Archive for November, 2006


I haven’t knit Christmas gifts before…. I don’t like the pressure. Will I get it done in time? Will they like it? Will they appreciate it? Will they appreciate all the time and effort that went into it? Should that matter to me?

Maybe knitters should only knit for other knitters.

No…. wait, I did knit one scarf last Christmas, and the recepient appreciated it very much. I guess that’s a good start.

I’m knitting 3 Christmas gifts this year. Two hats, and one set of wrist warmers. I should be able to handle that – especially since two of them are now done. Lucky for you – none of these people read my blog – so you get to see them and I have something to talk about.

I showed you one hat in the last post – the Fake Isle hat. It’s going to be given in a gift exchange for the hubby’s Christmas party this year. This is a bunch of guys who spend a lot of time out in the cold, and comment on his hand knit hats…. to which he always comments “love in every stitch, guys.” So, it should be appreciated.

In the last post – the hat was modeled by Lily’s boyfriend. He was quite enamored of the hat – so he’s getting one, too.

These wrist warmers are for my niece. I’m not sure if she’ll like them… but I’m gonna push the cashmere factor of the Cashmerino, and that may help. And, they’re kind of the “go-with gift” to her real gift. I’m thinking they’ll be well received.

I like them – a LOT! In fact, I need to wrap them quick, before I wear them out trying them on. I have a real urge to keep them for myself. No… I’ll wrap them today.

Lucky for me, I have another ball of Cashmerino – and we’re traveling to Texas for Christmas this year so this just may be my airplane knitting – after all the pressure is off and the Christmas knitting is done and wrapped. A present to myself. After all – it would be knitting for a knitter.

Pattern: Fetching, Knitty, Summer 2006
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashermino Aran, color 300201 – one ball, EXACTLY, not an inch to spare.
Modification: No picot edge, just a plain cast off.

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Simple Pleasures

We have a rule at the “Little House” – no TV, no radio, my mom barely allows a clock…

We have cheated a little bit and let the kids take their iPods. It seems a little wrong, but they really don’t use them that much up there.

Instead, we knit, we play cards, we sit by the fire pit, we go for walks, we read, the kids go play at the park and the playground. We teach each other to knit, and weave. Check out Kaity’s new skills on my mom’s portable Ashford loom. And, yes, Kaity now wants a loom, too!

We talk, we play board games, we ride minibikes. In the summer we float down the aqueduct or go to the high school pool. We play in the creek. My dad takes the kids crawdad hunting. We go on jeep trips – to check out the mines, or drive 15 minutes up the to the snow in the Sierras. We go to check out the fish hatchery.

It’s amazing how many things we find to do. How much fun we have.

It’s amazing how much time we spend NOT doing these things at home. It’s kind of sad, really. But, when we’re up there, it’s not the “real world.” It’s where we go to escape the real world. I am so thankful we have this place. I am so thankful that my kids love it SO MUCH – and know how to have fun with each other, and the simple pleasures.

But, I can still knit at home. I just have more time to do it at the Little House.

Check out my cool Fake Fair Isle hat, modeled by Lily’s boyfriend, doing his best “male model” pose. This took me about one day at the Little House last weekend. Who knows how long it would take me at home. Well, I guess we’ll fine out, because two of these and a set of hand warmers make up the entirety of my Christmas knitting.

If I could live the “Little House” lifestyle all the time I could get a LOT of knitting done, but I would never want the “Little House” to become the “real world.” That would be sad. We need it to stay special – someplace we can’t wait to get back to, and don’t get to often enough.

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I’m In Love With Starsky

I.Love.This. LOVE.IT!

and….. IT FITS!

My new Starsky was done in time to make the trip to Independence for Thanksgiving…. and I wore it quite a bit! However, we were too busy hanging out, knitting, eating, playing cards, shopping in Bishop, etc, to get a picture of it in action. Kaity and I kept saying “we need to go do a photo shoot” – but never got around to it. So…. you get the at-home, self portrait in the bathroom picture.

Did I mention I love it? I think everyone needs to make one. And, use this yarn. This Cascade EcoWool is my new favorite. It is SO soft…. and it took less than 3 skeins to make the sweater!

Pattern: Starsky, Knitty, Winter ’05
Yarn: Cascade Ecological Wool, Color 8087, less than 3 skeins.
Size: Large – but my gauge was way off, so it ended up blocking out easily to the medium measurements, and luckily fits perfectly.

PS – I ended up knitting the belt myself… Kaity wimped out on me after about 8″ and wanted to knit her own projects. Guess I can’t blame her. She still gets points for helping me out. Love that kid :o)

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….. for getting a lot of knitting done. This must be one of the signs of being a “real” knitter (whatever that is). I’m actually looking forward to what is sure to be a long wait at the doctor’s today. Kid #3 has an appointment, and this office has notoriously long wait times…. and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m taking Starsky and I’m gonna knit like the wind.

