Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yarn Hipster

Knitting with a toddler around can be a challenge. I made socks for Karalyn over Thanksgiving and she wound the extra yarn around her person. It made for a hipster look that I couldn't resist snapping.

Life is extremely busy and I've had to make tough choices with my free time. Unfortunately knitting has had to take a backseat to other activities, but it's always on my mind. When I've had time to knit it's been on's driving me crazy that I haven't been able to finish stuff that's been sitting around for months. Although I did manage to knit a very gratifying pair of toddler socks for my daughter when I was in Massachusetts. I badgered my husband to take me to Northampton and Webs. Wheee! What a store.

Is your Christmas tree up? Last Saturday we went to a tree farm and chopped down our tree. It's a lot bigger in our living room than it was on the farm! That was the first time I'd ever done anything like that, but it was fun and I hope we do it again next year now that I know what to expect.

OK, question for you all (if there are still any readers left...): what's your favorite Christmas cookie? I love to bake over the holidays and I want to make a batch of different kinds of cookies for Karalyn's daycare friends. Got any recipes you can recommend?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Feeling Like Felting

I bet you can't tell this is a purse.

I originally planned to make the The Clutch You'll Never Give Up from One Skein. It called for one skein of Lamb's Pride bulky which I didn't have so I substituted SWTC Soy Wool instead. And because the gauge wasn't the same, I "compensated" by knitting it larger than the pattern called for.

A lot larger. When I finished the knitting, I showed it to my mother who said, "Oh that's a nice tank top." Ermm, Mom it isn't a garment. But her comment prompted me to take a picture of the erstwhile purse while I was wearing it.

Here's the completed project post-felting. The knitting needle below is 12" to give you an idea of the purse's felted size. BTW, in case you were wondering...the purse is knit in the round from the bottom up. When you're ready to make the handles, bind off the center stitches on each side for one round, then cast them back on in the next round and knit for a few more rounds. To complete the shaping, seam the bottom of the bag.

Soy Wool is really fuzzy, so much so that I attacked the purse with a regular razor to remove the fuzz. It was like shaving Sasquatch, but it worked! The razor blade really brought out the nubbly texture.

My current felting project is a tote in progress. I like this general design better where you knit a rectangle for the bottom and then pick up along the sides to knit the body in the round. For the handles I left live stitches at the ends of both long sides while binding off stitches in the center and the short sides. I'm going to work the handles starting on one side and then attaching them via grafting to the corresponding stitches on the other side. Make sense? I was inspired by the Sentimental Stripes Felted Tote although I'm not following the pattern per se.

I've been in a state of high anxiety both at home and at work. I have to remember that these are stressful times for everyone in my family, not just me. Look at our living room. This is the contents of my parents' home from North Carolina.

And this is the garage, which is mostly mine and Karl's but the couch and upside chairs are my parents'. It will be like this for the next few weeks.

Karalyn and the cats are a bit freaked. The cats have more hiding places than ever and they tend to stay out of sight. Karalyn has no idea what to think about the two new people who are suddenly living with us. Sometimes she handles it well. Other times she clings to my legs crying, not wanting me to leave even when it's just to go in the other room.

In the long run, I know this is all for the best and the current situation is just temporary. As soon as we can move out, everyone can get on with their lives and things will improve.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What Day Is It?

I'm no longer sure.

All of a sudden it is early August and I cannot, for the life of me, account for what happened between Memorial Day and now.

Lots of things going on in our household of late. My parents have moved. At the moment and for the next 4 weeks, they are living in our guest room. Their belongings are still en route from North Carolina. At this point the moving van must be in Tennessee.

We haven't packed much of our own things, really. Procrastination at its best! The latest plan is to see what we can unpack of my parents' stuff and and use their boxes.

Work is busy for me and Karl. He's going on another trip and I'm trying to keep up with all the "comms" demand from my team. It's amazing to me that a position like communications could be considered unimportant (lots of marketing and comms people were laid off last year in IT) and yet every where I turn I'm asked to be on someone's team or help them with a communications issue.

