Monday, July 30, 2007

Shetland Tea Shawl is OFF THE NEEDLES!

I'm very excited--last night I finished the knitting on my Shetland Tea Shawl, and today (pretty much all day) I grafted the border together!

Here's how it looked at about 5:00 this afternoon:

I spent a good portion of the day sitting down and staring at it, then weaving in some crochet cotton, then waking away (taking a break) and coming back, then ripping out what I'd done and doing it again, rinse, lather, repeat. I gave myself a headache, but after dinner I tackled it again and while it's not perfect, it's as good as it's gonna get and I'm thrilled with it.

Here it is, kind of smoothed out on the carpet. This isn't blocked yet, of course.

And here's an artsy-fartsy shot, done at night under incandescent lights and all, but you can see the beads glinting from around the Diamond Madeira band.

I modified the original in a few ways:
  1. I added a half repeat of the Diamond Madeira band, which widened the shawl quite a bit;
  2. I added beads in the Diamond Madeira portion (which I'm just thrilled with); and
  3. I totally changed the border. See my many previous posts about it if you want more info.
Of course since all these pictures are taken under artificial light, the color is off. The most accurate one is the first picture with the pins and such.

Now I'm girding my loins (no, not literally) for washing and blocking it. I've got to clear a space for it on the floor, since it needs to be somewhere out of the way. I'll probably end up clearing out most of the stuff in the center of my sewing/craft room to have enough floor space. The bed isn't big enough, not to mention that it gets used. My wonderful DH understands about my need to make things, but I think he might not be pleased if he couldn't use the bed tomorrow night.

I also didn't take a picture of the socks I'm working on, as it's been absolutely horridly hot here. We went on a bike ride this morning, got home at 10:30, and there was no way my kids were going to go back outside. Not even for a trip to the library! I don't know if they're going to be up for another bike ride tomorrow morning, but the enthusiasm was waning this evening.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Yummy Bamboo Goodness

Today Rori and I went to the Fiber Christmas in July in Kellyville, Oklahoma. I managed to come home with an item or two (and I even managed NOT to buy a whole bunch of other stuff I wanted).

That 8 ounces of hand-dyed bamboo fiber is sitting on top of a piece of hand-dyed wool fabric for rug hooking. Yes, I also hook rugs although I haven't done much lately. The frame/scissors/hook were all just too tempting for my boy, although now that he's 3 1/2 he might be a little better about staying away from them. Yeah, right.

I also bought some lavender sachets, but since my blog doesn't have Smell-O-Vision, I didn't take a picture of them.

Here's a gratuitous close up of the bamboo:

Mmmm, isn't that just luscious? Of course I'm somewhat intimidated by it since I've never spun with it, but you gotta start somewhere, right?

They had a drawing for a new spinning wheel, too, but I didn't win it. That's probably for the best since I'm still learning on my Fricke. And loving it.

While we were at the fair I tried a Babe wheel, which is made of PVC with a wheelchair wheel as the drive wheel. It's very clever, but the take-up on it was insane. *I* couldn't spin on it, but I know enough about spinning wheels that if I sat down and played with it, I could spin with it after an hour or so. Probably.

There were so many things I'd have liked to buy, but of course economics and questions like "what do I do with it now that I've bought it" come into play. I've been patting myself on the back for coming home with as little as I did, although it was hard.


I'm down to three more repeats on the edging of my Shetland Tea Shawl, so hopefully I'll have it finished by the time the fifth clue comes out for the Mystery Shawl. As it's getting down to the wire I'm finding that I keep putting it down--almost like I'm mourning the end of the project, and trying to delay it. I've never felt that way before. It's always been a race to finish a big project, like "ah, finally, now I can start another (big) project!" And while I really want to get to that point with this shawl, it's just odd. It's going to be a stunning shawl when it's finished.

Of course once it's done I need to figure out what I'm going to concentrate on to finish next. I don't have a shortage of UFOs, of course.

