Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Moving!

I'm moving the blog over to another site and retitling it Knitting Up North.

Please find me at

Hopefully there will be a fun addition to the blog soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ohh ohh ohh

I love getting boxes in the mail! Even when I know something is coming, I still get it excited when it arrives.

This is 1 pound of Yak/Alpaca. I split it with alcarin (Ravelry ID). It's kind of an odd story how this came about.

This one time, at knitting camp (Sock Summit), I sat down next to some complete strangers. We talked about the great things in the marketplace and all the things we coveted (I strongly considered Socks That Rock Sock Club). Carin told us about some yak alpaca that was being sold because it was over processed for commercial spinning. She and I decided to split 2 lbs. Since my share arrived, I've been dreaming of a February Lady Sweater.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Boyfriend Hat

I took a little break from the Cinxia and Clapotis to whip up a Boyfriend hat for my nephew. Directions are at

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 superwash wool in 004, a dark grey.

Mods: I cast on 90 and worked for just over 5" before starting the decreases. It used exactly one ball of yarn.

I'm thinking of doing a bunch of these in other colors as gifts for Christmas. This one took me just over a day to knit.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Send Me Your Stories

Do you have a stash so large you could run a yarn store out of your home?

Do you have to bribe yourself to finish projects?

What's your oldest WIP?

I'm working on a new project and could use some help. Send me your Knotty Knitting stories (all the ones fit to print or speak) at knittingupnorth at gmail dot com. I'll tell you the details of the project soon.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Last night was Wednesday Night at the Races in Superior. The people who organize Grandmas Marathon put on little races for kids each week at a different park. Addie and Lily (and I) ran in the 4 and under category. Before we started I told Addie to run as fast as she could but if we got separated to just follow the other kids to the finish line. I should have told her to run like the wind, because she came in 3rd!

Afterwards we went to Culvers for dinner.

Addie wasn't too impressed with the dairy-free lemon ice I got for Lily ( be sure they use a clean scoop!) but when her friend AJ came to the table with an M&M sundae, she was lovin' it. What a great way to cap off one of our warmest nights this suet.

-- Post From My iPhone

There are Not Words

There really are not words for the wonderful time I had at Sock Summit. I came home inspired by the knitting greats that I had met. My head is whirling with design and color ideas.

Daisy Muir bag - quite possibly one of my best purchases.

The other thing that has come about from SS09 is renewed energy to finish up UFOs. I took out my Clapotis again (Touched by Heather Ordover and seen in a photo with Stephanie Pearl McPhee!) and might even consider picking up a cotton baby blanket.

The Clap - modified

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sock Summit Day 1

The spinning wheel & I made it through the flight just fine. Despite all of the experts in Adam's office, the wheel fit just fine in the overhead compartment.

My first class was with Stephen from HizKnits. It was a funny class - I learned there is no lace in men's socks. However replace the YO with a make one and you might be in business.

And now, some photos...

The line to get into Marketplace.

And famous faces! That's a Kinneared photo of Stephanie Pearl McPhee.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I'm testing out the blogging app from my phone before I get to Portland for Sock Summit. I am expecting lots of yarny goodness and a great time. Hopefully the hassels getting my spinning wheel on the plane will be small and the seafood will be plentiful!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Please Discuss

Twisted Stockinette. (knit through the back loops on RS, purl normally on WS)

Important design element or pain in the butt?

Please discuss.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

After a particularly rough week at work, a week that questions my ability to even do my job, I find myself with some free time. Adam is taking the girls to a baseball game that his friends from work are playing in. It's a fundraiser for the Northern Lights Foundation. I have some free time of undetermined length. Adam will most likely get called into work today at some point, we just don't know exactly when.

So I think I'm headed to the LYS for a little spinning. I really need to clear off my bobbins and get some practice before Sock Summit. I have one little bolero jacket (Addie's) blocking before being sewn together and a baby sock almost done. Although I have huge projects waiting in the wings to be completed/started, I'm feeling like I'm in a bit of a knitting lull. Nothing has to be done on a timeline. It feels really good!

If you have any good job karma lying around, please send it my way. Otherwise, I'll be knitting, spinning and trying to forget that Monday is just on the other side of tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Supersize This!