Karalyn is chugging along. My parents are completely enthralled with her, as you can imagine. They are also surprised at how active she is. At 15 months she only slows down for naps and bedtime. My parents are worried they can't keep up but I warn them they better prepare!

As for the knitting, it's everywhere and nowhere. I started Clapotis a few weeks ago and while I love knitting it, it's slow going. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Silk/Merino DK in Foxy Lady. At the same time I've been motivated by my husband's cousin Heidi to do a little felting. So I'm also knitting a smallish, mediumish bag using Paton's Soy Wool stuff. It has a soft, slightly fuzzy hand. Kind of like petting a dog.

All the news for right now. How's your summer coming along?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm Feeling Blue

Looky, looky - a finished sweater! On a whim, because that's how all my projects start, I picked up a pattern for a cap sleeve top from Dovetail Designs at Babetta's Yarn and Gifts. Maya introduced me to a terrific new yarn - GGH Tara - and it is now my new fabulous favorite cotton. You *must* check it out. It's super light with an amazing elasticity. Knitting with it was so comfortable.

Pattern: Cap Sleeve Sweater from Dovetail Designs

Yarn: GGH Tara, 72% cotton 28% nylon, 4 skeins in turquoise

Needles: US size 8 Addi's

Gauge: 4 sts/in, 6 rows/in

Notes: This pattern knits up very fast. It only took me 4 days and that's with a hectic mom's schedule. However, let me warn you - this pattern isn't well written/edited and I had to translate a few things as I went. At one point I emailed the designer, Val Love, because I couldn't figure out some of the math.

Modifications: The sweater was a little short even for my truncated torso so I added extra length at the bottom with the crochet trim (1 row sc, 1 row hdc, 1 row sc). Next time I will only pick up and crochet every other stitch for the first row of single crochet. Other changes for next time: start the armholes a little earlier by about 3 rows. Even for me, the armholes are snug. Also, I'd probably change the kind of decreases and increases used for the darts and side shaping.

It's going to be a busy few weeks as we pack and prepare for the move. Hottest time of the year, too. I think we must be a little loco.

Blog ya later!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Moving My Stash, Part 1

With the move to the new house looming, I've reluctantly started to pack my yarn stash. "Reluctantly" because it's a daunting task. And because I really don't want to know exactly how much I have.

It's an embarrassment of riches.

Pictured above are 4 66-qt Rubbermaid bins of yarn. Not lightly, gently packed yarn mind you. I've stuffed the bins to the gills and can barely snap the lids on. The yarn is organized by color, which meant that some "lots" had to be separated. However, in the process I discovered I could make really pretty shawls by combining similar-colored but differently textured yarn.

Another interesting discovery or perhaps enlightenment...I thought I had more pink/magenta/fuschia than any other color range but in truth, I have more lavender/purple *and* teal/turquoise. If you look in my closet you'd see that the dominant colors are white, pink/red and black. I'm not sure what this means but I think it's important somehow. Like my subconscious talking to me.
Would you believe this is only half of my entire stash? The nicer half, but still only half. The other gigantic bins are in the study. They were the ones not quite worthy of being displayed in the cabinets, at least at the time I had purchased the shelves.

You probably know by now that the Destash site on Blogger has been turned off, and thank goodness. That was my nemesis and yet I couldn't stay away. That and the Yahoo group Knitswap.

But, going through my stash has brought me to my senses straightaway. I don't want to buy any more yarn! I can't believe how much I have, and it's so beautiful! I love looking at my yarn and almost regret having to knit any of it. is also embarrassing and somewhat bewildering. What was I thinking? 19 skeins of Noro Iro? 28 skeins (yes, 28!!) of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk? I haven't even swatched the DB Alpaca Silk yet. I had a notion of knitting Lara, but never got around to it.

In addition to 8 66-qt bins of yarn, I have 2 full garbage bags full of "Yarn To Go". There's still some nice stuff in these To Go bags but most of them are just twosies or threesies of skeins. It's funny. When I was sorting the yarn in these bags, I had a hard time deciding if they should stay or go. Then I began pawing through my Glamorous Yarn and it became very obvious what had to stay.