Now's as good a time as any for a needle check, so here goes:
  1. Hanging Garden Stole. Approximately 75% complete, maybe. I'm on the 10th repeat of perhaps 12, and then I'm going to pick up stitches all the way around and add an edging.
  2. Rose of England Shawl. This on is closer to about 15% complete, and I'm thinking I might enjoy it a lot more if I switch it onto bamboo needles rather than the quick KnitPicks needles they're on now. It's not quite the right finish for the yarn, although Bamboo might be too grabby. I might have to break down and try some of the Addi Lace needles that I've heard people rave about.
  3. Sweater for me using Bernat Satin yarn that I won a while back. The sleeves need about two more inches, then I'll have to make some decisions about the body of the sweater.
  4. Bag out of recycled silk yarn from my Aunt Louise. I'm not going to take a picture yet, but maybe next week or so. I'm making it up as I go along, although I do have a rough kind of plan.
  5. Socks, also using yarn from Aunt Louise. It's too dark right now to take a good picture, but maybe tomorrow. Just plain stockinette, and I'm thinking about a short-row heel instead of my usual eye-of-partridge heel flap. I'm definitely going to do a short-row toe on these like on the Victorian Lace Sox.
  6. The Mystery Shawl, which is finished through clue four. Now I just have to wait ever so impatiently until Friday for the next clue, and the reveal of the theme. I had to stop getting any of the list mail except for the special notices because all the panic was driving me crazy. I guess some people don't get enough drama in their lives and so feel the need to create some. Of course if they'd just read it would help.
  7. And I don't think this counts, since I took it off the needles and it's languishing on waste yarn: Scarf using my hand-dyed lace yarn in an Old Shale pattern. I was horribly, unbearable bored with it, but I'll finish it some day. I just haven't been in the mood for that much repetition lately. You know when you start making really stupid mistakes in simple lace that you're either way too tired (or on too much medication) to be working on it, or too bored and not paying attention.
    It was the latter in my case.
That's all I can think of for right now. I've actually managed to finish a few projects, but I'll have to take pictures tomorrow.

Happy knitting everyone!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yarn Source

Hmm, Eva, I'm not sure I want to share the yarn source--I don't want anyone bidding against me. ROFL! Just kidding!!

The seller is Yarn Treehouse on eBay, although there seem to be a few sellers with extremely similar yarn. I originally saw the same yarn (different label) at JoJoLand, who sells on eBay under JoJoSquare, and her prices have jumped considerably (on eBay) in the last month or so.

I suspect that they're the same yarns, just with different labels. All seem to be made in China.

There you go, that's the lowdown on the new yarn.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Yarn Acquision

I splurged on eBay and ordered some yarn that has really intrigued me:

I was expecting lace weight, but this stuff is tinier than the lace weight I've been working with, more like cobweb to me.

The color on my monitor (which is calibrated) is kind of close, although the purple/lilac in the top picture isn't quite accurate--the colors in the bottom pic are pretty much exact.

I'm looking for the perfect project for this and I still haven't decided yet. I'm leaning toward one of the projects in Victorian Lace Today, although I'm not sure which one--I've got 1700+ yards of it so the field is pretty open. Of course since it's so tiny I'll need to do more knitting to make it big enough (whatever I choose) so that will have to factor in as well.

I've seen the Legends of the Shetland Seas done in a similar--but darker--yarn, and I love it! I doubt I'll copy it (as in use that exact same yarn for that same design, not as in make an illegal copy of the pattern), but it's darn tempting. I'm trying to talk myself out of buying the pattern since I already have so many projects going, much less planned.

Speaking of projects on the needles, I'm on the 65th repeat of the Shetland Tea Shawl border, so I'm getting very close to being finished! That's good because the fair is coming up at the end of September, and I'll have to block it.

I finished with clue 4 of the Mystery Stole, and I ended up shortening it which took out about half of the clue. I'm certainly not going to regret making it shorter, which is pretty rare for me--I usually wish things were bigger. Not this time around! I taped two 60" tape measures together to get an idea of just how long it would've been, and even 13" shorter than the stole, 120" is MORE than enough. Hopefully it'll finish at somewhere around 115" or so, but I'm not totally sure. It all depends on how hard I block it!

I also started another pair of socks, although these are just plain stockinette in order to show off the self-striping yarn. Maybe the socks will have a little photo session tomorrow (after I get a little farther on them).


In November our knitting guild will be hosting Joan Schrouder for a two-day workshop, and I'm very excited about it! Today I talked to my Mom about it and my parents are going to pay for my attendance for a birthday present since my birthday is in October. I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by people who understand (and support) my crafting/creative needs.

Happy Wednesday!

My Ravelry Status

Wow, I just checked my Ravelry status, and I'm waaaaaaay down on the list.
  • You signed up on June 13, 2007
  • You are #8801 on the list.
  • 2091 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 11454 people are behind you in line.
  • 32% of the list has been invited so far
I can't believe I had my head in the sand for so long about this--I'd heard about it weeks before I checked it out and signed up.

I keep hearing such exciting things about it, but I guess I'll just have to be patient.

