30 December 2006

Broken knitting, ballet, and ipod issues

Hi. What a couple of weeks its been. I managed to finish all of my knitting projects for Christmas, although I'm still working on presents for friends. We'll call those New year's presents and they will appear in the new year. Here are photos from Christmas. Nieces shoes, Jodi's bag, mom's socks, and pile o'felting:

While I was knitting Rich's slippers, I broke a Denise needle at the connection. I've yet to send it in for replacement, but I hear they have excellent customer service, so no worries. Lorie and I exchanged Stitchionary 3 for Christmas, which forced me to purchase more items from Knitpicks in order to get free shipping. That makes sense right? Anyway I purchased the "Knit Scarves" book that I believe I have photocopied almost every pattern from and "Knit Fix". "Knit Fix" is excellent at explaining more technical problems and how to finish them. Except when you are knitting a lace pattern and then notice that you have switched how you slip stitches on every row. And dropped a stitch somewhere. Why did reading Knit Fix cause this? It didn't. It just forced me to pay attention. Yuck. I've completely ripped out the lace scarf I started months ago and put the yarn and pattern away for now. I think I can only do lace knitting and nothing else when I'm doing it. Require concentration. Happily, freeing up a project has allowed me to start my Karabella Boise cable scarf finally. I wasn't happy with any pattern I found, so I've made one up by combining two other patterns. I love it. It's a simple six row repeat, 4-stitch cable pattern. Simple and stunning just as that yarn deserves.

Meanwhile, Rich and I had a date last night. We went to Moscow Ballet's Cinderella and then out to a nice dinner! It was a fantastic night. The ballet was great. Good dancing, stunning costumes, and great sets. The only issue was super tall person two rows in front of me, performing a view block I thought Lola had reserved for herself when I'm watching TV and ignoring her. Anyway, we moved to the center between acts and had a great view of the dance for the finale. We are hoping to go to Maya Angelou in February and I want to see David Sedaris again in April, but I don't know which show, Eugene or Portland? We'll see.

I got an 8 gig Ipod Nano for Christmas in stunning red. Its causing me problems. I've been on the phone now for an hour with apple trying to fix it. Argh. It is formatted as a Windows machine for some reason and won't let me register or download purchased music. I'm not a happy nano owner right now, but hopefully they will get it fixed today. You only get one call under the 90 day warranty unless you buy the extended warranty. Can you say rip-off? (Post-call addition: nano not fixed. I have to take it to a Genius bar. I could go today, but since Rich and I are heading up to Port Orchard, I'll wait until Tuesday. We'll see what they can do. They assured me they think it can be fixed and won't need to be replaced. My luck with ipod continues. Argh.)

Besides the scarf, I'm knitting my gauntles, bowls, and vases. I have about 7 inches on the gauntlets, with three to go before reaching the thumb gusset. I'm stealing the pattern from Dani's non-patterned handwarmers in the previous posting! Hopefully it will work.

Bowls, bowls, bowls. Kendra was down before Christmas and we felted tons o'bowls. Kendra finished her first bowl, which felted beautifully. She started her second and finished it all by herself upon her return to Eugene. I'm so proud of her. She figured things out on her own. She's coming into her own!

Happy New Year to all and may all of your hopes turn into reality.

26 December 2006

a belated post

photo first....this time sad. I have learned that our beloved dog Missy has just as expensive taste as I do. From the photo above you can see that there is something wrong with my glove. That right their is a koigu gauntlet that I made (my own pattern) while riding the train in Portugal in 2004. Sadly it will not make it into 2007. But all is not lost, as the gloves are a tad bit big and a bit long in the arm, so I will (at some point) end up ripping them out and making them again. Problem is, I never wrote down the pattern. Now on to better things....

Merry Christmas! I was hoping to get out a picture of our tree....but the pic's did not do it justice. Mr. Fireman decided since we don't own many ornaments and we didn't want to buy them before Christmas as they will be much less expensive after the holidays, that we would use household items to make up our tree. From a bottle of advil to hot chocolate packets and toothbrushes our Charlie Brown tree is lightly dusted in decoration. Even with our attempt we still did not manage to cover the tree with much. Maybe I will send out a photo you can squint at.