Do you think it would be possible to upsize this vest to an adult size? There are sizings for up to a 7 year old. Could I use a heavier weight yarn to size it up to a woman's 6?

Obviously I'm going a little nutty. I need one more project like I need a hole in my head. I'm working on the first of two Sidar Shrugs for the girls to wear in a wedding this fall. Addie's shrug is coming along nicely. It's actually going very quickly. I'm a little worried about doing 2 that are exactly the same. However, I decided (very wisely I think) to work the larger of the two shrugs first. That way the second one will go that much quicker. Or that's my theory anyway.

I'm also working on spinning up some wool so that I can empty my bobbins. (And practice spinning thin yarn!) I need 4 empty bobbins for the spinning class at Sock Summit. I actually only have 3 bobbins, one of which is partially full. So... a spinning I will go. I'm hoping to take the wheel "camping" with us this weekend.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finished Object

Photo that should be of finished socks... Imagine socks the color of the lily pads.

I started off the month on the right foot. I finished yet another knitting project. After spending what seems like an inordinate amount of time on projects that never quite get done, I'm happy to have finished 2 projects worth blogging about.

The problem? Well, I didn't take any pictures of the finished socks. I finished the second sock on the way to my sister's birthday lunch. The only photo I have of the socks is one at the playground of the sock-in-progress while the kids play in the background. (multi-tasking) So, if you want to see what the socks look like, we'll have to ask my sister. And find her a date while you're at it. :)

The Deets:
Hybrid Socks
Pattern: It's a Hybrid - I cast on 60 stitches; knit 9, purl 1, repeat all the way around until the cuff is as long as you'd like it to be. I should have just gone on to a generic heel at that point, but I was getting a little bored with generic and decided to do something different. So I got out the Cat Bordhi book - New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I really like the way these fit, in fact I think they're the best fitting socks I've made so far. Too bad they don't live at my house!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July

It's the 3rd of July, I have a rare day off and it's finally warming up. I'm going to blow off the housework for now and go outside and pull weeds. When I'm done with that, I'm going to set up my reclining lawn chair and knit. Just sit in the sun and knit.

So today, I give you a Friday Fill-In.


Graphic courtesy of Tonya! we go!

1. When I heard yelling from the other room, I ignored it and hoped that Addie and Lily could work out their problem on their own.

2. Ice and Ibuprofen are the best medicine. (Fight club is kicking our butts lately)

3. It's late, but there's still a lot of the day left!

4. Laugh always.

5. My eyes have seen the girls make up their own rules to Shoots and Ladders.

6. Love strongly.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time playing with the girls, tomorrow my plans include a parade and a cookout with new friends and Sunday, I want to eat deep fried pickles and sing Happy Birthday to my little sister!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sleepy Sherriff Sleep Sack

Every Baby Needs One of These

Pattern: Sleepy Time from Pipsqueak Knits. I found a bunch of patterns in this book that are absolutely adorable. The only problem from my perspective is that all the patterns are knitted flat and seamed. I'm really not a huge fan of seaming.

Yarn: Babyboo by Knit One Crochet Too, in Lime.

Modifications: OK, where do I start? To keep the long explanation short, I knit this in the round. I cast on, did the garter stitch bottom and added the eyelets for the drawstring bottom, then just started kniting it. I knit, and knit, and knit. I divided up the front for the button band and just kept going. I got up to the shoulders and bound off. That's when it hit me that I didn't leave an opening for the arms. It's one long tube of knitting. Much swearing ensued. All of this happened in the car on a very long car ride to South Dakota with two children. I blame that for the insanity that happened next.

I decided that there is absolutely no reason why I couldn't just steek the arms. After all, it's just knitting. I can reinforce around the steek and then just cut. What's the worst that could happen? Did I mention that since we were driving through SD at the time, I didn't have any time to research steeks since the entire eastern part of the state seems to be without wireless access or AT&T? I've read about steeking. I've heard lots of people say it's really not that bad.

