Sunday, December 31, 2006


Well, the hubby and Miss Priss are sick and in the bed asleep. Our lone New Year's Eve company has ditched us for a game of D&D. So I am upstairs on the computer.

Happy New Year's, everyone!


Oh, well. It could be worse - I could be sick, too!

------------Begin Knitting Content------------------

I did start calorimetry, though. I was smart and checked the knittyboard before I started it. It turns out everyone's seems to be coming out way too big, even when they get gauge. I went down two needle sizes and cast on 108 stitches instead of the recommended 120. I'm using Patons SWS - first time I've used it - and we'll see how it goes. I love how the yarn looks.

------------End Knitting Content--------------------

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's Been Busy

Tomorrow is our last day of traveling.

In gift news, I got 4 knitting books, a textile history book, and 10 packs of Rit dye!

More news later.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I've Never Done This Before

I didn't know it would take two days and three trips to the grocery store yesterday and two today.

The result is an aching back and lots of goodies!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Knitting

This is a blurry pic of completed Christmas knitting for this year. Clockwise, from top right, are Greta's socks, Oisie's fingerless mitts, Nana's fingerless mitts, and Nana's socks. I do have to go back and chain between the fingers on Oisie's because I had her try on Nana's and she didn't like that there was nothing between the fingers. I'll leave Nana's alone and if she wants chains I can go back and put some in.

Right now I'm trying to finish a scarf for Oisie's birthday (tomorrow). Better go!

Friday, December 15, 2006

We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Knitting Content

I finished my second pair of Christmas present socks yesterday:

I think I like them better inside-out:

I also finished one of a pair of fingerless mitts, and am working on the second. Christmas knitting, full steam ahead!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I am FINISHED for the semester! I am going to SIT ON MY BUTT and KNIT ALL DAY! soon as I clean up the kitchen and living room and do some laundry.

The firing of the wood kiln went very well, the salt worked and glazed the pieces. All in all, I was very happy. I also made pictures.

My honey (the one in charge of the wood):

Our friend Mike (the one in charge of the fire) raking out the embers:

We covered the chimney when we salted:

The fire is really looking for oxygen in this one:

Opening up (for anyone into ceramics, that's cones 8, 9, and 10 FLAT on the top shelf!):

What I turned in:

Now this blog can resume knitting content!

Friday, December 08, 2006

No Posting Right Now

...because I am in the middle of FINALS! Trying to get all this stuff done. And firing the wood-fueled salt kiln tomorrow morning through Sunday night. And turning lots of stuff in on Monday and Wendsday.

And then I'm done.

And that's a lot of ands.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

SP9 Goodies!

I have the best SP9 pal! Yesterday I got a great package.

Watching Lorelei open her goodie was almost as fun as opening mine:

She was thrilled with her snowman bag and her play-doh ornaments:

And I hit the jackpot:

In addition to the lovely handmade card, I got dark chocolate with almonds (gone already), a lovely smelling candle in a tin, a star full of gold bath gel, some birdie stitch markers, some wool to dye, and some lovely baby alpaca in a purple colorway. And One-Skein Wonders - I have already picked out several projects that I want to make.

Curse finals! Come on, Dec. 13!

Thank you, secret pal!

Friday, December 01, 2006

You Know You're a Redneck...

...when the people who own the property behind yours accidentally set your property on fire...

(after the fire dept. left)

...and one of the fire trucks gets stuck in the front yard (which is already full of about 15 volunteer firefighters' SUVs)...

...and the kids all have to get their picture made on a fire truck...

...and a backhoe has to come and pull the stuck fire truck out of your front yard.

Not to mention trying to put out small fires that kept popping up after the fire dept. left, the neighbor trying to put out 5' diameter fires WITH A WATERING CAN, calling the fire dept. AGAIN, and trying to walk your almost-eighty grandmother out of the woods when the flashlight dies and you get turned was a long Saturday at my mom's. The relatives from out-of-state got a show to remember.

I've been sick this week, so that's why I haven't posted.

In knitting content, I finally finished Mona's scarf!

Next, I plan to try to turn this:

...into something a little more 'attached' than this:

I also finished spinning & plying the black (red/blue) yarn. I have 350 yards. Yay!

Back to the schoolwork.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Finished Objects

Finished Project #1:

At left, with the recommended needles; at right, with what I will probably use for fingerless gloves:

And, what I am prouder of:

Lorelei's sweater is finally finished!

