Saturday, September 29, 2007


Today, with fall in the air, I decided it was the perfect day to get a some housekeeping in. Now before you feel to bad for me, I have to confess, I don't meaing cleaning!! And I did get out and enjoy the beautiful day we had here. I walked up town this morning, got a few errands done and visited a couple of my favorite consignment stores. I even came home with some bargains. At one store I found a single 50g skein of some older Fortissima cream colored sock weight yarn for $.50. Of course I bought it to add to my sock stash. Maybe I can experiment with dyeing and use it for the heels and toes on a future pair.

I returned home to a quiet house... the perfect opportunity to knit right? Wrong!!
First I frogged a WIP, the cable scarf that was driving me insane. I was using Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends, (acrylic and alpaca). It sheds horribly. Everytime I worked on that scarf I ended up looking like I'd sheared the animal myself and had to wrestle it to the ground in the process. The 2 unused skeins are going back to AC Moore and I'd like to say I tossed the remainng skein but I didn't. I sat and wound a center pull ball out of it just so I could cover my pants one more time with the tiny white guard hairs.

That started me on an organizing mission. I found myself picking through my meager stash. It's pretty pathetic, mostly acrylic, bought from the craft stores when I first started knitting again. It's sounds awful, but now that I've slowly been buying more of my yarn at LYS and using more wool and natural fibers I can feel the difference.

I sorted it into a couple of piles. I had a nice collection of little yarns balls in various colors. Let's be real... I'm never going to use this yarn. Recently my friend, Knitting Novice told me that her son's preschool collects yarn scraps for arts & crafts projects. So I filled a bag for him to take to school.

Then I piled up the yarn that was useable for small projects. I had a few full skeins and some partial skeins. Again, I'm probably not going to use this yarn anytime soon. So I'm going to donate it to Interim House, here in Philly. I heard about it on Brenda Dayne's podcast. It's residential drug & alcohol treatment facilty for women. As part of the recovery process they learn to knit and crochet and are always in need of yarn and needles.

Apparently, these ladies are really into felting and all I have is acrylic. So I feel a little bad. And I just went on about how I'm using less and less acrylic, like it's not good enough for me. But after thinking on it, I realized it's not bad yarn, it's just beginner yarn. It's what I bought when I was first getting back into knitting and it's what most beginners buy. And it's not that I won't ever buy acrylic again but I need to start fresh. So I'm going to pack this up, along with the large assortment of straight knitting needles I have and don't use and send them off. And if I have the opportunity to pick up some wool on sale I send some of that along.

What I have left is small, but it's my stash, some of it acrylic, some of it wool, some the dreaded alpaca. But I'm ready to accept the challenge and continue to enhance it. I better get busy, I risk being laughed off Ravelry if I post it there.

And my sock stash

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's Saturday Night

And I'm sitting here with my hubby, eating a Mr. Softee's ice cream cone, surfing the web, and watching college football. What could be better? Don't worry, knitting comes later. Not much going on in the knitting department. Still working on my sock as you can see (thanks for the pics Suzy):

I like this yarn, and the colors are knitting up nicely. Feels nice too. I don't have a lot done, because I have been so tired lately. I just can't get up in the morning. I'm not a morning person to begin with, and this week has been especially tough. I just can't get it together this week. Not much else is new. Work is busy. Boss is off next week. Yea! Definitely hitting the LYS at lunch next week. Oh, the library has the book I wanted, so I'll pick that up on Monday. Still reading Beautiful and Damned. It's okay. I own it, so if it takes me forever, that's okay. Can't wait to get my hands on New Moon though. What has happened to our star-crossed lovers. I just know they are.

Going to see the parents tomorrow. They live around the corner, so it's not like it's far. I'll definitely bring my knitting though. My mom always offers "bad" snacks and things when I'm there, and since I would like to shape up a bit, that's off limits.

Looking forward to October. I absolutely love the fall. All the wonderful smells, like pumpkin, apples, and spice. Comfy jogging pants. Cool weather and I have some exciting events coming up. Convention for work, trip to the amusement park, and I'm planning to check out Stephanie Peal-McPhee (The Yarn Harlot) on her book tour. I was so surprised to see she was coming to my area. Very excited about that.

