Friday, August 29, 2008

And Did I Mention...

I scored on the Tuesday Wollmeise sneak-up too?

Vincent, Campari Orange, and Zenzi

Yeah. I know. Gratuitous and gluttonous. But again, I literally clicked on the site at just the right time. It was clearly meant to be. Even harder to believe, I actually hit the 3rd sneak up too. But since I want to stay married (and the cc processing was a bit too slow), I passed on that one.

Anyway, it's not all for me. I've promised to share with a couple of friends... and as soon as they come and pry it from my cold, dead hands, they can have it. Just kidding. Sort of. No really, I am... because if I even consider keeping it all, Ken will put me to work at his shop doing oil changes until I've learned my lesson and recouped the cost of the yarn. So I'm only keeping three (or four) of the eight.

I'm really anxious to start using it but I have to figure out which color and pattern I want to use first. Meanwhile, I've been working on a pair of socks for a friend and my DIC Baby shawl.

DIC Baby Stole

I'm really enjoying this and I'm much more encouraged to work on it after the success of my Lace Ribbon Scarf.

BTW - Thanks for your concern for Travis. He has a fractured growth plate in his middle finger. Apparently it's the kind you can't see on x-rays (rolling eyes) but since it's twice its normal size and he hasn't been able to bend it since Monday, I decided to trust the doc on this one.

And yes, I do feel like I've gotten my fix of orange for a while.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Highs and Lows

I only have time for a quick post.

Scored from The Loopy Ewe sneak-up on Monday!


Sonne, Red Hot Chili, Wilder Mohn

Pfefferminz Prinz, Lowenzahn

And unfortunately lots of blue...


Any ideas on how one starts high school classes with a cast on his right hand?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FO: Lace Ribbon Scarf

Although it nearly killed me... and I considered abandonment several times... the Olympic spirit swelled within me and I did it! I finished the never-ending Lace Ribbon Scarf.

Lace Ribbon Scarf

Now don't get me wrong... it really is a great pattern. But I should've paid more attention to the pattern's introduction. Specifically... "Its pattern is easily memorized and a breeze to work on in otherwise wasted moments. It's also ideal for those of us who do not always have a pair of socks on their needles!" A-ha!

Lace Ribbon Scarf

However, I'm glad I persevered because I absolutely adore the finished scarf.

Lace Ribbon Scarf

And got a Ravelympics medal to boot! Fortunately for me, I figured out late Saturday night that the Olympics were ending on Sunday so I was able to get the last few rows finished up and submitted on time.

The details: Knit with 2.5 hanks of ShiBui Knits Fingering (you must try this yarn!) in "Rapids" on size 3 needles. The yarn has just enough variation in in color to make it interesting without being distracting. Love it!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Custom Knits

So... I'm going to attempt to redeem myself here for the slithery photos in my last post with some dazzling... glamorous... finished knits.

Okay... to be honest, they're not my photos. Actually, they aren't even my finished knits. But I hope to start working my way through at least a few of them soon!

I'm talking about Wendy's new book, Custom Knits.

Custom Knits

It is fabulous! The designs are, of course, stunning... gorgeous... versatile... and more. But beyond the great knits, she provides a wealth of information on customizing the patterns, taking measurements, and unique tips. She includes the basic raglan, perfect Malabrigo turtleneck, and simple cardigan as well as... well, here... I'll show you a few.

Custom Knits
(I have the yarn in my stash for this!)

Custom Knits Custom Knits

Custom Knits Custom Knits
(Hmmm.... I should knit one of these right away while it's still summer.)

And this one is extra special to me...
Custom Knits
because it is one of my finished knits. It's a variation on one of her patterns that Wendy asked me to knit for the book. I am bother honored and thrilled that I was able to help out.

I had the chance to see several of these knits when she was working on them so I knew the patterns were going to be fantastic, but I'm just blown away at the overall quality of the book. You need this on your bookshelf. Really!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Please Pray for Zac

Zac is currently coping with some terrible weather. Please pray for his safety. You can read more here. Thanks!

ETA: 8/24 Zac is amazed by unexpected calm seas and getting some much needed rest. Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Husband's "Stash"...

or more about the snakes.

Now, I'm sure I've lost a few of you already with a start like that, but Becca wanted to hear more about the snakes my husband mentioned in my last post.

As you most likely know by now, several of the males in my family are quite enthusiastic about reptiles. If this is news to you, you can read more here, here, here, here, or here. (The last one's my favorite.) But yes, Becca, he also has a menagerie of pet snakes. So this morning I took my camera over to his shop where he keeps his slithery pals for a brief photo shoot. You'll have to excuse the poor quality of these photos but he only had a minute and snakes move more than yarn.

These are male boa constrictors...


And this is one of his female boas.


