Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm a Rules Girl

I hate to have to make this confession, but that makes it no less true! I am a dyed in the wool Rules Girl. If you tell me that I have to turn left and pat my tummy before pulling up in front of the house, chances are I'll do it! The only rule I really don't adhere to is the speed limit but my foot is a lot less heavy than it used to be. (most of the time) So when it comes to knitting, I (sometimes stupidly) make rules for myself. The following in particular seems to be getting a lot of play lately:
  • When knitting in a KAL, knit only with the group:
I don't know why but this one has more weight than it should have! Because I knit along with Elizabeth's Year on the Yahoo group is it a law that I can only knit by the rules? If September has us knitting the leggings, will I lose my Knitter's Card if I don't follow along? I knew that I was going to be hot and heavy with the Mitered Sweater from KnitSimple, and if I cast on for the leggings on Sunday that knitting will cut into my sweatering! However I feel super guilty if I don't follow the knit along. I do not cast on early, I do not wander too far away from the photo of the original garment and I try my darndest to finish on time. (or close to it!)

I've been feeling particularly guilty and I guess this is sort of to smooth my own ruffled feathers. After all, when you knit by the rules the whole experience loses a lot of fun and relaxation! Work is pretty stressful right now so I can't afford to lose out on the fun stuff!

I'm on bride duty tomorrow for a big wedding, with any luck there will be good cake and lots of it! I'd appreciate it if you didn't remind me that the deep fried Twinkies and corn dog I ate earlier in the week have made it a really good idea NOT to eat cake! I'll be knitting Friday evening, more than likely swatching the Swish for the EZ leggings project. With any luck I'll manage to squeeze in some knitting while I bride wrangle and the rest of this holiday weekend just might find me with needles in my hands as well, knitting what makes me happiest at the moment.

Enjoy your weekend! Get knittin'!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Brought to you by a Slice of America...

QUICK---- it's time to head out of town, jump in the rental buggy, grab knitting, pack the camera, bring some cash, put sunglasses on your head and run for it! A day away from the grind and time to play hooky can only mean it is State Fair Time. And what a slice of America the day was, totally fun and very relaxing a day trip to the DuQuoin State Fair in Illinois was just the ticket.

Armed with my B4Bag and my Mitered Square sweater project in hand I got quite a bit done passing through little towns and lots of corn. (Locally pronounced CARN for those of you not of the midwest persuasion!)

The fair welcomes you! C'mon in, we have horses, livestock and food. Did we mention food?

Ode and homage to M*A*S*H, the obligatory signpost of the fair

First stop of course is the fried food shack

Two of the fine fair entrees, on the left is a delicious deep fried Twinkies followed by the ever popular funnel cakes. The twinkies were mine, all mine. I don't eat Twinkies routinely but then fair rules are just different!

It was about time to sit under the tent and get out of the heat! The band was playing country and were very good! I don't want you to think that I was starting to be all wussified about the day, the lemon shake up above is not mine. No sister, I went for one of St. Louis's best the oh so delightful beer in the frosty cold aluminum bottle. You will note that it is a Bud LIGHT, after all I am watching what I eat! :)

CORN! Yum. Roasted until done, shucked back and dipped in the vat o' butter and then salted. Tasty as can be. Isn't the corn man cute? Very nice guy!

Corn dogs---- see there is a theme? Delish, can't come to the fair without a corn dog with lots of mustard!

Entertainment alley was a bit small, this is not one of the Jumbo Fairs after all. Not that I'd ride anyway. We were going to ride the ferris wheel for a view of the fair but at 10 dollars a pop I thought I'd have another beer or two instead. Always practical--- that's me!

Fairs around the country always have the displays of handiwork, food and such all decked out with the prize winning ribbons. The sweater above has been seen a lot around the 'net, the knitter did a great job. I think I might get a little huffy if they used push pins to display my hard work, but hey--- that's just me! The blue ribbon might have made up for that a little!

These were in the children's area, mighty fine award winning dishcloths!

And produce! Now those dear Blitters are some watermelons!!! YUM!

I don't think comment is needed but I can think of several times I'd like to have this sign in my possession! What can I say, there were horses and other livestock. Lots of them!