Okay, well that's all I have for now. I need to go knit so take care.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Monday....blah

I am stuck in a bit of a rut right now. My Garden of Eden (GOE) scarf is coming along, although it is driving me crazy. Pretty and soft, but difficult to knit with. I did CO and knit a new sock yarn, but ended up having to frog it because I messed up in two separate locations. Don't know what, probably dropped a stitch or something, but I felt compelled to rip it out and start anew. Plus I wasn't happy with the cuff. K1P1 ribbing, but not very elastic. I think it's the yarn. I bought it on sale at the LYS, but it didn't have a band. I believe it's Austerman. It has a string-like feeling, and not as nice as my first sock yarn. (You never forget your first do you?) The colors are variegated so I do like the way it was coming out, except for my boo-boos of course. I hope to have something posted by the end of the week, picture included. Suzy bring in your camera Friday. This is the only picture I could find that comes close to what I have. My ball is probably discontinued or something. Or maybe it's a different manufacturer.

And my poor poncho has been completely forgotten about. Not really forgotten, just ignored. I guess because the yarn is kind of boring, although when I do finally finish, it will be beautiful. Other than that, not much else going on in my knitting world. Haven't really purchased any yarn, because I feel I need to decrease my stash some what. Maybe I'll go next weekend and purchase some.

BB8...can't stand the finalists, don't get me started. At least Survivor is starting soon. Yes, I love Survivor, don't even go there. Never finished the witch of cologne, she was working my nerves. So I have started a classic. Good so far, but lets see how long that lasts. Colts are 2-0, yea! Happy about that. And hockey season is about to get under way, so I'm very excited about that.

Well, I have nothing else to report at the moment, so take care, and TTFN :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Blog Hog

At the risk of being labeled a blog hog... I'm going to pop in and post a picture of one of my recent FO's. I acquired the yarn for this project during a recent 50% off online sale. A posting on the KH message board about Malabrigo for $6 a hank started a total run on this site. Now, I'd never seen, nor touched Malabrigo but had heard it was extremely pleasurable to knit with. But in the ordering frenzy, I also found myself a little distracted by the possibilty of snagging some sock yarn. New sock knitter here!! And to further complicate matters, my time was limited... it was lunchtime, I was at work and my budget was tight.

So you know what they say, order in haste, kick yourself in the ass later. When the dust had settled I found I had ordered 1 single hank of Malabrigo, along with some new sock yarns. One hank!! What was I thinking?? And to top it off, I totally missed the sale pages on Lorna's Laces until it was too late.

I received my little package in the mail a couple of days later and immediately tried to figure out what I was going to do with a single hank of the lovely Malabrigo. The yardage was listed as 216 yards so my plan for a big, fluffy, cable scarf draped multiple times around my neck... wasn't to be.

I searched high and low for a suitable pattern and with a little help from the online knitting community found the "Rainy Day Scarf".

Mmmmalabrigo!! Live and Learn.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ode to a Knitting Novice

I have this friend, let's call her Knitting Novice (
She considers me her knitting guru. To be honest, I am a bit older than Knitting Novice. And I have been knitting a few years longer than she has. I'm honored. But I recently realized that although she considers me her knitting guru, the truth of the matter is, that in our knitting relationship, she has been the teacher.

I first learned to knit about 25 years ago when my kids were little, like hers are now. I had a friend who crocheted and she taught me that. I enjoyed crocheting for awhile. But I started to notice that all the patterns I really liked were knitted. So I ended up taking a knitting class at my LYS. Yes, there were "yarn shops" in those days, but this was before the huge resurgence in knitting .... before the internet!! I knit for a few years, nothing too outrageous, little hats and mittens and little sweaters. Then life got busy and with everything else I had going on, my knitting fell to the way side. I picked it up again a few years ago when the grandchildren started coming along. And again, nothing too ambitious, I made baby blankets, hats, mittens, the occasional little sweater, and scarves. Scarves were my speciality!

When Jenny Girl learned to knit I was so excited. I had a knitting friend. Someone I could talk knitting with and share projects and ideas. We both shopped mostly at craft stores for yarn (found LYS a little intimidating) and talked about learning to knit socks. I was comfortable in my little knitting niche.

Since Knitting Novice has been knitting, her excitement for it has been contagious. With her example I have ventured into new territory....
  • Blogs!! Knitting Novice kept bugging.. I mean encouraging me to start a blog. And Jenny Girl apparently got tired of me talking about it and took the initiative and here we are. (Thanks JG)
  • Socks!!! Jenny Girl and I both have finished our first pairs. Now socks are going to be my speciality. And since we are sock knitters, LYS don't scare us anymore.
  • Ravelry... yea, I'm on the waiting list (with all the other cool people).
  • Podcasts!!!! I'm totally in. Listening to Stash & Burn, Socks in the City, Cast On and Lime and Violet and more as I find them.