Ain't she a beaut?!

When the time is right, she gets a visit from one of the males. If they hit it off, they hang out together for a while... Ken sets the mood with some dim lighting and soft music... and 100 or so days later... baby boas. Did you know that boas don't lay eggs, but instead give birth to 10 - 20 squirming little replicas? If all goes well, and unfortunately the snakes aren't nearly as reliable as you'd think, he can then sell the babies for a practical fortune. Or so I've heard.

Behind him you can see one of the several, uh, cages he has in his office. He has a pretty decent variety including one rattlesnake that he caught and is going to relocate. But she hasn't been too happy about her current living conditions, nor does she seem to like people oddly enough, so I couldn't take a picture of her.

Did you know you can buy and sell snakes over the internet and that Fed Ex will actually transport them? Yep, really! Just like buying yarn. Almost.

This next one is a bit more rare...


It's an albino boa...

and I'm betting I could knit an entire outfit out of Noro for what this gal cost.

Just saying.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Interview with the Spouse

I saw this on Sophanne's blog yesterday and thought it would make for some fun Olympic-watching conversation with DH last night.

Me: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
Ken: Nothing.

Me: (silent glare)
Ken: Okay... It keeps you from talking so much.

Me: (pursed lips)
Ken: I was teasing! Wait… what are you writing?

Wyatt: She’s writing down everything you say.
Ken: What?! I'm just kidding.
Me: Then give me an answer. (pouting) My friend's husband did it.

Ken: Well, what’s the next questions?

Me: (sigh) What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?
Ken: The amount of yarn that we store.

Me: What is something I have knitted that you recall as being good?
Ken: Those socks you did yesterday were really cool. They looked more intricate than the other socks you’ve knit.

Me: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?
Ken: Yes!

Me: Do you have any hobbies?
Ken: Yes.

Me: What are your hobbies?
Ken: My snakes, guitars, and bikes.

Me: If we compared money spent on hobbies, who would win?
Ken: You, at this point.

Me: But overall, honey?
Ken: But my biking hobby will prolong my life because it’s healthy. I’m not just sitting in one spot.

Me: What about the guitars and snakes?
Ken: Snakes make money.
Me: How?
Ken: Breeding and selling.
Me: Back to the original question. If we compared money spent on hobbies, who would win?
Ken: Me.

Me: Has my knitting in public ever embarrassed you?
Ken: No.

Me: Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?
Ken: That stuff you just got that you won.
Me: That would be the Wollmeise.
Ken: Yeah.

Me: Can you name another blog?
Ken: The Yarn Harlot, then there’s the Pioneer Woman.
Me: Very good.

Me: Do you mind that I want to check out yarn stores everywhere we go?
Ken: No.

Me: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?
Ken: Yeah… the Swedish love those watches.
Me: Ha ha... seriously though...
Ken: Yeah, it's one of those balls of yarn.
Me: No, but that's not really a fair question because I don't knit swatches.

Me: Do you read my blog?
Ken: Yes.

Me: Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?
Ken: Wouldn’t matter.

Me: Returning to the first question… What is your favorite thing about my knitting.
Ken: Answering questions like this so I can be a part of your blog.


Further commentary on my part just seems unnecessary at this point.

Monday, August 18, 2008

FO: Hedera Socks

Okay... this is much better! Nice and easy what I want, when I want kinda knitting. Actually, I would like all of life to happen when and how I want but it rarely does. And I have to practice, pray for, and attempt self-control in enough areas of my life to inflict it on my knitting too.

So, with great satisfaction, I present my most beloved Hedera socks.

Hedera Socks

I think these may be my most favorite pair of socks EVER!

The yarn is Hand Jive's Nature's Palette Fingering in "Ripe Wheat".

I'm most definitely in a sock mood. I've already cast on for my next pair. They really do make great summer knitting... small, lightweight and portable.

I also joined a book club on Ravelry to give me a literature nudge. I'm currently listening to their August selection Water for Elephants. So far, the story is engaging and the narration is wonderful... although it's harder to skim through the, um, racy parts when your listening than when you're reading. Anyway, I love to be able to knit and "read" at the same time.

Happy summer knitting!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Not Everyone Gets the Gold

Let me show you the projects I've committed to finish for the Ravelympics Wrestling WIP event.

Classic Elite Lace Ribbon Scarf

Now I'd like to show you my progress...


Dishclothes #2 & #3.

As I mentioned before, I've also been quite busy lately with things like Facebook and, more recently, storing all my sock yarn in large ziploc bags according to color. Things that just couldn't be avoided really.

And I felt bad that I had left my first Hedera sock hanging like I did and figured if I could just get it done, then I could focus. And start the 2nd one.