Wellll.... let me tell you the worst that can happen. You can end up with the entire top of the outfit completely falling apart. Apparently the bamboo doesn't hold together the way a garmet made out of wool would. It falls apart exactly like your worst nightmare about steeking. Afterwards, I learned this from Eunny Jang,

"Steeks are useless, of course, if they unravel into the body of a sweater - different methods need to be applied to different yarns to ensure that this doesn't happen. To wit:

  • The traditional, unreinforced steek relies on slight as-you-work felting to hold the cut edge together. Along with tight gauge and frequent color changes, extremely "sticky" yarn is needed to make it happen. Shetland wool, with all its little fuzzy bits and scaly, wiry hairs, works beautifully. Other extremely grabby yarns may work, too.
  • Hand-sewn and crocheted steeks have some extra sturdiness from the applied reinforcement, but the real work is still done by the natural hold of the yarn - the reinforcement merely holds the strands in the close alignment needed. All yarns that felt are good candidates.
  • Machine-sewn steeks are very firm, with the machine stitching providing all the hold needed to stabilize the cut edge. Since the stitching does all the work, smooth, slippery yarns can be used. Beware, though - machine sewing and handknits don't get along particularly well; I often find that machine-stitched knits have an unpleasant stiffness that interrupts the fluidity and drape that are the chief pleasures of knitted fabric.
  • Wound steeks, which are purposely unraveled to the edge and darned in, end by end, don't need to stay together and are therefore suitable for any type of yarn."
Since no one in their right mind would define bamboo yarn as sticky, I should have known I would have a problem. So I ripped all the bits and pieces of bamboo yarn back to the bottom of the armpits and knit the garmet as 3 pieces from that point on. Other than ripping a sleeve out because I failed to read the directions, "at the same time," I proceeded to finish the sleep sack without incident.

Rumor has it that the parents really like the sleep sack even though the baby is still too small for it. I think it will come in very handy come fall. I'm particulary proud of the button choice - the daddy is in law enforcement and I think the buttons are perfect!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sock Summit Update

Socks from my Sock It To Me pal.

I found a roommate for Sock Summit. Thanks for the tips. I bit the bullet and posted a request on Ravelry. I found someone and I think it will work out well. I hope anyway!

My plane ticket is bought. I have a place to stay. I think I'm committed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club, is you don't talk about Fight Club. So all I'll tell you is that I am wiped out. Wiped out and bruised in some very odd places. The back of my calf, under my chin and my glutes. Lots of falling on my glutes.

I did finish a very cute baby gift that I am planning on blogging shortly (I would be blogging about it now, but I haven't downloaded the photos from my camera yet and it feels like a very long walk across the house to get it).

I'm working on a pair of socks. A hybrid pair - sort of a made up cuff with a Cat Bordhi heel. This will be the first in my Summer of Socks challenge (you can look it up on Ravelry, I don't even have the energy to post a link. I promise I'll post it later)

Lots of hybernating projects are staring at me.

So that's it. I'll try to post more frequently... I've fallen off the Blogger bandwagon and I know I need to get back on. Thanks for the encouragement and questions about where I've gone. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Outside My Comfort Zone

The trees are in bloom all around our house

I am doing something way way outside my comfort zone this summer. I registered for Sock Summit 2009. Don't ask me how I managed to find a spot, I just happened to check the website at the right time when there were still some classes available. I managed to luck out and miss most of the horrible craziness that went on at the beginning. When I couldn't get through right at 9 PDT, I went to a meeting and checked the website later in the afternoon.

So here's the comfort zone issue. I don't know anyone who is going to this.
Not a single soul.
I don't have a roommate.
I don't have a plane ticket yet.
I am freaking out.
I don't even know if there's a hotel room within walking distance to be had in the city of Portland.

So if you know of anyone (it could be a friend of a friend) who is going to Sock Summit, please let me know. Help!

P.S. There is much knitting going on in the Big Blue House. There seems to have been a plethora of spring babies born to our friends so I am trying to crank out the baby gifts. Photos to come.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Everyone needs a little bit of sparkly fiber in their life! I found this batt (3.75 oz) at the Shepards Harvest Festival over Mothers Day weekend. I completely overspent on all the wonderful fibers - although I went knowing that I would overspend and being OK with that fact. Hey, when your husband's lounging on some beach in Ft Lauderdale and you're in 45 degree weather in Florida, you are allowed to overindulge.