Which is NOT one of my strengths. LOL!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Loot from Germany!

Yesterday my mailbox was stuffed with a package from my Aunt Louise in Germany. I LOVE getting anything from her, but this box was particularly spectacular.

First up, we have a small tube of some of the world's best hand creme:

I have some large tubes of this stuff and I LOVE it. Now I have a purse-sized one, hooray!!

Here's some beautiful jewelry, including two rings (!!) made by my Aunt Louise I assume:

My daughter LOVES the rings in particular, and I told her that she could wear them in the house as long as they don't go outside (or to music camp this week).

All of those goodies were in this pretty box:

And the coupe de grace, this skein of yarn!

DROOL! I'm balling it up now, and hope to start a bag or something this afternoon.


That's about all the news around here. My parents are finally back from their European River Cruise, so it's nice to be back in contact with them when it's not $2 a minute!!

Happy knitting!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Victorian Lace Socks, Spinning

Wow, I'm really doing well with the creative titles lately, huh?

Socks first:

Those are my Victorian Lace Socks from the SixSoxKAL group. I love them! It was my first time doing a short-row toe and it's now my favorite. I grafted them together on the top just below the end of the lace, and if I hadn't told you, you wouldn't be able to tell.

Here's a different view (crappy, with flash) last night after I finished the grafting on the first sock:

And a pic of the bottom, showing the neat striping of the yarn. This is stuff I dyed a while back for some cuffs on a different sock and I still have a bit left after this pair. I haven't weighed it to see exactly how much I have, but not a whole lot.

Yes, the variegation does obscure the lace pattern, but I can certainly live with it. I really like these!


Now for the spinning portion of the post.

This is half of the 4 ounces I have (wound onto an empty toilet paper tube). It's so hard to capture the angelina that's in there, and the singles just sparkle with it in person. So much so that I'm kind of wondering if it's too much. [I kind of doubt it, but we'll see.]

It took me a long time to spin up this and I suspect it'll take me even longer to spin up the second half of the top. I sure am looking forward to plying it and seeing how it looks.

And just because, here's a gratuitous extra shot of the singles.

This is some Ashland Bay Merino that I also got at the Snake River Fiber Fair, and I'm just thrilled with how it's spinning up!

As I was winding it onto the tube I noticed that it's nowhere near as even as I thought it was as I was spinning it, but I think it'll be all right. I've divided the 8 ounces into thirds and this is the first third. I'm going to make a 3-ply yarn and it'll probably end up being close to worsted-weight. We'll see though--I'm still at the stage of spinning where things don't turn out quite the way I anticipated.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the nice comments on my Mystery Stole!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More bad MS3 pictures

I still haven't managed to take a decent picture of my Mystery Stole 3, but I did pin it out and steam block it. It's a good thing I did, because Melanie gave us some info that is pretty darn important: at Clue 3, 1/3 of the shawl is finished unless you want to make it longer.

So here you go, two bad pictures:

You probably can't see the numbers on that "blocking pad" (it's a portable ironing pad), but it's almost 28" wide and 44" long. That's significantly bigger than Melanie's stole (which blocked to 20" wide) but then I'm a lot bigger than she is.

I weighed the ball of yarn that I have left and it came to 54 grams. That's good, because that's a little under 1/3 of my yarn used. I started out with one 100 gram hank and wound off 50 grams from another hank and dyed it all up in one pot.

So I'm 1/3 of the way through the project, and I've used 46 grams of 150 grams, or 404.8 yards of 1200. Whew! I won't be cutting to too close, but there's not enough to add in an extra repeat. Not that I'd have to anyway, since my shawl is going to end up being 133" long!!


I've been spinning up the purple merino (shown a few posts ago) and I'm really loving it! I've divided it up into thirds to make a three-ply yarn, and I have just a tiny bit left to go of my first third. Pictures with the flash are pretty icky, so maybe tomorrow I'll get some good natural-light ones.


We went to the Tulsa Zoo today with some friends, and my brain is totally fried. It was 95 degrees F when we left, and then we went to Joe's Crab Shack and listened to Greg's boss' friend's band (whew, that's convoluted) for a while out in the heat some more, so I'm going to shower and go to bed. We had a great time though!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Long Overdue Pictures

I finally got my act together as far as taking pictures of the stuff I bought at the Snake River Fiber Fair back in May.

To start, here's some Targhee (far left), a luster wool (I can't remember exactly what breed, shame on me!!), and some soy silk.

