Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to my knitting friends!! I hope that Santa was good to you, and you got the gift certificates for more yarn that you wanted! :)

The reactions to my gifts you ask? I knew you would. Here is a breakdown:

Jamie: (the SIL, made the SIL hat) "It's nice. I'm not going to try it on, because it will wreck my hair, but I think it will fit."

Dad:(the Seaman's Cap) "It's too big."

Mom: (the felted mittens): "Great. Now I have 2 pairs of warm mittens."

Mother-in-Law (felted mittens): "Very nice. Thank you" (and puts them back in the bag. I don't even know if she knew I made them. She didn't even look at them.)

Let's just say I hope next year that I have enough money to BUY people gifts. I will make gifts for my friends who knit and know how much work and love I put into them.

My dear husband took the kids to my relatives for a little bit, since it appears that I am getting the flu. So I am going to go lie on the couch for a bit.

I hope everyone had a better Christmas than I did!! :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Day-After-Festivus (Christmas Eve)

I was going to post yesterday, but Brian had a paper to finish for school, so my computer privileges were limited yesterday! I was going to call my Mother-in-Law up for the "airing of the grievances" but I was a good girl.

I finished all my Christmas knitting yesterday (whew!) I could have done more, but I said "Nah!" I am going to start my gma's hat that I have been putting off and I already started a pair of socks. I'll take a picture of those soon. I am using some pastelish-Regia yarn I have been wanting to knit up forever, but never got around to. It is knitting up as beautifully as I thought it would.

I had quite the adventure with my mother-in-law's mittens. For whatever reason (It was 2am, yadda yadda...) I mattress stitched one seam with the right side out (like you are supposed to) and one inside out. The result was a hideous seam on the outside. I couldn't hide it, and didn't notice it until they were already felted. I was going to make another mitten, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. For one thing, I am tired of mittens. For another thing, it is for my MIL, and she isn't going to like them or appreciate them anyway--but I didn't want to not give her my best work either. So I took a chance and ripped out the seam, sewed it up again and hand felted just the seam--and it worked! Here is a picture of the terrible seam as I was ripping it out:

So here are my photos. Here are my Mother-in-Law's mittens, unfelted and felted:

Here are my mom's mittens, unfelted and felted (they are so soft--when I get out of my mitten-funk I am making a pair for me!):

Here is my brother's KC Chiefs pillow (no accounting for taste):

So now I just have wrapping to do, which I'd better get to before Brian comes home with the kids. They are sledding--our snow was about to disappear in 40 degree temps until we had a nice little snow storm yesterday. The snow blew sideways, and we had 50 mph gusts. I tried to take a picture of it...not great, but here is what I came up with:

So I'm off to wrap! The cookies are baked and the necessary knitting is done!!

Merry Christmas to you!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Knitting, Part 2

I finished the Sister In Law hat for my SIL Jamie. It turned out really great (although hard to photograph in black.) What a great pattern--thanks Kody May!

I am also working on a scarf to go with it. The nice thing is, I can feel good about having the hat done for a gift, so if I don't get the scarf done, it's ok.

Next up is mittens--my mom, my MIL and Brian. Brian wants his before Christmas, so I will work on them next (he wants some nice warm mittens to go sledding with). Actually I think I'll make Nicholas some first. He has been slighted on my knitting adventures lately--his sisters got new mittens and Anna got a new hat, so it's his turn.

I am tired of knitting with black--I will be happy when these main presents are done (and I sew my brother's KC Chiefs pants.) and I can go back to knitting with pretty colors. LOL

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Knitting Part 1

I've just been working on getting some Christmas knitting done. I tried working on the ornaments for Nicholas' teachers. Only the ornaments that I usually use (and like) are on the other hard drive, and I don't have access to it (I should take a picture of the computer I'm using. It would be amusing if it wasn't so sad). So I hunted on the web, and found..not a whole lot I liked.

So I thought, "Jean Greenhowe!" I started a Frosty Friend snowman. I got the bottom done (40 rows, size 2 needles, you get the picture). I did the decrease for the neck, thought of doing 17 more rows of white and another 16 for the hat, plus the arms, plus the facial features, plus the cane, AND another one, saw that it was already 9:30 pm the night before (Of course it was) and I had to work the next morning (of course I did) and started to make a little gift doll instead.

I got the body done and an arm done and couldn't take it anymore. It looked crappy. And my patience was thin. And it was 11pm.

So I bought them plants at Walmart. Case closed.