Speaking of fiber, I know a friend of a friend who is giving away 1-2 lbs of wool straight off the sheep. I don't know if it's been cleaned, carded, etc. I know nothing about it. But let me know if you're at all interested and I'll check into it for you.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I've got several projects on the needles, but none ready to be photographed yet. We took this picture at my in-laws on Easter morning and I think it deserves to be seen. As you can tell, I'm pretty proud of my little family. The girls continue to amaze me with how fast they are growing and learning. We went to Kindergarten Roundup last week and it took everything I had not to cry through the entire thing. My baby is going to Kindergarten!

On Thursday at knit night, the owner of my LYS was wearing this. She made it out of a Cascade yarn that has linen mixed in with the wool - it was stunning. It's going to end up in my queue. In fact, the owner is ordering the yarn for me already and I'm going to use the gift certif I got for Mothers Day for it.

I'm also contemplating a lace tablecloth for my brother-in-law for his wedding in October. I know he appreciates knitted items and I thought that might be fun. Does anyone have any great pattern ideas?? I'm thinking a large circular shawl would work well. Am I totally nuts?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swatch You Doin'?

One of my coworkers has decided that she no longer wanted a cubic ton of Debbie Bliss merino aran in an army green color and slightly less yardage of a very nondescript tan. She offered them to me at an extremely reduced price. It seems like someone I know likes those colors...

Oh yes, it's Adam. The man that truly believes that army green (usually camo) coordinates with nearly everything in his closet. (To give the man his due, he does realize that you don't wear a tie with camo pants.) Now, you may think I'm being mean or snarky - I'm not - I have photographic evidence.

Here's the kicker. I have very successfully not knit Adam a sweater up to this point. I have knit him hats and scarfs, but no sweaters. I maintain that this is because of his crazy long arms. I'd be knitting those arms forever! It's basically the same reason I don't knit him socks - I just don't have that kind of attention span. I have the attention span of a gnat. Plus, the man is always overheating. He's not really a sweater kind of guy. However, when I mentioned that I might have enough yarn to make him a sweater, his eyes sort of lit up. I was thinking maybe a nice ribbed two tone sort of sweater, nothing fancy. Oh no, he has his heart set on cables. Elizabeth Zimmerman style.

So following EZ's advice, I made a swatch hat. Kid size. Now that's something that can hold my attention.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


It's a....

Baby Surprise Jacket!

It's an Elizabeth Zimmerman classic and one that I've done before. I cheat and use Dawn Adcock's notes. She gives you stitch counts for each row. This sweater was knit completely from Dawn's notes without checking the pattern for anything other than the recommended gauge. This sweater is headed to Baby Elliot. He's a month old but still tiny - he's smaller right now than either of my children were as newborns! Granted, I have big babies... but still!

Yarn: Malabrigo - have I mentioned that I love this yarn?
Needle: Size 5 16" circular
Modifications: None. (Wow! That's two in a row that I've knit as written!) I kitchenered the shoulders shut, which makes for a very nice seam.

The beauty of this sweater is that even though it is May, along the shore of Lake Superior we have been known to wear sweaters all summer long. It gets chilly at night and if the wind switches off the lake, it's downright cold.

If I get my act in gear, Baby Elliot might get a pair of booties in matching Kidsilk Haze to go with the sweater.

Lil' Buddy

What: Buddy Bag from Anny Purls.
Yarn: Mostly worsted weight ella rae in 100% wool.
Needles: size 5 for the bag, 3 for the I-Cord and decorative bits.
Modifications: None. Can you believe it? I was tempted to put the bird on the branch and call it good, but I made the nest anyway.

38" of I-Cord didn't take me quite as long as I thought it would. However, it still wasn't a ton of fun to slog through. The I-Cord works as the backpack straps, you start at the lower left side, bring it up through one of the picot holes, thread it through 1 1/2 times around the top and end up in the lower right corner. I'm lining it with a pretty purple lilac fabric.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

Obviously I did not read the pattern all the way through.

3 Feet of I-Cord.

3. Feet.

That's a lot of I-Cord.

