Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Yarn: Knit Me Now - Sock Love yarn in Chocolate Covered Cherries

This is meant to be the first sock in my Personal Sock Club 2009. It officially starts tomorrow and I'm debating about whether I cast on this sock right away tomorrow or wait until my Fiddleheads are complete. Decisions, Decisions.... I'm packing the pattern (Blackrose) and needles to bring to the cabin with me. After all, if I happened to finish an outer mitten and two liners in 4 days, well then I'd certainly need something else to work on. I wouldn't want to be stranded at the cabin with no knitting!

Note to Adam- we may be looking for a new camera shortly. Ours seems to be taking it's last gasping breaths. It randomly doesn't let you use the viewing screen so you have to take photos the old fashioned way, unfortunately then I end up with photos like the above one, instead of the photo that I wanted. Kind of defeats the purpose of a digital camera. If anyone has any suggestions on a camera to look for, I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Personal Sock Club 2009

Link-o-Rama Post Today!

Her's the Line-up for my Personal Sock Club

January - Black Rose in some locally made Chocolate Covered Cherries sock yarn.

February - Nutkins in a teal and brown Yarny

March - Fargyles in my green Yarny in New Shoots.

April - Monkeys perhaps in red Pagewood Farms yarn.

May - Pomatomus in blue Wollemese

June - Lacy Kids Sock Kit from HazelKnits

I'm reserving the right to subsitute in a Spiral Tube Sock or a Generic Sock if the pattern and the yarn aren't working.

That should get me through the first layer of sock yarn in my stash. For those of you who read the blog who regularly buy me presents, this should in no way deter you from buying yarn or gift certificates for yarn. I will always find space for more. Plus, my knitting = gifts for you + insulation for our very cold house.

Random Christmas

Fiddlehead mitten in Manos Silky... mmmm....

  • I gave my co-worker 1 mitten today as a Christmas present. All I have is the thumb left to knit on the second mitten, so I hopefully can get it to her after lunch today.
  • The 2nd Fiddlehead mittens are not going to be done in time for Christmas. I'm only partially done with the first mitten. I absolutely love the colors and the Manos Silky is amazing. I think lining this with yellow Frog Tree Alpaca will make them gorgeous. Since they won't be done in time for Christmas, I wrapped up a bunch of Pampered Chef knives and a cutting board for my daycare lady. Kind of ironic that I would give my daycare lady knives, but she likes to cook.
  • All my other projects are folding for now. I'm going to start off with a clean plate in January with the Personal Sock Club. And perhaps a shawl.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Does Shivering Count as Aerobic Activity?

Pretty Stash Photo From Hello Yarn

It's darn cold here. Darn cold. So cold that I'm happy I have so much wool stashed in my house. Perhaps the insulating factor will help keep my family warm. (And keep the pipes from freezing).

Speaking of stash, I've decided (thanks Knittymuggins) to joing the Stash Knit Down on Ravelry. I'm doing the sock knit down. I've printed off 6 patterns that I would like to knit and paired it up with 6 skeins of sock yarn. My goal is to make one pair of socks a month for the first 6 months of the year. I'll see how it goes, and if I'm having fun with it, then I'll keep going.

I'm not so foolish as to say, "No new sock yarn in the house!" But I will be trying to keep it to a minimum and only knit from stash.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Little Helper

I was sitting at the computer, knitting and checking my favorite blogs when for absolutely no reason at all, one of my double points fell right off the thumb I was working on.

"Argh! I dropped some stitches!"

Addie came running over, "Don't worry Mommy, I'll help you find them." Addie got down on her hands an knees and started looking on the floor for my dropped stitches.

It was so cute that I started laughing, which of course got me in trouble. Addie doesn't like being teased right now and she thought I was making fun of her. Ah, the trials and tribulations of being 4 years old.

Check, Check, Almost Check

Christmas Knitting continues in the Big Blue House on the Shores of Lake Superior at a furious pace.

I finished the Fiddleheads for my Grandma. Photo to be added later. - Check

Malabrigo Mittens for my co-worker - 1 down, 1 to go. I'm adapting a pattern in 101 Luxury One Skein Wonders for this. They're pretty dreamy.

I started the 2nd Fiddleheads using Manos Silky for the outer mitt and Frog Tree Alpaca for the inner liner. I did have a bit of a setback with this, surprise surprise. I found 2 beautiful shades of Manos Silky, a dark blue and a dark purple/yellow/green varigated, Unfortunately the varigated was too close in shade to the dark blue and it didn't have enough pop for me. So I'm ripping back a few rows and starting over.

