Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Things I am excited about!

There are so many knitterly things going on right now that I am all a-flutter about.

1. YARN SCHOOL! I can't believe it's only a month away. When I started planning to go, it seemed impossibly far in the future. I'm looking forward to a weekend away, a chance to meet other fiber peoples and learning how to improve my spinning and getting into dying a little more.

2. Secret Pal 11! I had such a good time on the LJ Secret Pal swap that I jumped at the chance to join SP11. I'm already plotting for how I'm going to spoil my pal - I've got a mini-kick-off package nearly all ready to go out this week. I've exchanged e-mail with my spoiler, I hope I've given her enough to work with, and that she'll ask any questions if she needs to. (I'm not always very good at small talk with strangers, so hopefully I'm not coming off as too aloof or not interested.)

3. Spirit Trail Fiberworks Yarn Club! My lovely husband signed me up for this as a birthday present back in May. Waiting for that first shipment (not until the end of July!) was like torture! I've gotten two of the three shipments now, and I am SO pleased with the club. Last month, I got a skein of sock yarn, a cute sock pattern, a pound of really yummy coffee and a bumper sticker. This month, a skein of some truly divine bombyx silk (and I don't usually love 100% silk yarns, but this is totally not snaggy, at least so far), a gorgeous and unusual scarf pattern for the yarn, a pack of Knitter's Review notecards, and another cute car sticker. I'm SO glad that he listened to my hints for presents this year, and that he picked the more general yarn club instead of the sock club I'd been pointing toward - this is turning out far more fun than three months of socks!

4. Christmas knitting! Those of you who know me IRL may remember that in years past I have cheerily proclaimed that I "don't do Christmas knitting". This year, I am inspired. I have projects in mind for my sister, my brother, my me-mere, my Dad, my Mom and hopefully I can think of something for my other brother. If I have time, something for my SiL and my not-yet-SiL as well. It's early, so I'm still in that happy place where I can pretend that I can get it all done without stressing myself out. The Ravelry queue feature is SO handy for keeping track of everything I'm wanting to knit for everyone.

5. Vacation knitting (see Christmas knitting)! Going on vacation next week; hoping for a fair amount of knitting time. A start on the Christmas knitting, and just maybe, I can start the Knitwits hat kit I bought an age ago to practice fair isle.

I love the return of fall, and good knitting weather. I'm so happy that my crazy busy summer is drawing to a close and that we'll be back in our normal school year routine soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Slogging at the speed of sound

I'm going all out trying to finish the Mystery Stole. I've got about 40 more rows to go, but they are some crazy log rows at this point. As long as I finish the knitting by Thursday afternoon, I can always block in on the hotel bed on Friday to wear on Saturday. (I swear, it's like my brain thinks being in the "blocked in the hotel room the night before" club makes me a cool kid or something. How else to explain wasting TONS of time not-knitting last week. Sometimes I hate my brain. But, I think I might actually make it - I have Thursday off to get ready, and while I DO have to pack up for 1 1/2 weeks away from everyone, that shouldn't take the entire day.

I've nearly finished a little tank top for Widget, just in time for it to get cool, of course. I'm hoping that it'll either look cute layered over t-shirts or just maybe, still fit her in the spring. I used the left-over kertzer cotton from my friend's baby blanket, and it is an adorable little top. She loves it.

I don't think that I ever posted pictures of the finished blanket up here - I only just got to deliver it to the new wee one the weekend. What a beautiful little baby girl she is. I couldn't be more excited!

Here's the delightful blanket I worked up for her.

Pinwheel Edge



Pinwheel Baby Blanket with a seed stitch border and a picot edge bind off
Kertzer Butterfly Super10 yarn
Finished 7/19/07

So, we're off to the wedding on Thursday night and busy with that until Sunday morning. As long as there's no hiccups in the event, this is going to be a blast. We're all going out mini-golfing in full bridal party regalia (including the bride in her dress) after the reception, then they've chartered a shuttle bus to go bar hopping. This is why I planned a week at the lake immediately following - I'm going to need a vacation to recover from the wedding! And, of course, I need to figure out what I'm taking for knitting!

Then we get back and Ms. Widget heads off for her first day of elementary. She is excited and nervous, and worried about being the only one who's nervous. Full steam ahead into the fall schedule of school and dance classes and trying to find her a brownie troop, and then we'll be into the holidays. Which answers what I should bring on the trip... the holiday knitting!


Friday, August 24, 2007


I'm a slacker when it come to my own sky pictures. I admit this, and I'm mostly okay with it.

I'm making up for it this morning, by pointing y'all
over here.

Her blog is always entertaining, but today's sunrise pictures are stunning. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Someone tell me

why, when I have crazy insane deadline for a knitting project, I decide I really simply *must* spend all evening cleaning out the pantry closet that's not been cleaned in months?

