Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cabling Along

First of all, thank you for all your good wishes towards my niece. (Who isn't pictured above.) She started chemo yesterday and is doing great - and I'm almost done with my first Picc cozy. I figure I can swatch my way into making a few; I also have a blue alpaca waiting to become a soft hat. And I think I have to make a shedir (pattern on page 3 here), too.

It's been so crazy around here that I've had a scarf soaking in the sink ready to be blocked for two nights! I'm thinking about taking it out but I haven't prepared a surface for blocking, so maybe tomorrow.

I do have a finished object though - I had a lonesome skein of some bulky wool kicking around the knitting corral for a while so I whipped out this cabled horseshoe hat (oy - enough western references already!). It's modeled by Anna, who hasn't been pictured for a while here except for her hands, which don't count. (By the way, she's standing in front of a painting by local artist Lisa Hill.)

Pattern to come when I go back and figure out exactly what I did - that's what I get while knitting while distracted!

PS I'm now down 6 skeins of yarn, closing in on 7, and there's a package on it's way with replacements!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

We could use some cupcakes around here.

We've had a pretty nonstop week here in Windanseaville. Fiona had the flu, everyone else had their regular crazy week, and - the scary major event - we found out my niece has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

FYI, if you have a lump on your neck, get it checked out. She went from having nothing to stage 2 in the space of two weeks or so - luckily, we found out that fast-growing cancer is also easier to cure, so her prognosis is very good. Plus, she's 31 and in amazing shape, so she's primed and ready to kick cancer ass. She starts chemo tomorrow (I'll be breaking out some super-soft yarn for a hat, and I also plan on making one or two of these).

Waiting around in doctor's offices the last few days gave me some time to knit, as I'm sure you could guess. I'm working on a lace scarf that I'll post as soon as it's done.

But in the meantime, we could all use something to cheer us up - and what could be better than cupcakes?

I'm working on an in-the-round bottom-up pattern, which should be done sometime soon. Every one I make is a little improvement from the previous one, and as soon as I get it down pat I'll post directions.

Mary loves them all.

Monday, January 22, 2007

No Knitting!

What a week - I had another bout of carpal tunnel/tennis elbow/whatever, so I've really been taking it easy on the arm. I'm beginning to think my mouse is the culprit, so I'm going to look into getting a trackball or something.

So no real knitting, between that, sick kiddos, life in general, and a trip to LA (that's Ellay, not Louisiana) which was really cool but ruined me for shopping because we went to the Gift Mart, where I saw:

a) really cool stuff to buy that never seems to make it down to the provincial backwater that is San Diego, dammit, and
b) the actual wholesale cost of things that do come to local stores so I will feel eternally ripped off by retail.

Anyway, my arm's better and I'm knitting away on various things, but I have no new knitting photos....you'll just have to look at the tidepools instead. Photo taken Jan. 14, 2007 - we may have bad shopping, but you've gotta love the scenery.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cabbage Rose Scarf

Have you visited Drops Design? It's a goldmine of free patterns. I found this simple garter-stitch scarf there and decided to knit up yet another skein of leftovers (more of the Plymouth Encore Worsted - I have enough for a small army from all those washable things I had to make).

Believe it or not, I'm down 3 skeins and haven't even set foot in a yarn store yet. Bet you thought I'd be making a beeline to Knitting in La Jolla the minute I used up even one, right? I have been window shopping online, of course. And I've bought books. But no yarn yet! I'm saving my yarn for a rainy day.

Speaking of books, my friend g-girl tagged me with this meme (PS Scroll down and look at her adorable niece.). Usually, I'm a meme-breaker (I don't forward chain letters either, or anything with hugs, kisses, too much pink stuff, or angels.) but I kind of liked this one. I'll spare you from getting tagged, but anyone who wants to can take this meme and continue the play:

1. Grab the book closest to you.

Okay - check. Right here next to me.

2. Turn to page 123.


3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences.

"When the piece of stocking stitch is two inches high (or should I say deep?), or a little more for a thick foot, the knitting is finished. Cut wool and nylon, leaving a piece about 24" long. Draw the toe-stitches together, fasten them securely, and weave the two sides together."

4. Include the title and the author's name.

I almost feel like I shouldn't - you knitters out there can probably guess the author, at least! I think I'll make you guess for a couple of days.

5. Tag 5 people.

Consider yourself tagged if you'd like to play along!

Back to the scarf....The construction is fun - you increase from three stitches, knit some plain, knit some ribbing, go back and pick up stitches for a second layer of ribbing (to make a scarf sandwich, if you will), more plain knitting, more ribbing, and then decreasing back down to three stitches. All in garter stitch, so you can knit with your eyes closed, practically. Although - big warning here. I cast this scarf on at night, knitted for about an hour until my eyes were closing, went to put down the pattern, and realized I was knitting the HAT. If you go look at the hat, you'll see it isn't really my style, either. Rip.Rip.Rip.