Yesterday and today I worked on the Seaman's Cap for my dad. I like it, and I highly recommend the pattern to anyone looking for a good basic hat. I think he will hate it. And he already told me he wants money for Christmas. OK, you really don't have to ask what kind of a father tells his extremely broke ("Uh, Mom, can I bum a roll of toilet paper off you?") daughter that she should give him money for Christmas. "Alright Dad, here is the $3 I spent on the yarn for your hat. Merry Christmas" *sigh* Anyway, I think it turned out great. If he never wears it, I will sneak it from their house and bring it home for myself:

Next up is the Sister-in-Law hat(aptly named!) for my SIL Jamie. If I have time (and I am so inclined...both of which probably have a snowball's chance in hell) I will make her a scarf too. Mittens (the big Lopi ones) for my Mom and MIL. KC Chiefs pants for my brother (these are sewn. I am not daring enough to try to knit them.) Something for Anna's teacher (Maybe the $5 plant at Walmart again, as by this point next week I will be rocking in a corner, still with knitting needles in hand)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Winter has arrived

All of the sudden, out the window, it looked like this:

I can't remember the last time we had snow this "early". Sounds strange in Wisconsin, but a few years ago it seriously didn't snow until February! Good thing there's no global warming! We're supposed to get another 2-4" tonight, and possibly another storm on Sunday. Gentlemen, start your snowblowers!

So I made Emily a pair of mittens (exactly the same as Anna's--Jiffy yarn, Ann Budd book, just a smaller size).

And I quick finished up a bonnet hat for Anna this morning (started it last night). I found the pattern at cheapknittingpatterns.com. It cost me 99 cents. I used some stash Woolease in Tartan Twist.

Today--Christmas ornaments for Nicholas' teachers! The only hard part is all my ornament patterns are on the old hard drive I can't get to, so I am starting from scratch trying to find some. Everyday is an adventure!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mitten Knittin'

It's going to get fargin cold here in Wisconsin the next few days--with snow. So I am frantically trying to get mittens and hats made for the kids. The first pair I made were from hot pink Woolease for Anna. Unfortunately they were too big for Anna...and I am SOOOO tired of frogging. So now I am blessed with a pair of hot pink mittens. They'll be lovely with my blue coat LOL:

I got out some yarn from my stash and let Anna pick what yarn she wanted her mittens made out of. She picked some baby blue fluffy Lion Brand Jiffy yarn.

I was amazed how well it knit up--very soft with nice tight stitches. I started and finished those today--and now have to start an identical pair (only thankfully, in a smaller size) for Emily. I'm using Ann Budd's Handy Knitting Patterns book. When I first got this book I never used it....I was so not into using a pattern that wasn't exactly written down word for word. I'm still not great at improvising, but I can "improvise with a recipe".

Nicholas also had a birthday. I can't believe he's 5 already! He had a part with his little friends from Preschool. And if Nerf guns were made of gold, he'd be the richest kid on the planet.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Doesn't get much better than this

Tuesday we went to the Packer Hall of Fame and Lambeau field in Green Bay.

We took the tour (it was my first time on the tour) and got to touch the grass, go in a skybox and walk through the tunnel. It was awesome! As you run through the tunnel they play a tape of the cheering of the crowd, and announce "And now, you're 12 time world champion Green Bay Packers" and everyone cheers--YAY!

And seriously, it doesn't get much better--there is a display with knitted baby hats and a picture of a woman who, with fellow knitters, makes sure all the newborns at St. Vincent hospital in Green Bay start out life the right way--in a Green and Gold Packer hat!
Here are the 3 Lombardi Trophies--remember, they're called that for a reason!
And here I am with my little guy at Lambeau--he charmed everyone with his questions ("How long did it take to make those statues? How do you learn to throw the ball as good as Brett Favre? How do I get a job here?")

Hopefully they'll beat those Lions today--so far, not looking good, but Go Pack Go! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ever have one of those patterns...

Where things just don't seem to work out?

Alright, I'm making the kids mittens using the "Fulled Mittens" pattern in the book, Knit Mittens! Only the rows to length thing didn't work out, and I had to just stick to length. Fine, whatever. I even adjusted my gauge to work out to what they said. So I finished one for Emily--and the thumb is HUGE. Considering that the book says (and I know this from experience) that it will shrink up about 20%, I really don't know how long they think my little girl's thumb IS:

I'm making the second one just to see what will happen before I make Nicholas' and Anna's. But it's ridiculous--I actually shorted it an inch and a half from where they wanted it--they want the mitten 5 3/4" and the thumb 5"! Are they measuring from the bottom? Every other pattern I've had measures from the beginning of the thumb gusset....

I also got my knit picks order to make my grandmother the High Society Cloche in Romantic Knits:
I don't care for the color (It's cherry in the shine sport from Knit picks). It's more red than orangey that shows up here....it's a color that screams my grandmother though. I know I'll knit her this hat and she'll never wear it, but I've done my part then.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ravelry and other stuff

My Ravelry invite came!!! Oh joy, Oh bliss!!! I am "finishyourrow", if you are looking for me. I am still trying to figure out how to get around the site, but what I've seen so far, I am in LOVE with!

