Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Been Busy!

Ok, it doesn't look like much, but trust me, it took all day to get this organized. Believe it or not there is a method to the madness. The top is notions, needles and bags. The green is large amounts of yarn for projects. (like kits and sweater-amounts). The rest is yarn, yarn and more yarn. I went through it all and made sure that everything was actually logged in Ravelry.

Sorted through, some will get donated, like this pile of acrylic.... Honest, I thought I'd make everyone scarves.

Finished Objects... No longer marked as Holiday Surprises, the Packer set was for a very good friend of mine, the Maze hat was for son. It's not blocked yet but the hard part is done.

kissa packer set

Lastly, new glasses! They are fun, funky and green. Best of all, I can see better!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

blogging with obligation

I normally blog without obligation but I know that my friend, the hospital knitter, is going to come here tomorrow to look for a new post so I better do one!

I've added my works-in-progress to the navigation bar. Right now I'm working primarily on the holiday surprises. (specifically the one for ???? because the other one is the Maze Hat for son that I've mentioned before and I think it has some sizing issues and he has enough presents coming he won't notice if I get it done late)

My son had his holiday concert last week so he wore the sweater I made last year. As you can tell, he's quite the goofball when he wants to be. (and he really needs to start growing back some teeth!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

One done, a bit of yarn pr0n and my rainbow

First and foremost. I got one done, isn't it lovely!

I have to say this is the best fitting and best looking heel I've done. I used Fleegle's heel method and it was wonderful. Look, no holes!!

I have to thank lovely Shannon of Unwind Yarns. I have to be one of her most problematic shipments. She's in Canada, I'm in Wisconsin. First of all, the Knotty Socks I'm working on are made of a skein of her yarn that I picked up at Stitches. So I already know I like her work so I signed up for one of her clubs. The first shipment has disappeared into the great beyond. There has been no sign of it, it never arrived and it never went back to her. She then shipped it again, this time as something similar to our Priority Mail. That one went back to her marked Return to Sender but not by me! She tried a third time, this time combining my first and second club shipments since the second one was ready to go out. That one finally reached me! And look how lovely it is! The needle roll and small project bag were included. (Plus she included a couple packets of my absolute favorite hot chocolate mix Land O'Lakes)

Now, to the rainbow... I stole this idea from Apryl

Your rainbow is shaded yellow and green.


What is says about you: You are an intelligent person. You appreciate optimism. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality. You're good at getting people to like you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chicago 2008

So, to those that don't know, we have a tradition of going to Chicago before Thanksgiving to see the Christmas windows at Marshall Fields (now Macy's). We take the Metra train down to avoid traffic, parking and all those types of things.

First of all, due to my excitement of the lovely yarn in the last post, I stayed up way too late on Friday night! But then we woke up close to our normal weekday times. We just took it easy for awhile and then intended to take the noon-ish train but traffic made us late for that one. So we stopped and ate a small lunch at McDonald's and then played at the really awesome park. The spider web thing is really big. Take a careful look and you can see my son on the right side to get an idea of size. Then a picture of the inside and one of me that he took.

These slides are very long and SUPER fast!

Interesting swings, basically like saucer sleds on bungie cords

Regardless of your political affiliation, there's no denying that this is historic and we'll remember this trip as the one congratulating Obama
Later we went to Chicago. The windows were kind of disappointing, they weren't a story, they mostly were an advertisement for FAO Schwartz which is now inside the Macy's (Marshall Field's) building. They were pretty but not as fun and there were less of them, they didn't go all the way around the building. And we checked out FAO Schwartz... now a few years ago when they had their own building, FAO Schwartz was really cool. you started by going up escalators to the top and then worked your way down (kind of like Ikea) and there was always stuff to play with and try out and there was a giant ball rollercoaster toy that went througout the store... Then they closed that one and it's been missing for a couple of years. So it's probably nice that it's back but it's inside and looks like a toy department in a department store. Although they did have a $5000 dollar giant dragon and a $1400 giant pegasus horse or $800 unicorn. We did joke about where would MojaveSis put a giant life-size unicorn in her tiny apartment....

Lego store was the usual. Son got a star wars set that he's happy with. Then we went to Borders and eventually back to the train, getting home about 10pm. I slept in a lot on Sunday and then spent the afternoon building Legos with son.


It was made just for me!!

This beautiful yarn was dyed specially for me by lovely Apryl. She has a better picture of it on her own blog. (posted Nov 11) The yarn was dyed to transition from the dark blue on one end of the skein to the bright green on the other. I'm in total love and immediately started knitting a sock with one of the skeins. Since we were going to Chicago, I didn't want to cart two skeins and it's going fast. I'm using Roman Rib stitch pattern from The Little Box of Socks by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott. (beyond stealing the stitch pattern, the rest is not the same sock)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tagged by meme

I was tagged with this meme by Cami so here goes...

4 Things I Did Today:
-Went yarn shopping at Ruhama’s and Loop
-Started a chevron scarf with two colors of Koigu (which are blending together so much that you can’t tell I’m using two different colorways)
-Spent time visiting friends who made yummie pork chop dinner
-Spent an hour all by myself at Starbucks listening to podcasts and knitting the Knotty or Knice sock with coffee.

4 Things on My To-Do List:
-Create a report for work that I’ve been putting off. (mostly because the data was sort of random, but one of my guys nicely sucked it into a database so I think I’ll be better off)
-Laundry, trash, dishes… the usual
-Buying fall/winter tops for myself that are work appropriate. I don’t have many and I’m already bored and it’s only October
-Buying a decent winter coat for the son that is now a crossing guard and will be standing in various weather.

4 of My Guiltiest Pleasures:
-“Total Drama Island” (cartoon about a reality show… .I hate real reality shows but this usually makes me grin)
-“Ben 10 Alien Force”, I like this one because son and I get up Saturday morning and sit together under blankets and eat our cereal. I figure I don’t have too much more “mom” time with him before he’s a teen.
- Young Adult Fiction. I don’t always get a lot of reading time and I have found quite a few that I like and I can get through in a reasonable amount of time.
- Hot bubble bath with a book.

4 Random Facts About Me:
- I own my own shingling hammer.
- When I’m stressed, my hair changes colors. People that know me outside of cyberspace are aware of this but I’m thinking blog readers don’t. On the plus side, my hair has done very little changing since the new job which is a good sign.
- Most of my hobbies don’t last very long, just long enough to feel like I’ve proven that I can do it. (flower arranging, pop-up card/books, quill paper) Knitting has lasted two years now! I think much of that has to do with my enjoyment of the people it has connected me to as much as the sticks and string themselves.
- Once upon a time, I had pretty low self esteem. Today people don’t usually know that, in fact, my manager told me the other day that my confidence is one of the things I’m best known for at this job and is seen as an asset.

So to tag my own.... Suna, Veeg, Drey, Chelsea and LotusKnits


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pictures and followers

I saw this new Followers gadget when I was on Suna's blog and then I realized that I have a couple followers too, I just didn't have the gadget. So now I've added it here too, see the left side! (although Drey appears twice, she's extra special)

Ok, not much time so mostly pictures with captions.

1) Paca-Peds surprise from MojaveSis

2) Perfect Day Yarns in Blustery Autumn Day from The Loopy Ewe. (the name reminded me of Winnie the Pooh)

3) Chameleon Colorworks, Evolution in October colorway, also from Loopy Ewe

4) Fun surprise, a big rope dragonfly made by friends. Now hangs on my bedroom wall

5) Namaste Messenger bag from Loopy Ewe. This thing is huge! (and the color is off)

6) Knit crown made for Peanut (almost 4-yo daughter of friends)

7) completed Traveling Scarf. The tags show who knit each section. (I do plan on removing them before wearing) Actually I still need to knit another end on in my original color.

8) Last two depict first two repeats of the Knotty-or-Knice socks from Interweave Knits. The yarn is the first being used from my Stitches trip. The teeny cables started out a bit problematic but I'm in a rhythm now and loving how it looks. The photos aren't great, my camera isn't made for close-ups.

Happy, productive and relaxed days for all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


... I didn't realize it has been so long since I posted. Sorry no pictures.

I've had some busy weekends and evenings, school starting up means making sure homework is done and I've been trying to go to the gym.

  • I guess that can be my first bullet point, I joined a local gym and I like it, they are new and the people that go are very diverse. People who are just trying to lose weight, some who are doing physical therapy, some who are really into weight training. The owner is really sweet and always yells hello when she sees me come in, she also introduces everyone to each other. Best of all, the cardio machines all have individual televisions so you can watch tv OR download tv shows to your iPod, hook the iPod to the machine and watch those. I've actually been on the cardio for 40 minutes since that's how long it takes to watch a downloaded episode of Stargate Atlantis or Doctor Who.
  • Second, I'm very proud of my kid. The past few years have been a challenging experience for us. First figuring out that he read poorly so he went to Sylvan and that helped. Then last school year was all about learning how to study and how to plan. This year I'm working to be more hands-off and he's working to be more responsible for his own work. I have to say I'm amazed, he's really coming into his own this year. He's getting a reasonable amount of homework done (if not all of it) before I even pick him up. He's studying for tests on his own and maybe not getting super grades but he's being responsible and he's not failing. He signed up for homework club and quick math facts on his own. (he's great at math, but slow on timed tests for fact memorization) His mid-term progress report came home and so far he's doing well. I know it's early but the attitude so far this year is wonderful to see.
  • Third, I've been knitting but not as much. (gym time used to be knitting time). And the couple small things I've finished recently are gifts that I don't want to post pictures for yet in case they are seen too early. But I've got to start packing stuff to mail!! I am planning to start the Knotty or Knice socks soon. I already translated the chart into index cards but I haven't wound the yarn yet. Maybe this weekend.
  • Fourth, son got to play D&D with my friends this weekend and it seemed to go pretty well. He was happy about it and wants to go again. This means I might actually get to start seeing this group of friends more often again. At least until they remember that I'm a pain *grin*
  • Lastly, I have yarn coming and Namaste Messenger bag in Chocolate Mauve. Pretty, Pretty!! I've been eyeing up this bag for a couple months now and finally gave in and ordered it from The Loopy Ewe. When I ordered, I also ordered two yarns, one from Perfect Day Yarns (Blustery Day) and the other from Chameleon Colorworks (October). I can't wait for them to get here!