I have been meaning to write a post for a bit. I finished the Print 'o the Wave shawl (pictures pending). It was completed in the Winter Blizzard of 2006 while I was stuck at work for 28 hrs. Yep, it was evident that day that I am a diehard knitter. I went to work in running shoes (knowing 3 ft of snow had been forecast) and without extra provisions beyond a toothbrush but I remember to take not only the work in progress (the shawl) but a skein of sock yarn just in case I finished it. And I did! After only three months of tinkering and procrastinating, I completed my largest lace project to date. It is currently layed out on the guest bed blocking. Well, it's probably dry by now but with Christmas I didn't manage to have time to check on it. And now I am at work and not able to check at all. Gotta love working night shift on holidays.

Here's to merry knitting in 2007! Happy Holidays!

10 December 2006

Felting Season!

I can't really show many of my projects right now, as they are presents, but be assured I will post photos as soon as the holidays are over. Today is national felting day. I'm felting 7 projects! Argh. Cross your fingers and toes.

I went to Denver to visit Dani. We had a yarn store extravaganza! It was fun and at times fascinating. You see dear Dani worked at a yarn store with the most luscious gossip. Its almost like a soap opera. I can't share the details, but it was endlessly fascinating.

I bought baby alpaca for the bonnet from "Knit 2 Together" and Rowan Tapestry in Moorland for a scarf. Both are extremely tactile soft yarns. Dani got me Austermann Step in greens with a hint of red for Christmas. They will stripe beautifully without any fuss! As she bought the same yarn for herself, we'll report back on whether or not the Jojoba and Aloe Vera make a difference when knitting.

Meanwhile, here are cute photos of Lola, Spike and Rich's new friend.

Dani, if you're ever in the need, consider a crocheted bouquet from your favorite store as a wedding accessory! It s a great look for almost everyone! I know that if the situation were to present itself to me, I would sure think of the forever bouquet for my wedding day!

19 November 2006

Projects Por Fin!

It's time to post and show some finished works. I've been knitting away it seems, getting ready for the holidays. Project #1, laptop cozy (Alterknits), hip and stylish, modeled here by its owner, Sara. She picked great colors and the dimensions came out just about right. A little too much shrinkage lengthwise (after only about 8 minutes!) but some tugging and stretching did the trick. We like the slightly skewed lines. In exchange, Sara helped me roast, peel and skin over 200 peppers from my garden (yes folks, that's 200, not 20)! Long, skinny sweet Italian peppers now safely in the freezer waiting to be turned into something. More holiday gifts???

Now, drum roll please....my first lace project! The traveling vine scarf (Knit Scarves!). This is "Miracle" - a gorgeously soft Alpaca/Tencel blend (50/50) from Classic Elite Yarns. (I hope the recipient doesn't read this blog.) This was a labor of love and concentration. Jeez, no chatting or la-dee-da-ing around with the lace. At least not for a newbie like me. Much time fixing mistakes, yet much learned. A delightful project... I will definitely take up lace again.

Now I'm on to more knitted gifts. Smaller projects will travel with me to Guadalajara next week taking advantage of airport and airplane time. Ok, I am taking books, too, people. Latina authors to boot. One must not let one's hobby overtake her profession, mind you. Well, I could just take knitting books, come to think of it. :) Ciao!

15 November 2006

On the what?

First, I must say, sorry no pictures. I did make some progress over the past few days, finishing a pair of socks and working hard on a selfish sweater that has been giving me trouble. I am hoping to be to the sleeves on the sweater by the weekend, as the body is knit all in one piece...but isn't a raglan. I will divulge what the project is as soon as I determine that I plan on finishing it! It's a great pattern but a bit difficult at times.

