September 29, 2008

Tiffany's Scarf & Stuff

Tiffany's Scarf is the second to last knit-by-request, and is actually a scaled down version of the Sunsport Shawl which I have made twice in my lifetime. I remember now why I quit after making the two.


Pattern: Cashmere Sunsport Shawl (Karabella), purchased from School Products here in NY

Yarn Substitute: Misti Alpaca Lace (437 yards), 3 skeins singled (but you may only need 2)

Needles: Knit Picks Harmony 10" single points, size 4 (and they're perfect for knitting lace)

When I made the original, I purchased this Misti Alpaca yarn and doubled it which gave it the weight I thought I would need since it was a shawl.

With this scarf, I did not double the yarn. I cast on 63 stitches which makes for a nice sized scarf (in width), and I'll make sure that it's long enough to double around the neck (and pray my hands will hold out til the end).

Tiffany has asked not to see it, so I won't put the entire picture up. Besides, with 20" done and about 50" more to go, she probably won't see this scarf until the first snowfall! I'm working as fast as I can.

On another note:

My mother, God love her and so do I, ordered me an early Christmas gift - two new windows for the house. No cheap gift (thanks Mom!) and I NEED those windows seeing as how I'm waiting for the current windows to just fall off the house. When you walk upstairs, the window on the landing lets off such a wind it nearly blows your wig off.

Oh, and about my laptop situation: there is no situation since there is no laptop. I thought I would move into the 21st century, but apparently not. You can't go into it all I once, I find, or your budget gets blown, your lack of technological saavy becomes apparent & you have to ask your teenaged son for help, and he believes that ANY technology that enters the house is 'ours' and already has 50 songs waiting to download from some nasty, virus infested website that I've never heard of, along with 99 pictures of himself ready to post to friends. Oh brother ...

September 26, 2008

Almost The End

All the projects I’ve been making for the past 2 years are the result of making a scarf for my former boss, Jim. He found out that I taught knitting on weekends and asked me for a scarf. I obliged. That led to every one else at the office asking for either a scarf, a hat, socks and even a ski mask for Peter. I specifically told Peter NOT to rob any banks while wearing that ski mask because my epithelial skin cells could still be found in the yarn (and probably a strand or two of my hair). I’d hate to be jailed as aiding and abetting because I knit the ski mask! That pattern by Jenna Adorno can be found at, the pattern is called Antifreeze.

Anyway, all this knitting on demand is coming to an end. Yes, I’m down to the last two projects I’m doing by request (Tiffany and Jen’s hat) because my stash has been reasonably reduced (not really) and mostly what’s left is yarn I want to use to make stuff for myself (ahhh, silk!). Besides, the holidays are coming and I’ve got other stuff to do.

Most of the yarn I used was unknown and mystery yarn that seemed appropriate for whatever project I was doing, and it all turned out fine. Now, most of that mystery yarn is gone, along with some yarn that I purchased AGES ago from who-knows-where (probably eBay) with no labels.

I also want to take time to spin yarn. I’ve been dabbling at it and since I’m new to it, I won’t improve or learn what my own bent on spinning is unless I get at my wheel a little more often. With the trip to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck) fast approaching, and with visions of buying 200 lbs of spinning fiber (yeah, right!) dancing in my head, I’d better get good at spinning quick.

During the Tour de Fleece I visited a lot of web pages to see how everyone else was doing (I didn’t have a page at the time) and I was wondering how they did it – made it so pretty and all (Yarnloopie, come to my house and teach me to spin PLEASE!). It takes me DAYS to finish two ounces of fiber, and when I’m done it’s such a small amount of yarn, but it makes me so happy.

That said, I’m off to work on Tiffany’s scarf. You may have seen it on a previous entry, but forget it. That has been frogged, ripped back and forgotten. I’ve switched over to Misti Alpaca lace weight and it is the SOFTEST fiber I’ve touched since touching the Tsock Tsarina’s flock sock yarn. Ohhhhhh … makes me shake! So now, I’m on a mission (like the hobbits in Lord of the Rings): lace weight yarn, lace pattern, small needles, no room for error. Wish me luck!