Those are my three "natural" colored rovings. My wonderful DH bought the Targhee and luster wool. He was so awesome--I was just going to get 4 ounces of each, and he bought more, eight ounces of each. Isn't he wonderful??

And here's a gratuitous close-up of the soy silk:

My sister and I split four ounces of it, and she spun hers up that night at the dinner and spin in.

This is some merino colored Ashland Bay roving that I couldn't pass up:

Also from Ashland Bay, some merino/silk blend. Isn't it just gorgeous??

I have no idea what I'm going to do with either one, but I've been lusting after them for a long time. Now I just open up their bags and pet them occasionally, and try to figure out what they want to be.

I managed to spin exactly half of the four ounces of the blue wool with angelina:

That's one bobbin of two. Hopefully it doesn't take me another two months to do the rest of it! I'm eager to ply it up and measure the yardage. It would be really nice to get it in the 900-yard range, but we'll see.

The angelina is so hard to photograph! It's like taking pictures of beads in knitting--they're just spectacular in person, but in photos they get lost.


I also managed to finish up Clue 3 for the Mystery Stole, although getting a decent picture is proving difficult.

The fabric I'd pinned it to wasn't big enough or rigid enough to take a good picture, so that might have to wait until tomorrow. Or later. If I was really intent on getting a good photo I'd block it on the needles and then take a picture. I probably won't though. :-)

You can see the beads in this picture, although it's not too easy to see the stitch pattern. I hadn't noticed the slight variegation in value in the yarn until I was trying to color balance this picture. I guess I didn't get it quite as even as I thought I had! It's pretty subtle, though, so shouldn't affect the readability of the lace pattern.

I'm having a really good time with this shawl. I can only work so long on it and I run out of chart, so I don't feel pressured to do the whole thing quickly the way I do with some projects. Of course the deadlines are all in my head, but I've enjoyed how relaxed yet productive I feel with this project.


I'm on repeat #57 of 72 of the border, so I'm slowly making progress on the Shetland Tea Shawl. I'd love to have it done in time for the next K.N.I.T. Guild meeting--the second Monday in August--but we'll see. My real deadline for this shawl is to be able to put it into the Tulsa State Fair in late September, and I just might make it.


Thanks so much to all of you who left comments or wrote to me via email during the last few days. It means so much to me!

I think I finally kicked that bout of depression, just in time to leave Greg alone while he gets over his hangover from partying with the neighbors last night. LOL!!!

I still haven't left the house since Tuesday night, but that feeling of being trapped is gone.


A while back I won some of this yarn and I'm still trying to decide how to use it. It's two balls of Elann Esprit, one of each color in pink and pink/black/white variegated, and I'm trying to figure out if I can get a pair of socks out if it I split the balls up (half of each for each sock). I've got big feet (10.5 women's US size, and they're more square--like hobbit feet--than the "standard" foot) but I do like my socks tighter than others seem to.

Anybody have any suggestions or advice?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Spinning, etc

I've been working a bit more on spinning this stuff:

It doesn't look much different now, so I didn't bother taking another picture--there's just more of it. I'm probably about halfway through the bag of four ounces, so I still have a ton to go. No idea how much I'll get yardage-wise, but I'm looking forward to getting it finished and choosing a project for it.


I'm still knitting along on my Shetland Tea Shawl, and I just finished the 54th repeat (of 72) so it's slowing getting finished. I'm also halfway-done with the third clue of the Mystery Stole, so once I'm done with this clue I'll take a picture and post it. Neither project is terribly exciting as far as photographing it right now.


Thank you so much Taueret, Greg (my very wonderful DH), Mel, Kathleen C, Robin, and Kathy L for your comments. I think I'm fighting a depression and it means so much to hear from others.

I'm normally a very upbeat person. My hubby will vouch for this. I've never had depression for more than a day or so, and it really sucks. I guess a lot of it is because I'm feeling trapped and like I'm an afterthought to pretty much everyone but my DH, sister, and parents (and those of you who commented).

Trapped, because while I love my children, right now it's extremely difficult to do anything with them in public. Unlike a lot of the people I know, I don't have free childcare on whom I can dump my children. My wonderful hubby is more than willing to stay home with the kids if I want to go do something without them, but I also want to spend time with him just as a couple. Our alternative is to pay someone to watch the kids, which gets expensive really quickly. The other day I dropped them off at the play place (hourly daycare, which they love and beg to go back to) and went to WalMart all by myself so that I didn't have to listen to whining about why we weren't going to purchase everything we see and want. They were there for around two hours and it was almost $20.