Here's the latest news on the house. We won't be moving in August after all. The renters, aka Sellers, need another month before their new home is finished. So being the nice people that we are, of course we will let them stay where they are. At this point it would be kind of silly to kick them out, but it does mean that my parents will probably live with us for a month before we move.

The good news...well, I can go on an Alaska cruise in August now if I can get my act together and plan it. Yay!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Getting Back on Track

At work we used to do these things called mid-year performance reviews, or just "midyears". We'd go through a formal process of assessing how we'd done at our jobs for the past six or seven months, compare them to the goals we documented in January and see if we had progressed. Or not. Some people complained that it was busy work but I thought it was a worthwhile process. It made us think about where we were heading and how we were going to get there.

Without further ado, I'm providing my own personal midyear.

From a career perspective I've really changed. I started the year stumbling around, confused, because my old job had been transitioned to someone else and I didn't want to do what the rest of my group was doing (IT, database stuff). We had just finished a round of layoffs and I survived but didn't know what I was going to do next. So I told my boss I wanted to "do communications". He understood what I was talking about. Now I am the designated comm person for my team and recently, like last week, completed two major deliverables for the quarter for a very visible project in IT. Not bad, but more layoffs are looming and I'm still not a shoe-in to stay.

At the beginning of the year I still hadn't lost all the weight from the pregnancy so I enlisted the help of a "health coach" through the Mayo Clinic health program at work. Basically someone kept tabs on me every other week or so to make sure I was meeting my goals. What I learned was that a coach couldn't help me if I couldn't help myself. It was a half-hearted attempt at staying on a diet and exercise program. I'm ashamed to admit that I squandered this opportunity with excuses like, "I'm sick again because of my daughter and daycare". I disappointed myself because even though I managed to lose a few pounds, I still didn't make the most of the healthy advice and coaching I was given. The rest of the year has to be better in terms of a healthy diet and consistent exercise.

I give myself mixed reviews on time management. I wish I could write a schedule, like making up a budget, and stick with it. The problem is the schedule varies from day to day as minute decisions get made. Even dinner choice can throw off a schedule so time management has to be tempered with a dose of flexibility. Some activities prioritize themselves. For example, knitting and blogging know their place because they are non-pressuring. They're happy to have me whenever I can get around to them. But other activities, like exercise, constantly remind me that I'm lagging behind. So time management is a major concern and I need to, ha ha, spend some time to figure this out.

From a family perspective, things are fantastic! Everyone in the house is doing well. If we can survive moving then we're golden for the rest of the year.

So, what's to conclude from this midyear? I'd say to keep doing what I'm good at, workwise. Writing and communications is good for me and good for my team so as long as I keep my head down I'll be OK. But what about exercise, diet and having enough time to do it all? I think I need to make some short term goals about each one; otherwise I'll flounder. Some people can just go with the flow but I'm more focused with a goal or objective in mind.

I can't end my post without a picture so here's one from a few weeks ago. We hiked Echo Summit with some friends who brought along their dog, Doug. Echo Summit is about halfway to Lake Tahoe on Highway 50. Even though it was the end of June we were pleasantly surprised to find some snow along the trail. It made for an interesting detour but you can see that Doug enjoyed the refreshment.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Summer in Full Swing

You readers who are still commenting on my blog are troopers, I tell ya! I am happy to see that I still have a few friends in blogland despite my poor showing.

Summer is here and this one is another doozy. We bought a house. We own 2 houses. Oh My God. I never thought I would see the day. And in the midst of a big real estate slump, too. It's all because of Karalyn. I wouldn't have been able to convince Karl to buy a bigger home. He wanted vacation property up in Tahoe, a dream we still have. Right now, though, we bought a bigger home just 1.5 miles away from our current house. It's 1000 sq. ft larger with a much bigger yard and a pool. Wait till you see.