Okay..enough about knitting. On to the conversation I had on my cell phone on my way to work today. First, here is a little background. So you girls know that Steve and I found the dog for us. And we have been distracted training her and having a great time watching her personality come out more and more each day. She was so skittish for the first week we thought we had a meek one on our hands, but it turns out that she is full of spunk but still very well behaved. And then today, while I was on my seemingly endless drive to work I got a call from Mr. Fire fighters mom. You see, when I work nights and Steve is at work, she goes to his parents house to play with their dog and to stay the night. That way she isn't left inside our condo all alone for extended periods of time. Not that we don't think she could handle it but why should she? They love having her around and consider her part of the family. And they love that she helps keep their 11 year old dog a little younger.

So, back to the conversation. My phone rang about 20 minutes into the commute from hell ( not normally but for some reason it was tonight).

Me: Hello. How's it going? (I got that newfangled caller ID so I knew it was her)
Her: Hey there what's going on?
Me: Nothing much, just on my way to work. Oh, Missy and I went on about an hour walk and I just left her back at your house at 4:30pm.
Her: Sounds good...hey, did you know where she was when I got home?
Me: Um....she didn't jump the fence and go visit Shania did she? (Shania is the neighbors dog).
Her: Nooo...
Me: Well? Where was she? She didn't get out and you couldn't find her did she?
Her: Noooo....
Me: Um...where was she then?
Her: Well, when I got home I dropped my stuff inside the house and went back out front to grab the mail. That's when I heard a bark from the back of the house.
Me: yeah....
Her: And when I turned around I looked back at the house and there she was on the roof of the garage!
Me: On the ROOF!

Yep, that's our skittish, meek and timid dog that walks backwards away from you with her tail between her legs if you walk towards her just right (even if you have treats in hand). She's scared and timid one minute and then wild and on the roof the next. She is definitely a girl! What the hell are we gonna do?

13 November 2006


Thank goodness I am not knitting Christmas gifts this year, because I would be failing miserably. I can't even seem to manage to get done what I need (want) to get done for myself....where the prize at the end is a new sweater...something I need desperately since I am a bad shopper. I am working on an orange sweater, a teal sweater and green socks...all of which are in various stages of completion...and I am thinking about ripping them all out! Well, except the socks because I HATE the yarn and if I rip now I will never make the socks. Knitpicks Essential sock yarn is on my list of sock yarn NEVER to knit with again. I don't like the feel (scratchy). I guess I am a snob when it comes to sock yarn... give me Cherry Hills, Mountain Colors, Trekking XXL, Koigu and countless others and I will be happy but I am just not satisfied with discount sock yarn. Other yarns are fine...just not ones that belong on my feet!

I am hoping to post better progress in a few weeks but damnit it ain't happening now. Maybe I just haven't gotten desperate enough for the sweater(S)....

Off to attempt to finish my last sock working with the scratchy bad yarn...At least it's my LAST time.

Hope you all are having better success and are more highly motivated than myself.

Hugs! Hey, how was your girls weekend together?

10 November 2006

Babies, birthdays, and Christmas

My friend Kerri had a little girl in early November. I'd been working on a baby blanket for her. Even with a gauge swatch, it turned out to be 29" square after blocking, not the 32" I was hoping for. As a result, I had a skein of yarn leftover! So I quickly knit up the baby hat from "One Skein" and baby socks from an online free pattern. Both patterns were super easy and fast! I like that. I love the hat. If it weren't so darn cute, I'd be tempted to knit one for myself, but I think that would be a fashion don't. I still have more yarn and don't know what to do with it. I think after Christmas I'll take leftover yarn from projects and knit baby hats and donate them to the local prenatal unit. Tiny hats are fast and those babies (especially the ones born addicted to meth) need a little bit of warm love in their lives.

You will notice an axtreme difference from one half of the blanket to the next. This is not a photographic error. Its the yarn. From one skein to the next. Same dyelot. Totally different colors. Argh. I can't stress about it. It'll be fine.

I've also knit Rich's birthday present. I can't unveil this until next week after said birthday. It was a great knitting project to knit and I have enough yarn to make a matching one for me.

