Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finished Garter Stitch Shrug

While I didn't particularly enjoy knitting it, I do like the finished product. The Tahki Cotton Classic knits up nicely and feels great.

Tahki Garter Stitch Vest

Side-To-Side Garter Stitch Vest from the Tahki Terra Collection
Tahki Cotton Classic in Black - 10 hanks
Knit Picks Options - size 9
Smallest size

I thought the pattern was easy to follow yet inconsistent and lacking in some details regarding types of increases and decreases which ended up being important to the finished garment. Other than that, it was a quick knit.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Let's Talk About Love

I'm in finishing mode. I finished the Tahki garter stitch "vest" (it looks like a shrug to me) and I'm glad I like it because knitting it left me wondering why I didn't just go find something cropped and black at the local discount department store. I must remember in the future that no matter how cute, quick and easy something looks that if it involves knitting 500 yards of garter stitch with doubled stranded cotton on size 9 needles, I won't be a happy knitter.

I actually really liked the Tahki Cotton Classic, but would definitely prefer it single stranded on size 6s. I find that I really like the smaller needles anymore.

But more on that later because I don't even have any pictures of it for you yet.

Let's move on to what I do have pictures of.

See, I joined the Seasons of Lace KAL so clearly I needed to reinvest some of my destashing funds on a bit of luxury yarn for lace knitting.

Here's some Hand Maiden Sea Silk in (perfect) Ivory for a Swallowtail Shawl.

Sea Silk

and... the most wonderful stuff ever... Fleece Artist Cashlana in Moss for Ene's Scarf.


I can hardly wait to wrap myself up in all this gorgeous green. (You know, green is God's favorite color. Unfortunately the Bible fails to mention that specifically... but if you look around at the great outdoors, it's clear He has quite an affection for the color green.)

Actually, after seeing Cosmicpluto's woven wrap made out of the same yarn, I'm ready to buy a loom! No. Not really. I don't have room. But someday.

Anyway, I'm forcing myself to finish a pair of socks that's been sitting in my basket for a bit too long so I can feel free to move on.

I've also joined the Summer of Socks kal so I'm lining up my lacy sock patterns that will meet the requirements of both KALs. Although, I must admit that I'm not a very good club member. I'm a bit afraid that joining these KALs will ensure that I don't knit a single shawl or sock for the whole summer. I'm a bit rebellious that way... even against my own intentions.

BTW - I got both of these yarns from Knitty-Noddy. I ordered them last Friday night right before the long weekend and they arrived Tuesday!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's Lacey... Almost Ribbon-Like...

And will be wrapped around my neck. Someday. Hopefully.

Lace Ribbon Scarf

Yes it's Knitty's Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery. (I'm such a follower) I have great concerns regarding my ability to knit a scarf with sock yarn on size 3 needles but I'm hoping my love of the Shi Bui Knits sock yarn I'm using will help pull me through.

I made it over to the LYS to return some yarn and left with this...

Noro Matsuri 06

more Noro Matsuri for Carlotta, another project from Noro Joy. Between the color changes and the texture, this yarn has me smitten. I'm trying to finish an easy Tahki vest I'm knitting before I cast on.

Side-to-Side Garter Stitch Vest

We'll see how that goes.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, 9:45 PM

Tired 15 year old son enters living room and says, "Mom, what does persuasive mean?"

Mom: Well, when I was on the phone with your teacher trying to get her to change your test grade I was being persuasive?

Son: Huh?

Mom: (Offers more formal definition.)

Son: Huh? (He says this a lot.)

Mom: Tell me why you need to know.

Son: I'm supposed to write a persuasive essay.

Mom: Oh, well then you need to write a 5 paragraph essay that tries to convince somebody of your point of view.

Son: Five paragraphs?!

Mom: It's due tomorrow isn't it?

Son: Uh... yeah.

Of course it is.

Back with knitting later.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Making the Most of your Money

Well... I can't spend all my time knitting ya know.

I try to stay active in reinvesting my stash funds as well. Actually, I have many fine tips to share in regards to getting the most out of your money in this process. First, you post your much beloved, but woefully neglected stash for sale at a reasonably discounted price. Then, while you're waiting for it to sell (if you have to wait at all), feel free to spend the money you expect to earn at the LYS. After all, you've listed your yarn at a great price so it's sure to sell soon. The money is practically in the bank!

Next, when the yarn actually sells you re-coup the spent money into your Paypal account. Oh, did I say bank before? Well... they're practically the same thing but the LYS doesn't take Paypal and shifting the Paypal funds back into your actual bank account seems like an unnecessary extra step since you know you're going to buy more yarn at some point anyway. So... spend away! Why not? The money is sitting there in Paypal after all!

