Tuesday, December 29, 2009

can i have a little more...

this is a picture of my sweet friend's scarf. i have been working on this for quite awhile, one could say since before christmas of '08. want to know why?....because 299 stitches need to be picked up on each long side of the scarf. yes, 299 stitches, or a multiple of 4 + 3.

i have gotten to a point in my knitting life where i finally feel pretty confident in picking up stitches and having them look nice, but 299, or a multiple of 4+3, is a bit much for me. in fact, on the long side that is finished, i picked up quite a few less than 299, though it was a multiple of 4 + 3. i made up for it on the unfinished side where i picked up 319, also a multiple of 4 + 3.

and see that little tail of yarn in the center? the one that looks like the end a ball of yarn? it is. and i don't have another ball. no, i don't. the pattern called for two balls of the light pink and one ball of the dark pink so that is what i purchased. since i followed the directions i trusted i would have enough yarn to finish the pattern. and i continued to trust up to the time i realized i barely had enough yarn to finish row 4 of the 6 row pattern that would finish this scarf and i would have to do something else for the last two rows. can i hear you say, "grrrrr". yeah, that's it.

running out of yarn would not be such a big thing if the yarn hadn't been purchased in new york city over two and a half years ago. my hopes of finding that same color yarn dipped even farther when i looked on the blue sky alpaca website and found the color listed in the discontinued colors. i almost panicked. so i took a deep breath, clicked the "where to find our yarns" button and started dialing. the neighborhood LYS does not carry blue sky yarns so i called a couple of not so local LYS' who will be getting back to me. i then decided to try a yarn store a bridge away. i had only been there once but remembered feeling their yarn sort of took over the store. the was yarn everywhere, in all different weights and colorways. so i called. not only did the woman who answered the phone know what color i was looking for, she said they had one ball in stock and if they didn't, she thought she had one at home, but since she was with a customer, she would need to call me back. which she did, within minutes. they have the colorway, may not be the same dye lot, but for two rows, i am not going to be very choosy. i would just like to finish the scarf.

so tomorrow i am off to berkeley for one ball of yarn. and the adventure continues...

right now, i am just grateful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

16 tons...

so i am not the fastest knitter. in fact i consider myself to be one of the slowest knitters on the planet. but this evening i even impressed myself.

the LYS in the town north of mine has a 30% off sale every 3rd thursday of the month. novembers yarn sale was bulky/chunky yarn. though i have enough stash to build a mountain, i thought it may not be a bad idea to have some bulky/chunky yarn for last minute gifts. so i drove up and checked out the sale. i ended up buying three skeins/hanks/balls of yarn, one brown sheep burly spun in ruby red; one rowan cocoon in a lovely grey and one misty alpaca chunky in a hot pink. i figured three gifts for around $30 was not bad.

i had originally purchased the burly spun to knit a unisex scarf for a work holiday party. then realized the holiday party was in three days which was pushing it for knitting a scarf, at least for me. onto ravelry i went to see what kind of projects were knitted out of burly spun. considering how bulky the yarn is, i was surprised at the variety of patterns available. after finding a few i liked, i narrowed it down to one that caught my eye, not only because of the name, "speedy cable cowl pattern" but because of the pattern. it had cables and for some reason, this yarn screamed cables to me. knitters who knit this pattern said it took them all of two hours. so i figured it would take me all of two evenings.

but no. once i cast on and got going, it took me all of two hours, perhaps a smidge more. i couldn't believe it! really. i mean the pattern is all of 18 rows so it shouldn't be such a shock, but i was still pretty surprised i was actually able to finish it in one sitting.

and it turned out ok, i like the way it looks. plus it fits over my head so hopefully it will fit over other peoples heads. this was my first experience with bulky/super bulky wool and it was great to be able to make something lovely in such a short amount of time. and i didn't use the whole ball; i still have enough to make another present if needed.

so on the whole, i am pretty impressed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

these are a few of my...

i love being a member of the ravelry swap on a budget group. i have been a member for awhile now and it has been a great experience. i have gotten some great yarn and have cyber met some wonderful knitters from around the world via this swap.

