Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Eye of the Tiger?

I'm not quite sure which was funnier this morning, watching my son dance around the kitchen singing "Eye of the Tiger," trying to convince Kaity she's not too sick and can make it to school,

or figuring out I mixed up the lunches and now Lil has a large helping of potato salad (which she HATES), and the hubby has four boxes of Valentine's Sweet Tarts, meant as a lunchtime surprise for her and her friends!

Meanwhile, back at Green Gable, I'm almost to the waist decreases! This sucker knits up quickly. And, check out my cool new OTT lite, 50% off at JoAnn's, people.... I finally caved, and it was worth every penny :o)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I love Tuesdays

This morning at Bible Study we were settling in to watch our weekly John Piper video, and one of my favorite friends hopped on the couch next to me and joyfully exclaimed "I LOVE Tuesdays!"
The best thing about this is... I was just getting ready to say the same thing to her!
Things I'm thankful for this Tuesday:

1. It's my day off

2. My wonderful Tuesday morning Bible study group

3. It's raining, and I love the rain
4. I got to stop by and visit with my sis for a few minutes

5. A trip to the LYS where I scored this beautiful Lantern Moon knitting bag

6. Extra knitting time on my latest project, Green Gable

7. It's taco night, mmmm - with all my loved ones home safe at the end of the day, gathered around the dinner table!

Do you have a favorite day of the week?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Eiffel est fini, et beau

Ta da! Well, Eiffel is done, and I LOVE it! The fit is perfect, the pattern is very well-written, the yarn was fun to work with - a total winner.

I was so pleased with it, in fact, I was gonna get all dressed up, skirt, heels, the works, and go down to our beautiful City Hall building and have Kaity take real outdoor photo-shoot pictures. But, it's raining, so you get me in the house again. Still, I'm wearing Eiffel all dressed up to church tomorrow, rain or shin.

Pattern: Eiffel, Winter Knitty, 2006
Yarn: Louet Euroflax linen, fine/sport weight, in Eggplant, 3 skeins
Size: Medium

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed knitting with the linen. I ran the garment through the washer, and gave it about 10 minutes in the dryer, then laid it out to block. It hasn't softened up tooooo much yet, but I think it will with time.

Style note: I decided not to put the ribbons on the sleeves, but felt it still needed it on the body for fit, but I have tied it in the back.... I think I'm of an age where the ribbons and bows are just a bit too cute for me.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

Eiffel - finished, seamed, washed, and blocking!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An Unexpected "Have-to-Have"

Every once in awhile you find something that you all of the sudden HAVE to have.... even though five minutes ago, you didn't even know it existed.

Kinda like our third child. We had just had Kaity, now had a boy and a girl, both perfectly planned out, thank you very much, and our family was complete, finished.... then when Kaity was eight weeks old I found out I was pregnant. God knew better - that we needed three kids. After the initial shock wore off, we couldn't wait for this new baby - HAD to have her. But, seriously, I never saw her coming - God threw quite the curve ball.

On a MUCH smaller scale, I found something yesterday I just HAVE to have! Have you see the Spring IK preview?? Have you seen this? I need this NOW! This gorgeous Cable-Down Raglan by Stefanie Japel? I tell ya - I'm casting on for this the minute I can get my hands on the magazine.

If you check out the preview - scroll down to the bottom.... The hubby - who generally shows very little interest in my knitting, found a few items he thought I should knit also. (Sorry Mom, kids.... I know, "spleen damage").

The issue doesn't come out until Feb 20th. Darned if that isn't just years away. I'm already waiting, not so patiently, for a certain friend's you-know-what to come out, because I was lucky enough to see a certain finished preview garment (you know the one, Wendy.... it's brown, I GUSHED over it). I still think about THAT one allllll the time. I have the yarn set aside already and it's sorely testing my patience. Like I don't have enough projects lined that up I already have the patterns for - I have to get my underwear in a bundle over things I CAN'T have yet.

I guess I'm not a patient "waiter."

Until then, like I said, I've got enough projects in line to keep me busy - and check out this cute Sock Project Bag Kaity made for me! Pretty cute, eh? It's gonna live in the car, so I always have a project with me. To keep me busy, you know, until the Spring IK hits the stands.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The JOY of Knitting

My very good friend and walking buddy has three very cute kids. The girls babysit for them from time to time. Last week, Kaity was getting ready to go babysit and she told me, "I'm teaching the kids to knit tonight!" So, she gathered up three sets of needles and three balls of yarn, and off she went.

Two of them ended up loving it, and the other is going to give it a try next time.

Last night I was over visiting, and I asked if I could see their knitting. They both ran upstairs, eager to show off. The 10-year-old, a boy has about 2-1/2" of very nice, and really quite even knitting, with very few mistakes. He was all smiles.