Hedera Sock #1

It's quite possible that I'm just not Olympic material. Although, I also suspect the call of the Wollmeise is much stronger than my commitment to languishing WIPs. Maybe I need a partner to knit in sync with me. Synchronized Knitting. Yes, that's it! But I don't think that was even one of the categories. Now that's peculiar.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm a Winner!

Sheri had a contest on her blog a couple weeks ago to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of The Loopy Ewe... and I was one of the winners! (Insert mental image of middle aged woman doing dorky happy dance around the living room.)

My prize arrived today... wanna see?

This cute little canvas tote and a Wendy Johnson sock pattern. (I lurve Wendy's sock patterns.)

TLE 2nd Anniversary Prize

And what's that inside???
TLE 2nd Anniversary Prize

Lime & Violet Shuanmi Sock in "Shiny"!
Lime & Violet


wait for it....

wait for it...

my very own skein of...

Wollmeise! (More happy dancing.)


The colorway is "am kalten Polar" and I couldn't have picked a better color if I had gotten to choose it myself. I. Am. In. Love.

I tried. I did. But there is no way to capture the vibrant colors with my mere mortal camera. I couldn't pick up the deep and blue purple transition colors. But they're there... your just gonna have to believe me.


I know exactly what I'm going to knit with this yarn too! Empoisonnee from the new Twist Collective. My Ravelympic WIP Wrestling stamina is waning with each passing moment.

One more look. All together now... say "Loopy"!
TLE 2nd Anniversary Prize

And remember...

TLE 2nd Anniversary Prize

Thank you Sheri!!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I am totally choking here under the pressure of the Ravelympics. Ugh!

I'm supposed to be fearlessly wrestling my WIPs, but the competition is fierce and I just can't get the upper hand. It would seem, in fact, that out of complete cowardice, I have done just about everything but wrestle a WIP.

Just look around... Not only have I spent countless hours reformatting my blog (yes, hours... hours to make it this boring and plain... but I was having problems with photos in the old format so for now this was the best I could do), but I joined Facebook (can you hear the suction), tried to figure out Plurk (I failed), and... and knit this...


My very first ever dishcloth. (And since I've reformatted my blog, I can post it bigger than ever. You're welcome.)


But now I will watch the women's gymnastics and wrestle. Minimum age of 16 huh? Am I the only one not buying that?

lace ribbon scarf

Thursday, August 07, 2008

TMI... or More About Me

10 Minutes: That's how long it took on Tuesday morning to realize that my internet was not working.

36 hours: The amount of time, including an embarrassing number of hours spent trying to diagnose and repair this problem through my highly technical system of messing with wires and randomly probing around in software diagnostics that I don't understand, it took me to realize that our phone wasn't working either.

A-ha! Obviously the problem was with the phone lines so I called the phone company who sent some kind men to my rescue. Whew! I totally didn't know what to do with myself for a while. I actually resorted to dusting and cleaning under furniture!

(In my defense, it should be noted that I was gone most of Wednesday at an amusement park sitting in one of the only air conditioned quasi-restaurants to avoid the extreme heat and reflect on the fact that I was now of an age where this seemed preferable to the thrills of my once beloved roller coasters.)

Anyway, if that doesn't tell you enough about me, I'm gonna share more. Becca tagged me with a meme that asks the following:

Think back on the last 15 years of your life. What would you tell someone that you haven’t seen or talked to for 15 years? How would you sum up your life? You get 10 bullet points. A list of 10 things to summarize about you. At the end of your list, tag 5 more people and send on the love…

For starters, 15 years ago I had been married for 3 years, had a 1 year old son and was working as an office manager for a local printing company. Since then...

1. Boys. I had 4 four more boys making a total of 5 sons through whom I've learned more about life, love, legos, and testosterone than you can imagine.

2. Work. I quit my office manager job when I was pregnant with my 2nd baby and the company went out of business (this was a convenient resolution to my desire to quit as it came with unemployment benefits which increased to disability benefits as my due date loomed closer). After he was born, I returned to work in real estate (I had obtained my license years earlier) for a while.

3. Home. I quit working when my 2nd son was about 2 years old to be a full time mommy and embrace the life of diapers, laundry, muddy hands, and play-do. (Actually that's a lie. I hate the smell of play-do so my boys experience with it was limited.)

4. Work again. I would be remiss if I didn't mention my brief stint as a Pampered Chef consultant. It was a fun experience but unrelenting "morning" sickness during my 3rd pregnancy made discussing, let alone preparing, food for others significantly difficult. The birth of my 3rd son made it impossible.

5. Church. Relying on the Lord has become an increasingly important part of my life. Church fellowship is an central part of our family's life and we are grateful for the friends and support with which we have been blessed.