This blob you see here is Starsky, fronts and back joined at the shoulders, 264 stitches picked up for the shawl collar (which I was not looking forward to, but actually went very smoothly) – and about two-thirds of the collar knit. I got a LOT of knitting done this weekend! I’m hoping to finish the collar and get it blocking tonight so I can seam it up tomorrow. At least that’s the plan.

I think it’s a sure thing now that Starsky will make it to the Little House this weekend. I can’t wait. It’s gonna be cold enough – and I just may wear it the whole weekend. I’ll get pictures of it there for y’all – you know, on locale.

Yes – I’m still going on the assumption that somehow it will fit. It might. It’s looking likely. We’ll see.

I’m even paying Kaity $10 to knit the belt. Sad, I know. Cheating, maybe… but I REALLY don’t want to knit a 68″ belt, and she’s always money hungry, so it’s a win-win.

… and just a side note – I’m thinking I may make patch pockets. I do like pockets. We’ll see.

After the MD appt we’re off to Monday Night dinner, where we’ll get our cooking assignments for Thanksgiving. Mmmm, I can hardly wait! Thanksgiving’s almost here – and I am SO blessed!

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I’ve been thinking…. wouldn’t it be great if every pattern gave number of actual stitches needed to complete the project. That would help me immensely when I’m decided how big a project I want to tackle. I have no clue how many stitches are in a sweater or a shawl…. I suppose I could figure it out, but I don’t want to.

Of course, if I knew ahead of time how many actual stitches it was going to take to finish that Fair Isle sweater on #3’s, I may have never taken it on.

Just a thought…. and my apologies to all of you who actually write the patterns, I can’t even fathom how you are able to figure out the patterns for all the different sizes – much less how you would try to figure out how many stitches are in a particular pattern. Still, it would be an interesting tidbit of info, I think.

And…. is it wrong that every time I pass my beautiful china cabinet with all my beloved china and crystal in it, I imagine it filled with my growing yarn stash instead. Did I already blog about this before? Maybe – I sure do think about it alot. It’s just a shame that all that beautiful yarn is hidden away in ziplocs in a cupboard. I do like to look at my yarn…. Wouldn’t it look pretty in there. Maybe just a shelf or two?

Maybe I should just keep my eyes peeled for another china cabinet – I mean “yarn cabinet.” Now, there’s a thought :o)

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I Love My Blogger Friends

Man – I am definitely a vacationhead lately – we’re going out of town for Thanksgiving and I already can’t wait. I need some down time! I’m feeling restless and lazy at the same time. Good thing for me I work at home… the only thing that got me out of my workout clothes this morning and into the shower was that my stoooopid jog bra was digging into my shoulders. Can’t stand that. Otherwise, I may not have changed clothes all day. We’ll, at least I did go work out…. I’ll give myself credit for that.

Restless, bored, and don’t want to work. That’s the state of things today.

Luckily, the weekend looks light…. so maybe some movies and knitting will hold me over. What I could really use is a nice rainy day and a day of knitting while watching Gone With The Wind with the girlies. Now, that’s a perfect day.

But, looking at the weather…. that’s not likely to happen. For some reason, we need a rainy day to do Gone With The Wind justice….

So, yeah…. Starsky is still coming along. I’ve finished the left front – now just the right front, a big ol’ shawl collar and an absurdly long belt to go. Hmmm, I’m not thinking it’s gonna be done in time for Thanksgiving, which was my plan, so I guess I know what knitting I’ll be brining along!

So…. instead of boring you with more boring brown Starsky pictures (although, I gotta say…. I’m LOVING it, especially the yarn), I thought I’d talk about two great bloggers.

First, is Theresa from Knitting Underway. I love this girl! She was my inspiration behind Count Your Socks. Get this – she just recently finished her 100th pair of socks!!! 100 pairs of socks! And get this, she also knits gorgeous sweaters and does amazing lace work… but most importantly, she is a doctor and a lieutenant in the Navy, serving as a Navy doctor in San Diego. She’s one of my heroes, in knitting and in life. Go check out her blog and peak in as she enjoys her “new California lifestyle!” It’s my goal to meet up with her some day. In the meantime – check your mail next week Theresa – there’s a little something headed your way.

