very first project was a cabled sweater and I’m now working on 2 cabled sweaters.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? This is a hard question as I just love knitting, but I think that in the winter I enjoy sweaters and socks the most because I anticipate how warm they will keep me. Scarves are great projects for when I’m in the car or waiting at the doctor’s.

17. What are you knitting right now? On the needles now are: Ruffled scarf, HP scarf, Three Penny Pullover (Malabrigo), FLAK swatches, fingerless mitts for my daughter’s friend.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, handmade gifts are very much enjoyed and appreciated.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? I prefer circulars, especially when I knit in the car because dh feels that he would be less likely to get stabbed by a needle.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? All, depending upon the project. For slippery yarns, I like bamboo and for others I prefer metal. I have quite a collection of both. I don’t have an opinion about plastic since I haven’t used them.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I have a ball winder, but not a swift. It is on my wish list.

22. How did you learn to knit? My dh had a business trip to London and I was able to go with him. While shopping around I saw a lovely sweater that I thought would make a nice, useful souvenir of our trip. When I went to look at it, I realized they weren’t selling the sweater, but I was in a yarn department and it was just a sample! By then I really WANTED the sweater and so I decided that I would learn how to make the sweater. I bought the pattern (a Rowan, cabled sweater), but no yarn as I thought it was more expensive than I could find in the US (shows how little I knew). After returning home, I found a yarn shop, bought yarn and a teach-yourself-to-knit book. Then I dove in and made my sweater. It was beginner’s ignorance because I didn’t know cables were supposed to be hard and I made a beautiful sweater that was 2 sizes too small. I was paranoid about running out of yarn and my tension was very tight as I was learning. Even though I knew about dye lots, I was ignorant about swatching for gauge. It was not all wasted though because my MIL loves the sweater and it fits her well. I have not made another sweater from this pattern for myself, but I think that someday I will.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? Perhaps 2 years old. This would be a ruffled scarf (from Scarf Style) done in Kidsilk mohair. I think I’m about halfway through.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? I can’t think of a favorite animated character although I liked Kipper when the kids were younger. My favorite animal is easier and it is probably a tie between giraffes and our pet rabbit. I don’t know what it is about giraffes, but they are just such a funny, amazing mix of physical attributes.

25. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all the blessings in my life and in our family. We eat well and enjoy being with family and it’s not focused on getting presents.

26. Is there anything that you collect? Besides yarn?! I don’t collect any one thing, just the many things that go with my many hobbies.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? I have been looking at some of the Rowan classic books and some of the Jaeger pattern books that go along with their Matchmaker Merino. Any Aran pattern books or aran harmony books as well as Elsbeth Lavold’s Viking Knits.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Thrummed mittens sound interesting. Needle felting looks like fun.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I love socks. Foot circumference is 8 ¾" and ankle circumference is 8 ¼". I usually make my socks 7" high.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 11/12

Monday, January 02, 2006


Success is accomplishing that which I've set out to do. See the SP7 button on the side bar complete with link. Who says those Fortran classes 20 years ago were worthless. I take it back as I can tackle this HTML stuff and figure out the basics.

Cannot do and Can do

Grrr! Okay, I signed up for photobucket so I could add the SP7 button. Since I have no knowledge of HTML, I'm stuck. The button picture shows up, but no link. I did figure out how to add the link to the side, but no button.

Well, I will do what I know how. Here's my finished Jaywalker socks! Kimmy spotted them right away and was petting my ankle. Silly girl.

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