So thanks Knitting Novice.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I have been warned....

Hey all! I have been warned by a close associate [guess who :)] to post the pictures of my scarf. This scarf has been started several times, and is now staying on 10.5 needles.

Yes, it is fluffy and soft, however the yarn is a pain to work with. It is Eden by Moda Dea. It has been in my stash calling my name, since it matches my winter coat perfectly. Suzy Girl picked it up for me on clearance, back in the day when I first started knitting. I was origanlly going to alternate it with a solid color yarn I found that actually matches pretty well. I figured contrasting it would look cute. Okay, well that's so not going to happen, due to the degree of difficulty when working with eden yarn. Hmmm...I shall call this project Garden of Eden Scarf.

I didn't work on this last night, because I was busy watching Jane Austin's Pride and Predjudice. It is a 1995 mini series version with Colin Firth as Darcy. It is absolutly faithful to the book. I still have part three to go, so maybe tonight before Big Brother comes on. Sorry but I like some reality tv. Jane Austin is my #1 author, and has been since high school. She is witty and sarcastic as she portrays the times she lives in. I haven't seen the current movie "Becoming JA", although I would like to. I believe next year the BBC will be showing all new versions of JA's 6 novels. I will be buying those DVDs.

What else...Oh, my current book, Witch of Cologne, is starting to bore me, so I am on the prowl for something good. I'm sure I can come up with something. Take care until next time!


Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday, Monday…..

What a long day!! I got up late and had to run for the train and from that point on there was only one direction to go …… down. The only bright spot was the delicious homemade potato soup Jenny Girl made on Sunday and brought in to share with me. Yum!!

I finished the Tumbling Block sock! Yea, first of the pair. And rather than cast on for the second one right away I decided to switch off and get started on the second sock of my faux fair isle pair, (Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima Socka). My strategy for socks is to keep switching off… thus avoiding SSS and never being bored by the same exact sock twice in a row. The sock rules according to Suzy Girl, which are subject to change at my discretion, are that I can have 2 pair OTN at one time but can’t cast on for a 3rd pair until I’ve finished one of the two pair in progress. Welcome to my world. It’s not easy being me.

After much consideration I decided that I'd like my Socka socks to be twins.... yes, paternal twins, not fraternal twins. With the fair isle patterning it just seems like it should (to me anyway). So, I started off and did my best to start my cast on with the same color sequence and just when I was beginning to feel pretty good about it.... the cream/green color change went haywire.
While I considered how to deal with that dilemma, I picked up my aran cable scarf and thought I'd spend a little quality knitting time with that. But no! That project is not behaving as I want either. So that may get frogged and restarted as well. This time as Silver’s Palindrome scarf. What it is with bad Mondays!!

So in an effort to end this post on a happier note, and to catch up. Here’s a pic of an actual FO. My “Branching Out” scarf (pattern courtesy of Susan Pierce Lawrence) in elsebeth lavold silky wool. I actually bought this yarn to make my MOB wedding shawl but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted for my dress so I ended up using one of the hanks for the scarf instead. It was my first real attempt at a lace pattern and when I realized the pattern called for elsebeth lavold silky wool it seemed like an omen.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Jenny's got two socks. Yipee! "What about me?", said my OTN poncho.

I have finished my first pair of socks. I am very proud of myself, since I used websites, Suzy Girl, and books to do it. Here is a photo. (See, told I would eventually have some of these.) And look at how much yarn I have ;leftover. I'm going to try to work it into a scarf. I can be creative now and then.

So, my WIP I have had OTN for quite some time: the poncho with sleeves. I bought this in the Spring, figuring I would have it finished in time for fall. Well, that's so not going to happen. As you can see, I have quite a ways to go. This is only the back. LOL Maybe by next fall, but I have other projects in mind, such as more socks, a bunny thingy for my friend's baby that is due in February. Gotta get cracking on that. Oh yeah, and a shrug for my big vacation next October. More on that in future posts.

Last night, I started a scarf while watching the Colts-Saints game. I am a gi-huge-ic Colts fan. Since 1997, so don't even think about going there. Anyway, I started a sock last night, but got distracted by the game, and had to frog it, hence the easy garter scarf, but with fancy yarn. Photo on that next week.

So you see, I have a lot going on. Oh yeah, I also take classes at night twice a week. But I'm finally a senior, so when I graduate I'll have extra free time to knit.