In non-knitting news, we are in the middle of a big blizzard. We have gusts of wind from 40-60 mph and a ton of snow blowing. Roads are being closed and they've discouraged all travel. It's supposed to last through noon tomorrow (monday). Normally I'd be thrilled with the idea of a snow day, however with work being what it is lately I need every moment of this week before Christmas to sell sell sell. I'm a little stressed out about work and a day at home isn't going to make it any better. In fact, my eye is getting a little twitchy just thinking about it.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Frantic Christmas Knitters
Oh Dear. Why didn't anyone tell me? Actually, why did someone tell me that there are ONLY 14 days until Christmas? I am completely freaking out. Every year this happens. I think I'm totally in control of my Christmas knitting and then, Wham! I get hit with the reality of the situation. So here's where I stand.

_______ for ___________ (reader of the blog) DONE
slouche hat for ___________ DONE
snail hat for ________ DONE
turn a square hat for _________ DONE
washcloths for Oma edited to DONE
Fiddleheads for Grandma - 1 to finish by Christmas (weekend after)
Mittens for _________ - to finish by the 24th (on 1st cuff) Edited to may be frogged to cast on more stitches, this is pulling weird across the hand.
Fiddleheads for __________ - not even started
hat for ____________ - not even started

Realistically I think I can finish the 3 projects that are on the needles but not done. Which means that if I don't get the other items done, then I have a little more shopping to do. I need to knit like the wind folks!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sneaky Sneak #2

One Fiddlehead mitten down, less than 1/2 to go on the 2nd. These are for my Grandma. Since she's in her 80's I think the chances of her reading this post and spoiling the surprise are slim to none.

Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens from Hello Yarn
Needles: Size 3 US. I used 2 circulars for the first mitten and one 9" circular for the second. I am totally and completely in love with the 9" circular for socks and mittens. I think I want one in every conceivable size. It's the best thing since sliced bread. Seriously.
Yarn: Frog Tree Alpaca sport weight - mmmm.... alpaca....
Modifications: I've decided not to do a lining for these mittens. They are a touch small (seems I knit extremely tight when I'm doing colorwork) and I'm not sure how well they will fit if I do a lining. Plus, my Grandma really would only be wearing them from the house to the car and back. She doesn't spend a ton of time outside in the winter anymore.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sneaky Sneak #1

I finished one of the sneaky sneak items from my list.

I discovered that no matter how much red wine you drink, some people are just not meant to look all stylish and French chic in a slouch hat. It's just not me.

This however, is. Hanging out with the girls.

Pattern: Le Slouche hat from Knit and Tonic
Yarn: Merino Gold from Knit One Crochet Too. Cream with a bit of gold sparkle. It might be discontinued since I can't find it on their website anywhere. It took a little over 2 skeins.
Needles: Size 9 US.
Modifications: I held the yarn doubled since it's a worsted weight yarn.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Doing the Sneaky Sneak

I feel like a bit of a sneaky sneak lately with my knitting. I've got lots of projects going on, none of which are listed in my new side progress bars. (see, I'm sneaky)

I'm almost done with one _________ for __________. One left to go! New super short mini circulars are on their way from The Knitting Knight in Hibbing (call and tell them they need a website).

I have a ____________ done for ___________.

I have another ____ done for _________. Well, I need to sew up one dangly end, but it's done.

I have the yarn for a _________ for _________.

I'm almost done with a _______ for __________.

See, Christmas knitting doesn't make for very exciting blogging.

Monday, November 17, 2008


To use a Knittymuggins word, I was so knitstoned this weekend. I started knitting on Friday night and absolutely did not want to stop until I made not one, but THREE hats! One per day, well sort of. I started this rainbow hat (Freedom yarn, 100% wool) on Friday night for a 2 year old's birthday the next day. In my house, at night, it looked very boyish. In the light of day, it was obvious that it was pink, not red. Eeee... So off to the LYS I went. I asked their advice on whether I could give this to a 2 year old boy. The reaction was mixed, leaning heavily toward no. So I finished this one up and bought a skein of Sheep Shop Yarn to make another hat. I ended up giving the little boy this just so he'd have something to open and including the skein of Sheep Shop so the Daddy wouldn't freak out.
Looks like Addie gets a new winter hat!!

Immediately after the party I started in on the Sheep Shop hat. Somehow I screwed up the pattern and ended up with a slightly different spiral. Not a big deal, it looks cute this way too! I finished this one up on Saturday night so that Adam could bring it along when he went hunting on Sunday with the Daddy of the 2 year old.