We ended our wonderful day at the harness races. Neither of us had ever been so we trudged into the grandstand and had a sit. Check out these seats, honey they were SMALL! I believe they were built in an era when people did not go to the fair and eat every fried thing they could get their hands on and then some and wash it down with beer. Skinny butts these are your folding chairs! But sit we did. I had a beer (hey, it was HOT!)

Get this for beginner's luck! MY HORSE WON! My 4 dollar investment became 38 dollars and change. Woo Hoo! Go Number 9!

On the way out I tossed some winnings on taffy...... black walnut taffy. Delish!

I managed to knit a few more rows on the way home before it got dark and then I just settled in with a nice diet coke from the gas station for nice ride back.

America, ain't it great?

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Watch People Knit

It is official----- two days off, well sort of-- it is a working vacation to be sure but a bit of free time to knit while traveling AND junk food is involved. I would sincerely like to know just how life could be much grander?????

Over the course of the weekend (which was insanely busy) I was talking about Knit Blogs with those of the knit and non-knit persuasion. Knitters and Blitters GET IT, non-knitters require a bit more information. What it all boils down to is (for me) rather simple. I WATCH PEOPLE KNIT! Yes, I am a grand voyeur of knitting around the world! I watch shawls, cardigans, socks (lots of socks) and other incredible things being knit, in almost real time! It is a thrill to watch an intricate shawl of lace and color come together in photographs on a blog, or a sweater or cardigan grow before my very eyes! Sometimes I get to mourn with a knitter as frogging takes place or a project just doesn't live up to the initial flush of desire and is put aside with regret. But always I love to watch Knit Happen! The community of Knit Bloggers is even greater than the Ravelry Community, the current buzz around the needles. Bloggers have been at it for much longer and although there is a cross-over, the blog is the place to get to know a knitter. We all feel as if we know 'the Big Needles' among us, but think of the many friendships that have been forged as we daily read the electronic diaries of the Knitly. Blogging is here to stay and only growing, I can say for certain it is one of the many blessings in my life.

The Mitered Square Sweater has over half the squares done on the body of the sweater, the center section is almost complete and then the right and left will 'grow' as I knit along. Because of the frequent starts and stops that are inherent in the whole mitered square concept, once I get to the sleeves it will feel like a long stretch of knitting.

Happy Monday and Get Knittin'!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Knit Together--Thanks Debbie!

As my mother used to say it is simply hotter than seven hundred dollars! I have no more idea now than I did then what heat and money had to do with each other. That said, it is stinkin' hot. When I walked this morning I thought I was going to sweat myself into a puddle.

I did manage to wrangle the day off, no brides to pamper and watch over just the wedding show tomorrow so I thought that was fair. And why? I will tell anyone who listens that Debbie Macomber is the reason I got back into knitting seriously after my Hawaii Hiatus. Personally if someone were to ask me I'd have to say that Debbie was the Pied Piper of knitting fiction and her Blossom Street series was, and is that for me. I simply loved the first book, and the subsequent ones and when I read them I heard the clarion call---- the trumpets from above as it were---- Get Knittin'! I haven't looked back.

A very gracious lady!

So when I heard several months ago that she was going to be in St. Louis (okay a suburb of) today I booked myself out of the studio in order to go see her. She was in town with the release of her new book "Knit Together" which is less about knitting per se and more about that Clarion Call thing! Mission statements, dreams and fulfillment to include how we are created for laughter. I know in my heart that because she is a rabid knitter and that there are balls of yarn on the cover that we were created for KNITTING too! I arrived at Sam's with my partner and professional photographer----- C'mon let's be serious I want to look great in my photo! :) Debbie arrived a few minutes early and the queue was already about 40 deep so I stood in line with my book under my arm and chit chatted with the nice lady in front of me. She was not a knitter but I tried to be nice to her anyway. There were people in line with like a zillion books for her to sign which kind of torques me off but I suppose if they did buy them there then who am I to gritch. The chicks with every single DM volume in their shopping carts hauled from home sort of made me want to kick them in the shins but I remained tranquil. Really! After about a half hour I got to the front of the line to meet Debbie and get my book signed. One book, purchased there, single volume! I had my Mitered Sweater from KnitSimple in my B4 Bag and when she had signed my book I asked if I could have a photo taken with her and my knitting. She was absolutely wonderfully gracious and even said that she loved my cute B4 bag (as did her assistant) and was in awe of it! In awe!!! Now did that make my day or what??? I pulled out the mitered squares and she ooohhhhhed and ahhhhhhed over the Noro (what's not to love) and I could tell that this is a KNITTER, it seemed as though she would have loved to have sat down and knit a few rows right then and there. Having a professional photographer on the scene did pique her interest (in a sea of small digitals and cell phone cameras) and I mentioned that I'd be sharing the photos on my blog. Would I send them along? Absolutely! All things considered it was a very fun slice of the afternoon.