Yes, we decided on the house with the amazing yard. How could we not? The beautiful bank repo home was practically brand new, larger and actually fit our budget and storage needs better...but it had zero yard. I have always wanted a pool and Karalyn already loves the water. It was very difficult to decide. At one point, our offers on both homes were accepted at the same time!! Eeek!

In the long run, though, we decided on the slightly smaller and older home. Although the floor plan isn't as good as the other house's, it had everything else going for it. It is gorgeous too with custom paint, tile floors, plantation shutters, granite countertops, a double oven, loft, 3-car garage with epoxy floors and custom cabinets, a walk-in pantry...and did I mention the amazing backyard?

I wish I could show you the whole yard because it's beautiful, but the pool view will have to do. I can't wait to sit on the back porch after work, sipping a glass of wine and looking at this.

The bummer is we can't move until August but in the scheme of things, that works out just fine. The sellers are building a new house in a very hoity-toity, exclusive neighborhood and they need until August to rent back from us. However, my parents are moving out to California and they are going to rent my current house. Talk about perfect timing. They just sold their house in North Carolina so they will spend the next month and a half packing up and moving, very much like Karl and I are doing.

It's been a terrific year so far, knock on wood. Despite some stressful times many things have worked out for us and those we care about. Knock on wood. I am so amazed at our good fortune.

My knitting has fallen off in the past few weeks. Right now I'm working on 2 projects, the Hedera Socks by CookieA in Knitty and the 2-color Brioche Scarf from Weeking Knitting by Melanie Falick.

Lace socks consume a bit of concentration so, um, these haven't progressed much past the cuff and about 3 inches of the leg. But the lace is pretty. The scarf is my mindless knitting. Brioche stitch is really easy but brioche is not one of those instantly gratifying stitches. I'm using Lamb's Pride worsted in a light pink and dark chocolate brown. Nice but slow.

Hey, I tried emailing all of you who responded to my last post but perhaps I have old addresses? because some of the emails bounced back. Just so you know (Jen, Lucy, Joan and AJ) I tried! Of course, I should just comment on your blogs, huh? I'm thinking about you guys too, OK?

Welcome to summer, everyone, hope you're having a good one!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Running Late

Oh God, how horrible!

I give myself an F on blogging. It's been, what, months? There's so much to talk about! I've missed you guys! I've missed writing in this blog but there are precious few free hours in my day now and I have to use them with care.

First off, the knitting. I haven't stopped knitting even though I've taken a hiatus from writing about it. Wanna see the latest? I took a deep breath and dived into my stash. What I came up with was the Colinette Giotto. It's been in the stash for, I dunno, 4 years? I bought 5 skeins in colorway Pietro but after reading about how this yarn stretches ad infinitum, I put it away, scared. Originally I considered the Waterlily Top from Interweave Knits but decided it would need too much intervention.

Then I happened upon the Tara Tank in the Yarn Girls Guide to Beyond the Basics. This pattern is simple and would show off the yarn without being a totally boring knit.

I had to go waayyy down on the needle size though. I think the ball band recommends size 10.5 or 11, I used size 8 and 9. I swatched using size 10's and was satisfied with that until I actually started knitting the body. It was very obvious it was going to stretch a lot and I wanted a fitted silhouette.

This tank only required 2 skeins of Giotto for the smallest size (32"). I still have 3 skeins left. Maybe I'll make a shrug. Not sure yet, but I'm going to take a break from the yarn. I don't recommend Giotto for beginners or wool lovers. Although this was a pretty fast knit, the yarn slowed me down. My needle tips would get stuck in the ribbon.

On to domestic news.

Karalyn is now a toddler. *sniff* Her baby phase went by so fast. She was walking before she even turned 1 and now she's on her way to 14 months. Our house is a happy mess but I try to remind myself that it's only temporary.

We took Karalyn to Ocean Beach in San Francisco. It was a very cool, extremely blustery afternoon. Karalyn ran to the water and promptly fell down. Amazing how much sand can get into little jeans. Like that sweater? One of my knits. It wears like iron - it has gotten a fair amount of abuse. It's only downfall is velcro. Just say No to Velcro, knitters!