On Sunday morning I started yet another hat. This time out of Frog Tree Alpaca bulky. Mmmm... Alpaca. I finished it around 10 pm Sunday night. Not too shabby! This one is a Christmas present for my nephew. I'm debating about making another for his older sister, but my hands need a break from the bulky.
Pattern: Snail Hat by Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Big Pink Cardi

I cannot believe that I am finally to this point. I feel like I have been talking about the "Big Pink Cardi" forever. I sewed up the seems at the scrapbooking retreat I went to last week. I modeled it for everyone with the strings hanging out all over. I discovered that scrapbookers are not nearly as impressed with an almost finished cardigan as they are over an almost finished page. Seriously people, do you understand how long this sweater has taken me to finish? Your 20 minutes per page is nothing compared to my hours of work. I get more appreciation from my husband.

It's the big pink cardigan I've been working on since the Summer Olympics started. This is the second of two projects I was really hoping to finish. I guess I missed the mark on this one!

Check it out, the arms are actually the correct length and the striping turned out almost perfectly matched!!

Pattern: Needful Yarns Shawl Collar Cardigan (I believe the company has gone out of business)
Yarn: Katia Tundra (Ravelry Link)
Modifications: I didn't do the crochet edging on the collar, mostly because I don't crochet - but also partly because I like the scalloped edging. It works for me.
The cardigan is currently drying after blocking. I hope that will make the collar lay a little nicer and make the seems look like someone actually knew what they were doing when they sewed them up. Hey, I can hope for a miracle, right?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wouldn't You Know...

My kiddo loves her hat!

We spent this last weekend down at my sisters house. I had promised my almost 7 year old niece that I would teach her to knit. I bought her some child size needles and some wool/acrylic indestructible yarn. She did really well. She worked intermittently on the knitting, in between playing Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop with Addie and Lily. I have her making a hat, although I think her mom will probably have to rip it out and start her over again once she gets the hang of it. It seems as though her big problem is that she stops in the middle of the row and then forgets which way she was going. So she's got several short rows on one side. Not a big deal, she'll get the hang of it.

Here's the kicker. I taught my sister to knit as well, thinking that she'll have to know the basics in order to help my niece when she gets stuck. My sister picked it up right away - she's even knitting Continental. I struggle to knit Continental. It's so much faster and easier to throw for me - I guess I'm very right hand dominant. I can do it, especially if I'm knitting with 2 colors, but I really don't like it. So of course my sister does it naturally. Ugh. I'm blaming it on the fact that she learned how to crochet first and that's the way they taught her to hold her yarn.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hat's Off to You

Hi, my name is Jessica and I am addicted to making hats. I finished yet another hat last night and immediately I started thinking of making more. I looked through my stash to find the right yarn to make another Turn a Square hat. I'm not sure that I have that yarn. I may have to make it to my LYS to buy the Manos Silky that I've been craving again. I bought some for my Good Karma swap partner a while back and it was very difficult to get it all into the package. One skein kept calling my name and asking to stay at our house. It was very difficult to do the tough love routine on a skein of yarn and explain that it would indeed be going to a very good home. Now I know what that skein was calling out to be made into. I need more yarn.


Turn a Square Hat by Jared Flood - Free pattern by following the link above and clicking on the link on the right hand side of his blog

Yarn: A leftover skein of Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk Aran (which may win the prize for longest yarn name ever) and 1/2 a skein of Boku colorway 15

Modifications: I did 2 inches of ribbing instead of 1 in case the recipient decides that it doesn't quite fit as is. Otherwise I did the jogless joins just as I was supposed to.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time Keeps on Spinning

Someone asked me the other day how my spinning has been going. Well, to be honest, it hasn't. This has been the extent of my spinning since August. It's a fairly even worsted weight single. I think it's destined to become a hat for my neice. This is from some pencil roving I picked up at Athena Fibers in Sioux Falls, SD this summer.

If you're anywhere near Sioux Falls (and really, there's nothing near there) you should check out Athena Fibers. It's in a beautiful old Victorian House. My non-knitting companion at the conference was amazed by the flooring. Personally, I was more amazed at the silk lace weight that they had! It's a beautiful house and she stocks the first floor with beautiful yarn and roving.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Elyanna's Hat

Part 3 in my crusade to keep the heads of my tiny relatives warm is complete. I finished up the Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap (Ravelry Link) for Elyanna this weekend. It was really fun and easy to make. The finished hat fits on Lily's head, but it was too tight for her to comfortably wear, so Curious George had to step in to model.