6. School. Ten years ago when it was time for my oldest to start Kindergarten, I began homeschooling him. What was intended to be a single year at home to better prepare him for school, became a whole new lifestyle as I've continued to homeschool my children ever since. This year I will be teaching my 9th, 6th, 4th, and K sons at home. However, my oldest son attends the local high school in order to keep my life balanced and full of obligatory sporting events.

7. Sports. I have learned more about sports than I ever wanted to know. I have attended, and continue to attend more baseball, basketball, and football games than I even thought possible. I'm fairly certain that ESPN is the only news channel that our TV receives and am often shocked by my own ability to discuss current events in the world of sports (go ahead - ask me anything about Brett Favre)... just please don't attempt a discussion of the economy with me. It would be useless.

8. Sanity. At some point after the birth of my 5th, I realized that I just may be insane. More precisely, I became painfully aware that I was never going to get my act of juggling this crazy life together and woefully accepted the fact that neither my kids nor I were ever going to be perfect. This was quite the blow to my hopeless case of perfectionism, but has set me free from such expectations and allowed me to enjoy life more freely... and perfect my skills of denial.

9. Knitting. About 4 years ago, a dear friend put some needles and fun fur in my hands and I have since become passionate about knitting! Not only is it a terrific hobby, I'm quite sure it helps with all of the above too. I also do occasional technical editing and had the opportunity to knit a sweater for one designer that will be modeled in an upcoming book!

10. Blogland. I have become a "blogger" and daily spend time interacting with wonderful, fascinating people I would've otherwise never had a chance to meet! I am constantly encouraged, inspired, and challenged by the many people in blogland who I now consider my friends.

Okay. Now I will pass this on to 5 people. Only 5. I think everyone who reads this should consider themselves tagged. But if I need to pick 5, I'll choose the following bloggers who I would like to see answer this question.

Auntie Pudentaine, Kristie, Lynda, Angelika, and Maria.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sock Days of Summer

SOS Pair #5

Duet Skinny

A Swell Yarn Shop Duet Skinny in "Royal Tenor"
Size 0 Magic Loop

I'm very pleased with how these socks came out. Last time I used contrasting yarn, I had a lot of problems with the heel. The photo really doesn't do the colors justice... they are a bit bolder than they appear here.

If you haven't seen it already, you need to check out the new online knitting magazine, Twist Collective. The pattern selection is amazing!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

So I've been sitting here with some Dream in Color Baby for the last month or so that I purchased at a discount to participate in The Loopy Ewe DIC Baby KAL. Since I've become quite the joiner... and a discount was involved... it was really a no brainer. Except for picking the color. Fortunately for me, Sheri at TLE as the patience of a saint and is as kind as can be when I change colors after placing an order. (Actually, the LYS has come to expect the same of me and has accepted my inability to make a decision with the same good humor with which they accept my husband's hard-earned money.)

But back to the DIC Baby... I finally settled on In Vino Veritas which is the most gorgeous shades of what I'd call garnet. I have absolutely, obsessively agonized over what to make with it. My preference was a rectangular wrap (since I had recently knit the Shetland Triangle in another shade of red) and I was full of visions of a glamorous winter wrapped with the rich reds tossed tossed around my neck just so.

However, such visions are really hard to live up to and all the most perfect wraps require more yardage than I have... or look to boring to knit. Then I found Aquila. (Note: I've seen some smaller versions on Ravelry that are quite stunning.) Yes it is a triangle, but I absolutely became enthralled with the idea of knitting it... a fact that I'm sure is due in no small part to the unavailability of the pattern in English. The pattern is free but from a Finnish online pattern source... and as such, is written in Finnish. Again, this only made me want it more.

So as I stewed and obsessed, it occurred to me this week that the owner of the LYS is from somewhere in that area... could it be?? So I stopped by and guess what? She is from Finland and would be able and willing to help me translate the pattern if I returned with it on Friday! Of course, it didn't seem right to ask for such a favor without making at least a small purchase so I bought this.


Actually, I bought yellow, this is the color I exchanged it for when I went back yesterday.

Anyway, when I returned with the pattern, I started admiring some new lace that she recently started carrying. It's a wool/silk blend from... Finland! Now what better to knit a Finnish shawl with than Finnish lace? Nothing, right? It was a must.


I got home and had to try it right away. Boy is laceweight yarn tiny. I find shawls completely addicting, but I need to work with this for a while to get a feel for what a finished lace shawl will look and feel like. I may want to double it.


Oh, and the DIC Baby... it's on its way to becoming a Sea & Shells Stole. I suppose it could be the coveted Aquila, but it seems to have settled it's way into something else. And peace has been restored to my world.

DIC Baby

On a side note, I finished The Shack. I found it fascinating, although disconcerting at times, and am surprised and disheartened by some of the harsh criticism it's received. Anyway, if you've read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts!