Thursday, August 31, 2006

There may be more later today, butt...

I wanted to apologize to Suzanne for calling her Suzi throughout my laceswap post. I love her and she got everything perfect and I didn't look closely enough to see that even though her website is suziknits she always signs Suzanne. Not that she complained or anything. She's lovely...I'm a dork.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Sister's Got A Blog

My one sister is 14 months younger than me. She's always been jealous of me. O.K. maybe that was the other way around but I always like to put my own spin on history. Anyway, she made herself a blog. It's a knitting blog but she doesn't knit. My niece knits. She's fabulous at it. So the blog is about my 19 year old nieces knitting as seen through the eyes of her nutty family.
Everyone in the family is nutty except Sara - who is, of course, the one who knits.
And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's a Lacey Day

As you can see, yesterday afternoon I got my lace swap package from Suzi .
I wanted to show everyone all day but the kids are all here and they, for some reason, want me to spend time with them.
Also, the wrapping was so beautiful. I can't show it to you because daughter number 2 erased all of the pictures off of my camera today. We went to the zoo and I told her that I needed to free up some space on the memory card. I forgot to tell her that I hadn't transferred some of them to my computer.
Anyway. Each piece was wrapped in a lovely shade of lavender tissue. All inside a box lined with green tissue. I don't know how she knew that my favorite color combination is purple and green. I think Suzi's a mind reader.

Here is the cake. Three skeins of Blackberry Ridge wool called Thistledown in cream. It is a singles yarn with 750 yards on each skein. I've never seen this yarn before. I love it. It is quite soft. I have never knit with a single before and I have been considering using my own spun singles but this will be better because it is definitely more even than my own spinning.

Also there was the cutest card with a sheep spinning her wool. Love. AND a pattern - The Tina Shawl - from Fiddlesticks. I have been eyeing this pattern for months. I don't have any Fiddlesticks patterns and no local yarn shops carry them and I've been putting off ordering them even though I am at their website at least every other week drooling over many of the designs.

Here is the icing on the cake. Raspberry Lemonade mix with a cute little whisk. A darling little notebook called Hot Chocolate - my fave. A happy face ice pack. I can't figure out if this is for the kids or my aching wrists from over-knitting. Either way, cute as heck. My favorite stitch markers. I have a couple of sets of these in different sizes but not this color. There are 21 in a set, these are lovely blue with one yellow one in case of circular knitting. They also don't have dangly things to get caught in the holes of your lace.

The list continues with some stork embroidery scissors - blue steel. I also collect fabulous scissors which Suzi could not have known except by some magic way. There is a book mark from Vermont with a covered bridge and a Maple Moose Lollipop. I get one of these everytime I visit my sister in Vermont. Again, Love. Last but not least 5 Hershey's extra dark chocolates.

This could not have been more perfect. It's like she knew me forever.

More later. It's late and that little boy is not going to sleep very easily tonight.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I've Grown

This photo was taken on August 6th

This phot was taken August 18th.

This photo was taken today.

I'm feeling a little better now that I can actually see progress with these pictures right next to each other. It's like watching your kids grow. You need that little mark on the wall or to line up all the shoes in a row because the growth is so minute that you can't see it.

Here's a quiz I got from Kate

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
Take this quiz!

Kind of great because I love to spin merino and knit with merino so it's definitely not as stupid as the last one.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Boy And My Dog

. I have no new knitting content due to the never-ending shawl. Maybe tomorrow I'll post another progress picture. I don't see much difference but maybe if I post a couple of pictures next to each other we can all feel better.

This is what we found after dinner last night. Penny wasn't put into her crate by any of the adults in the household. Everyone gets three guesses - and the first two don't count - about who closed the door. I'll give you one hint. He's a boy and he's short. Is that two hints?

Of course as soon as he sees the camera he gets out his modeling smile. Penny would just like her space back.

More tomorrow.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cute and Chaotic

O.K. let's start with the cute. I always like to start with the cute since I am surrounded by chaos. Chelsea was at work when this picture was taken and that's where she is right now so I'll have to add her later so there are no hurt feelings.

This is Ryan on his bike. Notice the placement of the sippy cup. They don't make trikes with cupholders so you just make due.

Now for the chaos. I spent a little time thinking about what to do with this room. I just cleaned it this spring. Obviously my new organization isn't working very well because it didn't even last for 6 months.

There are the piles of fabric that I was storing downstairs in another room that I made into our school room. They didn't have a place so now their place is the middle of the floor.

There's the cormo fleece that I'm working on washing slowly.

The work table obviously doesn't have room for working. I have to do something about this.

This is a shot of my bookshelf - and Maggie. This shelf only holds knitting and spinning books and magazines.

I think I'm out of control. Maybe I need to focus on one area.