Studio work will be madness for the next couple of days with two blissful days of road trips/mini vacations on Monday and Tuesday. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. I hope to be able to enjoy some time with the mitered squares---- after all it is time to cast on for the Year With EZ group's September project the leggings in Swish next weekend. I won't get to it on Saturday as I'll be on Bride Duty, but Sunday is open for EZ.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Great Mail & Miters

Despite a bit of sadness yesterday, and a pile o'work on the desk it was an excellent mail day. Excellent. A box from KnitPicks, a box from Amazon, and a box from QVC. QVC you say???? What in the world can you buy knitly from QVC??? Actually, I shall tell you that the very best nail polish in the Known Universe comes from QVC. In case you are hard on your hands and like a nice natural look---- yet cared for---- I'll tell you my fave secret. Joan Rivers' topcoat and basecoat duo ROCK. The basecoat is a great basecoat but honestly, most of the time I opt for one or two coats for everyday. Looks great--- not foofy at all, it keeps my nails from getting all nasty and splitty. The topcoat looks great but is one of the best speed dries out there. I can go from painted wet to out the door in 5 minutes. Not the cheapest in the world but certainly not the priciest either..... works great, looks good, and delivered to the door, can't beat that!

KnitPicks brought me the gorgeous colorway Lemongrass in Swish for my soon to be cast on leggings. Love this color, it is really smashing.

Also in the KP box was my very favorite stitch counter of all time so of course I had to have another one. Having a stitch counter for every project is essential for me. I forget, what can I say.

The box also included books I purchased before the KP sale was over, and I got 'fluffy' knitting books that I wouldn't necessarily have on the "MUST BUY" list. "Knitting for Dogs" (yes really) by Kristi Porter. It is a very cute book, I was swayed by the little Yorkie on the cover in the cute ruffle butt sweater. Now don't be looking any time soon for knitted goodies for the dogs. I also purchased these great Japanese sew clothes for your dogs books and have done nothing with them for over a year. You know, when it comes to books sometimes owning them is enough! I also got Chrissie Day's "Felt Style". Very cute projects, I love the slippers and hats and might have to create some for holiday giving. Or not! ;)

Amazon? I have been oogling for sometime "Designer Knitting" by Kitty Bartholomew. I remember Kitty from back in the day at HGTV and her sweaters were fabulous. This book is really (REALLY) great. She is a very passionate and prolific knitter, her sweaters are tres cute and simple. I think that many of them look like great staple sweater stuff. Love this book!

Walking this morning was an effort and a half. I had to be out the door and presentable (which as we all know takes quite a bit of time) by 8:00 a.m. I walk for an hour and a half so by the time you factor in cool off time, shower and a good fluff and buff I was up super early. Unfashionably so. It was stinkin' 80 degrees at 5:30 this morning with a dew point that would make a grown man weep! But I sludged on like the good girl that I am. I was able to finish the tail end of last weeks podcast from Webs and get a start on this weeks' as well as finishing the last 5 minutes of the recent Cast On. (Love those badges!) What is not to love about really taking your mind off of the heat and humidity by listening to two passionate fiber-heads discussing all of the yummy new yarn arriving? Oh yeah! Problem is that I usually want to order some of what I hear romanced on my iPod. (For those of you who know, my efforts to keep the stash IN LINE have long since sailed. Speaking of Webs, I continue to be in absolute awe of anyone who actually owns the URL Wow, how smart was that anyway?