my last swap buddy was beckyzoole from st. louis who sent me this lovely package...

which included the fall 09 issue of vogue knitting which has some great hat patterns; some lovely milk chocolate bars, a pound of st. louis' finest coffee, which was quite tasty, pocketbook slippers and the most glorious malabrigo sock yarn ever.

the first thing i did after opening the package was put on the slippers. when i first saw them, i was pretty skeptical about their ability to fit me, but lo and behold, they did! which was absolute magic to me. they are warm and comfy and have the cutest cow buttons on them.

then i made a pot of coffee and sat down with the chocolate and magazine...and then more chocolate and more coffee and then...
proceeded to drool over the malabrigo sock yarn. it is truly lovely; and it has a very high squish factor. the name of the colorway is impressionists sky, which i thought was pretty appropriate. if i didn't already have a pair of socks for me on the needles i would have started a pair with this right away it is that delicious.

on the flip side, i love putting together a box for the person i am supposed to spoil. i read their blog, if they have one, to find out more about what they knit and knit with or maybe what they would like to try so i can incorporate something of that nature in their box. part of the swap is making something for your person. since i sew faster than i knit, i sew them something. and since i have a serious bag jones, i usually sew a project bag of some sort. during the last swap i made this tote out of the vinyl picnic tablecloths are made of. i got the pattern from the purl soho yarn store blog. the person i made it for had young kids and since it was summer and the possibility for water play is high during the summer i thought the tote could double as a damp clothes/towel carrier. apparently the daughter of the recipient loved it and wanted it for herself. hopefully the bag is being used or helpful in one way or the other!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

hello, hello...

so it's been awhile. life seems to be rushing by and all of a sudden it has been months since i have said hello.

so hello. i have missed you all and it is nice to be here. life has been full and there has been lots of creating, knitting wise, sewing wise, musical make-up wise, but those stories will come out in time.

in the meantime, i will share these...

socks for my sweet friend knit out of sknitches syncopation sock yarn; colorway, seriously.

yes, it is true, the two of us are addicted to the tv show grey's anatomy. because of this i joined ravelry's grey's anatomy knitters group, which led to me finding this yarn. sknitches had done this colorway, which quickly sold out. lucky for the group, sknitches was generously willing to dye another colorway batch, twice. this gave me the opportunity to buy a hank for myself. and when my sweet friend was disappointed because i had one and she didn't, i was able to buy another hank. whew!

so here they are... pattern, super simple short socks by meghann holcomb, found on ravelry. pattern was quick and dirty, but not real fond of the heel. the yarn came from sknitches. wonderful, wonderful, wonderful yarn. lovely to knit with and it wears well. sknitches has amazing colorways so check them out.

that is it for the moment. until next time, take care.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

yeah, i got to gamble...

i love swaps. truly, i do. they are the closest i get to gambling. really. i toss my name in, not knowing where it will land or what i may get. i just trust the yarn gods that it will all come out ok. and it always does. i mean, how can you go wrong? make a new friend and have them buy you yarn! the ultimate relationship!

this spring i once again participated with the ravelry, swap on a budget group, this time as part of the international swap and it was real fun. i "met" some wonderful knitters from around the world, hong kong, italy, germany, india, norway and various parts of the u.s. which was so fun! i even found myself posting on our group board on a regular basis which is unheard of for me! but it was that type of group.

and the coolest thing was i was got yarn from a different country! since i wasn't home when the post person came by to deliver the package i had to wait until i could pick it up the next day. by then i knew it was from india so as soon as i got it, i ripped it open and inside i found all of this...