The cutest was their daughter, though. She is barely 6, and was very proud of her 5" of knitting- very loopy knitting, with, I'm sure, with a few short rows knitted in there somewhere... a beautiful jumble of red yarn - and she couldn't have been more pleased with it!

I asked her if she liked knitting, and she replied, "I LOVE it!!" She skipped off and shouted back over her shoulder, "I'm knitting a blanket!"

Knitting just for the joy of knitting - that's when it's the best.

So, even though I'm not finished with Eiffel yet, I lightened up on myself and decided it was okay to cast on another project last night. I've decided to put Central Park Hoodie to the bottom of the "to knit" list and concentrate on "cruisewear."

Next up.... the Swallowtail Shawl from IK, and when I'm done with Eiffel I'm going to mix it up with Green Gable.

BTW - check out this beautiful lace weight Kaity dyed for me. I tell ya - that kid is getting pretty handy to have around!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

She's Getting Good!

Check out this beautiful yarn Kaity spun up for me! 204 yards of heavy worsted 50/50 merino/silk blend..... GORGEOUS! The silk gives it a little shine and just the tiniest but of sparkle. And it is SOFT!

I'm thinking it might make up a luxurious pair of mittens - but for now it's just sitting on my desk where I can look at it and fondle it :o)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

All Sleeves Should Have 63 Stitches

There would be no Sleeve Island if they were all like this.

Here's my Eiffel sleeve - coming along pretty quickly! Even when you finish all the increases, you still have only 63 stitches, so it's more like knitting a sock, and knits up faster than most sleeves.

Thank goodness. Sleeves..... ;o(

I did get a little confused working the increases into the lace pattern. I really didn't have a good plan for how to do that. I thought about sitting and trying to figure and write it all out, but I just went for it. I should have at least taken notes so that I can do the same for the 2nd sleeve. It's kind of making me twitch, just a little. Oh well - no one should be looking that close at my underarm anyway, right?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

...for her pleasure

After braving the cold (37 degrees) and threatening rain for my walk this morning, I stopped off at the mailbox on my way home, and am I glad I did! (...not to mention, I checked the mailbox THREE times yesterday in anticipation of these items!)

First, I ordered the Fall 2006 issue of Knitscene, so I can make Central Park Hoodie. Love This.

But even better - check out my new shirt! It's a take on (ok - rip off of...) those iPod commercials and print ads, and this one says iKnit. Cute, cute, cute. It's from Modern Yarn.

I have to admit, though, this T-shirt was my 2nd choice, only because I'm not brave enough to wear my first choice. It said "K2P2" alllllll over the front of the shirt, and then had a banner of writing across that saying "Ribbed for her pleasure."

Ok, now, THAT's funny, but I'm not that brave.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Knitting Weather

I'm kinda loving our cold snap, well -because for Southern California it's an anomaly!

The high today here in Lynda-Land was 48, and this morning at 7:00 it was 27. You could hear the wind machines running in the orchards running all night, trying to keep the poor citrus and avocados from freezing.

Apparently we're silly Californians who don't "do weather." Today at the market they had orange caution cones set up around patches of ice in the parking lot. Apparently they figure we haven't seen ice often enough to know to step around it.

But, as you can see from the picture above - we are wearing our knits! I got to meet two new friends this weekend, and we all showed up in our hand-knits! That's Tammy, there in the middle wearing her fabulous Starsky, and Julie in her beautiful Ella. That's me on the left, duh.... in my purple Essential Stripe. We met up at our LYS and finally got to meet in person, shopped a little, and then went out to lunch. Tammy and I have been writing back and forth for a while, so it was great to meet her in person. Now there's a perfect day for you, meeting great new friends, buying a little yarn, and having lunch!

I did pretty well - only got these two skeins of Tofutsies. I passed them up last time I was there, and have dying to go back and get some ever since. Shrimp yarn, what will they think of next. Ok, granted, it's only 2.5% Chitin (made from shrimp and crab shells), and, No, it doesn't smell like fish. I'm really not sure what the reason for adding the Chitin is at all - except maybe novelty? Although I did notice they say it's naturally antibacterial! Maybe that's it - shrimp yarn = fresh smelling tootsies?

And just to wind things up here..., and to prove it really is cold, here's a picture of the start of my Eiffel sleeve, taken this morning on my frozen grass. Brrr!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Will Make Time

A friend of mine from Bible Study gave the following to me. It nicely put into words what I have been thinking and praying about lately. It is an except from Stan Toler:

Billy Graham reflected on his life with an unusual observation. He said if he had it to do over again, he would spend more time in prayer and Bible Study.

The New Year isn't just about new beginnings, it's about new priorities... putting first things first, from the very first. Time, talent, treasure: In word or deed, you will establish the "most important" in each of these areas.