September 21, 2008

No WIPs Today

This weekend was going to be all about knitting. I was going to finish up a bunch of WIPs so I could get to the sweater that's been on my needles for who knows how long. I'll get a pic of it, but all that's left are two sleeves and the button placket. What's the hold up?

It's because the sweater is for me. If it were for someone else, it would be done. But I sort of promised that I would finish it in time for Rhinebeck, so I'm trying to honor that.

Meanwhile, I did manage to finish Howard's socks:

And I did start on Tiffany's scarf:

And I started spinning Winnie's yarn (truly, the yarn looks better with real light):

It's not that NOTHING got done, but I thought I'd be further along.

My knitting circle is making the sweaters for Knit for Kids and they're almost ready to turn them in . The group of ladies numbers about 14 and so far, we've collected almost 25 sweaters. Hooray!

Meanwhile, let me brag a moment about my new knitting needles:

These are the new Harmony needles from Knit Picks. I don't usually brag on knitting needles, goodness knows I have a million of them, but these are by far, the prettiest.

The points are just right for knitting lace but not painfully so (I used my left index finger to push my needles down sometimes). And smooth ... let me tell you, not even my metal ones are this smooth. They seem to have just the right flexibility too, not bendy but somehow gentler on my wrists. In short, I love them. More than my bamboo needles, more than the birch. If you don't have good needles, this is worth the investment.

Until next time ...

September 16, 2008

What the Twins Taught Me

You remember when I spun 'the twins', don't you? Well, I was in ignorant bliss when I started spinning and I could care less once I got to spinning. It looked good t me, and that was good enough.

I didn't know what I was doing 'not right' until AFTER the twins were spun and looking, um, a little less than perfect. Anyway, I learned a few things about myself while spinning:

1) I need to split the roving more often so that I can get, or work my way down, to lace weight (my favorite weight),

2) It takes me days to spin yarn thin enough to be usable, according to me, and though it doesn't seem possible, I need to slow down,

3) If I don't get it right, I give it away, and lastly,

4) When I ply, I draw my arm waaaay back as far as I can go without disolcating my shoulder and that doesn't seem right. So while spinning the twins, I experimented with plying a little closer, and a little closer and that produced this:

It's rickety-rackety, but I can see my favorite bits of the spinning and know that I would LOVE it if I could only meet the consistency that I see at the bottom of the picture. It seems so right, so pretty and perfect. If I could just remember what I did.

And last night I finished one sock. Not too shabby.

I've got my instructions written down and I told Howard he'd have his socks by Monday. I probably shouldn't have committed myself to a date because those deadlines go whooshing past and all I do is feel bad, I don't DO anything (like finish the sock - oh no - Diva doesn't rush to meet a deadline).

Tiffany is waiting for a scarf, and I promised I would make one for her - no problem. I showed her the patterns I want to use to make the scarf found here, it's one of the Three Sisters Scarves (posted by, Sister #1 - I just love everything about it, including the free pattern download.
When I showed it to her, she said (in a nice, but not too enthusiastic voice), "That's nice, but you have a scarf in your drawer that I want."

Huh? She can't be talking about my ... oh no she didn't! It took me months to make this! (OK, maybe not months, but it still took awhile ...)

Karabella Sunsport Shawl (KK296). Visit the sight and search for the Sunsport Shawl. If they still sell the pattern, I'm sure you can get it here.

What have I gotten myself into?

September 11, 2008

I Need A Vacation

Well, my new laptop arrived (yay!) broken (boo!). I called the company to let them know and they said they would pick up the broken laptop in 5 days (yay!) and cancel my order (boo!). I said I wanted an even exchange and she said that I would have to place a new order after the broken laptop was picked up (what?!). I'm so annoyed.

The Knit for Kids sweaters are almost done (yay!), due this weekend (oh no!) but I have seams to sew (yikes!). The instructions for the knit sweaters are specific about seaming, they even have an illustration showing how it should be done, shown here. That's all nice and everything, but I'm starting a little late and the sweaters are due so I've got to hurry!