Anyway, my most series of transactions resulted in the purchase of this Lawre's Baby Bag from The Loopy Ewe.

Lawre's Laine Baby Bag

Since I loved the design, but was at first put off from ordering it by the seemingly small size implied by the name along with the lack of good visual support available in blogland, I'm posting a few photos here for anyone else who may be interested.

This stunning photo is intended to give you a proportional look at the size of the bag. (Note that the bottom is soft, not hard, and does not appear to be so rectangular from a regular perspective but I'm working with an undersized photographer.)

Lawre's Laine Baby Bag

It is very lightweight and fashionable. (I know this because the other day a young, hip gal in the Starbucks line asked me where I'd bought it.) And is deceptively HUGE inside!

Lawre's Laine Baby Bag

It can easily carry my medium size GoKnits pouch with a sweater in progress without seeming bulky. Trust me... you need one of these!

PS: To be completely honest, I truly did forget that I had already spent the expected Paypal funds at the LYS (this time). However, I have a feeling that a conversation with DH regarding said funds is imminent.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Now before I show you the feature of this post... before you start commenting about how "fast" I knit, you must know that it's simply not true. The reality is that I've been working hard at perfecting the technique of flying under the radar as a homemaker.

A few examples:
1) This is dinner.

No tricks, no special spices, and no magic recipes. When it's time to eat, I'll simply open all the packages and dump then in a big bowl for a perfect hot evening meal of Chinese Chicken Salad. Oui-La.

2) As long as I manage to keep drawers full of clean underwear and towels for my husband and clean baseball uniforms for my boys, nobody pays much attention to the laundry. I mean, it's not like any of the kids are going to change their underwear, or even their clothes for that matter, unless I remind them. As long as toothpaste and toilet paper continue diminish I figure we're in pretty good shape. (Remember... all boys.)

3) As it happens, I'm supposed to be resting for the last week or so anyway. Well, not technically, but I'm sure it was the doctor's intention when he prescribed pain medication for some abdominal discomfort I've been having. I mean, if you're taking pain pills, clearly you should be resting... and I know for a fact that I shouldn't be operating heavy machinery. Do you have any idea how heavy a washer or dryer is?

4) Since we are approaching the end of our school year, I really want the children to be focusing on working independently. It's important that they learn just what they can accomplish on their own. Of course, since they tend to get extremely boyish during lesson times, I need to sit nearby and be available to supervise.

5) Lastly, our temperatures have been in the high 90s for the last couple of weeks. Due to my extreme intolerance/phobia of such heat, it's necessary that I stay within 3 feet of the air conditioning unit in our living room at all times. Fortunately, I have 5 children to take care of many of those pesky household chores that need to be done outside this 3 foot radius.

So, as you can see, I am not all that fast or talented... just really good at doing the least that is required of me without arousing dissatisfaction or suspicion. (I say this with some trepidation as I know DH visits my blog. However, I feel fairly confident that it is merely an obligatory visit as I can't imagine he wants to "listen" to me talk anymore than he already does. I guess I'll find out though won't I?)

All that said... I present Scarlett from Jane Ellison's Noro Joy pattern collection.

Noro Scarlett

Noro Matsuri - Color 02: 8 balls
Knit Picks Options: Sizes 6 & 5
Size: 32"

A bit of steam will surely calm the excess curling on the borders, but you couldn't get me within 10 feet of a hot iron today!

Noro Scarlett

I'm glad I chose the smallest size as this yarn has quite a bit of stretch. It is absolutely wonderful to knit with; the only downside being some slightly thicker sections in a couple of balls.

Noro Scarlett

This was a real emotional challenge for me since I knew from the beginning that color matching was not going to be an option. I was going to have to knit and wear a sweater with different colored fronts and non-matching sleeves! But it's NORO, I told myself. I can do it! And I did.

And I'm very glad that I did. The finished sweater is cheerful, soft, and lightweight. Even more incredible... it fits! Another knit that will certainly be seeing the outside world. Hooray!

PS... This post would not be complete if I did not tell you that DH just ran out the door after a phone call from Middle Son who just happened upon a rattlesnake eating a squirrel. He is not alarmed mind you... just wants to see it. If we're lucky, we'll get pictures! Oooooh!

Sing to me A/C unit... sing.

ETA: Oh boy... Fun for the whole neighborhood. Oy.


Can you see why clean laundry is at the bottom of my list of concerns?

Friday, May 16, 2008

It Fits!