I think in my last post I mentioned house hunting. Well, we hunted down 2 homes and put bids on both of them. One of them was a beautiful, huge, brand new bank repo. The other was a gorgeous 9-year old home with an amazing back yard. I'll let you know in my next post which one we decided on.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Watching the World Go By

There are lots of days when I all I want to do is sit on a post, feel the breeze ruffling my hair, listen to birds chirping and generally watch the world go by. Then a friend or two might walk up and join me.

Those days are extremely few and far between now but I appreciate them when they come along, especially when they are unexpected.

On this particular occasion I had been driving around a neighborhood close by, looking at homes for sale. Karl and I are entertaining thoughts of moving into a bigger home and there was one in a neighborhood near these trails and a preserve.

It was dusk. Karl was doing a "walk-by". I discreetly parked near the trail entrance to wait for him. Karalyn was asleep in the back seat. The day had been long, and we had decided at the last minute to look at the house. I was glad to sit in my car and do nothing even for a few moments.

That's when I noticed the cat on the post. He was just sitting there, idle, the way cats are. He was so relaxed even as birds chirped in the pond and flew by him. Then another cat, the calico, wandered along the trail. He looked up at the tabby as if to say, "Yo dude," then settled comfortably at the base of the post.

When I was 20 my life was similar. Back then I dreamily thought of all that the future held and what I would be doing by the time I was 40. Little did I know that at 40, I would dreamily and nostagically be remembering the simplicity and easiness of being 20.

My thoughts for the day. Have a good one.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Hoodie - Hot or Not?

Project Specifics

Pattern: Santa Cruz Hoodie from Knit2Together, size 1 year
Yarn: Plymouth Dreambaby DK ), 50% acrylic microfiber and 50% nylon. 4 skeins in #127 (dark green), 2 skeins in #125 (sage). Yarn was double-stranded.
Gauge: 3 sts/in.
Needles: #10 and #11 Lantern Moon circulars.
Comments: A super easy pattern. I love raglans because they are easy to knit either in pieces or top down. I originally wanted to convert this to a top down. But using 2 colors and double-stranding the yarn changed my mind - too messy. I also decided not to make the pockets. What kid uses pockets??

I'm not sure what to make of the hood. Hoods seemed to come back into fashion a couple of years ago but to me they're rather a bother. Most of the time they are ornamental; I simply don't like wearing them on my head, especially if there are no ties. I debated not knitting the hood for this sweater but the cuteness factor won in the end. My friend will appreciate it.

Hoods, though, just aren't my thang. If I make this for Karalyn, who also has a hoodie phobia, I'll leave it out and make a roll neck instead.

What do you think? Would you knit a hooded sweater and actually use the hood?

My resolve to knit small things is competing with the nagging urge to complete the finishing of some sweaters. Wiggles and Waves comes to mind. I've also got a cardigan that I've never shown you because I've been too embarassed with my (lack of) finishing skills. The seaming needs to be frogged and redone. You'll see what I mean if I can bring myself to take a picture of it.

In other life rose garden has exploded. Two years ago Karl and I planted three climbing rose bushes in what was then a very bare planter box. Karl even built a trellis. That spring the bushes spread like weeds because we had so much rain and ever since then we've had a lush, full rose bush trellis. Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pooper Scooper

This week has been an unexpected experience of being a Stay At Home Mom.

As you may recall, I spent 4 months of maternity confinement last year after the birth of little Karalyn. At the end I was a little relieved to go back to work and start talking to adults again.

This week Karalyn stayed home due to another bout of stomach flu (the third for her, thus the third for me). I must say, in annoying 20/20 hindsight, those 4 months after she was born couldn't hold a candle to this one week.

Maybe it was because I was sick too. Maybe it was because the time was so unexpected. But geez, I am really not cut out to be a SAHM. Kudos and more power to the ones who are because it's a hard job. Especially so when your offspring is ill.