And lastly, this is the time of year when, if you live along the Eastern seaboard, your body starts getting ready for Winter. The sun sets a little earlier, it's a little cool at night (great sleeping weather), and it feels like midnight at 8p. You may even experience a little fatigue that you know is going to be remedied at the end of Daylight Savings Time when we turn the clocks back to get an 'extra hour' of sleep.

Well, instead of the time change happening in April (forward one hour) and October (back one hour) like it has since time immemorial - the new dates were March (ahead) and now November (back). OH NO! I need my hour now!

So, to alleviate my stress, frustration and annoyance, I'm going to do what I alway do when things don't go my way ... start another portable project that I can finish.

Two socks at once would be fine, but in my present state, I have to go one at a time.

Operating on 'low energy' as I am, I'm converting the instructions to work on DPNs. If you notice the little crimp in the yarn, it's because I had a slight disagreement with the instructions. I won.

September 08, 2008

Tuesday is better than Monday

I must have offended the kitchen gods because today I was struck by knitting lightning. There was only one bright spot in my day today, and thank goodness for that!

First, let's not talk about the glove.

Don't ask what happened because unless I'm mistaken, my mother (who is only 5' tall) does NOT have the hands of a truck driver. If she put her hands in this glove she could also fit in an entire turkey leg. What the?!

When I originally made the glove, I used size US1 and the glove felt like a girdle. So, I ripped it out and used a size US3 and now it's big enough to double as a hat.

I'm sending the glove to the meditation pond where it can thank it's lucky stars that I don't set it on fire. I'll get back to it before it gets cold. Maybe.

While I was stewing about the glove, I decided that I would be a techno-genius and set up up my digital camera so I can use it to have better pictures to upload.

So, I got the instructions and read them (most of them), uploaded the disk and was chuckling to myself about how 'easy' it was. Put the USB port into the camera (no sweat) and went to plug in the other end and it looks like this:

What the?! Will someone smarter than me tell me where on this laptop those two prongs are supposed to go? Holy mother of purl! It would fit into my computer if my computer wasn't ANCIENT. No problem. My new computer should be here this week and it will have a slot for me to insert my memory card and elimimate the need for a USB port. As for my techno-genius status, let's wait on that.

So, after a shower and two madeleine soft cookies, I had some success:

Ah ...the twins!

Tomorrow, things will be better. But for now, my little Miss Kitty is on the dining room table eating the yarn that is the glove.

September 05, 2008

Some Progress Was Made

Starting with Mark's socks. They are done and I owe a big 'thank you' to Carodan Farm who came to the rescue and helped me with my '10 rows to go' issue. While I was making these socks, I thought they looked kind of wild and the colors out of control somehow ... but now that they're done, they don't seem so 'feral'. I think blocking them cooled them down a bit.

Then there was the issue of the blue and white blanket I made. The person that requested the blanket also requested I make a hat to go with it, but I was too low on blue yarn and not willing to buy another skein of it. It would have been counter productive since I'm trying to de-stash.

Well, I can't do the math required to figure out how to crochet a hat that matched the blanket, and I don't like crochet unless it's decorative. And a baby hat that's crocheted needs to be lined (or something). No, it's all too much work, so I knit this instead:

It needs to be blocked so the front doesn't curl up like that, and the pattern was free and can be found here. It was very simple Chullo, easy to make, only took a couple of hours and it's cute, cute, cute. Too bad that after it gets gifted I'll never see it again. That's OK because it means I got rid of 5 skeins of yarn (including the blanket, of course).

And one last thing before I go:

This year I told my son he's on his own for getting to school ON TIME. He didn't fight me, he just said OK. I thought that ominous, considering how well he took it.

See, I've been taking him to school since 1st grade, you understand. Every day was a litany of "Why must you make me late every day?" and "You can be dressed in 10 minutes if your friends are outside!" and "You're going to make me late! Hurry up!". Not today.

Today, I woke him up at 6:30a, he dressed and was gone at 7:00a, a full 15 minutes before me. A world record for him! No complaints, no begging, no negotiating and no lingering and hoping for a ride. It was as quiet as church in my house this morning. YAY!

So, to celebrate my new found indepence, I've ordered myself a couple of things from KnitPicks:

And this:

Hope they get here by the weekend. It's my independence day and I'd love to celebrate with new things!