We won't even discuss what I bought today. Really. We had to buy new equipment for the studio and such purchases always depress me. I thought a wee small bit of yarn would perk me up. Who could possibly disagree??

Tomatoes are flying off the vines (and not just from the rude squirrels who call my back yard home). I'm almost afraid to answer the door after work in case some kind neighbor wants to contribute tomatoey goodness. Instead I look for great recipes to use said bounty on and the following is a good one. Especially with a nice glass of Pinot!

Really Good Tomato and Basil Bruschetta


  • 6 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped. You can use regular tomatoes, just remove most of the seeds and pulp and use the flesh of the tomato. If you use regular tomatoes you will need 3-4 depending on size
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil (I buy a big jar at Costco and use it all the time), chopped roughly
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons good quality red balsamic vinegar. I've made it with white balsamic and while it is good, it is not the same!
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed (My garden has a basil plant that is taking over!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1teaspoon ground black pepper, it sounds like a lot but I crack it pretty coarse and I do love the pepper
  • 1 loaf of excellent bread, a baguette or loaf of French works well as long as it has a bit of substance to the crust and is not too smushy, sliced diagonally for nice big oval slices of bread
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or slices of fresh Buffalo Mozzarella if you like the taste and have not recently purchased enough yarn to ding your budget!

The How To:

  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes
  • Preheat the broiler (unless you have a Viking or Wolf in which case preheating it will turn your kitchen into a very Hot Place)
  • Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown, I broil both sides lightly.
  • Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese..... don't be stingy!
  • Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • EAT and enjoy!

The Mitered Square sweater project is advancing...... it has become a wonderfully rather mindless knit, perfect for fried after work knitting. It doesn't seem as fast because of having to knit up every square before you can take off and go but by the same token you do get a wonderful sense of immediate gratification at the same time.

LOOOOOVE the colors!

All in all, much done---and I put in a good day's work as well. Oh to be a Trust Fund Girl!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hands up

The coffee table is still clean but the week is young, isn't that how it goes?

Blog Friend Jenni is a "Knitter Down"---- over on the blog ALUM CREEK. (Jenni help me out here with your URL, somehow I can't get the right sequence....argh). Being a KNITTER DOWN is a very bad thing. It is bad enough that you are hurt and in pain, bad enough that your everyday activities are hampered, bad enough that life is quite interrupted----- but to have your knitting come to a standstill? Not good, not good at all. I send you all my very best Jenni, hugs and prayers and blessings for a wonderfully speedy recovery. As I walked this morning I was thinking how incredibly crabby I would be if I was unable to knit. Granted I would get much more reading done, and might catch up on a few other things, but in the grand scheme I'd be miserably grumpy. Hang in there sister knitter, we are standing with you! I know that the knitters everywhere would love to reach out and give you a big hands UP! (**Edited to add Jenni's URL--- thanks Jenni!)

The mitered squares are coming along, I have the second row done, that is 11 squares count 'em. I'm getting more than a bit nervous as in a few short days I should be casting on for the leggings with the EZ group. I'm thinking that the leggings and the sweater are two very full time projects---- and never enough time. (What else is new?)

It's a sad day here. You all know that we work with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep the national non-profit organization that comforts families going through the loss of an infant with a photograph, a memory of their baby. I started Wee Angels as a place for knitters with a charitable heart to contribute bonnets, booties and wraps for these babies. In the middle of the night another call came through that a family had requested their baby be photographed so my wonderful partner went to the hospital at 3:30 a.m. The last of the little knitted baby sweet things went with her, a little bonnet from an unknown benefactor. Today, two more phone calls came in, one baby has a terrible genetic disease that will take it's life when it is delivered sometime today and the other baby will be delivered very early because it's Mom was involved in a car accident. That will be three angel sessions in the space of 24 hours, just heartbreaking. If you have a bit of time and some yarn and would contribute a little something to Wee Angels that would be very much appreciated. (More info on the sidebar) Yarn DOES make love! I won't share the photo from the session, some are sadder than others and this one simply is.

I hate to end the post with sadness------ so I'll just say that I hope you will count your blessings. Smile and pass one on, be charming and upbeat and know that it will affect the world around you. Y'know, the ripple in the pond thing.