Pattern: Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap - directions in both English and Norwegian
Yarn: Claudia's Handpainted fingering weight - Strawberry Latte. I've been coveting this stuff since my LYS started carrying it. For some reason the yardage is a bit slim - 112 yds I think - so I could never justify buying 2 skeins. It's really dreamy to work with though. The color pooling is beautiful.
Needles: Size 2 circular and double point.
Modifications: None. I did the strings by doing the long-tail cast on and then casting off. I really hate making I-cord and this seems to work for me.
Size: This should fit a 15-18 inch head or maybe slightly larger. My gauge was slightly off (as usual) but I knew I wanted this to be big enough for a 6 month old with maybe a bit to spare.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Knit Along With Us

My bloggy friend Knittymuggins and I just started a Knit-a-Long on Ravelry. We're going to be knitting Fiddlehead Mittens from Hello Yarn.

Not my photo. :) Taken with permission from Hello Yarns

The group is located here - everyone is welcome! The more the merrier! The actual KAL starts November 1 and runs through December 31. I can't wait to see what kind of color combos people have and how many mittens get made. I've heard this is a great pattern and is slightly addicting.
I picked out my yarn for this last night. It's not at all my usual colors, so I'm not really sure who these will be going to. I bought 6 skeins of Frog Tree Alpaca in greens and brown. I'm not going to do as many color variations as the pair you see above. I just want to pet the yarn.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Instant Gratification

*Edited to add photos*

Sometimes, you just need a little instant gratification. I feel like I've been working on big projects for so long and they just don't do a lot for the blog. It's hard to take a picture of 3 more inches of a big pink sweater. So I'm on a bit of a hat making jog.

Fancy Nancy Hat -done. I decided to do the Marley curls on top instead of the tulle because I wasn't sure how well tulle would hold up to the Wisconsin winters. It's not quite as Fancy Nancy as I had hoped, but Addie loves it.

Bunny Hat - One ear done at swim lessons last night, one ear to go. It's going to be the cutest freakin' hat you've ever seen on a 2 year old.

Inca Hat - My sister requested this for her littlest one

Yet to be Determined - a pale blue hat for my neice and a yellow & black hat for my nephew (also requested by my sister). I'll have to search the stash to see if I have pale blue yarn. I know I don't have bright yellow - that's just not a color I normally use. I would love to do a bumble bee hat for him, but at 4 I think he might be too old for that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Sometimes, when the weather gets cool and the leaves start changing colors, I rebel and go for a little dose of spring and summer. What is more summery than sherbet? The pretty pastel colors all melting together to make a wonderfully creamy cold treat.

At the same time that I was rebelling against the cold weather we've been getting at night and early in the morning, the practical side of me was digging out hats to send to school and daycare for the girls. I realized that Lily's winter hat from last year wasn't going to fit anymore and that Addie didn't have a really good hat that fit her. She's been wearing a slightly illfitting bear hat that I picked up really cheap last winter. I looked at a couple of shops, but had a really hard time spending $18-$20 on a kids hat. (Somehow I ended up spending around $18 a hat anyway...)Ugly photo that blogger won't let me delete.
Instead I did what any good knitter does. I stopped at the LYS! Yes, I have stash yarn that would probably work, but I didn't have what I really wanted. I wanted a nice soft superwash wool. Something that would keep the girls toasty warm and yet be washable AND supercute.

I found the perfect sherbet-y colors in the perfect worsted weight yarn from Lorna's Laces. It's Shepard Worsted in Happy Valley and Winona. Addie choose which color she liked (I guessed totally wrong! She liked the pink purple blue yellow varigated.) and then picked out her hat pattern. She choose a very plain hat with a very Fancy Nancy foof on top.

Lily on the other hand didn't really seem to care which yarn was hers, she was much more concerned that I make her the Bunny Hat. I was slightly bummed that neither girl wanted a pretty lacey hat, but these hats from Itty Bitty Hats are so sweet that I don't think I could go wrong.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Good Karma

I participated in yet another Good Karma swap on Ravelry. Yet again, I got an awesome swap partner. This time we exchanged with each other, which was kind of fun. I enjoyed getting to know her and felt like we had a lot in common. She doesn't have a blog so I won't link, but I will say that alura (Ravelry ID) is a pretty cool Momma. :)

She gave me this....

Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in Beach Fog. I've really wanted to try out this yarn, but never was willing to pay shipping for sock yarn that I haven't squished in person. I know lots of people who rave about it though.

This... Lantern Moon rosewood needles. And a little black sheep measuring tape. Which is perfect because sometimes I feel like a black sheep. By the way, all photos have been borrowed from their own websites... I am a total slacker/sick person the last couple weeks and haven't taken photos off my camera.

I also got some super cool tan wool/yak blend worsted weight yarn. It's from a local-to-alura place I think. Sorry, don't remember where.

