Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Greetings Knitlings! Long time, no blog.
Pictured here is Weston, the stuffed sheep knitwear model (shhh he doesn't know he's a stuffed animal), showing off the Tweed Beret from Interweave Knits Winter 2006.

This was produced from Caron Simply Soft and was knit I think three times before it passed the test. I messed it up once and in my rage managed to rip it all out to the cast on row and beyond. It was during the early days of knitting on double points. We've come so far since then, Weston and I. The other attempt was huge and I made a mistake in the ending ribbing that I decided I couldn't live with. The third time proved to be the charm. It not only looks very fetching on Weston but is flattering to the somewhat oversized human head as well. I have worn it in public to rave reviews. The scarf on our model is my own design based on a stitch pattern I found in Knitting Dictionary, 800 Stitches and Patterns by Margaret Hamilton-Hunt. It is one of several chevron patterns in that volume. I wore this much of the winter with a gray wool coat. I know, I'm a bit behind in my blogging. It was the winter of scarves and hats in a never-ending quest to find warm newspaper delivery wear. Let's all give Weston a round of applause for his fine modeling.

Next up is the Boston Baby Wear. This layette was produced for Samuel Caesar Wood Perriello, recently of Somerville, Mass. He joined the crowd in Boston on June 26 - right on time. It's a shame I wasn't. I decided the week he was born to add the hat and booties. I also knit him a baby blanket - the Easy Eyelet Blanket from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas - sadly not pictured before it went in the mail. Samuel was recently photographed wearing the sweater while vacationing on Cape Cod. He looked very New English and ready for fall. Hopefully he doesn't grow out of it before the leaves turn.

Now it's back to the Olympic crocheting. I've got a Happy Blanket on the hook for a baby that's been here awhile. It will be done before the swimming I'm hoping. Go Phelps! And it is appropriately USA-themed. Carry on.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Blog break broken AGAIN!!

It has been a lot longer than I thought it would be since I have blogged, but oh well. Time flies when you're having fun, knitting, or crocheting. The WIPs are flying off the needles. I need to post photos but I don't have any. Except this hat and scarf. This is not quite the parade of hats and scarves I promised in my last post but it will have to do. I bought this Noro on one of my three recent trips to Boston. It was purchased I think at Woolcott & Co., but I can't remember. I visited a lot of yarn shops. It's worked in garter stitch - inspired by Brooklyn Tweed's lovely garter stitch scarves and I'm quite happy with it. I had to buy another skein of yarn to make it as long as I wanted so at the end of the day this is a very pricey scarf. However, when the bracing South Dakota wind is whipping around me I'm quite happy to have the Noro - at any price - wrapped around my neck to keep off the breeze. The hat is made of a less high-brow product, Vanna's Choice. This is the project I made with the new Lion Brand yarn and I was quite happy with it as well. It was fairly soft to the touch for a relatively inexpensive acrylic and I liked how it worked up. Originally I made the scarf to match a tan Cotton Ease hat. However, I often wore the combo on my newspaper route and the yarnovers in the Lion Brand hat were letting in too much of the bracing wind. So the purple hat is made from the same pattern but with no yarnovers. I would make it a little shorter if I were to redo it, but since it takes the air on the paper route I'm not too worried about it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Blog Break Broken!!

Amazing, but here I am updating the blog. I have noticed that the blogiverse expects more than the twice-yearly blog post. I will try to comply.

This winter's goal was to finish one of the four (yes four, don't judge) afghans I had started. Mission accomplished and then some!! Since the great state of SD received 8 inches of snow this week I am still counting this as winter and I have completed two of the four afghans. Yes!! Two! If I died tomorrow it would be with less WIP shame. Both of these afghans were started to use up yarn stash. I realized my folly when I repeatedly found myself in the Wal-Mart yarn aisle to get yet another skein of Lion Brand's Jiffy Thick & Quick's Adirondacks. I thought I had the perfect project to use up yarn I tried to crochet a sweater vest with only to rip it out twice. Unfortunately, I did not read the ball band carefully enough. It was four skeins of Wool-Ease Chunky and 45 (probably not quite that many) skeins of the Jiffy before Snug was completed. Snug was a pattern I found on someone's blog that I then printed from the Internets. Here it is in its baby form.

The other finished afghan started as a retirement gift for a co-worker two years ago. It sat around my apartment for awhile because I ran out of the yarn for the border of the strips but once I decided to scrap the original border yarn and resorted to a little Red Heart Light Sage I was in the clear. Then it was a marathon crochet session to finish all the strips. I worked out a lot of crabby. :) I'll admit I fell by the wayside once I had to contemplate the mammoth sewing together of 15 strips but I rallied. Here it is.

It is somewhat unbelievable to me that I have finished both of these. I emptied two knitting bags of these mammoth projects. I feel almost lonely without the pressure of these two projects looming around the house, calling pathetically from their respective areas. Of course I now have some leftover yarn to dispose of, but no matter. I have plans for it!! There. So Proud. A blog post. Who knew? Next up, a parade of hats and scarves. Try to control your excitement.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dog Days

It has been many months since my last post, but I have not been idle. Babies have received blankets, sweaters, hats and bibs. Other baby products such as hats and sweaters were stored away for any litter of winter babies who currently are in hibernation but might pop up at any time either seeing their shadow or not and then acting accordingly.

Other projects await final finishing details like having their provisional cast-on removed so as to allow seaming and ribbing or simply participating in the ceremonial weaving in of the ends. Unfortunately I have found finishing to not be my thing. I apparently am a process knitter. I like to knit - and crochet. I seem to care not what happens to the projects after the knitting is complete - unless they are for the aforementioned babies of which there have been many. I currently have three purses awaiting final finishings as well in the hopes they can one day leave the house without their plastic bag disguise. The shame of being lining-less is too much.