I'm making a Buddy Bag for our LYS bag challenge. The idea is that you make a bag (any bag) and bring it into the store. The bags will be on display for a couple of weeks while people vote on them. Then they'll be donated to the PAVSA art auction to raise money. I needed a pattern that I could finish in a week.

Of course, now each girl wants a packpack of their own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Burnin' Down the House

Schoppel Wolle in Burnt Almonds

Well, I'm certainly not burning down the house with blog posts. I'm sorry, I just haven't felt the urge to blog lately, I've been completely swamped at work. I'm really hoping things will settle down soon. I also have been having a hard time because I haven't felt like I've really been knitting anything worthy of the blog - not that that has stopped me in the past. Oh yes, and my youngest has decided that it is perfectly acceptable to run around screaming until 10:30 at night. I put her to bed, she pops back out.

I did 16 baby hats in March.

I finished up my Sock It To Me III socks. Which I never took photos of...

I am almost done with a Baby Surprise Jacket.

I am looking forward to knitting Firestarters. I'm using Shoppel Wolle in Burnt Almonds. I'm very excited about this yarn. It's a single ply, super soft wool/nylon blend. I picked up one ball of the Burnt Almond, and one of the Tropical Fish. One of the girls at my LYS seemed to think that the Tropical Fish would go very fast. I couldn't let someone else get it before me!!

That's it folks, that's all I've got in me today.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Went on a Bender...

I have been really well behaved this month (or at least I was well behaved). I've only bought one skein of yarn since Lent began. I've been knitting hats for the Optimist Challege out of stash. Lots and lots of stash baby! I probably should have kept track....

Hmm... 13 hats and I get about 2 hats per skein so roughly 6 skeins of yarn. Not bad in one month! The sad thing is, I'm not sure that it really made a dent in my stash.

So today I went to the LYS to (get out of the house) get some uninterrupted knitting time. I finished up one hat and made another in the time that I was there! As I was sitting there, being tempted by all the new yarns, I realized that I have hardly any blue yarn in my stash. And since our friends just had a baby boy, I will have to knit something blue. I have to, it's not even an option, it's a compulsion. I picked up 2 skeins of Malabrigo (are you shocked? I think it's my absolute fav of all time) and 2 skeins of Kidsilk Haze. The Malabrigo is chocolate brown with aqua and will be a baby surprise jacket and the kidsilk (one skein of aqua, one of brown) will be booties.

I was also drooling over this hard core... it's Malabrigo silky marino. Maybe after Lent.

Back to knitting hats... I haven't really made any progress on my list of things to knit that I posted back in February. Hats, hats, everywhere hats.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Are You Sick of Baby Hats Too?

I'm getting kind of sick of baby hats. Yes, they are instant gratification, but knitting a hat a day or one every day and a half is getting a little old. I'd like to intersperse them with other knitting, but I just can't take the time. Not when the other team is pulling so far ahead! Does anyone have any good speedy hat patterns that they would like to share? Mostly I'm using up my supply of worsted weight yarn. I seem to have a lot of single skeins and those hats go pretty fast.

Are you ready for a bit of random? I promised some photos of my spinning a while back. Here it is.... The Sandstone from Ashland Bay Co. - it's 70/30 merino and silk. It was also my first attempt at Navajo plying. Overall I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I have a few sections that are overspun, but mostly it came out very nice. It's thicker than I had intended it to be, but that was because I forgot that Navajo plying gives you 3 plys instead of 2. Extreme close up.

I'm really happy with the colors in this yarn. I was worried about them becoming too muddy, but I think the pastels really held up well.

More random... someone from work was getting rid of 21 skeins of Debbie Bliss merino aran in a mossy green color and a very light tan. Theoretically it should be enough to make Adam a sweater. I'm having a hard time finding a pattern that he likes and that I would enjoy making. He saw a zip up cabled cardigan in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Opinionated Knitter that he thinks he might like. I am a little worried about
1. whether there is enough yarn in the green since I think that a 2 color cabled cardigan might look a little odd and
2. if I can follow the pattern. I did a swatchcap as EZ recommends and that worked out well enough. I like that there is very little seaming involved in her patterns. The problem, of course, is that she is just so darn vague. The women in the yarn shop assure me that if I can do cabeling (which I can) and if I've done a baby surprise sweater without issues (which I have) I can do any EZ pattern. And of course that I can always go in and ask for help if it's needed.