Then to top off the coolness, I got a bag of my favorite coffee (fastest way to my heart), a handmade project bag, and 2 kid size crowns (perfect for the princesses in my life) and 2 coloring books for said princesses. The girls were super excited about their crowns.

So now I had better get crackin' and knit up some of the great yarn I have. I've been feeling a bit guilty about the sheer craziness of the amount of yarn I have. It's. A. Lot. I'm hoping to have a finished project soon too.... My pink cardi is over halfway done. Just in time for fall!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

I have nothing witty to say today. I'm at the tail end of a super nasty cold. It hit me like 3 semi trucks loaded with bricks. It hit me hard. I ran a fever for 4 1/2 days and have a cough that just won't quit. I'm feeling better now, but mostly just want to sleep. It's been a week so every day I get up expecting to feel just fine.

We celebrated my birthday last weekend at the cabin. Our friend from college came with her little boy. The kids all played. I don't think Lily quite understood that this was just a baby - after all, he's 10 months old and the same size as her! She played a little rough, but by the end of the weekend we were able to convince her that he was a baby.

Our friend bought me this yarn for my bithday. The blue is Mountain Colors fingering weight - just over 400 yds. The red is 800 yds of lace weight Misti Alpaca. Pretty! Sorry, no links, I'm tired and I'm running too many windows as it is right now.

I also got a nice gift certificate to my LYS from my Mother-in-law. I headed there yesterday for some low-impact knitting, but haven't bought anything for myself yet. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm getting, but I have so much in my stash right now I want to wait a bit. I'm really hoping I can do some stash elimination for Christmas. Otherwise I'll be on a yarn diet for the new year.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Check This Out

There's been minimal knitting in the Big Blue House by the Shores of Lake Superior this week. I started a new job and have been completely wiped out at night. I've fallen asleep at around 8:30 in Lily's bed every night this week. The information overload at the new job is just over the top. My head is swimming with rates, sizes and projects that are going on.

I'm hoping to get back on track this week and I've found some motivation to do so. Living Crafts magazine. This month is full of fun wool crafts, including a very cool set of felt crowns. I think I'm going to make a couple for Christmas. I think it would be a riot to see my nieces and nephew along with my own girls running around in their crowns. Plus, there's a great resource guide in there for wool roving. Gee, twist my arm to get more spinning done. :)

I guess it's a little neurotic to be planning Christmas presents already, but I have a lot of ideas swimming in my head. I'm hoping to do a lot with the stash I already have. It's going to be Stash Christmas this year!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What's the Story Morning Glory?

Sorry for the blurriness of the photos, I am having camera issues. I haven't been doing a great job of blogging lately and just wanted to catch you up to date on what I'm doing. First, I started a new job today. It's full time so I have all these Mommy Guilt issues to work through. Not to mention the busyness of having a 4 year old's birthday party, closing up things at my old job and the hubby being out of town. It's just a generally busy place around the Up North Household this last month.

We did get out of town for Labor Day weekend. We went to the Minnesota State Fair. I hadn't been there in almost 15 years - not since I was in high school and marching in their parade. I was shocked to see that the price of the All You Can Drink Milk went up to $1! Really it's a deal when you consider that a bottle of water was $2.

I drug my hubby into the Creative Arts building on the off chance that I would see this Blankie. It's Shelly Kang's blankie. I haven't really been keeping up with her blog, so I wasn't sure if she even entered it this year or not, but I knew she had wanted to. This photo doesn't really do it justice, but it's all mitered squares make out of leftover sock yarn. It was beautifully blocked and finished with an I-cord edging. This blanket is amazing in person - way better than any photo can show. There were a lot of other really neat knitted projects. I wish I had known Adam had my camera with so I could have taken more photos. There was an adorable little girl's Fair Isle cardigan with the abc's at the bottom. There were also lots of socks and popular patterns that looked great, but my favorites were by far the ones that people had designed themselves.
I'm tired and heading to bed, but first I want to ask... have you ever entered anything in the fair??

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still Sizzling

It matches our coffee table!
Yarn: Sirino Yarn from Great Adirondack Yarn Company. 50% silk, 50% merino. 100% softness and shine! 675 yds per skein.