Obviously that's not something I can do frequently (especially since that's my month's craft budget). I cannot imagine having an entire day to myself, much less a weekend or more. I know I should cherish this time with my kids--and I do--but I feel like what I want to do comes last. Maybe I should go get the cheese out of the fridge to go with my whine.

My back/legs have been really bothering me, which means I've been doing something wrong. I've got two herniated discs in my back and when I lift something wrong or something that's too heavy, or I twist the wrong way, etc etc I get nasty pains down my legs and in my hips as the nerves are being pinched. Unfortunately I'm going on day four of this, and I still haven't figured out what I did wrong. I'm also frustrated by a lot of other things, none of which are in my control so I should just let them go.


The Fiber Christmas In July is coming up at the end of the month, and I'm still not sure I'm going to go. While it would be very cool, I don't know that I want that much temptation to spend money. I keep reading about these people loading up their credit cards and their car trunks at fleece fairs and other events, and while I'm envious, I'm also not going to let myself do that. [Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not one bit better than any of those people, I just don't want more debt hanging over our heads.]

Not to mention that I still have a whole bunch of roving from the Snake River Fiber Fair that I haven't spun up yet, and I'm drowning in knitting projects I want to do.

I desperately need to do better with my time management.

'K, that's quite enough from me right now. I promise to be more upbeat on my next post.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Still knitting on the border; destashing

Today I'm on repeat #49 of 72, so progress is being made on the Shetland Tea Shawl. I timed myself last night, and it takes me approximately 18 minutes per repeat. That's just under 24 hours of knitting time, which is a heck of a lot!! Of course I didn't time how long the rest of it has taken me, but I started it around February 24th I think, and I've been working on it fairly intensely. My goal is to have it finished by the end of August so that I can enter it in the Tulsa State Fair. I think I'll make it. I had to change to a different dye lot, but so far I can't tell at all where it changes! I'm very relieved. I've been bitten by that before, but a very close inspection in daylight hasn't revealed any difference. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


I've decided to have a yarn purge. I have some yarns that I won from Bernat for a chemo cap contest they had in conjunction with Leisure Arts. I'm going to list some Haven yarn (an alplaca blend) and some Boa yarn on eBay, along with a few pattern booklets that I won't use. I've had a hard time parting with things but I finally had the epiphany that if I sell the yarn I'm probably not going to use, I can use that money and buy yarn I will use! (Duh!)

So, what yarns am I lusting after? I really want to get the yarn to do the Lightning Lace Jacket. Granted, I need 14 balls but they're $2.49 each (KnitPicks' Shine Sport) so that's not too bad. I just can't seem to stockpile enough "mad money" to plunk down that much at once. Yes, my yarn budget is pathetic. It kind of has to be, though, because even with great restraint I amass more than I can use.

I also need to get to a yarn shop and buy some black Manos yarn to finish that little felted purse. My sister has convinced me not to wimp out and buy something other than Manos for this--she says that the black Manos yarn has a neat effect when felted and that I'll regret it if I don't use it. I'm just having a really hard time with the thought of paying $13 a hank for yarn that I don't feel is particularly well spun. And I'm going to felt it. Why yes, I am feeling a little snarky at the moment.

Then there's this beautiful yarn that I'm lusting after from JoJoLand. When Katherine Misegades came to our guild, she had some socks made from some of the fingering-weight stuff and it was just amazing. I want! :-)

And of course there's the book sale going on at KnitPicks, 40% off all of their books. I am a book junky, but so far I've resisted placing an order.


Last night (the weekly Panera Sit N' Stitch) was kind of fun, but the more I think about it the more frustrated I get. The great thing was that I got to meet two people face-to-face that I've corresponded with over the internet, so that was great!! They're both wonderful people, which I knew from communicating with them, and it was just awesome to be able to meet.

The frustrating part was that instead of being able to sit and chat with them (and work on my projects) I ended up teaching four people to knit.


At once.

Here's the background:
The woman who started this group runs a listing in the Tulsa Kids magazine that says something along the lines of 'free knitting lessons' with no contact information, just show up at Panera between 6:30 and 8:30 on Tuesday nights. That was great when she was still coming but I've seen her twice in the last year. So, when someone wants to learn how to knit (for free, of course) it ends up defaulting to me. Many times I don't mind, but this time around it was overwhelming and I didn't get to chat with Robin and Rebecca (and Lynn and Kim).

