Monday, February 19, 2007


Here I am.

I wasn't really hiding but there was a lot of stuff going on this week and so I've been neglectful of this here blog stuff.

First, the progress.

This is my Forest Path Stole. I've finished the second rectangle. This is very slow for me because there are two little kids and one big man who insist on talking to me every time I pick it up. As I am not yet familiar with the chart I can't talk and knit on this at the same time.

The other problem is that with the second rectangle I had an extra stitch that didn't get worked into the pattern.

I don't know. I'll try again and see what's happening.

Here's the progress on my Rowena Cardigan. Now this is what I need right now. Brainless, pretty and soft. Reminds me of some girls I used to know - heh.

Alright, one thing about this. I'm using my Lantern Moon Destiny circulars for this. I love the needle. I am o.k. with the join. I hate the cable. See how it's still all curly. I can't get it to relax.

And, by the way, you guys were no help with my needles decision for the shop so I had to make the decision alone. Well, not alone. Betty and Pam helped me (my spinning teacher and my lace knitting and spinning friend). I went with the Addi Lace needles and the Addi Naturas. I started with only the 24 inch length because I want to see how it goes. I'll probably expand the inventory in the next couple of months.

Last Monday was my birthday. I am now 42 - though I feel much younger.

Lou got me these fabulous roses and we went out to dinner - which I neglected to take pictures of. Let me just say that we went to Macaroni Grill and the diet was out the window. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

These roses come from the local flower shop and they are still fresh today like the day I got them. That is the best florist we have ever found.

And finally here's Buster.

Just a boy and his goldfish (crackers).

Your Brain is Green

Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.
You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.
You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Yup! I've broken the 15 pound barrier. Next is passing the weight I was when Lou and I got married 11 years ago. I don't think I've been below that since before we were married.

So here are the pictures I promised yesterday. Oh, before I start that, thank you for all of your well wishes while hiding your giggles behind your hand. I especially appreciate Marie's helpful advice to attach a key to the dog's leash. I will be taking care of that this week.

Alrighty, here is the second sock of the never ending broadripple pair. As you can see the heal has been conquered and it's all down hill from here.

Now for my next topic. I need to get some needles for the shop. Here are the things I'm thinking and I would appreciate your input.

First Fiddlesticks Needles. These are bamboo and if you can't see it in the craptastic picture the cord is attached right to the wood with no metal.
These circulars do come in sizes all the way down to size 1 (2.25 mm) but from size 0 to 4 they are only in the 16 inch length.
Retail price of these needles is about $7 to $8 and the double points are about the same cost.
They feel good and are very smooth to the touch. they also have the size in American and mm very clearly stamped on them. I'm concerned about the cord because it seems to be a hollow tube that could get a kink in it where your yarn could get caught.

Remember I am thinking about these from the point of view of a lace knitter as that is the customer I am trying to serve.

Next are the KA needles. These seem to be based on the Crystal Palace needles and, from what I understand, the main difference is that the bamboo is just not aged as long. These are also very smooth and the join is exactly like my Crystal Palace needles. The size is not as prominently displayed ad the Fiddlesticks. The price is about the same. These are available in 16 and 24 inch all the way down to size 0 (2.0 mm).

And finally, Lantern Moon Destiny Circulars. I LOVE Ebony and Rosewood needles. I have a lot of Suzannes in both ebony and rosewood. LOVE. I have rosewood Holz & Stein. LOVE. So I really want to get these. BUT they don't come in any sizes, in circular, smaller than a 4. And the price is $24.00 per set.

Now here's what I'm thinking. I get either the Fiddlesticks or KA in circulars and I get the Lantern Moon double points.

Please let me know about your favorite needles and why they are your favorite. Lace knitters, I am especially interested in your input.