Meanwhile, I have started to design a new sweater for myself that is probably too wide, but fortunately will allow for some shrinkage as the yarn is cotton. I found the strength to make up the pattern myself after reading the Yarn A-Go-Go blog whose author assured all of the Internets that we could follow her instructions and produce a cute summer sweater that fits. However, I decided to strike out and add ribbing before moving into the pattern stitchwhich was differently constructed than the Go-Gos. Then I decided to add a few stitches to be on the safe side and am now possibly knitting the Sweater that Became a Pop Tent. (I don't know if that's how you spell the pop in tent but I'm going with it for now.) The Sweater I am currently designing is an effort to use up the never ending cones of variegated blue, green, off white yarn I purchased in a weak moment to make a sweater I've completely forgotten about in the Quest for the Cute Summer Sweater. Apparently the original pattern turned out not to be the Holy Grail. Side note: The fact that this is August and the window for the Cute Summer Sweater is rapidly closing is not lost on me.

I will soldier on meanwhile, putting off my New Year's resolution to learn to knit socks and cables, absorbing as much of the air conditioning as possible to prepare for Afghan Season. Pictures next time, I promise.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Stupid Mercury and its freakin' retrograde

I realize I am probably inviting the wrath of the universe with that title but it's already rained down upon my head somewhat so what the hell.

Yesterday as I was reading the Internets I noticed a lot of posting on Mercury and its retrograde rampage. I stupidly thought to myself, why that's funny, I'm having a great lot of knitting fun. No astronomical games of cat and mouse here. Then I began the decreases on a beret I had nearly finished - 9 rows left maybe. Well, I realized halfway through the decreasing that I was messing it up. I thought, I will rip back row by row and fix this. So I began. And let me also add that yesterday was one of those bad temper days where you're not sure why you're pissed but then you get to work and realize there are many reasons waiting for you. And as the day goes on the list gets longer.

So yeah, this was not my day. But, I thought, it will be better once I'm home and can work on the knitting. So I began the tinking and it was going pretty well until I got to the stitches I had knit together. They started to come apart in a way that was not conducive to beautiful bereting. I tried to pick up the stitches, they looked like hell. So I thought, I will take the beret off the needles and just rip like a madwoman until I'm back in business. Madwoman was the operative word. I could not figure out at what point back in business should be. I ended up ripping out the whole thing. THE WHOLE FRIGGING THING!! Two weeks of my crafting life gone. My only solace at the end of this mess is I know I can do it again and this time I'll know how to do the decreases. And hopefully, mercury will be out of its freakin' retrograde by then and maybe I'll have grown some sense.

I was going to post a photo of a finished project but blogger will not let me. Mercury, man, give me a break already.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


This is the Corn Husk Nativity. This decoration was always placed on our mantelpiece when I was a kid. The angel hung from a hook on the fireplace. I don't remember a Christmas without this decoration.

Originally I thought it was a project my mother and grandmother had made during their corn husk doll period but I recently learned it was a gift to my mother from a friend and she likely received a piece from each year.

I have been the keeper of this nativity almost since I moved away from home or shortly after I graduated from college. It's been bounced around from one apartment to the next and used to be on display all year in a house I rented. It is in surprisingly good shape for its lifespan and the aforementioned traveling from place to place. I've been searching for a stable it for several years and finally found really the perfect thing at a discount store that shall remain nameless. It has a moss-covered roof and special perch for the angel, who no longer hangs from her hook. That was really sort of cruel after all.

I had given up hope of finding anything that could work for them and resigned myself to stuffing them with Kleenex to get them to stand on their own. I displayed them this year, in their new stable on top of my entertainment center.

It's funny the role a group of corn husk dolls can play in your memory. I associated these pieces with our Christmas celebrations as much as I did the books my mother only let us read during the holiday season, the felt advent calendar with pieces we snapped on the felt tree every day and another Santa advent calendar that good friends of ours refilled with candy each year. My mother did a lot of things that made our holidays a special time. I suppose any tradition does. I'm so glad to have these things to remember her and that special season of the year when it seemed there was always a little magic in the air. She has been gone for almost 20 years but the time she took with us and her holiday preparations are still there in my memory. And now that these nativity people have a more permanent home it feels like she is closer to me than ever and a little bit of that magic has returned.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Foiled again

Sadly I have no pictures for this post although there should be some. This weekend I finished a sweater vest I worked on most of October, but alas, I don't really like the fit. I was afraid of this as the piece progressed. It was worked with two strands of Lion Brand Homespun and is pretty thick. I don't need anymore thickness in the chest area, thanks. I will try it on again and maybe the wonkiness will work out in the wash. Who knows. It just riles me that I worked so long on something I don't really like and probably wouldn't wear.

So now I will wait to see if I like it better after washing, find out if my friend Marlys wants it or rip out the yarn and make another something. And maybe I'll just take it to Goodwill and count it as charity knitting. Any port in a storm.

I did get something done this weekend - another Mason-Dixon dishrag. I really love those things. This is a Christmas knit to match another dishcloth pattern I finished awhile ago. I am now crocheting one last Christmas project. Not sure if it will be done, but hope springs eternal in craftland. It's not that complex but one never knows. I was trying so hard to avoid this stress this year - so hard!!

At any rate, the cards are out. Most of the shopping is done and 2/3 of the gifts are wrapped. Not bad if I do say so myself, although I'm not saying it loudly in case the universe cares to deliver another knitting failure to my doorstep. This leaves my plan for a Winter of Sweaters on shaky ground.