I didn't block it; I think it would have looked better if I did. I was happy with the seams, it was the first time I had done much mattress stitch.

And she seems to like it (thank goodness)!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's Been an Image Heavy Day

...And Now We Wait

Setting up. We used RIT dye - Rose Pink, a mix of Royal Blue and Evening Blue, a mix of Royal Blue and Rose Pink, and a mix of Evening Blue and Rose Pink. Basically, a blue, two purples, and a pink. I only had girly-girl colors on hand.

The two skeins, side by side, on plastic wrap:

She daubed. I daubed and poured (a little).

It's going to be more ombre than space-dyed (if I'm using those terms correctly).

All ready to be wrapped and heat-set:

Now we're just waiting for it to cool.

THIS Is What Kind of Saturday We're Having at My House!

First, a little fingerloop braiding:

Next, an outdoor project. There was a moment of panic when the camera didn't want to work:

Dyeing prep for some stash yarn, with a little help from the very vocal Munchie:

Need. Bigger. Skeins.

Then a break for lunch. Maybe more pictures later. Gotta eat and go look for dye.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Here is my washcloth for the SP9 contest:

I still have to weave the ends in. It's going to Joe's aunt because we are going to her house for a visit. I hope to take Lorelei's sweater and work on the sleeves. Maybe if I decide she can wear it tomorrow I can crank them out tonight. Yeah, right.

I also taught my nephew to knit while at my mom's Tuesday:

He SO gets it. He wants to knit something big. I told him the next time I was at Nana's I would leave him needles and some yarn. He still needs a little reminding of what to do, but he's only in second grade. Heh. Corrupting the youth.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Knitting Swap Idea

I have an idea for a knitting swap/contest. I would like to get any potential kinks out before I make it public (okay, so I know this is public, but only 5 people read it), so I'm posting it here to get feedback. If you know anyone who has hosted a swap, I'd love their feedback, too.


I love finding bargains when it comes to knitting. There is a warehouse store near me that occasionally gets in $25 - $30 knitting books and sells them for $4 - $7. I occasionally find vintage needles at rummage sales. And I sometimes find very nice yarn in the bargain bin and buy it, not knowing what I'll do with it.

I think that is why I find knitting swaps with a price limit fun. I'm on a tight budget, so I can only spend the limit. I don't want my spoilee to suffer, so I spend extra time and energy finding good bargains and creating special things to go in their package.

That is where I got the idea for the contest. Everyone gets a secret pal, and everyone is required to spend $XX (give or take $0.25) on their pal. No more, no less. Tax and shipping do not count. The contest is to be creative with your spending. You are allowed to make things for your pal, but if you purchase ANYTHING it will count toward your dollar amount.

You will have a month to assemble your package. You must include an itemized list of what you spent, and where the items that you didn't buy came from. Any pre-owned 'stash yarn' you send should be pet and smoke-free.

After all the packages have been received, the recipients can nominate their spoiler for prizes - either best package or most creative use of funds.


So, what do you (is anyone out there?) think? Do you think anyone would go for it? And what $ amount? I had originally thought $20, but the 12 year old said I should go for $10 to make it harder. But I pointed out, what if you find June Hemmons Hiatt's Principles of Knitting for $10? Then you wouldn't have anything else to spend (assuming you'd give it up). I guess you could sell it on eBay for $200 and REALLY have a nice goody bag to send... maybe she's right.

Input? Anyone??

Time Wasters

As if I needed to waste more time (with the end of the semester coming up, and being hopelessly behind in a couple of classes), yesterday I cast on the above. It is only a gauge swatch. What is insane is the size:

I'm guessing that I'm going to get about 16 stitches per inch with sewing silk and size 0000 needles. What's also insane is that Eleanora of Toledo's stockings were knitted at 22 stitches per inch (although it is contested, that was a common gauge at the time).

Now, people have knit hosiery at that gauge, recently. I'm not that crazy. Just curious as to what I'd get. Since there seems to be no other reason why I would knit a swatch out of sewing silk with no intended purpose, I will chalk it up to procrastination.

No progress on anything else...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sorry, No Pics Today!