So this morning I emailed the magazine and asked them to change the ad so that it does NOT list "free lessons" because *I* didn't place the ad and I'm tired of teaching people spur-of-the-moment. If I can plan for it, that's one thing, but when I don't have appropriate yarn, needles, handouts, etc it's really really frustrating. Not to mention that the lady who offered the lessons sells yarn out of her home (or at least she did when she returned emails and phone calls, which she hasn't done since Christmas), so she had a motive/reason to teach people. Sometimes I'm in the mind set to teach, but my Panera night is my relaxation night, my night to not be Mommy, to chat with like-minded women.

I guess a lot of my frustration boils down to the realization that I feel like I'm being taken for granted on a lot of different fronts, and this was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back. Yes, I know that I didn't have to say that the woman who ran that ad doesn't come any more but I'd be willing to teach them, but I guess I'm just too nice and need to learn how to say "no" a lot more often. It's one of those lessons that I seem to need to re-learn with some frequency.

Sometimes I feel like standing up and yelling "when is it MY turn?" When is someone going to do something for me with no strings? When am I going to get invited? I just feel like I'm an afterthought for people. Are people nice to me because they want something from me, or do they really want to be my friend?

I know that things come back around, but I guess I'm just in a bit of a slump. My wonderful husband is truly my best friend and I'm so fortunate to have him.


Thanks for reading. Hopefully I'll be more positive in the next post.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Plans and UFOs (unfinished objects)

Last night was the K.N.I.T. Guild meeting (Knitting Needles In Tulsa), and we had a really good time. During the summer months we don't have a formal meeting, just show and tell and knit and gab time. I got to know Penny a little more (hi Penny!) which was fun. At the last meeting she came to (which was also her first meeting LOL) there were a lot of people and it was kind of a wild meeting, so I didn't get a chance to talk to her then. It was so fun to sit next to her and gab. She's one of the fastest throwers I've seen, next to Loretta (the Sock Queen of Tulsa).

Since a lot of the meeting was knit and gab time I managed to finish the second clue of the Mystery Stole, so I'm done until Friday. It's really dark and rainy here so I might have to resort to an indoor shot with flash, but I'm going to hold off until this afternoon and see if I can get a natural-light picture.

I took the opportunity to spread out the Shetland Tea Shawl and take a picture. I'm on border repeat #42, so only 30 more to go!

(Did you catch the sarcasm there? Only 30 more.) It was free enough of the needles that I was able to wrap it around me, and I think it's going to be big enough to actually wear! I'm pretty excited because the original size wouldn't have been wearable for me--it would just have barely met in the front. It felt really good when I swung it around my shoulders.

Remember the swatch I posted a few days ago? Here's a refresher:

I realized that the swatch has been through the washer and dryer at least six times, so really it's not doing too badly. Sande pointed out that it would pill under the arms, but I've got store-bought sweaters that pill so it's not something I'm unfamiliar with. So, I've decided to go for it. The yarn is a hemp/cotton blend and I'll make a raglan out of it. It'll be a very casual sweater. At least that's the plan right now! I'm going to try to finish the broken-rib Bernat Satin sweater before I start a new project for me. I haven't taken any pictures of it yet because it's still just about 3/4 of the sleeves, but maybe if the weather clears up I'll pull that project out and take pictures. Here's a very rough sketch of my idea:

The white parts will be blue, the dark parts will be dark brown, and the yoke will be a variegated that has blue and brown in it. It's going to be a very warm sweater. I like the yarn, although there's no doubt it's acrylic. I'd originally thought about steeking the center front, but I"ve decided to just work it back and forth on circs. I don't mind purling, plus having the sides in dark brown require intarsia techniques.

Tonight is the weekly Sit and Stitch at Panera and hopefully we'll get to meet Robin, with whom Rori and I have been emaling through the Oklahoma Knitters list. I love it when internet knitting friends become real-life knitting friends. I don't know if Rebecca is going to make it or not, but I sure hope so! We have yet to meet in person, too.

It's a darn good thing that deadlines come up every so ofter or I'd never get anything done. :-)

Monday, July 09, 2007

How To: Adding Linked Pictures in the Sidebar

It seems like there are certain things I don't do often enough to memorize, but I do them often enough that I feel like I should remember. Here's a tutorial of one of those things, adding a linked picture to the sidebar. I use them in my "Current KALs" section of my sidebar.

  1. In Blogger, go to the "Template" tab (or click "Layout" in the Dashboard), then "Page Elements," then "Add A Page Element" (if you don't already have a link list set up), then "link list."
  2. Click on "add new link" and put the URL in the "New Site URL" field.
  3. Upload the image that you want to use. I put them on a page on my site, then right-click on the image, go to "properties," and copy the text of the location.