This is a stack of more books that are on the floor in front of the bookshelf. (Sorry it's blurry. I get a little shaky when I think about cleaning.)

This is my favorite part of the room though. It is an antique drying rack. I have many of my skeins of yarn hanging here. Plenty of laceweight and sock yarn. There is also some Black Water Abbey that I'm dying to use.

I'm thinking that some form of punishment might be the ticket. No more new yarn or books until this room is cleaned up. By cleaned up I mean nothing sitting in bags on the floor, open space on the work table and baskets that are full of the things they are meant to hold. I probably should give myself a time limit to get this done.

My bedroom looks a little better than this room and I've been wanting to ge that cleaned up too. Maybe bedroom first to make the hubby happy, then tackle the sewing/craft room. I don't know tell me what you think.

If it's too overwhelming for you, just scroll up and check out those cute kids again.

Just a little side note - I was spell checking my post and had typed washing incorrectly and the top word choice the spell checker gave to rplace it was ORGASM. Where in the world did that come from?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ain't She Sweet

Here's Brittney in her new hat. She likes it. I didn't even get to block the thing because she took it and I had to go fish around for it upstairs so I could get a picture.

Isn't she cute. Just back from yoga class.

It's made from the Berrocco Ultra Alpaca I bought last week.

Three more kids to outfit with winter items.

These are the mittens I'm starting to match Brittney's hat. She is leaving on the 1st of September so I don't have much time to finish them if I want her to have them before she leaves.

If I don't finish them before she leaves they will totally be on the back burner until after Rhinebeck. I'm obsessed with the shawl and I only manage to drag myself away because the fam. thinks I am neglecting them.

Project Runway tonight!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Help Wanted....

but I don't have any money to pay.

Seriously. I have been playing around with this blogger stuff for a little while now. I don't think I'm a stupid girl but sometimes this computer language doesn't make sense to me. o.k. it almost never makes sense to me.

I would like to put some of this cute little buttons on my sidebar. You know like the Lace Swap one, or some other cute thing that I've come across. I just can't figure it out. I've spent hours fooling with this and can't get it. You guys all seem to know how to do it so, please, give a poor knitter a break and let me in on the secret of posting buttons on the blog.

I have almost finished the hat I'm making for Brittney and I think I might try to get some mittens in before she leaves next week. I'm pretty sure I have enough yarn to do it because the hat only took a little more than half a skein of the Ultra Alpaca.

Progress is slow because all of the night time knitting is devoted to Lily right now. She's coming along at a snail's pace, but I haven't given up hope.

Monday, August 21, 2006

And Again I Am Broke

I saw this backpack last year at Rhinebeck. It wasn't this fabric. I loved the style but didn't like what they had at their booth - Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm that is. So I ordered one in June. Shortly after I got it my friend found out she was moving so I loaded the pack up with a pattern, some lovely wool from Black Water Abbey and some needles and handed it over as a going away present. She loved it. I missed it so I got a replacement. I didn't have to pay shipping this way. Saved myself money, right?
This magazine and the little flyer I got from Galina at the Skaska booth. I love Galina. She is my hero. She invited me to a Russian Lace knitting workshop that will be in Denver in April. They will be at the Marriott renaissance and have rooms reserved for $95 per night. I'm so tempted but Brittney will be coming home from school around then and the hubby may have tickets for the Frozen Four (College Hockey Finals) earlier in the month in St Louis. Anyway, too many trips and stuff that month. If anyone else is interested I would be glad to pass along the info.
This yarn is from Briar Rose. The colors are fabulous. I also got a pattern for the one on the left. It is 1000 yards of 50% merino and 50% tencel. The other is 100% merino fine laceweight 2500 yards. They are beautiful. I have some other stuff to do first but these will definitely be on the short list.
These Stitch Markers are also from Briar Rose. I think they are from polymer clay. The colors are delightful and they are a gift to a lovely lady who helped teach Maggie to knit.
These books and needles are from Susan's Fiber Shop. The yellow double points are pony pearls size 0 because I'm sick of worrying about breaking my wooden needles when traveling with socks and the circulars are from Grafton Fibers hand turned from Terracotta Wood. I love these needles. The joins are just as great as holz & Stein but he doesn't make any sizes smaller than 5 mm. I don't often knit on anything larger than 4 mm but I may need to come up with a project just for these beauties.
TWO SPINDLES! I was totally out of control. They are both from The Fold. The larger one has a 2 5/8 inch whorl and it is made from tulip wood and rosewood and ebony. This spindle was made in Israel and is fabulous. The little one I just couldn't resist. It is a little off balance but it was screaming my name. It is Mahogany with a polymer clay inlay and weighs 0.3 ounces. I think I can spin some gossamer on this one.
They had a huge display of Socks That Rock. I got one skein in Rose Quartz.