An email arrived from my KVV (Knitter's Virtual Vacation) treater this morning, it was nice to get an email that lifted my spirits for sure! I had commented on my questionnaire that one of the places I would love to go is Montana. C'mon, you need knitted goodness many months of the year, it is breathtakingly gorgeous, the food is great, there are wide open spaces and plenty of places to run when you're feeling particulary misanthropic. I drove through several years ago while driving across country and was enchanted with everything about it. I'm going to pass along one of her photos here as I close, she sent three gorgeous views from her recent business trip there and I found them calming, pleasing and really lovely. She cleverly calls herself Grapefruit Bliss (which really has my brain churning) and I can't wait to find out who she is. I know you read the blog Bliss so let me tell you that I am not in a burning hurry for my Box O'Goodies! I have not sent to my pal yet either, preferring to stretch the anticipation for sending as well as receiving! I am really crazy busy right now (or at least crazy) and have opted to pass on several other secret swaps right now so this one is my one and only for the near future. I'm enjoying it! So, thanks for the email hello and for the following photos that I hope are okay to share with the Blitters! The one of the lake in such gorgeous blues? That one is now my desktop on my laptop------ lovely!

LOVE this photo------- Very fab!

And I think this one is my fave. You're quite the photographer Bliss! Thanks again!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Miters and Brides

The weekend flew by, as they always do--- and as usual devoted to what else? Brides! The day wrapped up yesterday at a bridal show where I managed to talk my face off, the only thing that kept me going was knowing at the end of the day was a pizza delivery and my knitting. When you live in St. Louis is is required by law to wash down said delicious treat with a frosty beer. Not wanting the How Dare You Police to knock on my door I did my duty and washed down Papa John's with a cold one from St. Louis's finest--- Anheuser Busch of course! We arrived a couple of hours before the show started on Sunday and got set up, thankfully it was smooth and uneventful and I was left to my own devices manning the booth before the doors opened. This time I actually brought my knitting--- having that little slice of time to decompress with my needles was so lovely I can't even tell you. I sat there behind the table and all tucked away pulled out my mitered sweater project and got a square knit. The base row has 6 squares and I had the 5th done before the show opened. The afternoon zipped by, well except for the last hour which is always torture, and on the way home I knit another foot of the endless I-Cord to finish the base row. Square 6 was completed last night after I demolished my pizza and as of this writing the first square in the second row is finished and the sweater is beginning to look like more than a bikini top for a six breasted woman. Not that such a thing does not have tremendous merit--- but not something that was really on my list!

I'm holding the first square knit off the base row----- love the way the Noro is playing off of itself, the colors are going to be wonderful!

Before you mutter geezzzzzzzzzzz already polish the table, that is why in my next breath I will mention how much I need to clean my house. Do not notice that skeezy table please, see only the happy chain of mitered squares.

More nasty table, but HEY---- more mitered squares. I never would have put those colors together in a million years but love them!

The question today is whether or not the dogs get a bath and I clean the house (the Big Clean, not the bits and pieces clean)---- OR if I enjoy a day off and knit.

Of course that brings me to ask why it is that women never actually GET a day off. A day off means that errands have to be run, laundry has to be done, and about a googoozillion other things always need to be scratched off the endless list. It is the stuff of heavy sighs indeed. I'm not complaining, just commenting! I do have far more discretionary time that I did when I had kids at home, and continue to hold in deep respect women who are raising families and trying to squeeze in a slice of life for themselves. Especially when that includes knitting, but that goes without saying!

Regardless, I will do some cleaning (after seeing those photos of the coffee table I really have no choice). With any luck my yarny purchases will arrive today when I am off and better able to enjoy them!

Get Knittin'!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Paris 16th

Paris 16th? It is if I say so! My house has a very French inspired theme, including the kitchen where this wreathed calendar resides on the back door. And today, on Paris 16th I finished the B4 Bag! A few changes--- but it is done and I absolutely love it!