  4. Here's the tricky part: under "New Site Name" type the following:
    < img src = "put your link here">
    replace the put your link here text with your link text, but be sure to leave the quotes, and don't forget the final semicolon.
  5. Click "save changes" and you're finished!
Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Back to the Knitting

Back to blogging about the knitting anyway--I've been knitting every day.

This is a swatch from a while back, and I'd like to get opinions about it:

Does it look too ratty and worn? It's a hemp/cotton blend and I really like it once it's washed up. The bottom section is on US size 8 needles, the center is on 6s, and the top is on 4s. I like the top once, especially since everything I've read about knitting with cotton says to knit it at a tighter gauge since it tends to stretch.

I've got in mind a raglan cardigan with buttons, with rolled neckline, sleeve edges, and hem.

Opinions, please!!

Next up on the swatch front: swatches for the Lightning Lace Jacket from Just One More Row. I got my hands on the Cast On Summer 2003 issue, and this jacket was in there. I'm totally in love with it, and I decided to try some ShineSport from KnitPicks (I blogged about this yesterday). Here are the swatches:

The one on the left is the one without the seed-stitch border on each side, and it's been washed and dried. The one on the right is in its unwashed newness, and the addition of the 3-stitch seed stitch border has solved the zig-zagginess. So now as soon as I order the yarn (and it gets here) I'll be able to start on it! Well, I really should finish up some other projects first, which I'm really going to work on doing. It'll probably be a while until I order the yarn anyway, unless they decide to have a sale.

Now for the mystery stole. Here's my progress, eight rows into the second clue. I figured out that each two-row combinations (pattern row and plain row) takes me approximately 8 minutes. Less than that if there isn't bead work, a little more if there is. So, if there are 50 rows in this clue that means that it'll take me 3 hours and 20 minutes.

I don't know why I torture myself like that--it seems to go so much faster if I don't know how long it takes!

Isn't it purty though?

A couple of years ago I posted my Fir Cone Three-Quarter Shawl pattern (see the sidebar), and Kate in Berkeley on the Laceknitters list was wondering about the non-direction decreases in the border. Here are some close-ups of the right and wrong sides of the border:

Click on them to make the pictures bigger.

I think that when lace is done in garter stitch, directional decreases don't make any difference. [That's my personal opinion, and you're welcome to disagree with me.] I've read that that's one of the reasons why traditional lace shawls don't have directional decreases--they're done in garter and blocked severely.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Newspaper Article, Stash Envy

I seem to be lacking in title creativity these days.

A few weeks ago we (the Panera group) were in the newspaper but I don't think I posted a link to the article. Click here to see it. I knew I wouldn't be happy with the picture--I'm never happy with how I look in pictures--but if I'd known there would be a reporter there I would've worn a more flattering shirt! LOL!!


You must check out this woman's stash. It makes my paltry collection of yarn look truly pathetic. Not only do I have a small stash, but I'm trying to make it even smaller!! I bought yarn when I was learning to knit, and I've come to the realization that it's not "the right" yarn for me now. Either it's the wrong color, there isn't enough, or I have no idea why I bought it in the first place.


KnitPicks is having a book sale, and dang them! (Not really!) I've never seen Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Opinionated Knitter for less than $29.99, and it's included in the 40% off all books! My pocketbook did not need this. And, and, they have the Sally Melville books The Knit Stitch and The Purl Stitch for $12 each! GAACKKK!! They're trying to kill me, I'm sure.


I'm on the 41st repeat (of 72) of the border for my Shetland Tea Shawl. No pictures because it really doesn't look any different than the last pic I showed, there's just more border completed.


I really, really want to make the Lightning Lace Jacket from Just One More Row.

I got the Cast On magazine that has this jacket in it and happily started a swatch using the lace pattern stitch given. Interestingly enough, my swatch has zig-zag edges. Of course, looking at the lace pattern this makes perfect sense, but I'm not sure there isn't a correction floating around somewhere that makes it not zig zag. It's clearly not doing that in the jacket above, and I don't think they just blocked it out. I didn't come up with anything through Google so I might just cast on a bigger swatch and try it again.

I'm going to use KnitPicks Shine Sport although I haven't decided on a color yet. I love the way the yarn in the picture above has a slight variegation, but I also really like how the Shine swatched up. Decisions are hell!


Yesterday my wonderful DH got started painting the front railing, and I came along about halfway-through and helped him finish. It's so nice to see it all one color!