I am having a very hard time with Emily's mittens. I have started them twice now. I am using the Felted Mittens pattern from the book "Knit Mittens". Anyway, the first time I used the recommended needle size and Lopi (the yarn they used). It is one of those "Knit this many rows in this color, this many in this color and then continue until it measures this much" Only I knit that many rows and I am WAY over the inches they say I should have.

So I actually checked my gauge (Gauge? What's that? LOL) and went down from size 6 and 8 needles to size 4 and 6 needles. Worked it up again. Once again, I was way over the inches I am supposed to have for the ribbing.

Should I just skip the color change (It's 5 rows) and just knit to the number of inches it says? Ignore the number of inches it says because I am felting? I don't know. I just know it's byotch-cold out and I need to hurry and get them done so I can start hats. And Christmas presents. And Oblique--don't forget that!

My grandmother FINALLY remembered to bring my great-grandmother's (her mother's) knitting needles for me. Only 3 pairs, but they mean everything to me. She is the only other person in my family that knit. Something to pass on if I can ever convince Anna to sit still long enough to learn!

Oh and PS Ruby--the Forest Canopy Shawl I made...it is charted AND written out in rows. I did it reading the rows and not using the chart. I still need to brush up on my charting skills, but it's getting better. It was a great first shawl pattern!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I FINALLY finished the shawl. (photo shows it unblocked)

Seriously, I haven't posted because I was embarrassed to say I had to rip it out AGAIN. Third time was a charm though *sigh*. The last time was my husband knocking it off the needles. I had taken out the lifelines--I was nearly done!

Anyway, I flew threw it the third time. Definitely had the pattern down pat. And thanks to Susan for answering my stupid question and not making me feel stupid.

I ended up with this much yarn left:

I also made a pair of Lopi mittens for one of Nicholas' preschool teachers--her birthday was November 8th. She loved them and wrote me the sweetest thank you note...and I definitely know what to make his other preschool teacher!

I want to get Nicholas' WW finished.

My order also came from Naked Sheep to make mittens. I ran to Hobby Lobby today to buy the right size dpns. I also ordered yarn from Knit Picks to make a hat for my grandmother, which means I will have to knit like the blazes when it gets here (I just got the shipping confirmation today) because they leave the Friday after Thanksgiving and they will be here Thursday already.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Technorati Post

Technorati Profile

Friday, November 2, 2007

Impatient Waiting and Other stuff

Found you!
  • You signed up on October 19, 2007
  • You are #46319 on the list.
  • 6776 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 5935 people are behind you in line.
  • 67% of the list has been invited so far
  • You have checked your status 5 million times. Get a life.
See, I added my own line to my Ravelry status. I must check twice a day. But hey, I moved up since this morning, so it's not all bad.

I also got an email from Naked Sheep today about their Lopi/Patons Classic Wool sale. It was great timing, as I was in the market for some Lopi. I am making Felted mittens for the kids. Even though they charge for Shipping now, it's still a meager amount, especially compared to their customer service. Check this out:

The Naked Sheep Yarn Shop 11:39 am (8 hours ago)

This email is to confirm the receipt of your recent order from The Naked Sheep

And this is the Second Email:

The Naked Sheep Yarn Shop 12:48 pm (7 hours ago)

Thank you again for your order from The Naked Sheep. We hope your shopping experience with us was a pleasant one. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about your order or our online store.

The following items have been shipped...

Did you note the times? I placed the order at 11:30. It shipped IN AN HOUR! You CAN'T beat that!! Service like that makes me come back again. And again. And again.

Just worked on my shawl again today. And looked up sock patterns, because it's been a while, and I'm going through sock withdrawl. I DID see in the latest Knit Picks catalog the "Socks Soar On Two Circulars" kit. I've always wanted to see what I'm missing out on by not doing socks on 2 circs. AND Maureen at work (Who I found out is a knitter, AND who is jealous because she didn't get the new Knit Picks catalog yet) might be splitting one of the sock yarn samplers on the back cover with me. $21.00 is more easily justifiable than $42.00. I mean, not that I don't have hundreds of dollars in sock yarn anyway, but I digress.

Pictures tomorrow of my shawl! And some socks if I start them--Peace Out!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Halloween was a blast this year! I got to clean out the pumpkins. I'm not the greatest mastermind at stuff like this--not to be "that way", but it's a Dad-job if there ever was one. But I managed to clean them out. Anna and Nicholas stuck it out with me:
I managed to break a knife in the process. They just don't make 'em like they used to.
I was in a mad scramble to get everything ready after work yesterday. The kids were Trick or Treating at my parents house, then coming back here to Trick or Treat with friends. In my mad dash I managed to set the car keys down....and not remember where they were. I had everything: The costumes, the bags, the candy for Nicholas' class, my knitting...but no keys. I finally surrendered and had to call my dad to pick me up. While I waited, I made boo suckers:
Sadly, I had to use my black Woolease for the ties...I couldn't find my black Red Heart.
(and I eventually found the car keys...they were by my yarn. Of course that could be anywhere in the house...)

