Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dawanda Baby!

Something needed to bring me back from the antithesis of NaBloPoMo. This site is amazing. It's kind of like a very young Etsy, without all the mass produced crap that is flooding it nowadays. (My apologies to all you great artists who are mass producing really great crap). If you aren't feeling too adventurous in trying to translate the site from German, you can click on the flag of Great Britain and relax in English. Now all I need to know is how much 40 Euros is going to cost me in dollars (and will I pass out from the shipping).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Monkey Socks are Done!

Actually, these have been done for a while. I think they were finished during Dad's first hospital stay in early September.
The specs:
Brown Sheep Wildefoot, color Ragtime - 2 skeins
Started on Brittany Birch size #1s 5" glove size, ended on Crystal Palace #1 dpns (a much easier 7")
They're not pink as the photo. They are various shades of red, from fiery to deep dark Merlot. It's night here now and the lighting isn't great so the flash killed the reds. I'll try to take another picture in daylight.
Don't cha love those clam digger toes?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Lacy Drop Stitch Scarf

In honor of NaBloPoMo, here's my entry for today. I started at Lacy Drop Stitch Scarf with Icelandic Lace Weight wool from Hudson Valley Sheep and Wool Company. You like so far?

Boy, do I hate those needles. Susan Bates Size 13s with a mind of their own. The antithesis of the Holz and Steins from the last post. The yarn is earthy and creative. Lots of black hair wrapped around silvery white. Should look nice over my black turtlneck, unless it sheds...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cider Moon and NaBloMo

Can I do it? Probably not. But I thought it would fun to try. This little sticker means I have to post every day in the month of November. Well, I've already missed three days. Off to a great start.
Son's team won their first football game in three years. He's on cloud nine. Wonder how those kids that lost to the team that hasn't won a game in three years feels...
I haven't been posting, but I have been buying yarn. Lots of it, in terms of my yarn buying rates that is. I'm sure it pales to many out there who could out-buy me even with a wicked case of the flu. Seems we've lost yet another yarn store around here lately. That brings the recent total of disappearing yarn stores with 25 miles of me to 4. It's sad. They all say the same thing - they can't keep up with the internet. The lower prices due to no overhead is killing them. The latest fatality, Wild and Wholly Wools in Commack. Everything is 50% off.
Along with some great llama/wool yarn, I got some lovely Knit one Purl Too Paintbox yarn for a pair of wristwarmers from Cider Moon's free pattern collection, called April May. The yarn is more of a light worsted weight than a fingering weight called for in the pattern, so it should make them warm and not as airy as the pattern picture. I also knit with one size smaller needles, because I have tiny wrists.

I love the Cider Moon website. I told them to hold me some June Carter in Glacier when they got it in, and they did. Now I'm waiting for some Johnny Cash to go with it (nach) for a Feather and Fan scarf, but the shop has been down for business since September, so June may have to go it alone. I sure hope they're ok and that they'll be back soon.
Here's another pattern from their website, a scarf pattern called Isobel. I'm knitting it from the Welcomme Rainbow I just scored from that knitter that was selling all her stuff for $1 a skein. Do you see those needles? They're my Holz and Stein Ebony needles and they are heavenly. I just might buy some other pairs. I'm always casting on with 4s and 5s, so they might be likely next candidates. Like knitting on air...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stash Enhancement

How does the saying go? The first step in dealing with your problem is to recognize you have a problem... Well, here goes. My name is Donna and I'm a Yarnaholic. Look what I just scored yesterday:
It would have been worse/better if I got there last week, when there was more to buy. You see, a very nice lady who lives about 40 minutes away from me was selling most of the yarn in her stash. She wanted to get rid of it, so she priced it at $1 a skein. I know, crazy. All great stuff. Clockwise from the bright red is as follows: Tahki Soho Bulky Tweeds 100% wool in red and pink which looks like it will make up some fabulous mittens; Katia Ingenua which is 78% mohair, 13% polymide and 9% wool which will be a shawl of some yet to be determined pattern; all that big bulky Marokko is 100% wool and will find its way to a Twinkle's Big City Knits pattern; the cute Skol Norwegian wool for some worsted weight socks; the mystery ball of Malabrigo which just needed to come stay at my house; the tweedy purple Grignasco - 80% wool, 20% alpaca which I might be able to eek out a caplet for daughter #2; 10 balls of Katia Bremen Dos - 40% acrylic, 30% wool and 30% polymide for an Anthropologie inspired capelet; Welcomme Rainbow, a mohair blend for a scarf; and 2.5 balls of purple Tahki Morocco, a wool and mohair blend for I don't know yet. $33 - shocking. The funny thing is, I'm headed off to Rhinebeck tomorrow to buy more. Don't think I'll be finding bargains like these though! I'll actually be there Sunday instead of Saturday, because I need to help mom sell the house, which just so happens to be 15 minutes away from the fairgrounds, in Redhook. Dad is now in a nursing home near me (L.I.) and she'll be looking for an apartment in this area so we have lots of things to handle for her. The lady that was selling the yarn had a children's sweater making business that as she put it, "Just died", and she needed to free herself of most of her yarns to try to get her knitting mojo back. Now remember I said she was 40 minutes away? That's not close by for Long Island standards, but there I was anyway. I told her I've been doing a ton of knitting lately sitting next to dad at the "Care Center" and she asked me where he was. When I told her the name, she told me she knows the owners very well! She went on and on about what wonderful, kind and caring people they are. I really needed to hear that because I had been worried about him. I really felt that something made me go all the way there to hear that, aside from all the wonderful yarn I got for next to nothing.
The older I get the more I really believe in things happening for a reason.
By the way, the black paw on the right won't be in any future projects, it's attached to Lola, my Portie.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Deserve A Badge