Side one (each side is different) has more neutral buttons. The beads are (sigh) sewn on because the beads I ordered and thought would hunker around my bulky yarn didn't. I was too impatient to wait. Don't you hate it when that happens? Should I knit it again (and who knows) I will knit on the beads in the prescribed pattern. Until then chalk it up to creative license! The beads are not quite as 'bright' as they appear in the camera flash-----

This is side two and perhaps my favorite, although I like them both. The big square button was a find at my LYS as were the two leopard buttons and the green and leopard button. You will note that it is in the kitchen window perched on a few cookbooks--- as hot as it has been it's a safe bet that the Soup Bible hasn't been cracked open in quite a while!

I did decide to line my bag, thanks to Dana for the inspiration. I also used some Timtex from my stash-- the super stiff interfacing used to make quilted boxes (among other things). The bottom and sides are interlined with the stiffener, then the lining is over the top of that layer. Having the extra layers gave the bag enough ooooomph that my agitatorless washing machine might have shortchanged me on!

I love happy little surprises so I used some decorator weight fabric from my stash (which is fairly substantial). I traced around the bottom of the bag after it was felted and dried. Then I measured around the circumference and the height and cut the fabric allowing for 5/8" seam allowance and 3 inches turned down at the top of the lining. I cut a pocket out of the doubled fabric and stitched to the back (seam) side. The buttons and beads were affixed, the bottom and sides were stiffened and I then slid in the lining right side out. I used doubled sewing thread to stitch around the lining and the bag. Voila!

I did purchase leather handles and I like the idea, just not the handles I was able to find locally--- they just didn't do it for me. So for now the B4 has the twisted handles, made a bit longer so that I can toss the bag over my shoulder and it will tuck right in under my armpit for safe carrying.

I stayed up way too late last night working on the first square from the jacket I'm knitting in Knit Simple. The long tail of I-Cord looks like an umbilical cord!

Sooooooooooooo cute. My Noro colorway is going to be a lot bluer but still has the pop of rose and a bit of gold. I have a sinking feeling that this sweater is going to have a big conflict with the leggings I'm supposed to be knitting in September!

With any luck I will find some time to knit very soon. In Paris of course! )AKA my old house but shhhhhhhhh, let's not mention it!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Happy Face

It is super hot here, 106 as a matter of fact and the heat seems to make everyone cranky as crap and mean as a snake. Cranky as a snake and mean as crap???? You know what I mean. It was the day to run errands for the studio today including running by the lab to pick up prints and for those not in St. Louis, that meant a trip through the insanity of road construction and highway closures in Brentwood. I managed to negotiate all that happiness to include honking horns, that particular hand gesture I'm not wild about and short tempered drivers just fine. To congratulate myself I figured a stop at the Target Greatland was in order because everything from mascara to paper towels was on the list. While there I happened upon the cutest little hoodie, sort of a vintage wallpaper inspired print on a nice lightweight zippy top, way too cute. It came in gray and black, red a gold and blue maybe. Mine is gray and black and that baby jumped into the cart and said "take me home, please?" So I did. Target is one of those stores where it is legally required to spend at least a hundred dollars, some of which are last moment thoughts that were too good to pass up. After loading the car, it was a $200 dollar day, I was one hot girl and a cool refreshing beverage was the order of the day. Driving through McDonald's for the .59 cent jug o' Diet Coke was perfect. The employee who filled my order was a young adult with Down Syndrome and his smile and happy face was utterly engaging! He was thrilled to have a job he obviously loved, doing something that made people happy---- he put the uber delicious McDonald's yummies into the hands of those who desired said treat. He giggled as he waited for the cup to fill under the automatic dispenser and reminded me yet again that it would be just another minute! No problem I said, smiling back at his infectious grin----- I loved that kid! It made me realize that we should all take such a lesson from life, love your job no matter what it is. Find the joy and spread the blessings. Can I get an Amen??? You bet!

From there it was a quick hop into the fabric store because I'm toying with the idea of putting leather handles on my B4 Bag, I'm not totally sure but I think it might be really fabbo! I didn't linger to check out the super cute fabric I've been eying to make more DPN cases, my icy cold Diet Coke would reach a slow boil if I didn't get back out to the car.