Pattern: Sizzle by Knit and Tonic. I was showing my Mom the Sizzle I made for myself and she absolutely loved it. I decided I would make one for her. I'm going to make a few changes... perhaps knit it in the round because I hate to purl, add a picot edging instead of the seed stitch and probably raise the neckline a bit. After all, she is my Mom, she doesn't need to be showing her girls to the world! :)


I'm plugging away on the pink and brown yarn even though the Olympics are over. I have a portion of the back done. So not that hot really. I only medaled in one category, but it really gave me a good idea of what I could do in 18 days. By the way, did I tell you that I decided not to do the shrug after all? After all that knitting of swatches, I decided that I probably wouldn't get the use out of a shrug that I would get out of a sweater. So instead I'm making a shawl collar cardigan from the same Needful Yarns pattern booklet. I'd link it, but I guess Needful Yarns has gone out of business and I can't find any photos anywhere.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Medal Stand

It's cuter than Shawn Johnson, almost as fast as Michael Phelps and is winning more than Misty Mays and Carrie Walsh. It's a EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. I used EZ's pattern with help from Dawn Adcock. Her notes really helped to demystify the process. This was really fun to knit.

The yarn is Cascade 220 which I got at 20% off - oh yeah baby! Actually I was a little annoyed to have to buy yarn for this. I have a ton of stash yarn. I had planned to use some homespun that was in my stash (my mom bought it for me years ago). However, as part of the Ravelympics team for a LYS, I got a 20% discount on the yarn for one project. When I explained what I was doing and asked if I could use the discount at a different time, they were very prickly. They only wanted me to use the discount on this particular project. I also picked up a circular needle at the same time. They asked me if I was going to use this particular needle on my Ravelympics project. I said I didn't know because I needed to see if I got gauge. Since I wasn't sure I was going to use that needle, I didn't get the discount. Ergh. That's probably why I don't shop at that store very often.

I have enough yarn left over in the green and yellow to make a matching hat (with maybe enough brown to do a cute accent on it) and maybe socks.

This one will be sent off to Warm Woolies as soon as the hat and socks are done. I did try this on both girls and completely fell in love with it on. I was amazed to see that on a 4 year old, it becomes a super sweet short sleeved sweater. I am going to experiment with more stitches across the back and see if it comes out right for her. I'm determined to use stash yarn on this.

I also finished my Sizzle from Knit and Tonic. Despite the horrible picture, I love it. I'm going to have Adam take some nice photos on Saturday, but I wanted to get this up. I've already bought more yarn for another one of these for a gift.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Olympic Saga Continues...

*Warning: Not so cute kid story ahead*

I woke up early Saturday morning to Lily saying, "I go potty Momma." Fantastic. What more (other than 2 more hours sleep) could a mom ask for? A not quite 2 1/2 year old that gets out of bed and goes potty by herself is pretty spectacular. Well... almost.

I walked downstairs (some could argue sleepwalked) to make a pot of coffee. I found that all of my knitting notions were strewn across the living room floor. There were 2 inch pins used to make stitch markers everywhere. Lily had glass beads still clutched in her hot little hands. Tape measures strung out like drunken Christmas lights, basically it looked like a frat party had happened in my knitting bag.

It wasn't until I walked upstairs to the bathroom that I realized that there was poop smeared all over the floor. Fantastic. Lily had pooped in her Pull-Up (night-time safety device) and had tried to take care of the situation herself. So I washed the floor, the toilet and the little potty.

I went back downstairs to flop on the loveseat (no couch, long story) with my hot cup of coffee when I realized that there was poop smeared on my WHITE loveseat. Now the loveseat is not new - we got it secondhand and I've been trying to keep it covered by a thin throw. However, it's all we've got at this point. To make matters worse, she also managed to smear poop on my yarn. Yep, the yarn for the shrug that I struggled with all day the day before.

The yarn is washed and is drying in the windowsill.

It's a sign. I cast on for my backup project. A Baby Surprise Jacket with Cascade 220. Pictures coming soon.

Friday, August 8, 2008

On Your Mark, Get Set, Cast On....

Katia Tundra - 197 yds, worsted weight, 50% wool-40% acrylic-10% viscose

I got up this morning at 6:00 am in order to cast on for the Ravelympics at 7:00am which is the offical start of the Olympic Games in Beijing. I was a little annoyed to find out that our local NBC affiliate isn't actually airing the opening ceremonies until 8pm Central time. Ugh, we're a whole 12 hours behind. It annoys me that I can find out who won individual events before they are aired.

Anyway, I cast on.

I checked gauge.

I ripped out.

I cast on with a different needle size.

I went to work.

I stopped by the LYS (not my normal one but one that's hosting a team). I check gauge.

I ripped out.

I bought new smaller needles

I cast on with said needles.

I checked gauge. I'm much closer.... I'm going to do another inch and see if I'm distorting the fabric while I measure. I'm hoping another inch will make a difference.

Oh well, every Olympian has to work hard to get the gold. Everyone has trials to overcome. My trial just happens to be swatching.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I love this feeling!

