Saturday, April 25, 2009

Knittin' and Teachin' Knittin' and Stuff

So it seems that I've been teaching knitting about as much as I've been knitting lately. Fortunately I actually had a day off from teaching, today, so I enjoyed knitting on a couple or three other things I've had in the works. There's the Lady Eleanor in Noro's Silk Garden sock yarn - smaller, but not smaller.

I was encouraged by students to whom I'd been teaching Entrelac to move forward with the beautiful Noro Silk Garden in the sock yarn. Couldn't say no to students, could I?

Next Up
I'm working on an intarsia
scarf for a class in May. It would be better if I actually used the colors the pattern suggested, but somehow I just ended up creating my own version of the pattern . . . but my students will know how to do it well now that I'm learning to do it well.

Got a New Car

Kia is the name, Spectra is the game. I tell people I have a Kuh-Kuh-Kuh-Kia (think chia pet holiday ads on T I feel like a grown up - there are auto windows, auto locks, I can open the trunk from inside the 'cabin'. The fact that I am a grown up has nothing to do with what I feel like. I typically feel like I'm in my late teens or early twenties.

Perhaps I would rather be THERE, but have the knowledge I have now. Isn't that many of us?

My kid sister moved to Orlando, Florida, finally. She's been dreaming of doing this for about 10 years. She always said she wanted to be there by the time she was 40. And she made it with 3 weeks to spare. I'm not going to say her name so you won't know WHO turned 40 (see Amy, I knew I could do it!!) but let's just say that she's a very special person in my life and I look forward to visiting her at her place that is within one mile of the Magic Kingdom. She writes for and is an avid poster at

I taught a Beginning Crochet class in March. I learned how to crochet over 30 years ago, so it wasn't as easy to teach as knitting has been since I recently learned knitting and I know many "hints" and methods for making Knitting work for YOU. The Crochet, not so much. But I've enjoyed getting reacquainted with this way of creating fabric. Having to THINK about what I'm doing when I'm crocheting was a lot harder. Thanks to websites like Crochet911, I was able to back up to what I knew students need to learn and how to explain the techniques. Here's a toddler's hat a friend MADE me crochet because she had done up such a cute sample at the store and had the pattern handy - right there - with the YARN that was used -- me? pass up a new pattern? of something so cute? that meant I had to get more YARN? Me? yep!

Okay. I'm gonna post some pics now so you aren't just staring at TEXT and wondering to yourself, why did I want to look at this blog again?

Mirasol Yarn is WONDERFUL !!
Here's a recent ongoing project (monogamy is not really a recurring theme for me) using Mirasol's Tupa which is 50% merino wool and 50% silk. I bought the book of Judy Ellison's patterns that included this pattern (pictured on the cover of the book in a soft green and a different Mirasol yarn) just so I could have this pattern. After finding out the pattern was a simple 3X3 checkerboard pattern I wanted to kick my self, but the shop has many other Mirasol yarns coming in this Spring so I am energized and enabled to make many other items in the book! (Thanks a lot, Susan and Maria!).

There was something about speedknitting at ravelry (or was it on facebook about ravelry or about knitty?) and I felt compelled to start on the same project. So start I did. This was when I had discretionary spending money to use on yarn so I ended up with a little more Cascade yarn in a lovely butter yellow for the project. It's hemlock and I started on it, but didn't do anything with the speed part. So here it is as I slowly move along on it:

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Knitting Shall Cease Until December 1, 2009 ! ! !

I love it when Christmas . . . is over !!! Okay. Not really! But I am so so so so so so so so so so very glad to have finally delivered the "Farm Animals Sweater" to my little neighbor.

Here he is modeling it for me to show that: A) It fits !, and B) He has finally received it!!!

And had I mentioned that his older sister had admired my
"Knucks" when I was visiting with them in October? She admired them so that she asked for a pair for herself - and here they are. Uhm, this picture was taken moments after the half-hour weaving in ends session, after finishing the second glove which I had shown her when I delivered brother's sweater Christmas morning. These were delivered Christmas night. And were received with a big smile and a hug!


We gathered at mom's on Christmas Eve and I got to see three of my four great nieces and nephew! Here are one niece's children modeling their Santa hats from great-grandma.

And here is my nephew's little one playing with her cousin.

That's all for now! Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you and yours all the best in 2009 !

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Farm Animals Sweater

Be careful what you promise!