I think that's all the major things, I'm sure I'm forgetting something since it's been so long. Next time I'll try for pictures too!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Mini Vacation! Socks done! Kitty toys!

Son and I went up to the middle of Wisconsin (Wausau) to visit friends. Originally there was supposed to be a big housewarming party. We had a hotel so we could go to the party and then have a place to crash. At the last minute, due to an unfortunate host/husband illness, the party was cancelled but our room was paid for and non-refundable so we went anyway. As it turns out, we had a great time. Although you wouldn't know it by this picture... this was how son looked at first... he did get MUCH better and had a great time, but then I forgot to pull out the camera (having too much fun to stop for that)

My only plans involved taking some quiet time, finding Starbucks and finding the local yarn shop, Black Purl. I got two lovely skeins of Mountain Colors Bearfoot sock yarn. I'm not sure of the color names, they got lost when the shop wound the balls.

But even though that was fun for me, that's the point where son was really doubting the fun of this trip. When I knew we were making the trip anyway, I had emailed friend, the wife of the sick guy, to see if she wanted to do lunch or dinner with us and their almost 4yo daughter. As it turned out, we spent the day with them. We played at the park, threw rocks in a river, went back to their place and cooked out, later took the kids to the pool at the hotel and just generally had a great, relaxing time. Even son agreed it was a wonderful trip. (sorry there's no photographic proof!)

So to the socks.... Knitty's Spring Forward socks done, converted to toe-up. I've been working on them off and on since July but the wonky baby blanket had taken priority. They are soft and warm and I love the color.

And last but not least, a package arrived today. I was actually confused by it but it turned out to be from my Kitty Toy swapper on Ravelry. But inside there was a book for me, a pretty blue dragonfly bookmark (not pictured) and of course kitty treats and toys. Tigger immediately claimed the snail....

Have a good day! - DFly

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The wonky, the cute, the baby stuff.....

Ok, so it was learned that a good friend was pregnant and what do I do? I decide, this good friend needs a baby blanket. I decide on the Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. A very user friendly pattern and book. If you pay any attention to gauge that is.... See, it's all in garter stitch and in theory, garter stitch is a very square stitch. 20 rows should equal the same dimension as 20 stitches. Well, mine is almost square. Seriously, I did a gauge swatch, I measured, it was pretty darn close. But not close enough. when you are doing this blanket, you pick up stiches along the edges of the previous blocks. you pick up the same number of stitches as there were rows... If they are equal, this should work out great. Here's me though... "hmmm... it seems to be going a little wonky.... that's ok... I'm sure it will work out when I get to the other side, after all the other sides should stretch out the middle...." It doesn't work that way. the outside does not stretch the inside, the inside pulls the outside in and makes a weird ruffle.

So here is my weirdly wonky blanket. and no, it doesn't block out, it's made of Cotlin, which has very little stretch no matter what you do... and the little bit that can be corrected goes right back to this when you throw it in the washer, which was the purpose of using a yarn that's easily washable.

there is someone that's happy with it, every time I tried to take the picture above, I'd get the camera ready and see the picture below......

So after working months and months on a wonky blanket. I then made a baby hat and bootie set... it took just a few days and looks a hell of a lot cuter!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stitches stash (WITH pictures)

Ok, to those with feeds, read on (took awhile to get pictures and text all aligned to make sense)

First, the trip to Stitches was wonderful. My friend and I met at my place and then went to the bus stop. While we were waiting, we met the people in the car next to us and found out that my friend and one of them knew all the same people. I'm surprised they hadn't met before this. The bus was great, I especially appreciated it on the way home after I was very tired. Much as I love the new car, knowing that someone else was driving was great! Stitches itself was a little overwhelming but after having gone to Bead & Button a few times, I had a plan of attack. Except for stitchmarkers (see below)I didn't buy anything before lunch. I just walked the aisles and wrote things down in my notebook. (booth, approximate location, what I saw there and what I was thinking of it for). After lunch, I actually started purchasing but I knew what I was aiming for, so to speak. My original list that I had was yarn for:

1. friends/sis that couldn't make it
2. sweater (I had two patterns with me so I could pick when I was there)
3. lace stole
4. son's Maze hat
5. fair isle gloves (you'll notice I didn't buy, too expensive for small amounts)
6. knotty knice socks
7. stitch markers
8. beaded scarf kit (more info below)
9. up to three random sock yarns because sock yarn is pretty

Judge for yourself how I did....