I give this to myself for all the stupid questions I get asked and the gracious answers I give when others ask me why I knit socks when I can just buy them. I've been knitting a lot at my dad's hospital bedside lately and the calming effects of knitting sure help when you want to kill a nurse when they have Dad on a day and a half worth of clear liquids for a CAT scan that never happens until you park yourself right in front of the nurses' station until the Barium comes.
By the way, for those of you wondering about my dad's reaction to his gift, he thought the Hemlock Ring Blanket looked like something more for a woman. That's all I got. Go visit Cast-On and get a badge - you probably deserve one too...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hemlock Ring Blanket is Done!

For your approval, Dad's Hemlock Ring Blanket!
Here's a "before" shot - 37" across and pitiful...

And "after" at 55" across. "My, how you've grown!" (My bed is a queen, no Brooklyntweed coffee mug for perspective so a magnetic pin cushion will have to do.)

For those of you who groove on closeups:

Lounging on the chaise under the pergola, two days after blocking, it has gotten some of the peaks and valleys back into the Fan and Feather pattern.

I used Cascade Eco Wool in Latte, just like Jared's, because I wanted one just like his! I got good stitch definition using #9 circs. I started on size 8 dpns and graduated to 16" then 36" Clover bamboos. This project would be perfect for Denise or Knitpicks Options, because of the ever growing circle. There's a very good KAL over on Yahoo where people have added lots of interesting points of view. Check it out if you plan on making this. I basically just stuck with Jared's formula, and added two extra repeats. If I had to do it again, I'd add two more.

I'm giving this blanket to Dad. I think he'll like it. It's a little fru-fru for him, being a Marine and all, but the color is masculine. He'll put it over his lap when he sits in his Lazy Boy. He's feeling crappy these days. He's in the advanced stages of various cancers. I knit this fast because I'm not sure how long I'll have him.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lace Headband

I enjoyed making this Lace Headband. Not only was it an easy, relaxing knit, great when I needed a mental health break from MS3, but I made it from my blogless friend Betsy's hand dyed, hand spun yarn. And, it is my favorite color, red.

Please excuse the crummy pic and the even crummier do.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Astrid is the Bomb

This could easily become my next obsession, except for the fact that:
A. I've never knit Fair Isle
B. Holiday presents need to get started
C. I owe husband a sweater
But take a look anyway. And if you need to drink from the well, jump over here where the nice people from the Jeanie Townsend Group on Yahoo started a KAL. And to seduce you even more, here's the crack, I mean kit.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I'm Still Lovin' It

Dad's Hemlock Ring Blanket is coming along great. Only problem is, I knit from the doily instructions and didn't use Jared's chart. Now I'm not sure if I can easily "jump off" the instructions. I may be re-writing the written instructions to extend the doily. This is new for me. Challenges, yay...

Look - it still looks kind of like a yarn muffin... Snowwhitesuicide of Lick My Sticks (one of my favorite bloggers) says, Yum...