The stomach flu has hit both girls this week (we cancelled Lily's birthday party that was scheduled for this afternoon). So I'm going to enjoy the fact that my house is fairly clean and just sit and knit and maybe even nap. Happy Random Saturday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Hats

I finished another 4 hats over the last week. When I brought them into the Optimist club, I found out that one of the men had knit 7 over the last week. Another man had knit 13! Apparently he had been knitting on the loom while watching the state hockey tournaments. I've recruited a couple of women with looms to be on my team so that I might have a fighting chance! I'm telling everyone that Slow and Steady might just win this race. I figure I have staying power.

I found this great pattern on Ravelry. It's free from WoollyWormHead. It goes very quickly, I've finished 2 1/2 so far.

And another squash hat from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders.
Even if I don't win the hat knitting contest for my team, it's really been interesting to see how many hats our little club can knit.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Knittin' for Britain

(My own made up pattern)
There's an older gentleman in my Optimist club (he was one of the founding members 61 years ago) who often comments on my knitting during meetings. He always says that I remind him of the saying, "knittin' for Britain," during WWII. Well, I haven't been knitting for Britain, but I have been knitting for babies. This is part of the Optimist Club knitting challenge. So far I've made 4 hats that qualify during the month of March.

(Free Ravelry Download - Jester Hat)

It's been a busy day here in the Big Blue House. I got our taxes done, did a short workout, made a pie for hubby's birthday tomorrow, and worked on hats. Yesterday I finished plying the Sandstone yarn - photos to follow once it's dry.

(Free Ravelry Download - Cabled Baby Hat)

I like this little cabled hat so much that I'm doing a second in sparkly white yarn. It's a great stash buster for all of the worsted weight yarn odds and ends I have sitting around. Our friends are going to have a baby at the end of March. If it's a girl, she'll get the white hat. If it's a boy, he'll get this blue one. I hope it's a girl, I have enough yarn to do a Baby Surprise Jacket with a bit of sparkly pink as accent.

Now, I'm off to fold laundry and work on the hat.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Iapologize, I've got nothing witty or slightly clever to say today. I've got a nasty cold and just can't seem to sleep (which is what I think I need in order to kick this). Plus, I found out on Friday that my job description is going to change drastically. Instead of working on special projects, I've been handed a very busy territory to work (I work for a newspaper company). I was thrown into the fire on Friday and I'm just struggling to get my feet under me. Sorry for the mixed metaphors, it's just that sort of day.

I've been working on this very full bobbin lately. By lately, I mean the last 3 weeks. It's merino and silk, 80/20 I believe. The color is Sandstone and it's from Ashland Bay Co.

I watched a Joy of Handspinning navajo plying video about 30 times and practiced on some waste fiber. I think I'm getting it. It seems to be going very well, except my plyed yarn seems rather thick. I hesitate to call it "rope" since at most it is Worsted Weight, however, it's feeling pretty substantial. I think I need to figure out how much spin to put into everything. More photos, including some of plyed yarn soon I hope. I still don't have a camera (just haven't had time to bargin shop) but that's going to be high on the list of priorities this week.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Optimist Hat Challenge

Misti Alpaca Worsted

My digital camera is dead. D-E-D Dead. So you'll have to put up with crummy camera phone photos or old photos that I just haven't posted before.

I am starting a hat challenge in the month of March for my Optimist Club. We knit hats for the babies at the hospitals and for a couple of midwives in town. Lately the knitting has slowed down and I'm the only one who's contributing to the warmth of the babies heads. So... I decided I would challenge the club to a hat making contest. Most likely it's going to be me against the rest of the club. No one in the club other than me is a regular knitter and most use the Knifty Knitter loom. The downside of this for me is that they can whip out a hat in an hour. The upside, most of them only knit one hat a year.

So here is how I have it laid out. Any thoughts?

The Challenge:
To knit or crochet as many hats for the babies of SMDC and St. Luke’s as we can in the month of March.
Duluth Noon Optimist Club participants will be divided up into 2 teams.
Contest runs from March 1-31, 2009.