My favorite yarn is this green multitonal. The "snowman" is actually one skein balled up into three balls. (there were two knots) I bought three skeins total. It's gorgeous, bright greens and everyone stopped me to ask me about it, but I can't get the picture quite right. The picture with the cat is there because, believe it or not, it's the best one to see the tonal aspects. It's to make the Sidelines Top from this month's Interweave Knits. They did it in red, but several perfect strangers at Stitches told me that this green was perfect for me.

This teal is from Creatively Designed Yarns. Not only is it lovely seacell/silk combination, but the designer (creative on Ravelry) helped explain what to expect at Stitches and gave advice that I think helped greatly! I was happy to meet her in person. I'm planning to use it for the Biased Eyelets Stole in Interweave Knits.

I bought this kit because I thought the teal yarn is pretty and the cable pattern on the socks is interesting. The teal is a tonal which I love because it's not super solid looking. This morning as I was preparing for pictures and blogging, I looked up the yarn and found out that its actual color name is Dragonfly, how perfect is that?

This is a pretty yarn called Unwind Yarns Zinfandel Sock. It's a bit more orange than this picture shows but it's close. It's designated for the Knotty or Knice Socks from Interweave.

When I went to the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee in June, I bought and finished a knitted bracelet kit. The same vendor had these beautiful scarf kits that I loved but didn't buy at the time. I saw she was going to be at Stitches and knew I had to stop. I got a chance to talk to her, she used me as a model for one of her shawls (I was wearing a nice black blouse that apparently made a good background) and I bought a scarf kit this time. I don't like the picture that comes with the pattern, but they are lovely made up. I got a pretty multicolor ribbon yarn and green beads in my kit.

I'm fascinated by this kit. This was not a planned purchase but I did tell myself I could buy three sock yarns so I'm counting this as one *laugh* It is a kit that teaches you how to dye yarn with Wilton dyes that are used for cake icing. Because you paint the yarn with the dyes rather than soaking them, the woman I talked to said you can do it in a small space. I can't wait to try it, the samples were incredibly vibrant. There was another woman that stopped by, she had taken a class with the seller and wanted to show the socks she's working on. She said that her 8yo granddaughter got to pick the colors and then paint the yarn herself and now she (grandmother) was knitting them into socks for her. They were really pretty and I loved that story. But also, if an 8yo can do it with supervision and have it work, I certainly can!!

I've been planning to make the Maze hat ever since I saw it in Knitty. I'm planning to make it for son for Christmas but I'm fairly sure I'm safe posting here as he ignores my blog now. I've been looking for this yarn (allhemp6) ever since because I didnt' want to buy it sight unseen for the first time and I didn't want to pay the shipping costs. But I'm glad I found it. supposedly hemp washes up soft. machine washable and supposedly won't mildew which just sounds like something a boy heading to his teens should have.

Ok, dragonfly cloissene stitchmarkers from a vendor with a kitty theme, I knew i was going to try to find stitchmarkers and I couldnt' resist this set.

Last of the items, miscellaneous group... The book's author was there and he autographed it. I'm not sure if it's any good yet, it's a murder mystery, someone is killed by Addi Turbos, yarn shop owners become detectives. But I like the fact that it's autographed. Supposedly it will only be sold at yarn shops, on his site or at independent mystery book stores. Anyway, next things... a medium-sized Go Knit Pouch. I love my smaller one, I like how it snaps to my belt loop or a neighboring chair with ease. I've wanted a bigger one but they don't sell on Knit Picks and again, I haven't wanted to pay shipping. When I saw the medium, even though it wasn't on my list, I got it anyway. (it would have been on my list if I had thought of it!) and lastly, two mini sock things, one a christmas ornament and the other a keychain. One was won as a prize on the guild bus, the other one was basically free when I bought the Wilton dye kit and the teal cable sock kit above.

I also bought some lovely yarn for local friend, Apryl and mojaveSis. They've seen their pictures. I am happy to say that really the book was the only totally unplanned purchase so I did well with that, no buyer's remorse. Although between Stitches and the car, I'm not buying any new yarn for quite some time! (although you will see items from sock clubs (sock yarn cinema and new Lord of the Rings) but those were paid in full up front.

I loved Stitches and hope to go again next year, hopefully even take a class.