The original pattern called for some crocheted flowers, but I opted to use up a little Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in the perfect pink for some cabbage roses from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers .

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Winner Wine Cozies, and a Tale of Two Annas!

I'm so excited! My felted wine cozies won the whiplash competition at whipup! If you've never been, definitely check whipup! out - it's a showcase of some very amazing crafts, and I'm honored to be chosen!!

In other news, I'm working on starting a Fix-it Friday KAL, which will be at a separate blog. There was some interest from people who want to join and get their detail work done, so we'll see how that goes. As it was, this week I barely got to blog because I it seemed like I had to have several Fix-it Fridays in a row.

Last but not least, this week I gave my dear friend a pair of knucks for her daughter, who is in school in a wintry climate. My friend is a very accomplished hand quilter, so I passed the embroidery task on to her, and I'm sure they will be amazing. (Such a cool friend, with such a cool family.)

Her daughter's name is Anna, just like my Anna, and she fences, just like my Anna, and she's tall and thin, just like my Anna! And I started these knucks right after finishing my Anna's - except, I'm ashamed to say, my Anna's still need the ends of all those little fingers woven in, let alone the embroidery! See? This is why I need Fix-it Fridays.

This is the first time I've made a pair with the textured cuff, which is very pretty.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I've never liked orange, but have a look at this Malabrigo
worsted. It is a color I can't begin to describe except to
show you graphically (especially since they were a gift, and the tags
were not included so I can't tell you the colorway at all).

It is the color of the blood oranges on my trees, just now starting to turn darker as they ripen. Yellow, orange, tangerine, red - all at once.

After taking these pictures of the trees this morning, I saw this painting just inside my back door.

I painted it last year on a trip to Italy, and in the details I see these colors once again, deep and true.

Color you can't name because it is every shade at once...

I love orange.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pompom Socks

Remember, back in the day, how you used to be able to buy peds with the pompoms on the back? Just thinking about them totally takes me back to junior high PE class - we all wore peds and Love's Fresh Lemon.....ahhh.

So I've been down with this cold for about a week now, and unable to do much of anything. Thinking too hard makes my head hurt, so even the knitting has to be mindless.

Plus - I've got to knit through my stash some so I can invoke the OO/OI rule (short for the one-out/one-in rule, pronounced "ooo....oy!" as in "Ooooo....I love that yarn! But Oy! I have so much!" Which reminds me - who else is bugged the sh!t out of when Rachael Ray says "ee vee oh oh"?)

So here are some pompom socks for Mary. I used the veriest of basic patterns from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, slapped a tiny cuff on them (including the stretchy cast-on cuff on the green ones that I learned about in the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook) followed by a couple of plain rounds before heading straight for heeltown.

The red socks used some sock yarn from Knitpicks in the geranium colorway, and the green socks are Plymouth Encore Worsted with blue toes (didn't have enough of the variegated).

Monday, January 01, 2007


I thought I'd have a picture of an FO for today's post, some socks I'm working on for Mary. But no, I have the cold from hell, and I can barely knit - it feels like I'm underwater.

So instead, a picture from Christmas day of Fiona (knitter of Batman hats) and myself, wearing the very incredible wool wrap I'd just received from my sister not minutes before.

Also, some resolutions. We begin with the tried and true, and segue into the more knitterly:

1. Eat healthily, exercise, lose 20 (or grow three inches).

2. Say yes to things that bring joy, and no to anything soul-sucking.

3. Continue with all things creative, without guilt - remember that creativity breeds creativity, and that it spills over onto other areas of life.

And finally, my extremely liberal, forgiving, and, some may say, self-indulgent version of Knit from Your Stash:

1. No stash bloat - I will only buy a ball if I knit a ball out first.

2. Gifts of yarn are always okay - anything less would appear ungrateful and be less than gracious.

3. Books are okay.

4. Tools are okay.

5. Yarn for a project someone asks me for specifically is okay, as is yarn to finish a project, and I'd better buy an extra skein just in case.

6. Say I travel to a place I've never been, and there's yarn there...that's vacation yarn. It's like vacation dessert. It's allowed.

7. If I fall off the wagon, so what? It's knitting, for crying out loud. But I'm going to try to stick to the one-out, one-in rule.

Also, this isn't a resolution, as such, but I'm going to try to designate a day to work on UFOs and problem children: Fix-it Fridays - it could just as easily be Weave-in Wednesdays or Mend-it Mondays. The point is, not every day will be Start Something Saturday. What if there's nothing to fix or finish? HAHAHAHAhahahahahha.....oh. Sorry. Lost my head there.

Happy New Year to all.