I managed to get some knitting done during Karalyn's naps although no photos yet. I'm working on the Santa Cruz Hoodie from Knit2Together for a friend's new baby and it's so cute. I'm done with everything except the hood itself, but it will be done and gifted up nice this weekend. I'll post photos.

Oh, and about the pooper scooper. Well I took Karalyn to the doctor. I managed to spend $20 and an hour of my time for nothing except to be told to scoop poop! He didn't diagnose Karalyn's illness, just vaguely said the stomach flu was going around and to give her lots of fluids. Then he handed me 5 frickin' sterilized vials for poop samples. I was supposed to collect the samples and send them to the lab. Do you know how hard it is to collect poop from a baby with diarhhea??

OK. Now that I've sickened you all with this little tale I'll stop. May you have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Knitting.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What Season Are You?

There's a lot to catch up on so let's begin. This is going to be a photo-heavy post so prepare yourself. Get a cup of coffee while you wait for the pictures to appear.

Very first and foremost, I want to thank each one of you who responded to my knitting poll. I received many more answers than I ever expected. My paper, or at least the draft, was well-received by my writing workshop. My instructor thinks it is definitely publishable; the problem is where. It's very intimidating to submit it to newspapers and magazines and I'm just scared.

Last Saturday I visited a yarn store in the area (Elk Grove) that I'd never been to before, Knitique. Wow, what a place - a feast for the knitter who loves color and texture. As Cyndi said, it's the hippest LYS so far. Speaking of Cyndi, here she is (middle) with Caitlyn and Ruth on either side of her. This gives you a sense of how stuffed the store was, but so cute. Danielle, the LYSO, had such pretty displays all over. I especially liked how she had unwound skeins like Manos Cotton Stria and hung them from pegs on the wall.


Most of the walls were painted apple green but the back wall, where Danielle had placed the class table, was painted fuschia. Such a happy bright place!

Now notice how the gals are happily knitting in the picture. BTW, they all happened to be knitting socks that day. We brought goodies to eat and drink which you can't see from my vantage point. I would've joined the ladies in their knitting but I was distracted by


who would've terrorized the entire store if I hadn't held her the entire time. My childless knitting pals got a glimpse of my world that morning...Karalyn preoccupied all of my time at Knitique. I couldn't put her down to play (uh, did you notice how much stuff there was in the store?) so I walked around showing her all the yarn and letting her feel different textures.

There is one confession though...towards the end, I walked her to the back wall and was looking at some very pretty magenta cotton yarn. I was holding two skeins against my chest and holding on to Karalyn while I rummaged in the bin to find more. I only found one additional ball. So I put the other two down on the table and that's when I noticed that Karalyn had spit up on them. Ahh, that was an unexpected purchase.

In actual knitting news, I finished the Purple Sweater by Blue Alvarez Designs. OK people, what's wrong with this picture?

manos sweater

It is so unshapely it's not even funny. In fact, I was so disgusted by the way it turned out that I blocked out the shaping as much as I could. The sweater is still very wearable but not the way it was supposed to be. The pattern is an excellent candidate for resizing, which I plan to do. It didn't include a schematic but I should've drawn one out because I would've realized the sweater wouldn't be fitted. Lots of things had to be done, like cast on less stitches, shorten the yoke and recalculate the shaping.

Now none of that is rocket science but I didn't realize it until after I had finished the yoke and tried it on. I can tell you that I was in denial at that point. Oh, I thought, it's not too bad that the eyelets are below the armhole. Uh, earth to Lynette! Hell-o? I compromised with myself and started the shaping the body right away because otherwise the shaping would've occurred around my hips. That didn't fix it the problem either and in retrospect I shouldn't have done any shaping at all and just knit an oversized sweater to salvage the project.

Silly, silly girl. I'm tired of knitting sweaters that don't fit. This project really underscored the fact that I'm smaller than the regular size small. I must work through commercial patterns and resize them, period. Caitlyn, who is even teenier than me, said, "But don't you have Sweater Wizard?" Yes I do but I haven't figured out how to take a commercial pattern and translate it into Sweater Wizard. However, the above circular raglan should be easy to re-do so that's what I'm going to try. Just not immediately. I need to step away from knitting sweaters for me.