My little neighbor boy has always loved farm animals. Instead of toy soldiers, his relatives have always gotten him some small version of farm animals. He would go to bed with a little bag of them tight in his hand each night, when
I got to babysit him and his sister.

I usually knit when I watch the kiddos. Something the boy referred to as "nutting". One day, rather innocently, he popped off the question, "Would you 'nut' me a sweater with farm animals on it?"
Hesitating with any answer, I said I would see if I could find a pattern for one. Well, I never found a pattern with farm animals on it, so I was left to design my own.

Nearly a year later, I was still "working on a design", as he often heard from me when he asked about the sweater.
Knowing my propensity to procrastinate, I finally told him I'd have it for him on his sixth birthday - er, uhm, that was this past July. I had been to the library and found a book I ended up purchasing for my own library: Kate Buller's Style Your Own Kids' Knits. This is an outstanding resource and has literally hundreds and hundreds of options for design, style, motif, stitch patterns, and layouts. You will use it for years!

With a good effort begun, I scoured the internet for anything I could see well enough to create designs from.
While vacationing at my sister's in Texas in early July, I decided on a pattern for each animal and then thought a barn and tractor would fit right in. Unfortunately, I didn't have the right yarn with me and my sister only has a Wal-Mart as a resource for yarn in her tiny town in Texas.

I began, deciding to do the patterns with their original design of purl stitches on stockinette stitch for the outline and animal particulars like the Holstein's black-on-white markings, the horse's mane, etc. I was well on my way up the back of the sweater and well past the animals when I decided I just didn't like it. It was three days after his birthday and I was home in Louisville already.

The answer, "Almost," became my continuous reply when he would continue to ask about the sweater. Bless his heart !!!!
Now I am ready to seam up the sweater and have finished the animals, barn, and tractor. FINALLY!

I had recently said I'd have it for him by Halloween and I did not. I've not given him other dates, but decided I had to have it for him by Thanksgiving. Considering the recent temperatures in the 30s and 40s, I thought there's no time like the present.

Here it is in progress. I hope to have a finished photo in the next couple of days.

Barn outline and tractor awaiting some duplicate stitch.

Close up of barn before doors are done (can you tell that's a silo in the back?).

Tractor before duplicate stitch on seat and smokestack Before the animals were finished.

The animals before duplicate stitch was added.

The animals after duplicate stitching is done. The cow now looks like the cow and is headed the same way as the other animals. (Sorry this pic is on its side - silly Blogger!)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Beyond Leap Day

I had a great post all drafted up and it was waiting on pictures. Honest I did. I had waxed on poetic about Leap Day and what I did to celebrate. Alas, the draft was lost. It's just as well, since I just took pictures two days ago and will attempt to get them posted herein.

Enough Drivel . . . On To Knitting !
I seem to be enjoying adding sock yarns to my stash and starting new socks over and over and over again. Not re-starting socks, oh no. Starting a new sock, then, "uhhhhh I see a NEW sock yarn, I think I'll start another sock!" I also started a lace shawl with Jade Sapphire 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere.

Socks That Rock
The yarn, not the reality. I finally ordered yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, along with the book about Fair Isle knitting. When I awoke at 3:30 this morning, it was finally time to look at the book and I was mesmerized by the possibilities described in the book. I only purchased two skeins, one lightweight and the other mediumweight. After reading the patterns, I see I'll soon be making another yarn purchase soon!

Jewel of the Nile colorway:

Rolling Stone colorway

Yarn and the books:

I also received a lovely Merino of the color Madame Delmas today. Just look at its loveliness:

Crocheting, by a knitter?!
For some bizarre reason, after seeing a free pattern on Louet's North America website, I felt compelled to purchase the Euroflax yarn and crochet a mesh bag. The name of the pattern is EuroBag. I was amazed by the relative ease it took to complete it and look forward to making some bags for friends to carry their knitting books in (since anything the size of a half dollar or smaller would slip right out. I may have to line the bag in order to carry knitting ... or just use it to go to the pool this summer.

Audiobooks and Knitting And work, actually. I recently listened to Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People while I was at work on a Saturday afternoon. The book is 7.5 hours in length and I actually heard all but the last 20 minutes. It was 11:00 p.m., though and I had to go home so I finished it the next Monday. I've enjoyed Jimmy Carter's Peace and Palenstine, Bruce McLaren's Everything Must Change, Barack Obama's Dreams of My Father, and The Audacity of Hope. The 60-Second Procrastinator was good to listen to, but I think I need to listen about 20 more times to really hear it since I'm usually working when I listen.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Itchy Knittin' Fingers

To carry on from Wendy's Blogging Rules ....