I finished my mom's Christmas present, Hannah's, and am halfway through Jodi's and Emma's. That just leaves Rich's, my dad, and all of my girlfriends. I think I can do it! I'll put photos up of the nieces Christmas slippers once they are felted because they are so darn adorable! Couldn't be cuter. Even though felted ballerina slippers are high on the cute quotient, I can safely knit a pair for myself and wear them around the house and no one need be the wiser that I have the cutest feet.

My sister announced that my two baby nieces want scarves for Christmas. This won't happen. why not? Because they are getting felted ballerina slippers and Kate dolls and a book each. They may get scarves next year. I did knit them scarves earlier this year, but they are only for dress up I guess. They are total rock star scarves and I have no photo of them. Jodi help! But here is a photo of the matching rock star flip flops (or slipper slops as Hannah has deemed them):

Okay back to laundry and knitting. Hope you all are well.

31 October 2006

Red Scarf Project

Hey there!

I know that christmas time is a big one for our lovely handknits....(not me this year, which is a bit of a relief), but I was wondering if y'all would be interested in doing the Red Scarf Project in January. That is the only month they accept donated scarfs for the Orphan Foundation of America. I thought it might be nice to knit for someone who isn't a friend or family member. It would be a new experience for me. Let me know what you think. I plan on doing it anyway but it might be fun to see what we all come up with.

Happy Haunting!

30 October 2006


For the past week I have wanted to knit...sort of. But I have found an amazing distraction that makes me think about other things...beyond needles and yarn. What might you ask could cause such an uproar and take one away from a hobby so important to life it is like breathing?

We.....(big breath to aid in the anticipation) found THE DOG (Like it wasn't obvious from the picture at the top of the page). Our (new) dog, who has completely melted our hearts, made us weak in the knees and a bit crazy. It has caused us to spend at least 1 near sleepless night on the edge of the bed (each of us on opposing edges) clinging on for dear life with sheer determination that the dog who weighs 43lbs would not manage to take over an entire queen size bed and kick out two full grown adults. (Well the Fireman is full grown...I am a little short but an adult nonetheless). We have since come to our senses and resolved the bed issue. She sleeps on her dog bed next to my side so that now if I need to get up in the middle of the night I have to crawl over the fireman to get to wherever I need to go. For now it is the only solution that works... She likes to be close to us and we like to be close to her. From the picture you might be able to see why we are so attached already.

Her name is Missy. And she is a rescue dog and we are so happy to be blessed with her in our lives.

More on knitting later. Happy Halloween.

27 October 2006

A moth

As fellow knitters, be ready for gasps of shock and pain at this story. (Oh, I understand it could be worse.) I found a moth. Okay, really I found a cocoon. It was on a recipe sitting under the red bowl pictured in a previous post. It wasn't on the recipe when it found its way under the bowl. But it was there when I pulled it out to file it. I believe there may have been a panic attack, but since I have no memory of this due to the lack of oxygen getting into my system at this point, I don't know. All I know is I went to the Internet and found out that really there is nothing one can do about moths and yarn. Freezing is an urban legend. Microwaving can damage your yarn. All that I could do was invest in ziploc bags and pray. I have gallon size bags and 2.5 gallon bags now enveloping the yarn collection. I lovingly took out each skein of yarn and placed it in a bag. I couldn't even form sentences while doing this process. Rich was forced into silence because I was panicking too much and seeing the end of my yarn collection. I couldn't have external conversation going on concurrently with the internal screams of dread. I packaged the yarn by project and type. I'm hoping, if there are moths, they are the cotton/acrylic eating types. I put that yarn in the top drawer, just to be more inviting. Please little moths, go there. Please. Not the cashmere. Please.

Wrap up your yarn now. Triple wrap it. Do you think its overkill to take all of the ziplocs and put them into rubbermaid? And then take that rubbermaid and put it inside of rubbermaid. Or that just a practical decision?

23 October 2006

Librarian costume

Lorie sent me a link to this "costume" and suggested it could be my Halloween costume. Little does she know that this is my new uniform. You wouldn't believe how eager the teens are to read when I'm in my workwear. For those of you who don't use your local library, you may want to check it out and see what your librarian wears to work!

17 October 2006

Bowls, bowls, bowls

Its been too long since I've posted. Due to ongoing illness, stress of new job and life, I just haven't had a second to post. But I have been knitting slowly and steadily. And adding to my yarn stash. Let me say that Dani's stash is miniscule compared to mine. I'm actually considering destashing the yarn that has no intended projects. But I have to think more on that.

I've started making bowls! Let me say that I love bowls. They are my favorite shape. I have bowls from many of my trips in many different materials, but I had no felted bowls! I made four in one week, felted them and have given three away! I have just done one more and hope to make two or three more this week to start stashing for Christmas presents. I love bowls. Here's some photos:

The blue and green bowl is not photogenic. Its also not my favorite. Its too tall and looks odd to me. I've learned a lot from making bowls. If you want to know more, please comment with your email or contact information and I'll respond.

I've almost finished the baby blanket for a friend of mine. And my mom's Christmas present. Now I just have everyone else's to work on. Next are felted ballerina slippers for my nieces!

I went to Flock and Fiber in Canby Oregon in September. It was a great fiber festival. Tons of yarn and people. I resisted strongly until I found some yarn I couldn't live without! I'm not yet sure what I'm doing with it. I think I'm making a felted purse with the two skeins and probably bowls with the light yellow if it will felt!

Dani sent a pair of socks to our friend Susan for her birthday. I know that Susan loves them. Dani, post a photo already! More postings as projects finish. And practice with the flash! Stay well.

30 September 2006


Hey there,

I hope y'all are doing well and having a good weekend. I have finally managed to get the camera, computer and myself to the Place of Internet Access to do a post. Sometimes I hate that we don't have internet at home...but then part of me loves the excuse to be disconnected and since I have wireless at work, I don't feel like I miss all that much.

Here goes into what's new in my knitting world. A week ago I put myself on an abstinence program. No buying yarn until two big projects and three small projects were done. The quick list is this:
Small Projects:
1) Shedir hat
2) Baby Hat for-soon-to be-born neice
3) Green socks
4) Baby Burp cloth from Mason Dixon for soon-to-be-born neice

Big Projects:
1) Felted Market Bag from Weekend Knitting
2) Alpaca Shawl (laceweight)
3) Rowan Tweed aran project (AKA the sweater that isn't)

So last week I completed Small #2 & #4 and then Big #1 yesterday. So what did I do to reward particularly my ability to complete a project requiring colorwork?...yep, I broke, I failed, I fell off the wagon and bought yarn. In my defense the yarn was on $35 and will make an entire sweater. And I finally established which pattern to use and started the laceweight shawl....but I still broke. So...one off the big list, one added on...fair trade I suppose. And I am still on the fence about knitting the green socks as the yarn is really scratchy. I should just give the yarn to goodwill. That would solve one of the small project issues....:)

So without furhter ado, here's an explanation of the photos. The first is to illustrate to Miss Aimee that she will have PLENTY of yarn for her Sunshine Yarns socks. Of course my feet are a little smaller, but my socks are snuggly and a little big because the pattern was a little bigger than my shoe size. So rest assured, you will be fine in the yardage department!

And the other photos are of my first ever fair isle project. And my first attempt at duplicate stitching...I am actually pretty proud of how it turned out. I did modify the yarn (used Cascade 220) which made for a slightly smaller bag, and changed the handles. They wanted you to continue the pattern on the handles, which seem daunting to me considering that it required fair isle on the purl side (SUCKS) as well as using the last part of one row and the first part of another row until the straps got small enough. It made my brain hurt at a point in the project when I was ready to just be DONE. So, I made striped handles and liked how they turned out. Now to figure out what the bag will be used for...Right now it's just part of the evergrowing collection.