And yesterday was Independence Day, so here are some pics of the fireworks and the kids:

The smoke bombs were a huge hit again this year. Ryan was wanting to do more this morning, only we had to figure out what in the world he meant by "goooom balls." Of course we did all 12 last night, so there were none to be had this morning.

This one was something like "solar flare" and boy was it bright!! It fooled my camera into taking this picture, which makes it look like it's dark--which it's not.

I hadn't realized it, but DH loves fireworks that make loud noises. I don't particularly enjoy them, but he gets such a kick out of them that I know we'll be getting a lot more noisy ones next year.

Things have been so wet around here that no one had to worry in the least bit about setting anything on fire. I can't imagine how much effort that would take--everything is soaking still. Here are some mushrooms that are growing in the raised bed around the light post:

Trust me, those are mushrooms. ;-)


Tomorrow Clue #2 comes out on the Mystery Stole 3, so I plan to knit a fair amount tomorrow. Of course, that's my plan--life often gets in the way of my knitting plans.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy 4th of July; hat; rain

I was feeling really creative with that blog title. LOL!

The Fourth of July is tomorrow, and I can certainly tell--the neighborhood sounds a bit like a war zone! We've never lived anywhere that one could purchase and set off fireworks (legally), so it's taken a bit of adjustment. This year the next-door neighbors knocked on the door and invited us over to see their "practice" fireworks (they'll be setting of the majority tomorrow night at their campsite).

I got a neat picture or two:

Here's one of the neighbors moving a gigantic sparkler-type thing around (how's that for a precise description?):

You can see my son's room (with the light on) in the background. We really like the neighbors. They moved in a few months ago and we've really enjoyed getting to know them better.

I got some not-so-good pictures of the fireworks, but I'll spare you those. ;-)


We've had a lot of rain in the past few days--I saw somewhere that today was the first non-rainy day in 18 days!! They're predicting more, too. Luckily we haven't had any flooding around here (yet), but this was pretty impressive yesterday evening:

Since we're painting the railing, we hadn't secured the downspout on the house. We had a very sudden downpour and the force of the rain coming off the roof caused the downspout to pop out of the drainage tube and shoot water all over. Luckily DH is quick with a fix!


I finished Miss Dashwood, although my hat doesn't look quite like the original. I changed the bobbles to a single line of garter, and I didn't do the ear flaps. It's still darn cute though! Here's my 3-year-old son modeling it for me:

He's such a good sport!

It's a bit big for a newborn obviously since this was supposed to be the 12-month size, but I think it'll be all right. It's loose in the picture, but it's not loose on my boy's big head. Still very cute though!


Happy Independence Day to all the Americans who stop by my blog! May it be happy and safe.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Contest Winner, Mystery Stole progress

I finished the first clue of the Mystery Stole 3 a little while ago. I couldn't resist pinning it out and taking a picture:

Right now, just slightly stretched, it's 26" wide and 19" long. MUCH bigger than Melanie's 20" wide stole, which I'm very pleased about. I'm not a small woman, and 20" just doesn't quite do it.

The yarn (to recap) is KnitPicks' Bare, hand-dyed by me on Thursday. The needles are Crystal Palace US 4s and unfortunately they're not my favorite bamboo needles. My faves are from an eBay seller named JoyceSuperShop (which always cracks me up) but I haven't acquired any 4s yet.


Since we lowered the front rail, the kids LOVE to climb up and sit on it. The other day they decided to have some yogurt while sitting up there, and since I had my camera with me they both wanted to have their pictures taken. They were even being cute for me!

That was in one of the rare sunny afternoons we've had around here lately. Right now the Tulsa area is way above normal for rainfall, and the ground is so saturated that the water is running down the lawns and over the curbs, even this evening after the last rainfall early this morning. I've never seen it do that in the (almost) four years we've lived here.

The kids talked me into letting them play in the rain (what kid can resist a puddle??) so here they are, looking guilty because they thought I was calling them in. I wasn't--I just wanted them to look up at the camera.


I should've posted this on Friday but I got caught up in the first-clue-posting excitement (for the MS3): Knitted Zebra (Delores) won my contest! She'll be getting some yarn. :-)

So, what was the difference between my Swallowtail Shawl and the original? Only one: I changed the direction of the Lily of the Valley section. All other changes (longer points, etc) are just blocking.

Here's the original (from the magazine, Interweave Knits):

And here's mine:

Thanks to everyone who participated! I'll have another little contest in a few weeks.