Here's what I started yesterday and promised to tell you about.
The Rowena Cardigan from Knit 2 Together.
I'm using Brooks Farm Duet (55% mohair and 45% wool). I got this at Rhinebeck with this very sweater in mind. It took me a little effort to get the gauge I needed - due to stupidity - but it all worked out and I'm only one needle size down from what was suggested in the pattern.
My current bust measures a little less than 41 inches but I cast on for the 38 inch size since I'm losing weight and I don't want to knit a whole sweater and not fit it when I'm done. I do love it and will be hunting for the perfect ribbon to weave in.
I have nothing to show for the Forest Path Stole but I hope to remedy that by working on it tonight.
I'm very tired out from the workshop today but I think it was pretty good and everybody seemed to be satisfied. I had to stand all day because I didn't have enough chairs. I'll be prepared for the next one though. I learn from my mistakes. Keys on Tuesday, Chairs on Saturday.

Here are some action shots of the fam.

Too much action for me. I'm going to bed.

And also, go check out Tia Knits latest post. I feel so much better now.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Oh yeah, one more thing I forgot I wanted to write about.

Tuesday night was snowy. We only got about 5 inches I think. South and west of here was worse. But it was COLD and WINDY. I actually thought I'd leave the shop early. Didn't think anyone would come in. Tuesday is my day to be there late. My Tuesday spinning student did come but she was 1.5 hours later than usual so I didn't leave early.

I got home a little after 8PM and sent the babysitter home with instructions to turn around and come back if the roads were too bad.

I thought, before going to be, I should take the dog out.

In about December I broke the door knob and Lou changed it to a more beautiful model. This one can open on the inside even if it is locked.

See where this is going?

I didn't have a coat on.
Lou was in Toronto.

So then there's a bright idea. I'll just go around back and go in through the garage. Unfortunately for me the garage door broke about 2 weeks ago and won't open anymore.
I tried all of the doors and all were locked.

The kids were in their sleeping and ringing the door bell wasn't waking anyone.

By now about 25 minutes has gone by. It is about 2 degrees Fahrenheit and did I mention I wasn't wearing a coat?

I went next door, where a 20 year old guy and his girlfriend live, and I asked to use the phone. This fine young neighbor did the right thing and brought the phone to the door and gave it to me on the porch. Yup, he didn't ask me in.

I called 911. Who else would I call? Luckily the nice young man's girlfriend came by and did the right thing and asked me to come in while I waited for the officers to show up.

Less than 5 minutes later two police cars showed up and back out to the cold I went.

They tried breaking in every door. No luck. Good news I guess. Unless I'm on the wrong side of the door.

One officer got a snow shovel and pounded on the shutter outside Maggie's room while I yelled for her. She didn't wake up.

I rang the doorbell some more. No one budged.

Finally the other officer took out the screens one by one until he found a vulnerable window to go through. That window is no longer vulnerable but I'm glad it wasn't latched on Tuesday.

By the time I got inside I had been out in the freeze for almost an hour. It took a long time to get warm - even under my down comforter.

I'm getting a spare key made to hide.

I now know I should have taken a hot shower. But you live and learn.

I haven't been posting because I keep forgetting to take pictures.

I started a new project today from Knit 2 Together. I don't know what it is and I don't know what yarn I'm using. I'm in bed and I'm warm and I'm not getting out. Tomorrow I'll have a picture and all the info you want.

I've made no progress on the Forest Path Stole because I've been weaving and spinning and planning to start other things.

Tomorrow is my Drop Spindle workshop. I'm a little nervous. I hope it all goes well. It's my first all day workshop where I'm the teacher. I know how to use a drop spindle. I love doing it and I'm pretty good at it - if I do say so myself. But I'm worried about translating what my hands do into the English language in an intelligible way. I've read all I can and have enough spindles to try out so if all else fails...I'll tell jokes.

I'll be back tomorrow I promise with all of the rest of the story.

Monday, February 12, 2007


It's my husband's high school ring. I found it when I was putting something away in his tiny closet. It was very dull and tarnished so I gave it a good shine and started to wear it. He doesn't care. He wore it for all of an hour after he got it. I was surprised that he even had one. He won't even wear a watch and isn't overly thrilled to wear a wedding band. Evidently his mom wanted him to have it.