And here was the topper for the week. This is this morning. Maggie is having her first spinning lesson with her new Louet Spindle that she paid for herself with 10 quarters - I think she got the short student discount. I am so proud.

I am a knitter and I approved this message.

I am in the running as the best new knitting blog over here in the Major Categories.

Please vote for me.

I promise I will post my pictures of the Allegan loot after I get back from Chuck - E - Cheese.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bad Blogger, No Pictures

I have no pictures.

I went to Alleghan yesterday and I have no pictures.

I looked at sheep, petted them, talked to them. No pictures.

I saw people like my hero Galina. No pictures.

I saw some people I knew a little from Spinner's Flock. No pictures.

I had my camera so I have no excuse.

I did buy too much stuff though and I will take some pictures and show you tomorrow.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Point Is Free Knitting

I'm coming right along on my Lily of the Valley. I need to have 7 body stitches plus the border stitches - 15 on each border makes 30 - so 37 stitches altogether. I am down to 158 body stitches. That means I only have 302 rows to go. Currently I am trying to do 8 rows a day which takes me about an hour and a half. I think I need to be doing more rows per day right now. I want to have this finished because I'd like to enter it one of the competitions at Rhinebeck. Should I be panicking? Should I be staying up through the night knitting? Maybe I should start knitting 12 rows per day.

On to less stressful thoughts. I got some new stuff yesterday. Some came in the mail and some came from Stitch in Time in Howell, Michigan.

I got two books. One I've been wanting, and one was a surprise purchase because I liked a lot of the patterns.

Sorry about the sideways pictures. I'm still working on figuring all of this stuff out.

Here's what I got from The Websters. These are the accessory sets for both the Dale Salt Lake City and the Torino Olympic sweaters. I got the yarn from them a long time ago for both sweaters. I didn't want to make them without the patches and correct zippers and The Websters was the only store I found that was even willing to try to find the Salt Lake patches for me. I will definitely be ordering from them again because of their great customer service.

They also have a cute little catalogue so check them out.

I also bought 6 skeins of Berrocco Ultra Alpaca. I wanted to make a hat for Brittney before she goes back to school and since Maggie and Ryan were with me they wanted one too. I've already cast on for Brittney's hat on my new....
Holz and Stein Rosewood Needles. I already had two tiny pairs for lace but I found out that Yarn Heaven had some so I called and they were happy to send me 3 new pairs including the size 4 mm I need for Brittney's new hat.

Also in the picture are two balls of Touch Me. I'm slowly collecting the balls of Touch Me for a very indulgent project. I need 2 balls of 10 colors and another 10 balls of 10 colors to make the fabulous throw which is the last project in the book Knitter's Stash. In case you need to know, that's 30 balls altogether. If I bought all of them at the same time it would cost a small fortune. If I buy them 2 at a time and then knit this wrap out of my stash it will be free, right?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's A Wash

Thanks to Betty I learned how to wash fine wool - this happens to be cormo - without wrecking the whole batch. I've taken pictures of my process to show.

I made envelopes from bridal tulle and placed a thin layer of wool along the center length of the tulle. I fold the tulle then in thirds so that the wool is inside the envelope and pin each edge closed.

I fill my wash tub with HOT water and some wool wash soap. Then I let four of the little envelopes soak for about 15 minutes. When I come back the water is still scorching but you don't want the oils to start migrating back to the wool if the water starts to cool.

I take out each little pouch and squeeze it to get out most of the water.

This is what's in the washtub when I take all of the pouches out. Gross!

I take each pouch and run it under water to rinse. This water is a little cooler than what I just drained because by now my hands feel like they're going to burn off.

I squeeze out all of the excess water again and take it to my sweater drying rack.

It lays there resting for a few hours. It depends on the weather and how well I squooze.

This picture stinks of the clean dry wool.

And this picture stinks of the clean wool that I flicked. But now it's ready to go.

I don't clean very much at a time. I've done this 2 times so far and I've done about 8 ounces. (about half)

I think I have too much cormo because I still have another bag which has about 2.5 pounds. Still needs to be washed a flicked but I think I'm going to have some beautiful shawls and maybe also a nice lacey sweater.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


You Are 60% Boyish and 40% Girlish

You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.
Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.
You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.
You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.
I do not agree with this. Maybe I'm a little boyish but I think I'm much more girlish. this is stupid.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lace Swap

My Laceswap pal got her package! And she likes it! I was worried and nervous. Here is her link. Her blog is cute and very pleasant to read. I think I have a new long distance friend. I also think I will be participating in some more swaps. I haven't even gotten my package yet but the nice feeling I have now just from her happiness is lovely. Sounds kind of dumb to say it out loud and isn't that what our mothers always said? And isn't that what I'm always saying to my children? I'm a big dork.