"I will make time for God." Work on your devotions. Add an inspirational book to your Bible reading. Vary your devotional time with music, prayer, walking, or journaling.

"I will make time for my family." Make marriage and family a calendar priority. Utilize the answering machine, caller ID, text messaging, and e-mail to add quality time to family time.

"I will make time for myself." When you neglect DOWN time, you'll be more apt to get UP-set. Find a stress reliever and incorporate it into your planning. It's just what the Great Physician ordered (Mark 6:31).
-Stan Toler

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31) That is MY great wish and prayer for this year, and all my life.

That last "I will" seems seems to be the easiest, making time for myself. I have to remember where it lies in the whole priority spectrum - namely, after God and family!

But, speaking of my stress reliever, check out the progress on Eiffel. I've just finished the lace rib portion on the bottom. I am especially loving this project. The lace rib pattern is enjoyable, but VERY easy to memorize so it can go with me anywhere without my having to bring a pattern along. Also, I am VERY surprised how much I'm enjoying knitting with the Euroflax. In the skein it just feels like a bunch of stiff string - but it really is soothing to knit with.

Now I just have to put it down, and make it wait for it's "time."

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Just Saying...

Maybe it's just me and sour grapes, but tell me I'm wrong....

I'm betting dollars to doughnuts that the first person to knit a mobius did NOT do it on purpose. I think that after a bit of carefully chosen verbiage, a light bulb went on and then they just started in on the ol' "I meant to do that," and carried on like they were just oh-so-tricky and inventive.

Just Saying...

Eiffel is NOT a mobius.

Do Over.

A Year of Sock Counting


The STATS: Number of Sock Counters: 142
Total pairs knitted in 2006: 942!!

This weekend I went onto everyones' blogs and, as best I could, made sure I had up-to-date sock counts. We started out the year with 982 socks, and knit 942 this year, for a whopping total of 1924!! That's a LOT of socks!!

The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Theresa of Knitting Underway, who has knit a total whopping lifetime total of 100 pairs of socks!, and has already received her prize. For those of you who may not know, Theresa was my inspiration to start counting socks :o)

Most Socks Knit goes to Stariel, who knit 50 PAIRS of socks!! Congratulations Stariel... send me your snail mail address, you've got a prize coming to you!

A big thanks to everyone who participated in Count Your Socks this year. I apologize for being probably the worse KAL host ever, I just didn't envision how much time it would entail. I will not be able to keep updating the site for 2007, so I guess official signups are closed, but I encourage everyone to keep their sock counter buttons up on their side bars, and KEEP COUNTING SOCKS!

THANKS so much for playing along, it's been fun!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Cool new mittens, and "The Stairs"

As much as I LOVE cold weather, and cold weather clothes.... sweaters, jackets, knitwear, I despise being cold. I would MUCH rather be hot than cold. I especially hate trying to get warmed up after being cold. I finally had to give up swimming for the winter when the water got to be 68 and even in my wetsuit, I would get so cold that my feet would cramp when I got into the warm shower afterwards.

I HATE going into our Vons, because they keep it so darned cold in there you could hang meat. Sooooo cold! Even in the middle of summer I wear a jacket to Vons. On already cold days like today, its completely miserable.

I hate being cold. I'm a California wimp. I know it. I'm quite sure I could never live where it REALLY got cold.

So, every morning lately when I'm out walking, I've been wearing my new mittens, knit for me by blogger friend from Finland, Uhoava Gnu. Aren't they pretty?! And check out the matching sock yarn she sent along with them. That's 420 yards of purply warm goodness!

Yeppers, I've wearing them every morning on our walks. They're getting a lot of use. It's been cold lately - well, I'm calling 40 degrees cold, and I bundle up, in layers, wearing my Calorimetry and mittens, and tell myself that the slight shivering when we start out just burns more calories. I'm loving my new mittens.

I usually warm up when we get to "the stairs." The famous stairs. I have no idea when these stairs were built, but they've obviously been here a LONG time. They connect the lower part of town to upper part of town, and save about four blocks of walking around the long way. That's great, except that there are 92 stairs, and depending where you get your info, that equals anywhere from 6 to 9 flights. It's a lot of stairs.

Everyone knows "the stairs." Every kid who lives in the lower part of town and walks to the high school knows the stairs. They connect the two. Whenever you mention to a kid that you run the stairs, on purpose, they always look at you like you're crazy.... and then with a little respect. I like that.

My walking buddy and I now walk to the stairs, run them up and down twice, then walk home. Pretty wimpy, I know, but at first we could only walk them once, and were completely out of breath at that. It'll be interesting to see what we can work up to. When we were there this morning, there were 8 little rocks in a row on top of a larger rock. If this is someone's rudimentary counting system.... I'm impressed. I want to see the person who can run them 8 times. Now THAT would be something! Right now I'm happy with twice.