Monday, August 27, 2007

My New Obsession

And not a moment too soon. My Monkeys are almost done, various hats and headbands are complete. My Wicked languishes in a corner, along with my spiral scarf, neither deserving of a photography session. Let's not even talk about my Storm Water Scarf. Lovely yarn, less than fun pattern. And then came Brooklyn Tweed's latest, the Hemlock Ring Blanket. Now granted, he could photograph MOLD and make it look inviting. But the thought of an almost chunky weight giant doily is no mold, my dears. It is a beautiful work of art. This art spoke to me in such a strong way that as soon as my knitting pals emailed me their reaction to his latest FO(I hadn't checked bloglines yet) I ran out and bought the Cascade Eco Wool in color 8063 (latte) and immediately cast on. No matter that I didn't have knitpicks options or some other adjustable cable length needle system. Dpns got the ball rolling, or in this case, the lace turning. And Jared is right, lace is wonderful in the round - no purl rows! Finding mistakes is easy too, it's like super giant-sized lace compared to MS3. In that way, it's almost comical, like Alice in "Through The Looking Glass". Now my 29" #9s are getting a little snug, so I'll have to buy some 40" ones soon.

This blanket will be for my Dad, who's having a rough go of it lately health-wise. It comforts me to work on it.
Here it is at row 35...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Knitting Lingerie Style

I received "Knitting Lingerie Style" from hubby for my birthday. I want to make so many things in it! I love making little tank tops and this book has some great lacy ones. But so many of the projects' suggested yarns are currently out of my budget.
For instance, the Classic Elite - Interlude which is featured in the "Surplice Bodice Cami", my favorite in the book. The description from Purlsoho, one of my favorite LYS, is as follows:

"Interlude blends silk and linen in a highly detailed 10-ply strand destined for fine stitches and sophisticated patterns. We recommend it for projects that call for refined draping and excellent stitch definition. Regular price is $24.50. On sale at 40% off for $14.70!"

Classic Elite - Interlude

CONTENT: 30% silk, 70% linen

WEIGHT: 50 grams

LENGTH: 82 yards

GAUGE: 4.5 stitches per inch


Woo Hoo! 82 yards for HOW MUCH?

Or the "Silk and Pearls Cami", made for the book with Classic Elite Temptation. I found it here :
100% Silk, 13 st/4", 5.5mm (US 9), 101m/ 110 yards, 100g (3.5 oz) at approximately $44 per 100 yard skein. I can't even wrap my head around that one...

Another irresistable pattern, the "Corset Bodice Nightgown" is featured beautifully in Louet Euroflax Originals. Once again, the juicy description from Purlsoho says:
"One of our perennial favorites here at Purl, Euroflax is 100% linen and 100% elegant. Linen creates a durable, drapey and beautiful fabric. The more you wash and dry it, the softer and slinkier it becomes."

Euroflax Originals

CONTENT: 100% Linen

WEIGHT: 100 grams

LENGTH: 270 yards

GAUGE: 6 stitches per inch


Price: $20.50
Now this last one has 270 yards per skein, but in my size (34) I would need 3 balls for something that isn't going to be worn often. Do I venture down the slippery subbing slope? What is a knitter to do when the picture is oh so beautiful but I just can't "pull the trigger" on buying the yarn? I downloaded Stitch Diva's Simple Knitted Bodice Sweater ages ago. I can't bring myself to knit it in anything other than Tilli Tomas recommended. There's tons of you out there that have subbed on this successfully, but when I see a pic of one done in the Tilli (and oh, that Rockstar), I fall blindly in love. Therefore, I have yet to start it.

Speaking of Rock Stars, Here's some pics that have been waiting in Daughter #1's camera phone. Do you know that on Verizon if you have texting blocked (don't ask) you can't upload your pictures? Texting has been TEMPORARILY unblocked so I can share some of my summer concert fun with you. The Fratellis were fantastic at Roseland last month.
The two opening bands were lots of fun as well.

They were Illinois (listen to them here)

and Switches.
Daughter #1 had a blast. We were front and almost center, until the encore, when I conviced her that getting closer to the exit would be a good idea. (Years of previous concert exiting experience pays off.)

Not to forget the little diva aka Daughter #2, I entered this contest in the hopes of winning a $250 gift certificate to Gymboree. I'm not much of a contest person, don't even like to play Lotto here in NY, but I figured, what the heck...