For the next few weeks or maybe even months I'm just going to knit small items, socks. And I'm going to read my knitting books. It's ridiculous that I have so many and have never really read them. I've been reading Maggie Righetti's Sweater Design in Plain English and enjoying it a lot, although Righetti's humorous/judgemental tone sometimes annoys me. I have a lot of EZ to read too. Reading about knitting is surprisingly very relaxing. For fluff, I finished A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber. I'm not a romance novel kind of gal but it got to me. I fnished The Shop on Blossom Street a few months ago and I was shocked that I liked it.

On a somewhat knitting-related note, two weekends ago I went with a friend to a color analysis class through Learning Exchange. Well, for the money it was disappointing. I expected to have "my colors done" and come home with a little book of personalized colors. That didn't happen but what we learned in class was intriguing enough that I found myself critiquing my closet.

I didn't know that I am a Winter!! I figured I was a Fall or maybe even Summer but I was very wrong. We took fabric swatches and held them up against us. It was very obvious I am Winter - strong, saturated but bright colors. Think teal and indigo, deep burgundy, magenta, fuschia, black, white and walnut brown (I wailed about pink). It has affected the way I look at my stash, but I was happy to note that most of the colorways are appropriate. Whew. The one thing that bothers me is that I have some orange.

This is a long post so I'll end it here, but I'll leave you with a little bit of spring. A couple of my indoor orchids are blooming. This is Jerry

jerry phal

and the other one in bloom is Vanda White...

vanda white

Have a wonderful week! Let me know what season YOU are!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Knitting the Net - a Poll

Fellow knitters, I am taking a non-fiction writing class and need your help with my writing assignment. My topic is: The impact of the Internet on the knitting culture. I'm conducting a poll on how knitters think the Internet has influenced their hobby.

Please take a minute to answer a few simple questions, most of them multiple-choice. You can answer them here in the comments or send the answers to me via email. Either way, you rock! And to show my appreciation I'm going to put your name in a drawing to win either some sock yarn from my stash or a $25 gift certificate to Elann. (note: this poll is also on Knitters Review; if you answer there, no need to respond here)

Here goes:

1. How long have you been knitting?
A. Less than a year
B. 1 to 5 years
C. 6 to 10 years
D. 11 to 15 years
E. 16 to 20 years
F. 21+ years

2. Do you have a knitting blog?
A. Yes
B. No

3. Have you purchased yarn and/or knitting accessories from an online source?
A. Yes
B. No

4. Do you listen to knitting podcasts?
A. Yes
B. No

5. How often do you visit knitting-related message boards and discussion forums (reading or posting)?
A. Once or twice a week
B. 3 to 5 times a week
C. At least once every day

6. Do you read knitting e-Zines (Knitty, The Daily Knitter, MagKnits, Knitnet)?
A. Yes
B. No

7. How often do you turn to an online source for knitting help versus looking it up in a book?
A. Rarely
B. Most of the time
C. Just as often
D. Sometimes

8. Have you met any knitters face-to-face whom you had previously known only online?A. Yes
B. No

9. Have you attended a knitting related event (Stitches, a retreat, fiber festival, etc.) because you found out about it online?
A. Yes
B. No

10. Has the Internet had a negative impact on your knitting? How?

11. What kind of positive impact has the Internet made on your knitting?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I've been suspecting, for a very long time now, that I'm doing too much for the amount of time I actually have.

I am in denial about how much me-time I have to knit, take photos, blog, write, work out and read.

If I'm lucky I have 1.5 hours of me-time per day (sleep does not count). Where the heck does that 6.5% of my 24-hour day go?

Well, up until 2 weeks ago it was split between knitting and whatever else. And yes, I actually have been knitting! I've finished a couple of hats and started a sweater. The sweater is 80% complete. But then.

I started a class. I am taking a non-fiction writing class. I'm in week 3 of 8.

Plus I got sick. Again *sniff*

So me-time is taken up by either recuperative sleep or researching my essay topic.

