Monday, June 30, 2008


Swallowtail Shawl

Swallowtail Shawl byEvelyn Clark
Interweave Knits, Fall 2006
Handmaiden Sea Silk - Ivory - less than 1 skein
Size 5 Knit Picks Harmony needles
Knit in 1 week!

Swallowtail Shawl

The pattern was fun and interesting to knit, and the yarn is just heavenly.

Swallowtail Shawl

While it looks great with a tank top and faded denim shorts, I'm hoping to wear it to my niece's wedding next month for a touch of elegance.

I should buy some make-up too I suppose.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Baseball, Plums & Knitting

It is quiet in my house at the moment. Do you have any idea how unbelievably rare this is?? The kids are outside, the TV is off, and all I can hear is the hum of my living room A/C unit. Shhhh...

With my oldest son home, "we" have been watching a lot of baseball lately. Did you know that with all the satellite channels available, you can find a baseball game to watch any time of the day or night? Really. I'm pretty good at tuning out background noise (such as little boys standing nearby saying "Mommy... Mommy... Mommy"), but have you ever noticed how much talking there is in baseball? And it's not like football where there is enthusiasm and drama in the announcer's voice as he describes the action on the field. No... they just talk... about anything really. Stories about a player's high school years, where his dad went to college, how he met his wife, yada, yada, yada... interspersed with "ground ball to left field" comments that barely sidetrack them from their story. Anyway, now that I've noticed it, it's driving me absolutely batty.

Of course this is just part of the suffering I must endure in the midst of the territorial battles that take place between 5 boys over the remote control. I can really only get control if I manage to lure one of them into enjoying one of the shows I like. I've been fairly successful at this, as long as I avoid anything too girly, but I just got season one of Monk (a new discovery for me) and I can't get anyone else interested. So it usually comes down to baseball or Phineus & Ferb. Sponge Bob is always a good standby too... but I draw the line at repeats of The Suite Life of Zach & Cody.

But today the younger ones are outside selling plums from the back yard with a neighbor. In spite of my efforts to ruin my kids' lives by imparting on them the true foolishness of lemonade stands and such, they still seem pretty enticed by the idea... and I've realized it means quiet... so today they are outside making the big bucks.

In spite of the almost constant tooth pain I've been enduring (which has, btw, left me clenching my teeth a lot so now I have an achy jaw too), I managed to finish my Swallowtail Shawl in 1 week! I'll post official finished photos when it's dry, but here's a sneak peek.

Swallowtail Shawl

And finally, a finished picture of Gilda.



I'm definitely seeing more beads in my future. There's actually a great LBS (Local Bead Store) down the street that I'm looking forward to exploring.

Speaking of exploring, my oldest son turned 16 recently. (Yes... 16... can you believe it? I'm still in shock.) Of course this has brought on much discussion about that great right of passage into adulthood known as acquiring a driver's license. (Plugging my ears and humming the Star Spangled Banner.) However, while we look into taking the necessary steps for this rather common event, a 16 yo from our homeschool group has embarked on a not so common journey. (Be sure to check out the link to his blog.) And I worry about my son driving to the mall!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good News, Bad News

The good news...

I LOVE both the Swallowtail Shawl pattern and the Handmaiden Sea Silk!


Pure joy and luxury!

The bad news...

I'm not so in love with my first SOS 2008 socks.

SOS 2008

The pattern and yarn just aren't doing it for me. I realized this very (very) early on but, because I was enjoying the pattern so much, I knit on in blind hope.

Good news...

I found a new pattern that perfectly complements the yarn.

Speedway Socks

Speedway Socks by Anni Design (Ravelry). I love me some little stripes!

Bad news...

It appears I need, at the very least, a root canal. :(

Good news...

Your turn to play. See ya in the comments.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What's in Your Freezer?

I can say pretty confidently that I am most certainly the least creative person I know. Counted cross-stitch was as creative as I ever got for most of my life. All knitting I do requires a pattern and I consider subbing yarn a huge creative leap.

However, in a twist of Creative irony, I have given birth to one of the most creative people I have ever known. He amazes me everyday with his outlook and activities.

For example, "Hey bud, what are you doing?"

Frozen cavemen

(I bet you thought I was joking about the fedora, didn't you Lynn?)

"I'm digging up frozen cavemen."

Frozen cavemen

"Ahhh... so you are."

So there you go. A recipe for summer fun for your kids. Frozen cavemen.

I did finish a pair of socks the other day that I started last summer. They had disappeared for quite some time.

Blueberries & Cream Socks

Stone Barn Fibers Sock Yarn
Blueberries and Cream colorway on size 0 needles

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Today's the Big Day!

Time for the summer KALs to start.

I got up early to get a few chores done before it got too hot, and so I could start my new projects.

I cast on for my first Summer of Socks pattern which was a freebie for the club from Wendy Johnson. I'm using Chameleon Colorworks Bambino.