My second favorite blogger of the day is Mary-Kay of Mamascrapalota-Blogga. She spins and hand dyes some of the prettiest yarn I have ever seen. She just commissioned Kaity to knit her some wrist warmers, as they are moving this weekend from San Diego to Colorado. She sent Kaity a great package yesterday with some of her hand-dyed roving, and some white roving with packets of Kool-Aid so she could practice dyeing her own roving…. which we did last night! Fun! She also sent along this gorgeous skein of laceweight for me – just because!…. which she also hand-dyed. It is sooooooo pretty – and there’s a lot of it! Thanks Mary-Kay :o)

So…. even if I’m completely blog-boring lately, at least I’ve got friends who arent!

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I am NOT a frogger

What the flip….

I’m thinking today, while I’m working, that the reason I haven’t knit a lot on Starsky lately is because I’m tired and just don’t want to think anymore by the time I get to my my hour or so of knitting time at night… so most nights lately I’ve just sat there and veged, because I don’t have the brain cells left for even a simple cable pattern.

So then I think…. I’ll just work on some mindless part, like the belt. Yeah, the belt is gonna take forever anyway, so I might as well get a start on it and I can knit it in the car, or at night if I’m too tired to tackle the charted parts.

oy, oy, oy…. I’m my own worst enemy. This is one of those two-needle-size patterns….. for the body and sleeves you cast on with the larger needles, etc, and the belt uses the smaller needles. So, I go into my needle case to get the 9’s for the belt and – WHAT THE FLIP!? – they’re not there. Yes…. I’ve been using the stinking 9’s instead of 10’s the whole time.

So now, one whole back and two sleeves into the project I decide to recheck my gauge, which was perfect in my swatch. (why does swatch now sound like a four letter word to me – I’m with all of you who are in the “swatches lie” camp).

Yeppers, my gauge is off. I’m getting 20 stitches to 4″ instead of 16. The sweater will be smaller than it’s supposed to be.

Holy Poo on Toast – I am NOT ripping this out and starting over. I know many of you would. I read it in you blogs. Some of you will even rip out a whole garment and knit the whole thing AGAIN to get gauge. I don’t even understand people like you – no offense intended, but there’s no flipping way – No.Way.

I am not one of you. I would rather stab my eyes out with a DPN than RE-knit. Not gonna happen. I will blindly keep knitting and hope for the best. I will justify and tell myself that I was between sizes (I was), and opted for the larger size, so it may all be fine in the end. I will tell myself that even though the numbers haven’t budged in the last few weeks, I have exercised myself into a smaller jean size, so I’m on my way down and the sweater will fit in a few months when I’m thinner. I’ll block this sucker to within an inch of it’s life… I’ll pretty much tell myself any lie that keeps me knitting a possible failure. But I won’t frog and start over. I just don’t have it in me.

I will cry and give it away to a tiny person before I will frog and re-knit.

Seriously, what a gol’ darned bone head. How hard is it to read “with the larger size needles, cast on….. blah, blah, blah” Who even knows at this point what size I knit my gauge swatch on.

Ya know what – I am NOT a frogger, it is what it is… and I’m gonna knit my stoopid mindless belt tonight during Grey’s Anatomy. Because at this point that’s all I trust myself to do.

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Pinch Hitter Knitting

Hola my friends! Yes – It’s long-lost me…. and with a FO no less!

Ok – full disclosure, I had Kaity knit these for me…. She whips these wrist warmers out pretty fast. I was thinking I’m gonna need a pair for walking in the cold mornings.

Ok – another disclosure, it’s been in the 80’s to 90’s here for the last few weeks and I have NO use for these right now…. but they’re SO pretty and soft. And it’s gotta get cold eventually. I’ll settle for mildly chilly at this point.

Pattern: Kaity made up
Yarn: Heather‘s gorgeous homespun BFL she gave me a while a back. I used some of it for stripes in my Essential Stripe sweater (also longing for cold weather), but had quite a bit left over. Still do actually. It’s so soft. I love this yarn.

What have I knit? Well, I FINALLY had some time last night to pick up my knitting, after about a week of not even having time to touch it. I did manage to finished the back of Starsky last night. Woo Hoo! I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever see the day.

I’ll try to get some pictures tonight of the back and the two sleeves. Really – that’s about all the knitting excitement there is to show you. Sad, I know. I’m trying.

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Brain dead… heh heh

I haven’t even picked up my knitting in the last two days – I was hoping to be finished with the back of Starsky now… but I did….

take LOTS of pictures at Monday Night Dinner while all the kids carved their pumpkins…

I made a Jell-O brain

and some Ogre Finger cookies

and threw a Halloween party for Lil and her boyfriend and friends

and dropped Kaity off at her friend’s Halloween party

and helped The Bud hand out candy (we get about 200+ trick-or-treaters every year!).

Tonight I’m gonna sit and rest… and knit.

Well, first I have to do something about that half eaten brain in my kitchen sink.

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