It's the feeling you get when you can almost taste a finished object. This is drying today and by tonight I should be able to seam it and just start the neck and arm edging. I am meeting a group to knit tonight so it should be done shortly. The jury is out on whether it will fit or not, but I'm thinking positive.

The really good news is that I should be done in time to start the Ravelympics projects I have planned. I'm being overly ambitious and listing 3 projects I would like to get done - a wip that just needs sleeves, a shrug and a baby surprise sweater (for donation to Warm Woolies). Starting at 7am central time on Friday I'm going to be a knitting machine!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Down the Rabbit Hole

I finally fell down the rabbit hole that every other knitter seems to eventually do. I purchased a drop spindle from Hello Yarn. Actually Knittymuggins helped me with this a bit. She was so sweet to buy me a gift certificate back in March to cheer me up. I've been watching the yarn come and quickly go on Hello Yarn for quite some time. This time, when the yarn was posted I pounced on it. I bought some sock weight in "Fruitbowl." Not quite my normal colors, but I think it will be great with a neutral color in the Fiddlestick mittens. Anyway, the gift certificate was for slightly more than the yarn and I needed to use it all up so I got a drop spindle as well.

Let me say that I have no idea what I'm doing. Anything I've learned (I've probably learned wrong) I've learned from watching YouTube and reading online. I found KnitSix which was very helpful. I also think I'm spinning backwards from most people since I hold the spindle in my left hand. Comes from looking at photos of spinners while trying to figure it out I guess. :)

I also ran into a very helpful resource that only lives 1 1/2 hours away. In this neck of the woods, that's *almost* local. She owns Northern Dyeworks in Ashland, WI. She's also NorthernDyes on Ravelry. She brought me some great fiber to play with from Ashland Bay. I am completely in love with the Mojave merino multi that they have. I'm saving my 2 oz until I'm a better spinner. I might even have to save my pennies until I can buy more of it - it's that pretty.

This is the first yarn I spun. The yellowish green came as a tiny sample from Hello Yarn. The rest I bought at my LYS. It's pretty loosely spun bulky weight. I think there's enough there to knit a baby/toddler hat. I'm pretty crazy proud of that yarn even though no knitter in their right mind would pay money for such fuggly stuff. :) Still, it's mine and I like it. In fact, I might even name it and start talking to it I like it so much.

Yeah, I like my crazy subtle too. :)

Send fiber to:
Crazy Yarn Lady
Big Blue House
South Shore of Lake Superior
(Don't worry, there's handspun yarn hanging on my doorknob, the mailman will know exactly who I am!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Inspiration

My Inspiration
Phoeknits is having a contest. The rules are easy, just post 3 or more pictures of what inspires you and email Phoe with the link to your blog. You can win pretty jewelry and some yumm-o pink yarn. Pretty Pretty!

So this is what inspires me...
Lake Superior - whenever I need to calm down or just relax I head to one of the many spots in the area that I can watch the waves crash. Lake Superior is never dull, the waves can be crazy huge and from our vantage point we can't see land on any other side. It feels vast and huge and makes me feel like a tiny speck whose problems are really not that big of a deal.
Finished Objects - mainly someone else's. How can seeing a sock drawer like that not make you want to knit up a storm!
Babies - I love knitting for the wee ones. They're so cute and adorably tiny. They don't say they hate the color or pretend they love something and shove it into a drawer never to be worn again. Every baby deserves a hand knit hat or sweater.
Yarn - I walk into a yarn store or troll online for yarn and the possibilities are endless. Maybe it's the wool fumes talking, but I love playing with the yarn and dreaming about what it could become. The other day I woke up from a dream with a very intense blue/teal color in my head and now I'm trying to find that color. I don't know what it will become but I'm on a mission to find the color yarn I was dreaming about.
I'm a country girl at heart - I am at home walking down a wooded road or driving through country roads looking at the dairy farms around where I grew up. Whatever I make has to be functional. Pretty is great, but it's got to do something for me. For instance, I think the Felt Rocks are very funky and interesting, but I just can't get what I would *do* with them.

The only thing left to say is, "Pick me, pick me!" Go on over to Phoeknits and join in on the fun.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Miles and Miles of Stockinette

I remember now why I don't knit items for myself. Miles and miles of stockinette sucks. I don't find it at all calming, I find it mind numbingly boring.

This is the back of my Sizzle tank. It's all stockinette with an increase or decrease row thrown in every so often. All I can think about as I'm knitting is what I'll do if this doesn't fit me. Who will I gift it to? I sure as h*** don't want it thrown into a pile on a bedroom floor never to be worn. This morning as I was knitting I thought maybe if it doesn't fit me I'll have a Knitting Gallery ala Knitting Daily and let my commenters figure out who looks best.