Once home I did run my B4 though another cycle to felt a bit more and I think that I like it a lot more-- although I won't know until it is fully dry. My Calypso washing machine does not have a traditional agitator so it makes felting a bit more hands on, the results are slower for sure. It is stuffed with plastic bags and a couple of cans in the base drying nicely, although it will take a long time. I know it would be faster if I took it outside but I am afraid of our rowdy city pigeons so I may not indulge the notion. I mean, it is a great bag, it needs no more artistic additions! It sort of makes me think of the Yarn Harlot's story of the squirrels who steal woolen goods as well---- I love that story.

Patience once more while it dries and I can decide if enough felting is enough felting, and if I am going to pop on the leather handles. Yet more patience while my new order arrives from KnitPicks, the Chrissy Day felting book with the cute slippers on the cover, a doggie knit book that I couldn't resist (Like I HAVE enough time), and 14 balls of Swish to make the leggings in the upcoming September KAL with my Yahoo group. I chose the mossy color of lemongrass. I also got some realllllllly long circs to try the Magic Loop method, well one of these days anyway.

While I'm being patient, and kind to others in the heat------ I will be smiling with a happy face. Life is good, pass on a blessing. It is time to shove back from my desk at the moment, can you say time for I-Cord????

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Miles of I-Cord

It's funny----- here I am thrilled to be doing fun knitting apres Pi and I end up with MILES of I-Cord from two projects. It figures! Luckily I don't hate I-Cord and actually always find it so clever, but faced with nothin' but cord is daunting! The B4 had 4 lengths of I-Cord for the handles and the Noro sweater starts with it (and keeps it going!)

The B4 Bag is OFF the needles and I'm loving it.

Unfelted but smiling! The bobbles are just darling!

I did not (shame on me) bead it while knitting because I got to that spot and found that my yarn would not suck in enough to go through the beads. Unthinkable to WAIT for more beads to arrive, that would show patience and maturity! HA! No worries, I will add beads later after blocking. I am finding that after felting today the bag is not as stiff as I would like and I'm considering giving it another hot water bath and felting a bit more. I had some small worries about how the yarns would play nicely together since I did use 3 different yarns, but they blocked very nicely together today, so now just to decide if I want to repeat the process.

Aren't the colors great? I love them!

The reddish brown at the bottom is the base of the bag, once felted it is not seen at all.

I am actually switching the positioning of beads and buttons. I'll put the beads on the green/purple section and the buttons (which are great) on the coral section.

I just want it DONE! All this from a woman so impatient that she couldn't wait a week for beads so I guess I understand it. I didn't say I liked the trait--- just that I understand it!

The oil had to be changed today in the car and how much more fun can you possibly have when it is 104 degrees F. than to go out in the heat and suffer through this fun ordeal? I did at least toss some knitting in my bag to keep me company while I waited. The upside was not having to answer the phone or sit in front of the computer working on wedding albums-- in other words it actually was nice to get away, no matter where! I had my sock and it's little chart happily enlarged and living on my KnitPicks chart keeper (LOVE IT!) but I didn't get to it at all. Instead I read a couple of chapters while I got cool enough to consider holding wool in my hands and then I (being the dutifully good girl that I am) knit my gauge sample of the Noro. It is my first experience with Noro and I'm not sure I totally love it! Maybe it is the thick-thin thing or maybe gauge is just making me cranky (go figure). I can't wait to get into the actual project but I need to consider the swatch (math oh boy--- must be why I sometimes am less than vigilant about gauge swatch anyway!) and then knit the first mile of the I-Cord that this sweater is knit on.

Ravelry has gotten precious little of my attention, mostly I'm feeling like a bozo because I can't figure out how to bring my photos into Ravelry from Flickr, it says drag and drop but neither of those options seem to be working out as I intend. Regardless, it is fabulous and has the feel of a wonderful guild meeting with endless show and tell and lots of incredible inspiration.

Can my new motto be CORD ON for the moment?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fuzzy Slipper Hiatus

Dearest Blitters:

This very brief blog hiatus is brought to you by my Fuzzy Slipper Dance. My invitation to Ravelry arrived last night! Woo Hoo! I was actually on my way to bed so I've not had much time to sit and revel in Ravelry! :)

With half a day off to enjoy, and the B4 Bag almost finished (I-Cord handles are all that remains)--- I can't think of a better day ahead.