I wanted a high school ring. We never had much money in my family and my mom said - You'll be going to college in a year and then you'll want a college ring and never wear the high school one so just wait.

Well, I planned to go to college and finally started taking some classes when Brittney was about 5 and Chelsea was 6 and I was a single parent and worked full time in a lab growing cells and trying to come up with more efficient ways to grow these cells and have them produce more antibodies.

I wanted to be a Chemical engineer. Trying to study engineering physics at the same time as calculus and go to work and study with two VERY energetic little girls...well, let's just say that it was hard.

I do really regret not having that degree. I should have done it BEFORE the kids. Yeah, that's the ticket.

The point is that my sweetheart gave me his ring and now we're going steady.

O.K. fine. I'll talk about the knitting. Forest Path Stole. I have finished the border, and the right side triangle. Seed stitch. I am slow at it. I will be starting the first lace block tonight. I'll let you know how it goes.
I got the yarn today for the huck lace project but I just started warping the loom for my husband's scarf. Don't look at me that way. I've been busy. I've been working on my spinning and also working on samples for the alpaca spin off. Oh, guess I didn't mention that before. I think it's for the Michigan Alpaca Breeders Show in September. I've gotten some samples along with the judging criteria. I need to judge the samples and send them back by the end of this week. If all goes as planned, I will be the judging coordinator for the show with at least 75 samples to judge and spin at least one ounce. I'll have the whole summer to do it and I've enlisted the help of Pam and Betty so that's only 25 samples each. No problem.

I've also decide to work on the Spinning COE program from the Handweavers Guild of America. I think it's challenging but will make me expand my skills and also make me a better teacher.

I need to ask everyone to do me a little favor. My website doen't show up in any searches. From what I understand, the more web links you have, the better your chances for Google to pick up your site. So, if you are willing, I would be grateful if you could put even the tiniest most inconspicuous link to my website If you want to be less inconspicuous you could even use the button I have in the sidebar. Thank you so much. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Spinning, Weaving, Knitting. Where Does the Time Go?

Things are still going well on the weight loss front. If this keeps up I will hopefully be staving off the diabetes that runs rampant in my family. I'll also be able to better keep up with the three year old kid.

Thanks for all the nice comments about my weaving. I did order some silk for my next Huck Lace project and I wound the warp for an interim project while I wait for the silk. My husband said I could weave him a scarf. I asked him what color he wanted and he said whatever I have the most of in the store. Hmmmm, black, bright pink, orange, lilac. Won't that be a lovely scarf?
Actually I looked at what I had in the merino Gems and I've chosen a dark taupe and a dark golden color. I also found an 8 shaft pattern that I like and will give me some practice for the Huck project.

I need to talk for a moment for the lovely person I spoiled during SP9. Kimberly, Oh how I love her. She sent me a lovely package, that of course I forgot to photograph. It had a most beautiful ball of sock yarn, a ram key chain, some maple candies and vanilla maple syrup (she's from Vermont) along with a pair of circular needles which I have been drooling over - Lantern Moon. She is now my best friend. Sorry Dana - although the delicious chocolate is very great. Now I'm confused about who is my best friend. O.k. I'm going back to Dana because of the long term friendship but Kimberly, you are very close. (hee)

Monday night was the lace knitters group which meets in Okemos. It was fabulous. I was also a little star struck.

This is Sharon Winsauer from here and here. Well there are many more but these are fab. She is a lovely woman and very warm.

Here is Faina, Faina Letoutchaia. Yup, that same one from the Forest Path Stole. She's showing us a new cast on in this picture.

I love them both. There are about 7 other women there too and I'm sure I will learn their names soon. I'm going to go every month. They are working on a project that I want to get in on. More about that later.