Elinor Tunic

Elinor Tunic by Wendy Bernard
Interweave Knits: Summer 2008
Rowan Summer Tweed: 4 skeins Cotton Bud, 1 each Toast, Denim & Powder
Knit Picks Options: Sizes 7 & 6

Elinor Tunic

I am absolutely delighted with this finished knit!

Elinor Tunic

I wasn't too crazy about knitting with the yarn itself since I found it a bit stiff and hard to keep gauge with, but it really softened up with a soak. The resulting fabric has a interesting texture and lovely drape.

Elinor Tunic

Overall, it was a fun, quick, and interesting knit that will most definitely get worn!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Six Things

Thank you for all the comments on my little hypothetical situation yesterday. I have respectfully appealed to the hypothetical teacher and we'll just have to see what happens.

Anyway, in spite of the 90 degree temperatures here, Elinor still isn't completely dry so it was the perfect time for Suzanne to tag me with a meme.

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer."

1) What was I doing 10 years ago? Barefoot and pregnant.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order): Park day, grocery store, doctor's appt., knit, school work

3) Snacks I enjoy: M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies, french fries with a chocolate shake

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Buy a larger house with a big grassy yard, a yarn store and a Starbucks... and some good charitable type of things too.

5) Places I have lived: Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, New York, Missouri, California

6) Jobs I have had: Office Manager, Real Estate Agent/Assistant, Pharmacy Clerk

7) 6 peeps I wanna know more about:

And YOU...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Elinor Continued... and Teenagers

After a pleasant little afternoon nap I started feeling guilty about the amount of time I've spent knitting and sitting in this same ol' spot on the couch so I figured it was time to get some work done. After making the boys clean the kitchen and vacuum (while I attentively supervised), I got up, threw a load of laundry in, and took a picture of Elinor blocking.

Knowing it would be selfish not to share said photo, I forced myself to sit back down so I could post it here.

Elinor Tunic

The fabric is rather stiff in it's natural state but I've heard that it softens up quite a bit with a good soak. I haven't woven the ends in yet around the bottom because I'm fearful I might need to do some frogging and re-shaping on the bottom portion to get the drape I want. But I won't know until it's dry because, as with most things I knit, I'm living on a hope and a prayer until it's completely finished. Don't even mention the 'sw' word to me.

It is pretty though, isn't it. Many of you complimented me on my color selection but I can't take any credit for that at all. The designer, Wendy Bernard, hangs out at the same LYS as me so I asked her to choose the colors.

I must say that I really enjoyed knitting this. Again, it was a quick and interesting knit.

Well, since I was unable to convince my 11 year old that he wanted to learn how to make a meatloaf, I guess I have to go do it myself. Whatever!


Oh... on a side note... I would love to hear your thoughts on the following purely hypothetical situation.

A teenage boy takes an Algebra quiz and scores a B+ (which just so happens to be a great grade for this student). Let's say that the following week, the teacher decides that she is unhappy with the overall scores of the class so she makes a surprise decision to reissue the exact same test and will count each student's best score.

Now suppose, that for some unknown reason, the rather foolish teenage boy (who was thrilled with his prior B+) panics and decides to refer to some notes while taking the 2nd test. For sake of discussion, we'll just call this cheating. For further discussion, imagine he gets caught by the teacher who reports him for Academic Dishonesty.

Now here's the tricky part... while clearly the poor child deserves a punishment (as well as some additional grey matter... I'm thinking if the uterus was located closer to the brain maybe teenagers would inherit more of it's fine qualities and be less of an embarrassment to us mothers as they grow up but that's another discussion entirely), is it fair for the teacher to revoke the previously earned B+ and give him an F on the test?

Just wondering... any solid arguments that could be used to debate the issue would be much appreciated though.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can't. Stop. Knitting.

My days have been full of numerous annoying little issues that keep piling up on me while I'm in the midst of awaiting the results of a biopsy. The biopsy came back clear, but it sure would've been nice if the doctor could've just left a message saying it was clear instead of leaving a message right before he went home last night telling me to call him about the results in the morning. I mean really... why?

Oh well, everything is gradually getting resolved and I feel like I've handled the influx of drama quite well. I've knit like crazy.

Elinor Tunic

I've just started the sleeves for the Noro cardigan and am about finish the Elinor Tunic. I tripped over some laundry in the bathroom so I figured I needed to at least toss a load in. And, as usual, I've needed to feed people... but aside from that, I've knit.

Oh, and shopped. But that's the doctor's fault for making me wait for his return call. I'm not made of stone you know!

Friday, May 09, 2008


Oddly enough, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of time I spend on the internet and the amount of knitting I actually get done. Hmmm...