Am I insane, or just stupid?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Secret Pal Survey thingie

I feel like a total slacker for not getting this up until today. Hopefully my Pal hasn't been waiting for it or anything! Oh! and also, I keep two blogs - this one is mostly my kniting and a little life rambling. My other is my livejournal. It's more personal stuff, but is mostly unlocked, so feel free to poke around over there as well, if you want.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love most wools, alpaca, cotton, bamboo, and am always up for trying something new. I love hand dyed and handspuns, and love yarns that are closer to the natural source of the fiber than those that are over-processed and commercial. I am not allergic to anything. I love mercerized cotton for summer knitting.

I absolutely hate acrylic - I can't wear it, so I won't generally knit with it. I'm not a fan of mohair either - awful to work with and itchy to boot. And not so much a fan of fun fur or "novelty" yarns either.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I've got a set of needle cases for all my needles. My other tools ride around in a little zippered pouch that moves from bag to bag to bag as I shift my projects around.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting for about 4 years now - I'm about 90% self taught. I'd claim my skill level as advanced, mostly in that I've not yet met anything I *can't* do, although there's planty out there that I choose not to.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I have one for Amazon here.

I've got a few sellers favorited on etsy here as well.

5. What's your favorite scent?

I love citrus-y and other fruit scents as long as they're true and not overly sweet. Also vanilla (and other baked goods) scents for bath products and candles. Flowery scents, especially lavender gives me headaches, so I'd would prefer not to get anything flowery.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I'm more of a salty-crunchy kind of girl than a sweet tooth kind, although I'll never turn down good chocolate or Jelly Belly jelly beans, either. I also love all things coffee and cheese. Can't think of anything I'd be sad to get - odds are if I don't like it, the husband or kidlet will love it.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I am a very beginning spinner. I also do cross stitch and needlepoint, and very basic sewing.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I've got pretty eclectic musical tastes, but particularly like folk and "roots" music, much classical, but am open to nearly everything. My computer can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love rich colors - jewel tones and warm rich earthy tones. I don't like screamy neons and am not a fan of pastels.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I'm married, with a 6 year old daughter. I have three cats (one who's a yarn thief), a snake, and a fish tank.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes to all of those except ponchos. I particularly love funky hats.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Pretty much anything and everything. I particularly love lace and socks and small things where I can experiment with wacky yarn or bright colors.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Mystery Stole (currently kicking my TAIL), tank top for my daughter (my own pattern, with lovely purple Kertzer cotton), scarf for Christmas gift (lacy etherial loveliness in my grandmother's favorite blue), socks (This is a lie. There's actually NO socks going, just about 4 different balls of sock yarn and needles riding around in my take everywhere bag).

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

My needle preference changes depending on the project and the yarn. I use circulars more often than straights, and have a love for bamboo, wood and Addis.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes to both

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Hee. about 3 1/2 years old. Soon it will all be ripped out.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving and Christmas. Arbor Day.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Those silly squished pennies you can make at tourist traps. And, you know, yarn. Other than that, not really - I never gotten into the whole collecting mode.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I really want the Interweave Favorite socks book. I don't have any subscriptions to magazine, but usually end up picking up Interweave at my yarn shop.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'm currently trying to psych myself up to learn fair isle, as stranded colorwork is one of the few techniques I want to use but haven't done much with. I have the pattern and yarn for the insane Dale of Norway ladybug sweater at home and just can't bring myself to cast on for it.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I am a sock knitter. Love them! I don't know my exact measurements, but I wear a size 9 shoe and have wide feet.

23. When is your birthday?


24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Yes - I'm siercia there too.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Weddings, a mystery and tassels

Tassel Hat

The world's busiest summer continues apace.

My brother got married last weekend! I'm very very happy for him. His bride is a wonderful woman, and they make a wonderful couple.

Ceremony end
I know this is not technically a great picture, but I love the joy in it.

Then, after the wedding, my parents took Widget for a week of vacation... for both them AND us. Since it's restaurant week in Boston, Wiley and I took full advantage of our temporary childless-ness and went out to dinner a LOT. She's home now, but it was a great trip for her, and break for us.

I'm knitting, and trying to spend less home time on the computer. Since work's been busy, I can't slack and play while I'm there.

The Mystery Stole is kicking my butt, and I very much doubt I'll have it finished in time for Pru's wedding in September.

Mystery Stole
Not blocked or pinned out, just stretched a wee bit. Length wise, this is supposed to be about a third of the stole.

I'm only at the end of Clue 3, while everyone else is on Clue 6, and Clue 4 is a double length clue. Yes, I think I'm doomed. I think it's beautiful, so even if I'm lagging, I'm loving working on it.

Since that takes a great deal of concentration, I've been looking for brainless knitting projects to while away my time when I can't focus on the Stole.

So far I've nearly finished a tank top for Widget, and today I finished what might be the cutest project of my summer.

Widget's Tassel Hat. She saw a version of this knitted up at NH S&W and has been bugging me to do hers since then. It was cool enough to work on it this week, and I knocked it out in just a couple of days.

She loves it!

Tassel Hat

Tassel Hat