Friday, January 26, 2007

We entertain on Fridays

Kate and I found evidence of one heck of a party that took place in our back yard tonight...

We were a bit unnerved by how close this party occurred to our house!

But nothing could have prepared us for what we saw next. Brace yourself...

According to the Discovery Channel, there are only four of these creatures currently being raised in captivity! Amazing.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

...and by the way...


First Fair Isle

Finally! We have snow on the ground. Not so much that it's interfering with travel, but just enough so that it looks like January. Perfect.

Having said that, I would like one giant snow storm before Winter is over...the kind of storm that means that no one is going anywhere. The kind of storm (that hopefully hits after a productive trip to the grocery store) that shuts down the whole town for one solid school, no work, lots of cocoa!!

Thoughts of snow made me think of hats and mittens and I decided to make Elliot a new set to match this year's red and black coat. This is my first Fair Isle attempt!

Very cool! At times I felt that I was completely tangled in the yarn, but I soon got the hang of it. This is the second project I've worked on lately that uses more than one color. The fist was last week's
penguin hat. I think I prefer the Fair Isle knitting with it's continuous pattern to the Intarsia color blocking. I'm glad that I've tackled both since it opens up new opportunities for varying my knitting. To teach myself these two techniques I relied heavily on my Knitting for Dummies book (by far the best present my mother-in-law ever got me) and this great site that has video tuturials that are very easy to understand.

I also finished one
bear sweater for the elementary school's Oktoberfest. (Yes, it's in October.)

I figured if I could make one sweater a week...minimum...I'd have 37 sweaters to sell at the craft table. Might as well give it a try, right? Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Friday, January 19, 2007

All done!

Finished the penguin hat last night. Cute, but I don't really know how often she'll wear it!

It was a bit tedious at first project with Intarsia...I'm not a big fan! It's not too bad if you have a large area of color, but small spots like the beak and the eyes are a bit of a pain. I'm sure there's a much more clever way to do it than the way I did it!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Kate!

Kate turns 13 today!

(They always love these early morning photo shoots!)

Most of the excitement happened over the weekend...she had friends over Friday night...

Carlie stayed here Saturday through Monday...

and the family came over Sunday for dinner and cake and ice cream.

I just can't believe that goofy little Kate is a teenager! She's quite a remarkable young lady, too.

I was to have this penguin hat finished for her by today, but alas, 'twas not meant to be.

Of course this blasted chest cold isn't helping me get anything done. I thought today would be my one day to be sick and lazy. Looks like I'll still be sick tomorrow, but can't afford to lie around again. Ugggh!

Friday, January 12, 2007

I'm not crazy! (and other updates)

I went to my knitting group last night. It was our first meeting since the new year. Our fearless leader, April, brought the cool "thing" she was making in the fall. How to describe it...hmm. It is like a shrug with only a back and long sleeves. Know the kind I mean? It was knit in an amazing assortment of variagated wool in a cable pattern and looked really cool when it was on. It looked like a very short sweater with no neck hole when you held it up, but you slipped it on, and...well, it was just really neat! She also brought her drop spindle to show us how she used it to spin wool...super cool. It looked frustrating and time consuming to get any significant amount of yarn on the spindle, but she swears it is relaxing. She has a traditional spinning wheel, too. Seems a lot more complicated than buying yarn all wrapped and bundled, but I'm sure it's also very rewarding.

Are you wondering what makes me think I'm not crazy? I was trying to knit a hat for Kate that looks like a penguin. I saw it in a check-out counter booklet for babies and knew she'd love it (and is just goofy enough to wear it.) It uses black, white and orange and is the first thing I've knit with an Intarsia pattern (or blocks of color in the design). I also thought I'd be a smarty pants and knit it on circular needles so I don't have to run a seam up the back. Guess what? Turns out you can't do Intarsia on circular needles. I sat at home, banging my head against the wall wondering what "duh" thing I was doing wrong. I kept ending up with my yarn at the wrong end of my work. I'd work a row of black and come around to knit the next row and the yarn was at the wrong end. Like trying to type on a manual typewriter (remember those?) without hitting the return key. After showing it to April we agreed that it can't be done. So, I've got to rip it out and put it on straight needles. So much for my stroke of brilliance!

I've started knitting this super simple (since my brain is still on post-holiday meltdown) scarf. I got the yarn at Pat Catans for $1 and the knitting needles were my birthday present from
Kathy. She made them herself! They aren't a specific size, so I can only use them on projects requiring "Kathy-size Needles". Fortunately, this is one such project.

I've decided to use my Barnes & Noble gift certificate from Keith's mom to buy this...

I've wanted it for some time and saw a great sweater in the
Knit Picks catalog that was from the book. Love doing cables. So how long before I actually make myself that sweater? Quite a while I bet, but I'll still enjoy having the book.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007


I stayed up until 2 AM last night reading my current book, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I didn't finish it last night, but I did finish it late this afternoon. Creepy. It was the kind of book that made you question your decision to read until 2 AM...alone! I swear I keep seeing things out of the corner of my eye.

Now, unfortunately, I am bookless!

So, tell me. What are some of your favorite books and why?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Oh, and I do still knit!

I just looked back over the pictures in my file of the things I knit (or tried to knit) in 2006. There were a lot of projects there! I don't seem to get as much knitting done as I'd like, but I guess it hasn't been too shabby! Maybe I should begin a 2007 gallery for knit projects...not a bad idea.

Here's what I've been working on this week...

These little mittens are for a much-anticipated baby in our church family. The family is pretty sure it's a boy, but I went with the multi-colored yarn instead.

I am really proud of these mittens for a silly reason. Originally they are made up on straight needles and a seam is run up the side. I decided to make them on double-pointed needles instead and eliminate the sewing up. I also had different yarn than the pattern called for (that darn "gauge-thing") and had to try several times to get a decent size. So, basically I made up my own pattern...something I'm not really good at.

These bibs are for Claire's teacher's much-anticipated baby. Her teacher, Mr. Very, is anxiously awaiting his first child. Mrs. Very was due Friday and the kids are so excited. I thought I was pretty clever with the wording..."Very Sweet" (Mr. Very, get it?) and "Teacher's Pet" (he's a teacher, get it?) I just crack myself up! They're obviously not knit, but I still like them.

I also have two or three other projects started. A scarf for Matt...

...(good thing he didn't come in for Christmas, huh?)...

...a sweater for Claire (I hate the HUGE skein of yarn, but the price was right for this first sweater attempt)...

...and a mystery project in the bottom of this bag.

My knitting group begins again on January 11. I'm really looking forward to chatting about our knitting again. I want to get some help adapting my teddy bear sweater pattern (well, it's not my pattern, but it's the one I use all the time) for circular needles. I absolutely detest sewing those sweaters together. Other than that they are very simple to make and they are darling. I hope to make a bunch between now and October and sell some at the elementary school's Oktoberfest. I want to make different colors, patterns and maybe even some intarsia with Christmas trees or jack-o-lanterns. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I know, I know

This is just a very short post before I have to meet Elliot's bus to let you know that I am aware of the dreadfully lagging status of my blog! Hopefully it will be up and running soon. (Hopefully I will be up and running soon!)