Rule # 48
When you don't have a lot to blog about, use a bigger FONT!!!

Oh yeah, itchy knittin' fingers. (not dermatitis or eczema) Well, I posted a reply on's foum on knitting answering "How Many Projects Do YOU Have on Needles NOW?" I 'fessed up to 8, or was it 9 ....

I have finished knitting one or two of those, but now I have to sew them up, so are they really DONE?

I just started on a pair of socks from Favorite Socks, but find I really have to concentrate so am looking for something else to start on (page 68 - with Crystal Palace's Panda Wool after being tempted by friend and fiber artist, Valerie). Maybe the Icarus Shawl, or some other shawl with my new Jade Sapphire's 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere lace weight yarn. But I also got a new yarn from an eBay store that I'm curious about working with. I'm not mentioning the eBay store where I found the yarn because I discovered it's "Made in China" and after watching "China Blue" on PBS's Independent Lens, I hesitate to even put my jeans on for riding my motorcycle.


Yes I did actually ride this weekend. UIIt was a beautiful day for riding and I have the appropriate "biker's SUNBURN" to show for it. It will turn into a Biker's Tan, but not yet (and I do not recommend this method for achieving any sort of tan). Proof that I rode this weekend? Sorry, no pictures. But I have to tell you that when I reached into my purse this morning to get my work badge out, I came across my motorcycle's license plate. Yes, it was in my purse. I was in the lobby at work. Not at home. In the lobby. See, when I had my little *hiccup* riding last summer on my way to Philly, I lost my bracket that holds the license plate. Well, I did get a new license plate, but am still without the bracket.

I do still own a camera. I have uploaded knitting-related pictures to my computer. Admittedly, I'm just too lazy at this moment (again) to put the pictures on this page.

Have I mentioned I'm listening to podcasts lately? I love Brenda Dayne of Cast-On. Her health has kept her from regular posdcasting of late, but if you listen to her 40+ episodes done so far, you'll have at least a work-week's worth of entertaining listening. (Available on iTunes.)

Samson, the African Grey Parrot, is well and up to his usual antics. This morning he pulled the towel off the toilet tank (he sits on the [closed] toilet lid and talks to me while I get ready for work). Today he uncovered one of his favorite toys -- the flusher handle. He knows when he's doing something he's not supposed to because he usually laughs (my laugh) and says, "What are you doin'?" Then he starts in that motherly-reprimanding-tone, "Come on. Come on. Come on." With various postiive inflctions so it sounds like it will be fun to get OUT of trouble!!!

Thanks for stopping by... I PROMISE, pictures next time.

BTW - I got into Sockapalooza 4 for the 2007 April - August tour. I couldn't tell you because YOU might get there before me and I wouldn't have been one of the 1000 to sign up for this year's exchange. Maybe I'll remind you next time. Maybe. See you soon!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Let Me Sum Up

You know that part from The Princess Bride after Westley has been brought back from near-death as follows(?) :

Inigo: (to Fezzik) Tilt his head back. Open his mouth.

Fezzik: How long do we have to wait before we know if the miracle works?

[Inigo forces the "miracle pill" into Westley's mouth]

Inigo: Your guess is as good as mine

Westley: [Suddenly] I'll beat you at your part, I'll take you both together

Fezzik: [matter-of-factly] I guess not very long.

Westley: Why won't my arms move?

Fezzik: You've been mostly dead all day.

Inigo: We had Miracle Max make a pill to bring you back.

Westley: (rapidly) Who are you? Are we enemies? Why am I on this wall? Where's Buttercup?

Inigo: Let me 'splain; No, there is too much; Let me sum up. ... Buittercup is marrying Humperdinck in little less than half an hour... so all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, make our escape, after I kill Count Rugen.

Westley: That doesn't leave much time for dilly-dally.

So away with dilly-dally, let me sum up . . .

I've been knitting
Shocking, I know ... knitting. I had many good ideas for blog fodder, but, alas, I did not blog. Thanks for coming back to check in -- I hope you won't be disappointed.