  • No cleaning
  • No brides
  • No work
  • Much Ravelry
  • Much Knitting
  • Woo Hoo Abundance

Friday, August 10, 2007

Stencils & Sticks

Well first, it is hot and I am cranky. Ugly cranky if the truth be told. I can 'do' heat, really I can, many years of living in Hawaii (most without air conditioning) have made me heat tolerant. But over 100 for a week straight with good ole' midwest humidity has taken a toll. I am Cranky. There is nothing that pushing back my chair from my desk and knitting a few rows won't cure, but that blissful activity is several hours away from becoming a reality.

Love the Mittenettes from Chez Plum! They were an uber quick project with a nice payoff---- cute! I really did enjoy the Fearless Fibers yarn as well. I think I might have enough for another pair of Mittenettes as a Christmas gift. First, I need to block these!

The stenciling is (hallelujah) finished! A finer master bedroom could not be found--- that is at least my reality and the one I'm telling my calves who are screaming today after hanging off a ladder for two days running! It was a very simple stencil, a 'one pass' job---- just the ticket for the heat of late. The carpeting is taupe and the walls are "Diving Board" blue, the stencil is mainly the warm taupe color with a tiny bit of green (in the adjacent hallway) and the other color is a lively turquoise that seems to make the whole thing quite happy. I'm just so glad it is DONE. Now to work up the steam to put the faux tin ceiling in my bathroom. (The joys of living in an older home!)

The obligatory close-up

Check out the gorgeous Noro Kureyon that arrived yesterday to make the yummy jacket I've been talking about! I had to chase the UPS driver down the street, he wasn't going to leave the two packages that came, the large one from Webs and the other containing my Dana Buchman jeans. Both necessities, hence the site of me chasing the (frightened I'm sure) UPS driver. When I told him that he had my Noro he looked at me as if I had escaped from the home. Silly man.

I am dying to swatch it up and can't wait to see how it all plays out. I think the modular squares will be really fabulous in this gorgeous yarn. I've only used Noro for a scarf I made some time ago and I really enjoyed how the colors came together on the needles. The different shape and way the jacket is knitted will make a really interesting knit up. I'm easily amused after all and really like watching self-striping yarn or handpainteds play out---- it multiplies the Knitting For Entertainment Dollar. I think it was Kelley's last podcast that mentioned that she absolutely hated anything knitted in a modular fashion-------- I'm choosing to look the other way and not even think about that! It is a big sweater with lots of modular squares and I-Cord and I think I just need to surround myself with a happy bubble of joyous enthusiasm.

But I have promised myself that for the moment I will work on my B4 Bag, I'm happily making bobbles at the moment. It had been awhile since I bobbled much of anything and I had forgotten the absolute miracle that happens when you wave your needles just so and produce such a marvelous thing! I've played with the yarn and have decided my color patterning. The base is a reddish brown, and then the first visible row is a 'bump' of black going into the first color--- gold-- with the bobbles in the center. The bag is a blast to knit, much (MUCH) more fun than the MS3 (more about that later).

Only one star has come off of the needles, it was certainly fun enough "Fiddle Faddle" from the EZ group and corresponding book-- I can even see giving it as little tie on's or in cards but frankly? I am just not feeling very star struck. Maybe later. It is time to knit the little fruit hangers (or whatever they are called)----- and I know I will learn something, and it will further me along. However for the moment it just ain't a happenin' thang.

That brings me to the MS3. I loved it so when I started, I really did. I don't know what exactly has taken the luster off of the project for me. Is it that I have been unfaithful and have chosen other projects ahead of it, have gotten behind and now can't muster up the interest? I'm not sure! I did want to finish the Pi on time and because of that the MS3 clues just started stacking up on me. Then the colder my needles got the more excitement I created for other projects. I have to say that I'm tired of looking at it laying there on the side table. It used to toss insults and jeer me when I'd pick up another lovely thing---- for the most part now it merely lies silent and sulking and the guilt gets stirred up within me, not the stole. Perhaps if I picked it up and worked on it for a few hours the dormant passion would re-ignite and I'd want to hold it close again.

For now, I'm watching it from behind my bobbles.