SOS 2008

And a Swallowtail Shawl with some Handmaiden Sea Silk. This is a perfect yarn to knit with during a heat wave!

Swallowtail Shawl

Unfortunately, I also woke up with a bad cold/allergies so I took some Benedryl... and went back to sleep.

Oh, and did mention that I also signed up for The Loopy Ewe's Dream in Color Baby KAL?

DIC Smooshy

The colorway is In Veritas Vino. More garnet than purple as it may look. I haven't quite decided what it's going to be yet. I'm open to any scarf ideas.

You don't think I've gotten carried away do you?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Setting Myself Up for Failure

I ended up not starting anything new this week. I finished Gilda, my first beaded scarf project, and am trying to finish up one of the pairs of socks that's been on the needles since last summer.

Why? Because tomorrow it all begins! I have signed up for the Summer of Socks 2008 and Seasons of Lace KALs which both start tomorrow, the first day of summer! As I patiently wait for the time to tick by, I figured I should get prepared.

So I wound up my Ivory Sea Silk for the Swallowtail Shawl that I'm going to start first thing tomorrow and the Schaefer Heather for a beaded Undulating Waves scarf so I can start bribing boys to string beads when they're "bored", because heaven forbid I have bored children!

Seasons of Lace

Then I figured that I'd better get prepared and wind up some of the sock yarn I plan to use this summer.

Summer of Socks

I would hate to be in a rush, or ready to start a new sock and have to stop to wind the yarn! Besides, with the way I'm sure the socks are going to be flying off my needles, this will make it so much easier to just grab what I need.

There... I've said it. Actually I've put it in writing for the world to see which will most likely assure that I don't knit a single sock or piece of lace for the next 3 months. But what can I say... Reality doesn't live here.

Pictures for fun...


I saw these Skechers at WendyKnit's blog and had to get some. I got them straight from Skechers on sale for $15 with free (FREE) shipping! They are comfortable and ventilated.

Then I had a little shopping spree at Sonny & Shear that included this yarn from Mama Llama that I absolutely love!! The colorway is "Cowboy". I'm crazy about that sliver of green.

Mama Llama Sock II

Now I must go finish that sock so I have empty size 0 circs for tomorrow!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Where have I been?

Whew! I'm not even sure... but it seems to have involved a lot of endless running around.

I've done a bit of knitting,


but I'm not feeling excited about it. I have realized, however, what I really love about knitting and why it has held my (very short term) interest for so long. In a word... variety.

I've been working on garments lately. And for a while, patience was my virtue and hours of stockinette was my friend. But I'm a fickle gal and as such I'm feeling myself tempted by thoughts of lace, socks, and a never before experienced passion for something red. Not just any red... but deep silky red.

Now the tricky part is that, as well as being fickle, I am also burdened with a sometimes disturbing sense of commitment. It is hard for me to walk away from an unfinished garment (mainly for fear of never returning) yet I am beginning to languish with boredom and a dreary lack of fulfillment.


However, fate it would seem has intervened. It appears that, as much as I really do love knitting this cardigan even though I had to go down to size 1 needles, the pattern and yarn are a bit too much on my poor neck at the moment.


The neck I could handle with a good adjustment (which I plan to get soon) but it is multiplied by a splitting headache and a tooth that has some serious issues going on in the way of massive amounts of nerve pain. I tend to be the kind of gal who avoids dealing with these type of things until I can't get my hands on any more pain meds but I suppose I'm going to have to deal with that this week too.

So there you have it. Fate in the form of pain. I'll take it. Don't you think I should cast on for a new sock? Or maybe some lace? Hmmm...

Meanwhile, I did something I've never done before. I dropped all my kids off at VBS this morning and didn't stay to help! So far this morning I have been quite busy wasting time. It's been a good morning. Tomorrow I think I'll clean.

Monday, June 09, 2008

But it Didn't Stop There

You may have noticed that my last post was titled In Which Things *Begin* to Get out of Hand. Here's the rest of the story.

Every summer... well every summer since I started knitting which would be about 3 or 4, I get a craving for the perfect white summer cardigan. This craving leads to endless hours spent searching the internet and LYS catalogs for the perfect knit... nothing too fancy, but not too plain either, lightweight, durable, and, most important, relatively quick without being bulky.

I've found patterns and yarn in the past (which I won't link to, but exist in my blog somewhere) but nothing was ever quite right.

Well finally... I've found it! "Martha" from Rowan 37. Perfect!
Rowan Martha

A whole cardigan knit with 4ply cotton on size 2 needles. Just what I had in mind!


(BTW Maria - There's a beaded version of this sweater too just in case you want the pattern when I'm done. I know how you love those beads!)

So I couldn't wait to get started, but somehow, in between swatching (yes I did swatch!)and casting on, this got going on my needles.

Noro Carlotta

More Noro Matsuri for Carlotta. I so love this yarn!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

In Which Things Begin to Get out of Hand

It's all the Yarn Harlot's fault. Really.