My Noro sweater is coming along and I'm still madly in love with the Matsuri. However, I'm a fickle gal and easily distracted so I wasn't content to leave the yarn for the Elinor Tunic in the bag.

Elinor Tunic

I can't say that I have anywhere near the same amount of passion for the Summer Tweed as I do for the Matsuri... in fact, it would be one of the least favorite yarns I've knit with. I got gauge right away on size 7 needles but have had to work a bit to get even stitches. That said, I did apply some steam to the partial garment and really like the drape and feel of the knitted fabric. It is knitting up quickly and my enthusiasm to get to the colorwork has kept it attached to my hands.

But, as always, I'm thinking ahead. A sale at the LYS prompted me to make this purchase today. This little jacket doesn't look like much but they have a sample in the store and it's really cute on. I've been eyeing it for awhile so when I saw the 35% off sale I knew just what I wanted.

Tahki Cotton Classic

The pattern is the Side-to-Side Garter Stitch Vest from the new Tahki "Terra Collection" pattern booklet. I think black will make a nice all season accent.

On another note... who else is loving Survivor this season? Poor Erik. But on the plus side, it may scare my boys away from girls for a bit longer.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Vote! Or Not.

As a member of the worldwide knitting community, I feel it's important to refrain from voicing my opinion on controversial issues. I want us to unite... not divide. I want to make friends... not anger people.

But, I'm sorry... I can stand it no longer.

I have to speak my mind and just put it out there come what may. So if you are easily offended or apt to get your panties in a waddle, just move on, because I'm not holding back.

What is up with American Idol???

Did tonight really feature the 4 most exciting young performers that America has to offer??

They went with a safe, talented, yet basically uninteresting group of singers. While there's been a few "wow" moments, tonight was pretty much the epitome of suckdom. (I'm working on getting that word added to the Encarta dictionary at this moment.)

David A: Okay, the kids got talent up the kazoo, but NO stage presence. None. Zip. Zero. BORING. Yet the judges drool over him every week.

David C: Fading fast. Come on... Hungry Like the Wolves??? Unless it's Duran Duran week, there's just no reason to choose that song. None. He had like 50 years of the best Rock and Roll to choose from. 50 years! And he chose Wolves... a song he doesn't really remember because he was a baby. A BABY?! Talk about adding insult to injury.

Jason: "I was thinking Bob Marley! Yeah!" It was the most enthusiasm he's shown to date... and explains a lot actually.

Sayesha: Poor Sa"yes"sha (as I can't still hear Paula's voice taunting me). Why are the judges so hard on her? She was great in auditions... took a while to warm up once the show got going... but has an amazing voice AND... AND is entertaining to watch. I don't get it... except that she has a much more promising future in musical theater than at the Grammys.

Whew! I feel so much better now.

Please feel free to agree with me all you want in the comments!

Oh, if you want to disagree, I guess you can do that too.

Go for it... stir it up.

As for me, I'm rooting for Parvati. Yeah, I know... different show completely... but at least Survivor has been more interesting this season.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I'm Winning, I'm Winning!

Actually, I'm not comletely sure of that. But I'm in a race with another knitter to finish this cardigan.


The best part of the race (my secret weapon)... is the other knitter doesn't know we're racing!

This gives me a great advantage for a couple of reasons.
1) I have no doubt that she would whip this out in mere minutes if she knew as she is an extremely talented knitter.
2) Since is not an official race, I can't actually lose. (I hate losing.)

It's really a win-win situation for me. Especially since I am absolutely in love with this new Noro Matsuri. I've already picked out another pattern in the book that I'm planning on knitting in some reds.

But next on deck is this...

Elinor Tunic & Summer Tweed

Wendy's Elinor Tunic from the new Interweave Knits with the recommended Rowan Summer Tweed.

Busy... busy... busy!

Thursday, May 01, 2008


What a fun, quick knit!

Sideways Cardigan

Sideways Cardigan

Sorry that I'm not more of a model. We were going for a few quick, stealth shots at Park Day today. We're being discreet. Shhhhh.

Sideways Cardigan

Sideways Cardigan from Vogue Spring/Summer 2008
RYC Cotton Jeans - 8 balls
Knit Picks Options - Size 7

The only awkward part of this knit was the bind off at the shoulders. The bind off numbers are based on the original number of stitches picked up. However, since it's a lace pattern, the number of stitches varies each row. I proceeded as instructed but did not end up with the same number of bind off rows at the end as the instructions suggested. To compensate, I just made sure the fronts and back matched as I worked.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the results and think I'll get a lot of wear out of it.

Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone who commented on the last post. My boy just loves all the little notes!