BTW, Did you you the article about Ravelry in TechCrunch ?
For some reason, Michael Arrington thinks we're ridiculous...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Zephyr Style Tree Jacket

I've been thinking about making the Zephyr Style Tree Jacket lately. It is a very pretty sweater, although I'd probably wear it with a cami or something underneath . I enjoyed the last Zephyr pattern I received, but my yarn choice and sizing were less than stellar so I never felt the calling to finish it. I'll probably frog it (or throw it out since its mohair) and start with a nice varigated yarn like on the model. I got some money for my birthday from my mom and dad so I could buy the yarn more or less guilt free (although I need bras and new sandals too). I haven't seen anyone's variations yet, but that was just with checking google. I need to go to Ravelry, where it sounds like more and more people are calling this mecca.
Sister is wearing her Swallowtail alot, albeit around her fanny, and already got a pull in it which took my breath away momentarily, but such is life.
Music has been a big part of the scene here. I saw some pretty good bands Friday night at the Mercury Lounge, and saw these guys

yesterday at the Great South Bay Music Festival. I LOVE the Subdudes! Terrific fun, groovin' with the kids as well. When I got home I thought I got more tan, until it ran down the drain in the shower. One of those dusty, dirty, outdoor shows I hate and love. And now on Wednesday it's off to Roseland Ballroom to see the Fratellis with my 16 year old daughter. I guess I didn't get the memo that I have to stop all this and act my age...

Here's more pics of Tommy and the boys...

The family was front and center...

"Where are the Emo Bands Mom? You know I only like Emo music!"

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Someone Throw Me a Lifeline

Chart A is done on my Mystery Stole 3. 4000 people signed up! It will be fun to see all the different colors (and abilities - mine is in the few too many/not quite enough YOs category). Beading is a challenge for me because I am a lefty, and holding the crochet hook in my right hand makes me feel awkward. My friends at Knit Night last night helped, and told me my hook is too small (a 13/14), and I could do better with a 12.
Yarn: Jojoland Harmony, C07 Dyelot 101 - subtle changes from pale violet to pale turquoise
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace #3
Beads: Trans Lustered Light Gray AB - size 8 from Beads & Stitches.
BTW, if you're on Ravelry, come over and visit! I'm finally getting my projects loaded in, after being a member for a few months. It is a tremendous time saver, if you can get over the ramp up time of loading in your projects.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Swallowtail Has Flown The Nest

I miss her.
Firstly, I'm not a fast knitter. Secondly, we lived together since April. No marathon sessions, just a slow, easy lace knit. Some points to mention - I enjoyed the yarn. It had a bit of a thick/thin thing happening which made it less slippery than other wool lace yarns I used, which was good. I wasn't crazy about the transition to the Lily of the Valley border, but in the end, the little thing bloomed quite nicely. It really grew! And last night I gave it to my sister for her birthday. She loved it! It's very peachy on her, more pink on me. Son played "Happy Birthday" on his saxaphone - a real sinus opener, and 5 year old daughter did a dance and made her a rather large beaded necklace. We all had cake, which I'm paying for today (I'm wheat and gluten intolerant). So now I'm on to finishing some other things on my sidebar, and revving up the engines for MS3.

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl from IK Fall 2006
Yarn: Moorehouse Merino Lace in Peach - 2 skeins - the store is very close to my parents' house
Needles: Addi Lace Turbo Size 5, Crystal Palace Size 8 circulars for last row and bind off

By the way, Nups are cool. Oh, and one more thing to mention - 16 year old daughter walked by three times while it was blocking, mind you, in the middle of the kitchen on the kitchen table, finally looked at it and said in a monotone voice, "Wow, I could never do that." I'm not going to try to figure out if that was a compliment or she feels she now has physical evidence that I'm a lunatic...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We Knit in School Today

My 10 year old son loves to knit.
Today was his 4th grade class picnic, an annual event that occurs rain or shine. Today it rained, so I packed up a bag of some old Boye needles, acrylic yarn from who-knows-when and headed off to school. I'm the class mom, but I fortunately didn't have to deliver the pizza. I bought the soda (begrudgingly - we don't drink the stuff here and we don't really think any kids should) and arrived after the pizza and soda had been consumed, and at around the time when some of the students seemed tired of "Uno Attack" and Kinnex. When I asked if anyone wanted to learn how to knit, a few boys jumped up, followed by a few more, and then more! At this point, I was long out of needles, so I told them to grab pencils. They each picked a yarn and off they went, casting on and doing a few garter stitch rows. While some didn't get too far, others attacked it with abandon. "Mrs. C!" I heard, over and over. "I need help!", said some. "Come look at how I'm doing!" said others. By the thick of it, there were a group of about 12 boys, scattered around the classroom focused on their knitting. Only one girl came by, and my son showed her how to knit. She was concerned though that once she learned knitting she might forget how to crochet...
All the students were all so proud, showing me their work, complete with loops and wonkiness. In the midst of the learning, a boy sat quietly with his needles and yarn, and when I looked over at him, he was knitting Continental. But I had shown them all English! He said he had learned from his grandma. He also told me he prefers the long-tail cast-on method. He'll probably be knitting a sweater before long!
I hope that some of these boys take this new hobby and practice it over the summer. I told them about how it makes me happy and keeps me calm. I offered them the idea that they should try it in the mornings after they've gotten ready for school and are waiting for the bus or car. Who knows, maybe more boys will knit, and in another 10 years we'll have more men knitters. Then maybe we won't have war. The politicians can knit instead of argue.