What makes me most anxious about this not fitting (besides the fact that I don't want to give it to someone who wouldn't appreciate it) is that this morning I decided to change to a circular needle. The straight needles were making my wrists hurt from all the weight hanging on them. However when I picked up a size 6 circular, it looked too big. I got out my needle gauge. Sure enough the labeled size 6 bamboo needle is actually a 5. Go figure. I'm knitting to stitch gauge, however I didn't check row gauge. I might need a margarita for this one folks!

Monday, July 21, 2008


I'm competing in the Olympics! Well, if knitting truly counts as a sport (I think it should - you try doing miles of stockinette - it's an endurance sport!) It's the Ravelympics on

Basically you choose what you would like to knit. It's something that should be a challenge for you to finish during the span of the Olympic Games. I'm competing in Work In Progress Wrestling (trying to finish up at least the pinwheel sweater and maybe another oldie but goodie that's hanging out there) and I'm also lobbying the Ravelympic Committee to allow Whitewater Shrugging. I've got a great shrug that I'm planning on knitting out of my stash. Mostly anyway, I may have to dip into emergency yarn funds at the very end if I don't have enough yarn to finish it.

To compete you must belong to a team. I'm on Team Yarn Harbor - a local yarn store that I sometimes frequent. Wish me luck and perhaps send moral support my way during the Olympics, I may have bitten off more than I can knit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool - in forest
I bought 4 skeins last week to start working on Sizzle from Knit and Tonic. Since the yarn has a little tweed in it, I'm not sure the tank will sizzle, but it will definitely pop!

For some reason this yarn is making my arm go all crazy again. My arm is sore from my elbow all the way through my thumb. I'm not sure if it's because the yarn is dk weight or if it doesn't have enough stretch and bounce in it or what my issue is. All I know is that I'm popping ibuprofen and using the heating pad. It's sort of pathetic to have a knitting injury. I moved my computer mouse to the left side of my computer, hoping that it helps to not have that repetitive motion every day.

In other knitting news, I'm also swatching for a lace shawl. It's #32 from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2007. (Ravelry Link here) We're doing an informal Knitalong at Fabric Works in Superior, so stop on by on Saturday mornings if you're a local.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Somebody Get This Girl an Agent

Addie knew that she wanted to pose with one of Mommy's flowers.

Too sweet! Give that girl a modeling contract!
The Deets:
Pattern: Emli Hat from the blue blog
Yarn: dk weight cotton - all without ball bands, all part of hats donated to the hospital back when I was pregnant with Lily. Boy, it's nice to get some of that old yarn used up.
Modifications: None really. I used green for the "stem" and then changed pinks as the balls ran out. It was a great stash reduction hat.

Addie wore the hat all weekend. We went to a Taste of Greece festival in Duluth on Sunday and then down to the Lakewalk. People stopped Addie wherever we were and asked her if Grandma made her hat. Like a good daughter, Addie said no. "My Momma made it just for me." I should have had a stash of them in my purse, I could have made some cash for the girl's college savings account!

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's a Bird, It's a Plane....

This did not look blurry at home this morning!

It's Super-SOCK! No, it's really not a sock, although it is the Embossed Leaves pattern from Favorite Socks. It's the Emli hat from Alison at the blue blog. I'm knitting it out of all my leftover cotton from projects I have forgotten. I used up about half of my green, all of the pale pink, probably all of the dark pink and I may even add one more color in there - a variegated pink/purple. This pattern is a lot of fun - way more fun than I would have expected. I'm at the point where the brim flairs out and it's just flying along. I think this should fit Lily beautifully. Perfect on a day like today when it's barely 50 degrees F!

Monday, July 7, 2008

An Honest to God Knitting Post

I finished a project for me!! It's the Mia Shrug from Yarn is My Metier. I finished it at my grandparent's on July 3rd. My Grandpa, always dry, asked me where the rest of my sweater went. While we were at the cabin I asked Katherine to model it for me, since I knew exactly what photos I wanted taken.

Yarn - Manos Silk Blend - almost 3 skeins in Pewter. I probably have enough left to do either the cuffs or the flowers along the neckline.
Pattern - Mia Shrug (Ravelry link this time)
Modifications - None, I left it very simple without adding the cuffs or collar which I think suits the yarn and color well. The pattern is written so that you take all your measurements first, then knit to fit. I love this as I have rather wide shoulders. You can tell that it's a little wide on Katherine, but otherwise a nice fit.
The girls would like to send a shout out to Crazy Uncle Matty, Katherine and all the folks that were at Cabin Time this year.