Twice, that's all I've got in me so far.... then I strip off the mittens and take off the jacket.... THEN, I'm warm. I love being warm.

Remind me of that this summer when it's already 80 degrees at 7:00 AM and I'm running the stairs, and complaining about how stinking hot it is. Oh, I'll be complaining, but it'll still be better than being cold, I'm quite sure of that.

Oh wait.... by that time we'll be back in the pool. YES!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pushing the Fashion Envelope

One of my goals for the new year is to step up my everyday attire a notch.

When I was shopping the outlets with my daughters and MIL in Texas, I bought a beautiful silk twinset, and a great winter white quilted vest lined with fur. I was knitting Sizzle, and bought yarn for Eiffel.

I thought to myself - what am I doing? Where am I ever gonna wear all this stuff? I'm casual, everyone I know is casual, my church is casual.... I hang with a jeans-and-t-shirt crowd, and sit in my own little office in my house and type most of the day....

I don't dress up much.

But I could. Why not? Why not put on a nice fitting pair of jeans or slacks and maybe this.... just because I want to. Just because it makes me feel good.

So what if it makes the kids nervous if I put on anything other than jeans and my Cons, or Vans.... or worse, my Crocs. "Where are you going?" Even my hubby will ask, "What did you do today?" Oy, I've set a VERY casual precedent for myself.

My goal this year is to kick it up a notch. Dress up more for church and Bible study. Get out of the Old Navy T's more often, even for just hanging around the house. I'm gonna take better care of myself. I'm worth it.

It's amazing how lazy I get with my appearance when I'm not happy with my weight... but now that some of the pounds are coming off it's just as amazing how quickly I remember that I LIKE clothes, and looking nice, instead of "just getting dressed" every morning. Even if it's casual, I still put a little more thought into it.

The kids will get used to it. The hubby will like it. And it opens a whole new world of knitting. I'm pretty excited! And you get to come along for the ride :o)

Pattern: Sizzle. Great pattern, quick knit!!
Yarn: KnitPicks Shine Worsted in Sea Spray (not thrilled with the yarn, unevenly spun, with uneven color, and even unattractive slubs of fluff), approximately 750 yards.
Size: Medium, although it's a little big (get me!, even I'm surprised with that).

And, although the kids can deal with me dressing up, Kaity's first words on seeing this were, "Mom, I'm not comfortable with that much cleavage." - So, yes, it's an amazing and sexy low neckline, but I'll probably be wearing it with the camisole. I can only push the envelope so far, so fast.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Not to worry....

OK - Kaity says I HAVE to post so people won't think I ran away from home or something.

Actually.... I have thought about posting every day, but didn't have the time, didn't really have anything to say... etc. It got too late to post specifically about Christmas - although we had a wonderful trip to Texas. And, I've just been busy getting caught up from being gone, getting out from under piles of laundry, getting back to work.... etc. Necessary stuff, but boring for blog fodder.

But, yes - Christmas and our vacation were wonderful. Check out the girls and I with this longhorn steer.... and, yes, he's real, and VERY big. I am SO impressed that Lily actually got on him!

We had lots of fun with family, played games, had our family "Iron Chef" competition (my team won with our Buche de Noel, thank you very much!), and since we were with my MIL, of course hit the outlet malls the day after Christmas.

Although Kaity and I weren't able to make the drive to Katy, Texas to go to Yarntopia, we did get to go to Hill Country Weavers in Austin. Wow - what a great place. I bought this beautiful Euroflax in Eggplant, and I'm gonna swatch it up for Eiffel, hopefully. (the pretty hank of Lorna's was picked up by my sister for me while they were in Spokane... because she knew it was good stuff... she remembered "reading it on the blogs!" I'm training her well, aren't I!).

I also made quite a bit of progress on my Sizzle, in airports and on airplanes. Oh, the joys of holiday travel. Actually, it was all very uneventful, except for one connecting flight we almost didn't make, because our previous flight left VERY late - and we had to get them to unlock the doors to let us on the plane at the last minute. Makes for lots of knitting time, though. Since this picture, I finished both the front and back, and last night got it all seamed up. It seems to fit well., and when next you see it, it will be a FO!

Ok - see, I'm alive and well. And, I promise not to let 2 weeks go between posts. Besides, I've got some beautiful mittens to show you, knit by my friend in Finland, and Sizzle should be done soon.

Happy New Year my friends!

  • Knit Picks Palette Fair Isle Cardigan (on permanent hold - reconsideration status)
  • "Turquoise Jeans Socks", made up rib pattern, Claudia's Handpainted
  • Clementine Shawlette, Interweave Knits Spring 2007
  • Bonita, Interweave Knits Summer 2006
  • Clapotis, Knitty, out of a yummy Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn
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