I got a present from the teacher for being a class mom. She goes out of her way to find out what we like. She nailed it! Here it is.
Serendipity, Rubber Soul, and Inky Antics rubber stamps. Did I mention the teacher is a knitter too? I can only hope my son's 5th grade teacher knits too!

Friday, June 08, 2007

My SP10 Is...


She's been a terrific Pal. Look what she just sent:
No, really, take a closer look...
The yarn is from Dye-a-bolical Yarns, in a beautiful multicolorway. Its over 400 yards, so I may even make a little capelet or shawlette with it. Her theme was summer, and her fun little gifties really reflected that. And those candy kisses were gone seconds after the pic was taken. If I get a moment to myself, the bubble bath will be used this weekend.
If you come across a swap like this, I recommend giving it a try. It really brightened these last few months, and somehow, the packages always seemed to arrive on a day when I needed a lift the most.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Swallowtail Shawl

Actually, a present for my sister. Let's hope I can finish it in time for her birthday later in June.
I start the nupps today. I'm anxious to experience the hubb-bubb...

Yarn: Morehouse Merino Laceweight, in coral
Needles: Addi Lace Size 4

Did I mention I'm loving it! I really enjoy lace!

Friday, June 01, 2007


Try it - it even makes cuss words look good...

D O n Dusty N A

Thanks BeachBungalow8!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Soho Dreamin'

Daughter #1 and I went shopping in Soho yesterday. But more than the stores, we took in the people. We've been over on Long Island too long and haven't had a trip to the city in a while. We didn't get the memo that little cotton sun dresses are EVERYWHERE! Daughter #1, being the major fashionista, wants them. Many of them. But nothing in the discounty type stores (aka Canal St.) would do. But when the price tag says $250, that's way over her price range on her tiny paycheck from her first real job. So we found ourselves over at Purl Soho Fabric and she realized that she could find a print that would work. So now we are off to find a suitable pattern to determine yardage, and I'm hoping my little girl will discover the love of sewing her mom has. I just have to figure out how to teach her so that
a) She doesn't get frustrated
b) I don't end up doing it all
c) She's pleased enough with the results to want to sew more
I just wish we had more interesting fabric options closer by. I'm sorry if I offend anyone out there, but JoAnn's is usually not my cuppa tea.
Anyway, some knitting eye candy for you. A bit fuzzy, but my camera isn't the best with closeups. Come to think of it, it isn't great with any "ups". Just a peak at my latest project...
Yea, I know, I didn't finish Monkey yet, but I have a present to make, and I'm still mourning the loss of my CP#1 in the yard.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Don't You Wish Your SP10 Was Great Like Mine!"

My Secret Pal struck again! This time everything was wrapped in red (favorite color) sparkly tissue paper, festooned with flowery sequins. I saved it all, folding it up and storing it neatly away... Inside - a favorite sock yarn, Twisted Sisters Handpainted Zazu. This is an extra fine merino, might even be made into a small decorative lacy scarf. Gorgeous colors! The needles you see next to the yarn are bamboo #9s decorated with glass balls at the top and matching stitch markers. Lovely! I also received the most adorable stuffed lamby, which my 4 year old immediately took off with. Included in my haul was some nice stitch markers - colorful and rubbery. I needed these since the only rubbery ones I had were taken from a Happy Meal Toy - (or maybe it was Wendy's) some kind of ring toss game. They max out at size 5 needles. The biggest ones in this set will fit 11s. Yay! Next up is a set of bent tapestry needles and a case. I've only been using straight tapestry needles from my old quilt tying days.

Now hold on, there's more!
A cute lamb tape measure, which I really need since all of my old tape measures seem to have vanished. Try to measure a garment with a big flat Olfa quilting ruler! There's also a nice little brown dotty notebook. The pages are brown too and the whole book smells just like a paper lunch bag. Yes, I admit it, I smelled it. What does that say about me? I smell yarn too, but I guess that's no big deal in this realm we blog in. I'm terrible at keeping notes and I've decided that this book will the be the beginning of keeping track of what row I'm on.
{Mr and Mrs. Potato Head were there on the dining room table ready to greet the new kid on the block.}

So, this is why I'm singing "Don't You Wish Your SP10 was Great Like Mine?"