I don't know what kind of crazy straws I have in my head. I am supposed to be in the ceramics studio getting a semester's worth of work done. Instead, what am I doing? Going to the library. I got some goodies:

Knitting - Anne Bartlett
The Birth House - Ami McKay
(both fiction that I can drop from my wish list since the library had them)
Carding, Spinning, Dyeing - Elisabeth Hoppe
Spinning & Dyeing the Natural Way - Ruth Castino
Pine Needle Basketry - Judy Mallw
Greetings from Knit Cafe - Suzan Mischer
Shibori - Wada / Rice / Barton

I am tired of spinning and taking what I get. What I get is usually lovely and very nice, but I want to know more about twist, grist, and etc. I want to be able to look at a lb of wool and say, "Okay, if I spin it to 16 wpi, I can get XXX yards." (Can people really do that?)

I have a friend who is a high school art teacher. She is teaching ceramics and crafts this year. I am hoping to do an artist-in-residence with her next year (if I can't find a teaching job). I'm okay on most crafts, but have never done basketry, hence the pine needle book.

I am plugging away on the Lush scarf, the denim socks, Mona's scarf, and a new washcloth to post later for an SP9 contest. I'll post pics when I have something to show.

I also started a fiber book - pics to come!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wow, a Whole Week!

It's been a whole week since I last posted - I don't think that's happened in a while. I do wish blogger had a calendar feature like some other blogs, so you can see at a glance when you posted.

I had a wonderful weekend in Atlanta! Not much knitting, but some spinning and chocolate and dinosaurs.

Now, the reason for the post. My Knit Mitt Kit Swap questionnaire:

The Questionnaire:
Are you allergic to any fibers?

What are your favorite colors?
Jeweltones, green & purple. I'm also fond of certain pairings (turquoise/coral, chartreuse/hot pink).

Are you a new mitt knitter? How long have you been knitting mittens?
I have made fingerless mitts and socks, so I shouldn't have any trouble. I've made lots of naalbinded mittens, and the construction is the same.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?
Depends on the pattern. Solid for cables, but I mostly like multicolored.

What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn?
Wool, alpaca.

Where do you usually knit mittens?
Anywhere. They're easy to transport.

How do you usually carry/store small projects?
Crammed in my purse on dpns. When I can get them, I like the small, zippered plastic bags that nice sheets / pillowcases come in.

What are your favorite mitten patterns?
I use this pattern most often.

What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques?
Fingerless, in the round.

What new techniques would you like to try?
I would like to try thrummed mittens and fingerless gloves (where there is a little bit of each finger). I would also like to try dyeing some self-striping sock (or mitten) yarn.

What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens?
Bamboo dpns

What are some of your favorite yarns?
I am on a tight budget, so I usually get what I can at the local craft store. I don't have a local yarn store. I like to get natural colored yarn and dye it. I like Lush and pretty much everything I've felt with alpaca in it. I also like wool/silk blends. I'm not big on novelty yarns.

What yarn do you totally covet?
Noro Silk Garden or Socks that Rock - never had any of either & would like to try them.

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
Would like to have time to design my own and money to buy the yarn for them.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
I love my Knit Picks options, but I usually use 5 dpns for socks / mittens. I went from 4 dpns to 2 circs to get rid of the ladders, but like dpns more. I recently discovered that I don't get the ladders when using 5 dpns, so that's what I use now. I prefer circs for anything bigger than a sock or a glove. I prefer nickel plated or bamboo.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
That musty-smelling but oh-so-lovely skein of heathered 1940's wool with the vintage label down in the bottom of your aunt's closet.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
I'm partial to dark chocolate, but don't eat much candy.

What’s your favorite animal?
Cat. Sheep (llama, alpaca) would be too obvious.

Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts?
Super warm mittens. I do fingerless mitts already.

If you were a color what color would you be?
I have a shirt that is woven so that when the light hits it one way, it's purple and when it hits a different way, it's green. If that answer is cheating, then I'll say blue-violet.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?
Heading into the town where I live, you cross the Tennessee River. I love coming over the bridge when the sun is setting and the light is reflecting off the river. It makes me love where I live.

Do you have a wishlist?
At Amazon - link is in the sidebar.

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?
I hope to have fun! This is my only current swap other than SP9 (I have a two swap limit due to time & $). I had so much fun with the funky scarf swap that I felt 'safe' spending my extra swap slot with Scout & Bev.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Alice in Wonderland

We take a break from the regularly scheduled knitting posts to bring you Alice in Wonderland.

She was still half asleep from her nap when I got her dressed. It took a while for her to wake up.

Earlier that day, she had told everyone in the grocery store that she was going to be Alice in Wonderland.

She was quite the ham. She had an absolute blast trick-or-treating.

Happy Halloween!