Speaking of essay topic, dear readers, I will need your help. You are important to my essay. More to come in a later post.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hand Knitted Gifts

Karalyn has been the lucky recipient of a couple of knitted gifts recently. The first is from the talented Sarah, resident of Alaska (I was impressed), and my pal from the Knitters Review holiday gift exchange.

karalyns sweater from sarah1

Look at the detail, isn't it pretty?:

karalyns sweater from sarah2

Karalyn already has the reputation (at her daycare no less) of wearing cool duds which she promptly spits on the minute she arrives at school. Can you picture it... a bunch of moms and teachers cooing over the clothes - "How cute! Did you make that?!...*gasp* Er, she needs a spit rag..."

Sarah - don't worry, I'm not letting her wear this sweater until she can keep her food down! *grin*

Now from the very sweet and thoughtful Birdsong came this adorable Chinchilla teddy bear.

chinchilla bear3

Uh huh. You know where that bear is headed...

chinchilla bear

...straight in Karalyn's mouth!

chinchilla bear2

Birdsong deliberately knit it in machine washable yarn with no buttons or anything which could pop off or that Karalyn could accidentally swallow. Love that!

Other knitting news: I'm still working on Wiggles and Waves. *aggrieved sigh* But I'm making progress, truly. I splurged on a digital kitchen scale and measured the rest of the yarn for the sleeves. One short sleeve is done. One more to go, then the neckband. That scale is a marvel! I didn't need it but I sure like having it.

Quick small knits have been my saving grace of late. If it weren't for them I'm not sure I would have any FOs to post. My last FO was a fuschia sweater for Miss K:

karalyns fuschia sweater

Pattern: Top Down Baby Pullover from Knitting Pure and Simple, 6-12mo. size
Yarn: Plymouth Dream Baby DK, 50% acrylic 50% nylon, 4 skeins, fuschia
Needles: size 9 US (double-stranded)

Can't hold a candle to Sarah's sweater but I finished it, Karalyn wore it and spit on it.

My latest small knit is the super cute and easy (and free) Karlchen from Small Knits. "Karlchen" is Charlie in German. However, it sounds kinda Chinese to me because I have a friend named Oliver Chen.

All righty then. TTYL, people.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year - Let the Simplifying Begin

That's my resolution. SIMPLIFY. I was going to write about something else, something sentimental and drippy but I just don't feel that way right now.

2007 started with waiting. Waiting for people to get out of my way so I could start destashing everything - yarn, knitting bags, sheets, towels, clothes, shoes, STUFF.

I have waaayyy too many things. Does anyone need more? Because I can give it to you. I am overwhelmed with stuff.

I am at home in a sea of untidiness. If you know me at all, you would know that mess drives me crazy. And mess is what I have after the holidays - 7 adults, 1 baby and 2 cats resided together for 10 days. The tree and trimmings are still up. Boxes and tissue paper need to be recycled. Laundry everywhere. Dishes to be washed. I am paralyzed trying to decide what to do first. And second. Then third.

Here's where SIMPLIFY comes in. An hour ago I found myself removing all the sheet sets I don't want. And the towels that don't match or are faded. I am eyeing my study ruthlessly (Karl is out on an errand). And my yarn stash - boy, there's too much. I just need to give stuff away and not bother with selling. If you are reading this blog then you are in for a special deal. Take a look at destash photos. Except for the knitting bags, let me know if you want anything and I will give it to you. You just pay for shipping (or if you're local, I can meet you somewhere). Honest. You can have it for you, for a charity, whatever (Ruth and Rebekah, are you reading this?)

So what am I doing posting to my blog then, when I have so much to do? I had to tell *somebody*. I had to take a deep breath, have a glass of wine and a relax a little because I was just feeling so damn overwhelmed.

The sentimental post along with photos of FOs and a particularly nice knitting gift will come later. At this moment, I commend you for reading this really rambling post and thank you for your patience.

BTW. Karalyn says hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. She did. She started crawling and standing over the holidays.