On to Trick or Treating! We had a Bobby Soxer (Note the beautiful handmade poodle skirt):
A Red Power Ranger (who rarely watches Power Rangers--but he had a cool gun, so we had to get it):
And Dora the Explorer. I LOVE the yarn wig!!!:
They made quite a haul, and stuck it out the entire time. Emily wanted to walk most of the time, so that was surprising! Now if I could keep the sucker sticks away from my yarn. The threats are flying left and right! And the bag my shawl is in is tightly zipped and up high!

Next post knitting (and hopefully a finished shawl body--stay tuned!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Knit On

"Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises". - Elizabeth Zimmermann

The only problem is, I don't. It is nearly a year since my husband lost his job and our lives changed forever. We lost our home. We were literally one step away from living in our car. Wondering where our next meal was going to come from. I questioned why I was even alive. Life was, well...unraveling.

And I didn't knit. I was surrounded by tons of yarn from years of stash building. I have everything from Red Heart Acrylic to beautiful Koigu and Cherry Tree Hill. I have all the needles, measure tapes, markers, and all the other knitting necessities I built up over the years. And I couldn't pick up my needles. And every time I tried, all I'd do was think about how I couldn't afford more yarn for this project or that project. And wondering why the hell I spent so much money on yarn in the first place when now I didn't have enough to eat. It was such a conflict.

I started dabbling back into knitting as my husband finally found a job last April. After a very long winter. And I noticed I had lots of yarn. For lots of projects I kept meaning to do.

Now my husband has a nice job. We have insurance again. We have food in the cupboard. I have a nice job that is only a few hours a week. I had a job where I worked many more hours a week, but I was away from my kids too much, and they were becoming terrible brats. We don't have as much money as we once did. We don't own a house anymore. Our cars are not great, and it's a struggle to keep them running.

But we have each other.
And a roof over our heads--a NICE roof. With a big fort for the kids.
We have plenty of food in the cupboard.
We have warm, dry clothes that fit.
I have 3 healthy, beautiful, smart children and a husband who loves me for some reason.
I don't have a lot of friends, but I have one very dear one who is far away but close in my heart and saw me through the bad and the good.

And I have lots of yarn.

It's Thanksgiving next month, and as down as I've been about life, I woke up this morning being thankful for what I have. I am a "glass half empty" person if there ever was one. I always will be. But even I can see that life goes on and sometimes it isn't so bad.

And hey, the $250 blind we got for $10 over 4 years ago for the living room window in our house (and that didn't fit that window) fits perfectly in our bedroom.
And I fit into my old jeans for the first time since I had my youngest daughter, who just turned 2.

My wish for you is may you always have money in your pocket for just one more skein, and if you don't may you have enough yarn to see you through! :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Forest Canopy Shawl

This is the best picture I could get of my Forest Canopy Shawl by myself:

It's getting there. Note the lifeline. I was further than this the first time I made this shawl. I didn't use lifelines the first time I made it. I was brave. I was confident. I had just read "At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much" and found out that lifelines were for chickens. I was ready to go--and then I messed up.

Big time.

And I couldn't figure out where to fix it. So I set the whole mess down for weeks. I finally took a deep breath and ripped it out and started over. So far, so good. It's turning out beautifully..it's a lovely pattern and gorgeous yarn, so that helps things!

Special thanks to Thora for the kit, the book and the rubber-band-as-a-stitch-holder idea! You rock Girlfriend!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another BSS done

I finished another Baby Surprise. I am always amazed by this pattern. Amazed that a blob of knitting:

Can become a baby sweater:
I am also amazed that every time I make it, I forget how to fold it up and it takes me like 10 minutes to figure it out.

This one is a gift for my Uncle's Wife's Daughter-in-law. Sort of my cousin? I don't really know her, but I couldn't resist an excuse to make a baby sweater!

It's getting cold, which means mitten time. Anna has picked out all the pairs she wants me to make her in Knit Mittens. I am making each child a pair of felted mittens, and then we'll see what comes about.

Next up besides mittens--I finished ripping out the Forest Canopy Shawl last night (Lifelines are for chickens....HAHAHAHAHA) and I am restarting it. Wish me luck! I love shawls...they just don't love me.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Test Post

Alright, I think we've got it. I don't like this new blogger thing, and had to enlist an expert (My DH--hey, that's what he went to school for...) to help. But I think I like this blog, and these colors...I just need to tweak it to fit, upload some pics, and start posting!!!