Any baby size hat counts. You may use any type of yarn – although the softer the better and natural fibers are preferred.
Each hat counts as one point for your team.
Hats may be brought to any Duluth Noon Optimist Club meeting during the month of March to be counted. Hats will be turned in to a non-knitting judge to be held and counted until the end of the contest.

The Prize:
Honor, Glory and the Recognition of your fellow Optimists.
A travelling trophy
Jess will buy the most prolific knitter’s lunch on April 7, 2009.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Insanity, thy name is...

What does it tell you about me that I am starting a project that I know will drive me absolutely, completely, utterly insane? It's miles of stockinette. It's fine yarn. It's a project that will take me over a month when I have other projects that I have to get done.

This is destined to be the Silk Cocoon Cardigan from Interweave Knits Spring 2009.
The yarn is Plymouth Yarn Alpaca Prima - the softest loveliest yarn I've seen in a long time. Colorway 3181. The craziest thing for me is that when I saw this pattern I knew I had to have one. I searched through my stash thinking there was no way I was going to spend the money on more yarn right now. I found the Alpaca Prima that I had bought for another project that I just didn't have the inspiration for right now. I did the math (yes, really I did). I had more than enough yardage (well 300 yds extra). Then, (now I know you're going to laugh) I swatched. Really, I did. And guess what? I. Got. Gauge.

See, Destiny!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day Walk

Adam and I took the girls for a walk on Saturday. Our plan was to walk down to the grocery store to pick up a loaf of crusty bread for fondue that night. It's 8 blocks to the grocery store.

We had no sooner gotten bundled up and out to the alley when Lily decided that she needed to be carried. There was no way I was carrying her the entire way (I've done it before and needed to seek chiropractic help afterward) so we got the wagon and some blankets out of the garage. Lily was very happy to be a rider, she kepting saying "Wheee! I'm on a roller coaster!"

Addie on the other hand, was quite the mountaineer. She went snowbank climbing and had to stop frequently for energy breaks (i.e. chocolate).

We got all of 4 blocks when we decided that everyone was too cold to keep going. We walked back home, got in the car and drove to the grocery store.

It's Mine!

Sorry for the crummy photo. I think my camera officially died.

I made the Squash Hat from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders (Is anyone surprised that I knit a pattern out of that book *again*?) I think I'm just putting a permanent link to the Amazon listing for that book rather than post it every other post. I'm in training for the Great Optimist Hat Challenge 2009 (more details to come), and wanted to see how fast it took me to knit an infant size hat. About a day is the answer.

Lily found the purple sparkly hat and immediately tried putting it on her head. Adam tried telling her that it was not for her, it was for a baby. Lily gave him "the look" and said, "Yes it is my hat, it has a noodle on it." How do you argue with that?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chase's Scarf

A co-worker asked me to knit a scarf for her boyfriend for Valentine's Day. We met up last Friday and she gave me some chenille yarn she had left over from a crochet project. I'll admit it, I'm a yarn snob. I am not a huge fan of chenille. However, I thought I would give it my best effort. I started with just an easy knit one, purl one rib and did a few inches. It was looking a little too much like Lily's favorite teddy bear at that point so I did the "Man Test."

I asked my husband if he would wear something like that scarf. "No. But my brother might."

Hmm... that was less than helpful. Since I don't know this woman's boyfriend I decided to play it on the safe side. I grabbed 2 skeins leftover from AJ's hat and started playing around.

The Pattern: Cross-Stitch Scarf from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. I believe I have used this book more than any other in my library.
The Yarn: About half to 3/4 of a skein of Malabrigo in Foggy Gray and most of a skein of Berroco Puruvia
The Needles: Size 13 straights
Mods: I didn't think the scarf would be long enough for a man when I ran out of the Malabrigo so I added super long fringe. I think it works now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It's my first yarn since the wheel has been officially mine! The woman who sold me the wheel gave me some grey Corridale to practice with. I'm now working on some beautiful dark grey BFL. Boy, I need to get out of the rut of greys and browns all of a sudden. What's my deal? Normally I have a very deep rut that only runs to blues and greens with the occasional red. Come to think of it, that's how my house is decorated also. Can someone come over with a few gallons of paint to help me out? I seriously need a color overhaul.

