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 Ravelry.com

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.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I've Got Nuthin'

I've got nothing for knitting pictures right now. I'm so close to the end of my shrug I can almost taste it. I have about an inch or so of ribbing to do, sew up the sleeves then decide if I want a finished cuff or not. In the meantime, here are some before and after shots of the back yard. We've been working really hard on this.

This spot by the back steps always looks so cluttered. I have pots of tomatoes, beans and flowers here, but we're really not good about weed wacking. So it always looks terrible. This is the main door we come in and out of so it can really make or break someone's day seeing this every day.

Beside the back steps we have this little indentation. It gets full afternoon sun, plus the dryer is vented out here, so everything has to be very sun resistant. I planted some irises and another plant in a desperate attempt to make this bush look a little less lonely, but all it did was make mowing back there even more difficult.

Improvements... I planted a ton more flowers back here. Some Peruvian Daffodils, some poppies, some random spreading plants. I also added the leaves (that we raked and placed around the house for added insulation last fall) as mulch to keep the weeks down. Adam helped a lot with this. It was his idea to add the blocks. Adam had found the blocks a few years ago and they had just been living in part of my garden. I'm happy that they have a new home! The gutters will get replaced and put up shortly. They came down when we resided the roof - since we made some changes to the house, we needed to get a few new pieces of gutter.

This was the first improvement I did. Adam ended up redoing it so that the block fit up snuggly against the sidewalk. It will fit 2-3 planters nicely. The goofy thing on the container in back is a Wall-O-Water. It insulates the tomato so our growing season can be longer. Traditionally we do not get hot enough weather for long enough in the summer to have a really good tomato crop. I'm hoping this helps with that. The tiki torches are something we do every once in awhile. :)

The other side of the steps. I planted more Peruvian Daffodils in the pots in the back (tiered stand). The daffodils are from my fantastic gardening Grandma. They need to be dug up and taken in every winter, so I thought clustering them in pots might be the easiest way to do that. I placed the block under the tiered planter 2 weekends ago. (Adam finished up the front part for me.) I planted morning glories all around the block. I'm hoping they will twine their way up the planter and onto the deck. I put a Gerbera daisy and moss roses in the next container and some bush green beans with more moss roses in the front one.

My sweet little neighbor next door keeps telling me that our back yard looks "Very inviting," so I guess we're doing something right. I think it looks cluttered with the 2 grills, kiddie pool, sandbox, and multiple toys. :) Oh well, baby steps, right? If we can get what we currently have to be easier to maintain, I will be happy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Winner Announced!

See what I've been up to? I found this fun barrette idea at Angry Chicken and just had to try it out. Mine don't look nearly as nice as hers, mostly because I hate my sewing machine with a passion and try to do everything without one. So, these are hand sewn and look hand sewn. And I'm pretty much ok with that. I love this idea though. I used great big barrettes that I picked up cheap at Target and the felt I found at Michaels. It took me about 15 minutes to cut and sew one. I imagine if I did it assembly line style it would go faster, but I was just checking this out.

I want to thank everyone who gave me hat ideas. I haven't decided on any hats yet, but I've checked them all out and printed out a few patterns. I really appreciate everyone who leaves me comments. I love comments - even from my little sister when she's a bit snarky. :) Love you Sis'!

The winner is.... (drumroll).... Carly. I put one name in the hat for each idea you gave me and had Addie pick out a winner. She was very excited to do the picking. Carly, email me at knittingupnorth at gmail dot com with your address. I have a very cool sock kit that I will send out to you. :)