Anyway. Not much more progress to be seen on the shawl but the good news is that I'm down to about 30 minutes for 2 rows now. I have around 170 stitches left on the needles. Only 320 rows to go! Yay!

Today I'm going down to the Spinning Loft. Betty will be at the shop today from 1-5 waiting for a delivery so I'm going to go and have her show me the right way to wash fine wool. I bought a shetland fleece from her about 2 years ago. I was a new spinner. I wrecked it with my washing technique. Now I love to spin laceweight yarn and I have about 4 pounds of dirty cormo. I've had it for 6 months. I'm petrified to touch it. I need an up close and personal lesson. Here is the fiber dirty. When I get it clean I'll show you.

Yesterday I washed some Leicester Longwool that I got at Rhinebeck last year and figured I would give it a go. I have 4 ounces of the white and about 8 ounces of the grey.

I have to get spinning! Too much to do. Something has to go. I think it will be..... housework and cooking! Well maybe not cooking but definitely housework.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Cookie Pie

I will be a little short on the knitting pictures but to take anyone's mind off of that here is a picture of the Cherry Blondies I made for dessert yesterday. Cookie Pie is what Ryan was calling it while it was baking in the oven. I had some dark sweet cherries that needed to be used up. It was delicious.

I have to get that shawl done by mid October before I go to Rhinebeck. I'm considering entering it in their competition. Even if I don't do that I want to show it to Galina while I'm there.
I'll take some more pictures when it's obvious that there has been progress.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Whispering at the Whisperer

Today I went to see the Dog Whisperer a.k.a. Cesar Milan. I love him. I know that his methods can be somewhat controversial but if I weren't married and he weren't married I might stalk him. I love his show and I love my dog so it's a great combination.

We got to Clarkston high School at 7:30 AM thinking that we would be in the front of the entry line. The doors didn't open until 8 AM.

Here is a view of where we were in line at 7:30 AM

There are about 150 people in line ahead of us. The people at the front of the line got there at 4:30 AM. I would like to repeat that I love him but my love must not go as deep as those at the head of the line.

Here is a picture of my ticket.

Here is the Dog Whisperer himself.

The program didn't start until 9AM so I had almost an hour of knitting time. My 19 year old daughter was with me. She brought her knitting too but was a little shy to take it out. She'll get there.

The program went from 9 to 1:30 PM with a 1 hour break. I think it was worth the price of admission. They even gave us drinks and cookies at the break. All the proceeds were to benefit the White Shepherd Genetics Project

Let me show you what I worked on while I was there. These are my Broadripple Socks . I changed the pattern a little because I knew they would be to tight for my thick ankles. I added 8 more stitches to the pattern in the plain knit parts.

My sad/happy news is that I have been doing some Christmas knitting without even realizing it. Despite my gauge swatch and the addition of the stitches I need to add more stitches to this pattern for it to fit me. So it is with much pride that I announce that my first Christmas project is almost halfway finished and the winning gift getter will be...My mother who has the skinniest feet and ankles in the world!

I also worked on my Lilly of the Valley Shawl. Here it is so far. And only 50 gabillion rows to go before my goal of mid October.

And here's a closeup.

O.K. gotta go to bed. I need to knit at least 4 more rows and get some sleep to recover from my most exciting day.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's All Fair!

Here are all of the things I entered in the county fair. Fowlerville Fair to be exact. I've never entered things in contests but I was reading Stitch Marker earlier this year and I thought "maybe". Then my friend and spinning teacher went to Maryland and entered her project basket and wond best of show and I thought "MAYBE". And then I was talking to my spinning teacher, whose name is Betty, about possibly entering some things in the fair and she said "YES!" And so I did.

Here's what happened. I entered three items. My Orenberg Lace shawl and two of my best skeins. The skeins were both in the wool category. The white one is merino and the red one is shetland with silk and another kind of wool which I can't remember.

I got second place with my shawl. The first place entry was spectacular. I got second place with my white skein and third with my red skein. Three entries and three ribbons. Betty entered her project basket. She won first in the wool category and got best of show and a gold ribbon which qualifies her to go to the state fair. So basically I lost to my teacher which isn't bad.

I'm already planning on entering my lily of the valley shawl in next year's fair. These riboons are kind of addictive.

Today is lunch with my friend Lisa and maybe when I get home I'll wash that cormo fleece i've had for 5 months. Or maybe the little bits of wool I bought at Rhinebeck last year. I should probably do something with them before I go back this fall adn get more stuff to store in my craft room. I used to call it my sewing room but the knitting and spinning has taken over the dressmaking and quilting.

Of to get the kids breakfast.