Tash Enhancing - I found this Corridale roving at a store in Grand Rapids, MN last week. It's super soft and has a nice long staple. It's 6 oz. - approximately 3 oz of each color. My plan is to make long striping sock yarn. I think I'll try to Navajo ply it to keep the colors separate - assuming that I can find my spinning book that tells me how to do it. I guess there's always YouTube if I can't find it. Darn, I hate when I reorganize and then can't find anything!
*Edited to add- Ohh ohh ohh, I'm all excited. I just found this nifty conversion calculator. It has been killing me that I have no idea how to convert ounces to grams. Now I do!! I don't know if it's a failure of the US school system or just my particular small town school, but I was caught in the middle of the US/Metric conversion. I know some measurements in metric and some measurements in US, but I really don't know how to convert them. So I can tell you that a meter is 3 feet, but I don't know how long a yard is. I know that there are 4 tablespoons in 1/4 cup which is also 2 oz, but I have no idea how to convert it into liters. Basically, I'm math challenged.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Can She Do It? Yes She Can!

The Challenge-
Find a hat pattern and Grey Malabrigo yarn on Wednesday late afternoon and cast on for a hat. Find contrasting colors on Thursday night and finish the hat by Saturday. The true challenge is trying to find time to work on said hat while still attending all the family activities that were planned for the week.

The Yarn-
Grey- Malabrigo in Foggy Day
Red- Malabrigo in Sealing Wax (this may be my new favorite color of Malabrigo)
Black- Berocco Puruvia

The Result-
I actually wrapped up the mostly completed hat for AJ's birthday party on Saturday. I was frantically working on it in the car, but I just couldn't quite get it done in time. I finished it up that afternoon and was able to give it to his parents the next day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

In Progress

Whenever I'm stressed or life seems out of control, I make lists. Normally this is contained to shopping lists and lists of calls that need to be made at work. However, right now I'm really stressed. So stressed that I wake up in the morning after having dreams of making lists that never end. Then, I go to work and make more lists that never end. Shit. Would anyone like to buy some newspaper advertising? Lots of newspaper advertising??

Projects in Progress:
-Scarf for Co-workers Boyfriend - Cross-Stitch Scarf from 101 One Skein Wonders
-Socks for Sock It To Me 3 Swap - 1/2 done

Projects That Need to Be Done:
-Sizzle for Mom
-Socks for Advent Calendar (I'm already a month behind on my 2 kid socks a month goal)
-Fiddlehead Hat
-Debbie Bliss sweater (too much money spent on this yarn to be sitting around)
-Baby Surprise Jacket for Winterscheidt Baby due end of March - done in super soft organic cotton.
-Matching Hat for Winterscheidt baby??
-Set up Hat Challenge for Optimist Club. I need to kick the members in the rear to get more hats made. I'm thinking of challenging them to see if the club can make more hats than me in a given month. Might end up being a challenge to see how much coffee I can consume in a given month.

Not terribly long ago a friend asked me if I was a type A personality. Apparently he has a theory that most salespeople are type A's. I laughed and said, "I am so not type A."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Eye Candy

Eye Candy....

Yarn P0rn....

However you want to look at it, it's good stuff.

Check out the Sundara Yarn photos.... it makes me happy.

Bad Blogger!

I'm sorry, I've been a really bad blogger. I have been absolutely swamped at work and home has been just as chaotic. I am overwhelmed with all that needs to be done in a day so that all I want to do when I get home is pour a glass of wine (or a bottle) and sit in the bathtub. This week has made me understand why salespeople have a reputation for being alcholics.

Enough whining and complaining on my part. I have been doing a bit of shopping so I'll have some new yarn to show you soon. Plus, I've finished one of the socks for the Sock It To Me 3 swap on Ravlery. It's a cute little thing, but I can't show it to you until I send it off. Plus, plus, we're supposed to have a lovely weekend... we are out of our deep freeze and on a bit of a warming trend. It was actually 10 above today when I left the house instead of 10 below. That means I'll be able to go to a car wash!! It's the simple things in life, folks. :)