17 September 2006

Dating and Knitting

And she's off... 2 dates, comin' up. Aimee, I'll be able to fill you in, in person, on Friday. As for knitting. I've discovered that my 12 row repeat of the travelling vine scarf is now taking me 32 minutes. 5 down, many to go...depending on how much 2 skeins lasts me, I calculate between 20-27 repeats. I'm not going to do the math. I'll just jinx myself by forgetting a yarn over or two. My plan is 1-2 a day. Maybe I should take the train to Portland....hmm...more knitting time.

16 September 2006

Knitting and Dating

Only one of the three RHK bloggers is in the market for a date. That would be me. When Aimee really moved to Portland, I said, okay Lorie, it's time. No more Friday knitting nights at Aimee's. Nor does a woman meet eligible bachelors sitting AT HOME knitting. Alas, as of today, it's back to Match.com. I took advice from the Yarn Harlot and crafted my profile sans mention of the word knitting, knits, knitted, or any variation thereof. However, I do believe "librarian" snuck in there somehow, as did "cat." Hmm... One thing is true: more dating = less knitting. I'll keep you posted on the progress of both. -lv

More Kates

Here she is...I love the Kate! Her shirt looks a little wonky, cause it is, but I love her, flaws and all. I got MUCH better knitting with dpns and would like to make another Kate asap. I knit mine on size 7 since I don't own size 8 dpns. Thanks to Kate's creator Jess Hutchison and to Knitty.com for the free Kate pattern.

More cat beds

My cat bed is also done. There is an earlier post of the pre-felted bed (i.e. Rastaman cap). Post-felted it became a beret, modeled by this lovely stump. I dried it over an old lampshade stuffed with plastic bags. Finished product was nicely shaped for about 33 minutes. Now it's flat as a a pancake, Aimee and I used different patterns, and I made some modifications on the side part that I shouldn't have -- shoulda followed directions. But all in all you can see that Peeps still likes it. BTW, this was made with 4 skeins KnitPicks Sierra in Cranberry with about 1/2 skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted in Tiger Lily. I knit 16 wedges on size 15 needles (26" diameter) and 4" up the side. The pattern is here: http://webhome.idirect.com/~quanah/patcatb.html

Kates and Cat Beds

I finally finished another project! I finished my second Kate. She is a bit larger than Kate 1 (3 inches larger in diameter) and I don't know why. But I love her just the same and as both are gifts for my nieces, the bigger Kate can be for the big sister.

Besides finishing Kate, I've been working on a Christmas present for someone who reads the blog. It is at work so I can work on it during breaks and lunch, since I'm now required to take breaks and lunch. Hmmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about that. My days are just as long as they used to be with commuting and lunching, so no free time for knitting.
The cats have discovered the cat bed. I had made it huge so that both cats could fit in it when felted. Ha. It shrunk by 50%! Its a one cat bed. Things to do differently next time: don't do so many decreases up the side. Cupping does not work. If I hadn't decreased so much, the sides would stand straight and then it may have worked as a two cat bed. Anyhow, here are photos of said cats enjoying the bed.

Lola is on the left and Spike on the right. So cute.

I'm still working on the baby blanket. I need to finish because the baby is due in the next few weeks. Starting a new job and getting sick are not conducive to knitting time. I come home at night, eat dinner, watch tv or read for a bit and head to bed by 9! Argh. I will adjust soon and return to knitting fever.

For the lovely poster who asked about the tea kettle. You can find the nicer ones at fancy kitchen stores. I don't know how much they cost, since it was a present. Mine is a Capresso. There are many brands to choose from and mine is my new favorite thing!

Gratuitous yarn porn:
This is the Karabella Boise in color 63. It is a blend of 50% Cashmere and 50% Merino. I can't stop touching it. It is the softest yarn I have ever owned. I want to drop all projects and knit my scarf out of this now! I can't praise it enough. You must go buy some now!

Okay, enough about that. Here's a cute photo of Lola and I'm off to wake up and drink tea and knit:
Lola is not in kitty jail. She is in one of her many cat cozy places that are spread throughout our tiny house. Yes, my cats are spoiled.