Besides knitting, I also love to read. Fiction, romantic historical fiction, historical fiction, and some fantasy books, like Harry Potter. The woman can write, what can I say! Anything fun, enjoyable, and a bit escapist I guess. Anyway, I just finished Twilight, and I absolutely loved it! Love story between young girl and a vamp. I was huge Buffy/Angel fan. Anyway, the writing was good and left me wanting more, so I am waiting for the second book from the library. It's a pretty popular series now apparently. Young adult fiction, but like MR. Sinatra said, "You have to be young at heart."

Enjoy your weekend and talk to you soon. TTFN :)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Elusive Lure of Ravelry

You signed up on July 28, 2007
You are #21363 on the list.
9862 people are ahead of you in line.
9823 people are behind you in line.
36% of the list has been invited so far

Well, I finally jumped on the biggest bandwagon to come along in ages….. Ravelry. As you can see, I resisted a little longer than I should have and find myself over a month later with almost 10,000 people still ahead of me in line. Even though it looks like it’ll be awhile before I get my invite, I decided to take pictures of some recently FO’s, some WIP and do a quick inventory of my needles and stash in anticipation of that happy day.

The inventory part didn’t take long. I don’t really have a large stash. I know what you’re thinking…. “and she has the nerve to call herself a knitter and have a knitting blog!!”. Well, in my defense, years of being a single Mom have made me still a bit frugal with the cash when it comes to spending on myself. I’ve only recently graduated to shopping at my LYS and online rather than my local craft store (i.e AC Moore and Michael’s). In fact, I may soon become a real yarn snob.

So you won’t find 4 and 5 skeins of top quality natural fiber yarns hanging around my house with nothing to do. Heck, you won’t even find more than one or two unused skeins of acrylic yarn languishing unused at my place. Currently I have about 5 pair’s worth of sock yarn, that I bought recently and a larger collection of odds and ends left over from previous projects. Why I save every little bit of leftover yarn I don’t know, but I always think it'll come in handy for something. And actually I do have a plan. I have this vision in my head that someday I will use these odds and ends and create these really amazing, funky, bohemian looking scarves. When I wear them I’ll feel very hip and bohemian. In reality, to make this happen will probably require a trip to my LYS to pick up some really funky, beautiful, hand painted yarns to make the AC Moore leftovers look good.

But anyway, here’s what I have going on as a result of my little inventory. I'll post some pics over the next few days, starting with the knitting I did for my daughter's wedding. Now you don't think I was going to not include knitting in the wedding or wedding in the knitting blog did you?? It goes without saying, both things are very near and dear to me. Well, actually, the wedding preoccupied me more than almost anything else ever has so I got very little knitting done this spring. And what I did knit, I started at the last minute. But then, I work well under pressure.

I know I should get them organized in flickr or something like that for Ravelry but for now at least I have the pictures. Organization is next, that’s what Ravelry is for, right?

FO in 2007
  • Shrug for granddaughter #2 in Paton Glittalic in "blue flash". Fluffy, slighty glittery, just her thing. She was the flower girl in #2 DD beach wedding this summer so it came in very handy later in the evening during the tented reception when the air cooled off a bit.
  • Shawl for me in TLC Cotton Plus in the color "thistle". Same event but not glittery or fluffy.
  • Branching Out scarf.... my first “name” project with LYS purchase – elsebeth lavold silky wool in periwinkle.
  • Malabrigo Rainy Day Scarf in Paris Night colorway .... mmmmmmmmm!
  • First pair of socks in Tofutsies... pic previously posted.


  • Crew neck sweater for grandson #1 in Caron Simply Soft Tweed, Autumn Red.
  • Shrug for granddaughter #1 in Caron Simply Soft (black, her choice, she’s at that age and not as flashy as her sister).
  • 2nd pair of socks in Fortissima Socka, a self striping faux fair isle pattern.
  • 3rd pair of socks, a Crystal Palace Yarns pattern called Tumbling Blocks in Tofutsies.
  • Aran cable scarf, a gift project, in Bernat Alpaca “Natural Blends” 70% acrylic and 30% alpaca.

In the queue

  • More socks, to include a plain black pair for my son (sibling rivalry is not a pretty thing, especially amongst 20-somethings).
  • Washcloths to give as gifts with little homemade soaps.
  • a Clapotis ( I don’t even know how to pronounce it but I want one out of beautiful, expensive yarn!)
  • Silver’s Palindrome scarf.
  • Felted tote bag.

So anyday now, I'll be joining the party on Ravelry and then I'll get no actual knitting done!!