Well, and doing other things, too. No, not riding the motorcycle, just other things. And these days I'm teaching knitting classes for beginning knitters and project classses at a couple of local shops. I've been knitting on about six projects recently: four projects for classes, one gift poncho in seed stitch, and a partridge in a pear tree (sorry, couldn't resist ... Samson's been singing FIVE GOLD RINGS still).

Anyway, very busy I find myself these days (and watching some Star Wars with Yoda who backwards talks from time-to-time).

So, I need to put in some pictures.

Certainly the Entrelac Lady Eleanor Stole is done and a favorite of many. I am writing a scarf pattern similar to it to accommodate a scarf classs. And then I've been working on some items for my fuuture great-niece or-nephew (due August-ish), which makes it all the fun.

Uhm..... and I've been staying warm, even though all our winters have been warmer than norm.

So now it's to my crunch time at work and I'm recovering from a cold, but just plain ol' enjoying life!!!!!

So how the heck are you?

And to other things since "then"
I have been listenting to some podcasts on my new video iPod. I know. It's a video iPod - I should be WATCHING something. Well, some of the podcasts have pictures with them (thanks hollyspring) and some of them have sponsors with great products (thanks Brenda at Cast-On for letting me know about Dame Candles) and someone suggested their lovely Green Tea which I am enjoying at this moment.

And I've been knitting on

Poncho for friend - like mine - Queeensland's Maldive Cathy Poncho in seed stitch in Red -- yes, just like mine. Apparently my friend is just like us knitters -- once we see the object, we fall into the trance ... "Must Make The Object" in the same color and pattern.

A friend is calling for a road trip and I think it's involving Virginia. One if by land and two if by sea -- I think we'll do this during the summer months after TNNA Market.

I have received the information from TKGA for the Level 1 Handknitters Master program.

I have been putting my hand to a drop spindle in the desire to spin yarn. Not necessarily yarn I will use, I will at least have gone from critter to garment, maybe.

And.... going to the dentist. My teeth don't exactly look like those on the website, but I was in need of some dental-ist attention. Alas, I'm in love with a man-- my dentist.

too much
so I've become like the woman I long to be like ...

Organizing my needles so I can be like Wendy Knits. I now have a a needle organizer like Wendy's because I found I was gathering a number of needles (many on unfinished objects) that I have set aside due to the allure of the sirens of other projects.

Samson Sez:
"I'm fine thanks, how are you?" in a melodic tone much like, uhm, me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tah Dahhhh !!!

Isn't that what your family says whenever they're showing off something new?!!! Well, here it is (in its almost-complete photo). Without further ado . . .

Thee Lady Eleanor Stole from ScarfStyle

Huh? It's not done? Well as far as your picture shows, it is not done. However, I finished it Sunday and weaved in the ends and wore it to work on Monday!!! Huh? Why no picture of the finished product? Well, I have to find just the right model to wear it so you can see it as it drapes magnificently on someone (not me). An excuse? Uhmmm yes.

In the meantime, I've finished the back panel of the Vogue skirt and have begun earnestly on the front panel. Having just completed the lower section of lace-stripes, I'm ready for something more like stockinette for a bit. (Picture later.)

The Heifer Project
In case you have some money you want to use for a good cause besides getting me an Extreme Tickle Me Elmo, hop on over to WendyKnits and donate some funds to the Heifer Project. So far she's doubled her initial goal of $5,000. You have a chance to win something for each $10 you donate. I love that Lucy's waiting (daily) for some little chicks to show up ... alas she will be disappointed, but I think Lucy (and Wendy) will rejoice with all of us as good is done with the donations. Thanks Wendy!!!!

Special Friends
A shout out to blog-less Donna in Indianapolis. She's become a new knittin' buddy and has shared with me about some yarn purchases she made in Switzerland while vacationing recently. She and her sister-in-law, and my friend, Roberta, gifted me in a special way after a meaningful event we shared together last weekend on behalf of their late mother-in-law. Expecting nothing but "being a part" I received a BASKET-ful of African Violets and a yummy fruit basket on Monday. See for yourselves what beautiful gifts NICE people give (besides their friendship which, truly is priceless).

Some pics of the African Violets

(There are 10 separate pots in the basket !!!!!!!)

And the yummy fruitbasket from Paul's Fruit Market.

Thanks gals!!

Now for a word or two from Samson

Peek a boooooo!!! (er uhm ... No, I'm not one of the chicks Lucy keeps hoping for!!!)