She recently posted the beginnings of a beaded scarf she was planning to knit. You know the one... Schaefer's Undulating Waves scarf... the one that I see everyone talking about now.

Well, in my defense, I noticed when I looked up the scarf that I already had it queued on Ravelry so finding a kit for the scarf at EarthFaire was pretty tempting. Even more tempting was the fact that the kit quickly sold out. This meant it was both popular and hard to get. This meant... I had to have it.

Undulating Waves

Now I really intended to just kind of slip it into my stash without calling attention to my, uh, quirky, impulsive nature. However, they packaged it all in such a nice little kit, I wanted to tell you about it. I had a choice of beads that would create a contrast or blend. Since I'm not a real sparkly kinda gal, I chose blending beads and let them pick the color. The kit included the yarn, beads and pattern, as well as instructions for stringing the beads and a little thingy to help with the task.

The yarn is gorgeous and I can't wait to get started but decided I really needed to practice working with beads on a smaller project first so I finally cast on for Gilda from Twisted Sisters. I say finally because I purchased the beads and yarn some time ago at the LYS but was never crazy about the color. Since they are now carrying a much wider selection of beads, I exchanged the ones I had for something that appealed to me more.

Twisted Sister Mirage w/beads

The yarn is a cotton/rayon blend from Twisted Sisters called Mirage in "Rosewood" and the beads are Translucent Dark Rose Aurora Borealis from Twisted Sisters as well. So far, I can't tell if I love it (knitting with beads) or hate it... but I can't put it down. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

And yes, the increasing number of wips is starting to make me loopy. Maybe I'll just go read a book. I have a stack of those too.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Summer Goals

Ali at Skeins Her Way holds a contest each summer. The prize is some wonderful new Blue Sky Skinny Cotton with one of her patterns. The timing is perfect for me because I was just thinking that I should make a list because I'm suspecting that my "goals" may becoming a bit unreasonable ridiculous more than I can handle. So here goes...

Lace Ribbon Scarf
Juno Regina

Noro Carlotta
Labyrinth by Wendy Bernard
The Perfect White Summer Cardigan (more on that later)
Dream in Color Shrug

Gilda (beaded scarf) Completed 6/19
Swallowtail Shawl Completed 6/29
Heather Beaded Undulating Waves Scarf
Ene's Scarf


Those are only the things that come to mind (are sitting within my line of sight). The list actually doesn't look too bad... but I definitely need to get busy!

BTW - For those of you who asked about my computer. The darling child known as my youngest son (or "Mud" at the moment) threw it when I told him it was time to get off The black is one of those weird color blobs within the display but the whole screen is shattered inside as well. Does military school take 5 year olds?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Only the Deepest of Dimples

has saved the tempermental 5 year old responsible for this.


I'm going to continue my grieving now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Spring Fever... or Destiny?

Well, at least my search for size 0 needles produced a handy supply of baseball knitting. This will come in handy since #3 has made the play-offs and #1 is apparently participating in a summer league. "A what?! A summer league?!" This means he will be playing baseball through the "summer" which is also known as my "off" season.

Unaware of the lonely partials that had been tucked away, I had actually finally started a second Clapotis last week for some mindless knitting. (I knit one years ago but I really don't care for the colors so I never use it.)


I'm using Schaefer Laurel which is a mercerized pima cotton. While I absolutely love the yarn, it's still not the same as knitting with a plush merino. However, I think it will be a good substitute for our So Cal weather since I really want to be able to wear it during the warmer months.

It is good to know that I will be well prepared for any and all baseball games, movies and park visits for some time to come, but I had really wanted to start a new sock pattern to grab my interest. Boredom is my greatest foe and I'm always seeking some sort of stimulation, but I feel rather fortunate that my wandering mind is easily appeased by a new pattern or interesting book, and does not require anything more risky than small pointy needles (ie. bungee jumping or rock climbing).

I was seriously considering sacrificing one of the socks in progress (probably the black & gold ones since my sons lost every game I wore my handknit team color socks to last season), when destiny (prompted by a houseful of kids with a bad case of spring fever) led me into the LYS.

The owner was in and she was quick to show me the shop's newest acquisition... Malabrigo Silky Merino! After fondling and drooling over all the colors, I chose what they call Green Grey (but is probably more commonly known as "Teal") for a pattern I've been wanting to knit for ages, Tuscany from No Sheep for You.


I am swooning with each stitch.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Socks... or Not

Since I just recently finished a pair of socks...

LL Socks
(Crosshatch Lace from More Sensational Knitted Socks in Lorna's Laces "Ice Storm", January's special LL yarn from Jimmy Bean's Wool.)

I decided to choose a pattern and start a new pair...


However, I couldn't find any of my size 0 needles which seemed odd since I knew I had several.

So I looked and looked until I had found them all.

It wasn't pretty.

WIPS 0608

I guess I'll keep working on my scarf.