So far on the Forest Path Stole, I have the bottom border done and if I could stop typing I would be starting to add the bottom setup triangles. I'll have a picture of that as soon as I knit the triangles.

And back, for a moment, to the weaving. I think I've been thinking about weaving too much. I have a weaving teacher at the shop. I really need to be working on my spinning and become a better teacher. I need to find a way to split up my free time in the shop between organizing, weaving and perfecting my spinning. Any ideas?

Alright, I'm missing Grey's Anatomy and also some important knitting time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Unrelated Topics

Here is my completed weaving project. I used mercerized cotton with an overshot design from the Learning to Weave Book by Deborah Chandler. It's a great book and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn to weave. It is 76" long, not including the 8 inches of fringe on each side. It is about 24" wide. I love how it looks. I wish I had used a yarn that was a little thinner but it was for a class and a lot of the others in the class are making place mats so they needed something thicker and more substantial.

Here is a pretty good closeup. I like how weaving with the flax color toned down the rest of the colors.
I've ordered some spun silk for my next project. I ordered three different sizes and I'll think about it when I get the yarn. I want to do some huck lace. I'd like it to be a little lighter in weight than this. The yarn I'm actually leaning toward is about 5000 ypp and I'm not sure I'm ready for a project to take that long..
I'll do a little more thinking when I get the yarn. I can always knit lace with any of the yarns I ordered. I'm getting at least one cone of each so that will make a pretty good shawl.

Now I know this picture is sideways and that's just pure laziness on my part but look at how this dog is sitting. Lou is rubbing her neck pretty hard here and she is just making the funniest noises. Crazy dog.
Who's idea was it to get a dog anyway.
Things are getting better with her. I'm chalking all of the bad behavior up to adolescence and hoping we can work through it.

This is my final package from my Secret Pal. She is Samantha from Zan Knits. A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT! She was great and very thoughtful the whole time. I never would have guessed it. She spins cotton on a charkha, makes her own stitch markers, knits...all while trying to get into NYU or Rutgers or SMU. Hey Kate, can you help her out? I know it's a different department but it doesn't hurt to ask.

And lookee what she sent me. Knit picks yarn in both lace weight and sock weight and patterns to match and Simple Socks and Knitted Gifts. I don't own any of this stuff and if you saw my book collection you would see what a miracle it is.

I love this girl. Thanks Sam.

Here are some extreme closeups from this morning. This kids love when I do this.

This month I turn 42. I left home to go to California when I was 18. I stayed there until Brittney was 2 1/2 and Chelsea was 1 1/2 so I was in my 23rd year. Had enough of the nonsense with their dad and went back to Pennsylvania. I started dating Lou when Brittney was 3 1/2, I think. We got married when Brittney was 9 and Chelsea was 8.

Our family moved from Pennsylvania to Michigan in 1999 so it will be 8 years since I've been away from home this second time.

My point of all of this is that I am still home sick. Sometimes more than others. Now is a more time. My grandmother on my mother's side is getting up there - I think she'll be 83 this year. I miss her a lot. My parents are still great and young. Lou's parents have had a lot of health problems over the last year and a half and I wish I could be there to be a bigger help. I miss our families. I'm not saying I'm not happy here. I am. I don't know what's gotten into me. It hit me yesterday morning on my way to weigh in. I think it was a song on the radio that reminded me of home and ... well, I'll be better tomorrow.

Monday is always a busy day at the shop. I have a spinning student from 12:30 to 2. I think I remember somebody else is joining the class tomorrow too. And then weaving class from 2:30 to 4:30 and they are never out in time. It's a great class though and I love them all.

Side note: Why is Prince wearing that rag on his head that women used to put on around their curlers? (I'm watching the Superbowl Halftime show)

After the shop closes I am going to the lace knitting group that meets at Yarn For Ewe. I'm very excited. I hope I can knit well enough for this group because they are definitely something.

I have to get knitting now because I wanted to have at least the lower border rows done on my Forest Path Stole before I go to meet the group tomorrow night.