jaishree hails from india and crochet's the most amazing doilies as well as being a knitter. she crocheted the doilies pictured here. i happen to have this thing about doilies. i love them. it is a thing from my childhood, doilies were everywhere in our house and both of my grandmothers houses, so to get some handmade ones is a bit of heaven! she also sent this lovely necklace and earring set which look quite nice on. the silver yarn is shiny and cord sized but not cord stiff. i am thinking of doing a dressy cowl or shawl/wrap thing, something shiny around the neck or head. the blue yarn is an acrylic which will be great for something baby and the multicolored yarn is truly amazing. the picture does not do it justice but it is rainbow colored and breathtaking in fingering weight cotton, which is probably great for crocheting doilies except i don't crochet. the owner of the LYS suggested a lace shawl, since it is quite a large hank of yarn, which works because i love shawls.
next up is this great bag. again, the picture does not do this justice. it is so lovely, if i weren't such a tote hag it could be used as a lovely handbag, but i am using it as a sock project bag since it can fit a huge ball of yarn as well as having a zippered pocket for measuring tapes, crochet hooks and the like. it is currently being used as the project bag for my sweet friend's socks and it is perfect. pictured with it are three balls of burgundy wool, also fingering weight. i am thinking these will make great fingerless gloves, nice color that would hold a pattern well. but i am still deciding.
then jaishree did something daring and included an article of clothing. it is this very simple, beautifully embroidered shirt. and it fits! it is a bit sheer, which i usually avoid, but with a pretty cami or tank top underneath i am willing to give it a try. especially during summer. it is such a delight to receive a piece of traditional clothing. jaishree explained these shirts are made in the province of india she lives in. and i thought it very brave for her to include it, i think both of us were thankful it fit!
and if all the above were not enough, also included was this heart scarf in the same blue of the yarn pictured above which will come in handy in the winter when i do my long walks and crave a warm neck as well as a copy of the lace ribbon scarf pattern.
whew! quite the haul! so though i am not a traditional "gambler", when it comes to yarn, i'm so in!
(please forgive the lack of breath inbetween pics and words. for some reason the formatting is not cooperating.)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

the great information...

in my haste to post about the big guys birthday, i neglected to post the specifics on his birthday socks. so in case you were wondering, let me tell you about them:...

the yarn....lorna's laces - shepherd sock in carmel (a colorway of a few years ago).

the pattern...lonnies sport's socks by rebecca mercier, available for free via ravelry (search patterns for sport or short socks) or at her website, whimsical knitting designs.

the purely subjective opinion....i really like this yarn. i have knit a couple of pairs of socks with this yarn and i love working with it. easy to knit with; the yarn feels great while knitting; looks great even after being frogged or unknit multiple times (important point!); feels great to wear and it wears well. i have laundered the cute husbands pair of socks (same yarn, different colorway), stuck them in the dryer for a moment or two then hung them until they were completely dry and they look great each time. my only dismay about the yarn is i do have a hard time finding it in any of the local LYS' around me so i purchase it online. this yarn was purchased at purl soho in nyc a couple years back.

i equally like this pattern. it is easy to follow, easy to memorize, fun to knit and the finished product looks great. though it can't be seen in the pictures, it is a slip stitch pattern that gives the sock some nice texture and a pleasing visual. it is a good "guy" pattern, though it could work equally well for girls. i was able to adapt it to knitting on two circulars with no problem. on the whole, it is a great pattern and i would use it again. which may not be for awhile since this designer has other interesting to me sock patterns which i would like to try.

so there you have it. if you are looking for a nice sock pattern for a male friend, take a look at this one and definitely take a look at this yarn. in the meantime, the big guy will wear his socks, hopefully in good health!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

it was 20 years ago today...

it is cinco de mayo today. the neighborhood mexican restaurants are doing a brisk business and the bored local police are waiting in the wings.

and though i am mexican, this day has a different meaning for me, it is the big guys birthday. and today he is turning 20. a young man no longer in his teens. one who is striving to discover who he is and where he fits into this mosaic of life.

the evening was pretty low key. he wanted pizza for supper and had decided on a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and raspberry sorbet for desert. not to bad.

and i would like to think his present from me wasn't to bad either. i realized last week i was very close to finally finishing his sporty socks and was excited at the thought he could have them by the weekend. then realized they could be a birthday gift. and so, after months of being on the needle, they are done. and he likes them and thinks they are comfortable! whew!

and though the small bundle that came into the world 20 years ago has grown to big to hold in my arms, he still has the ability to awe me. it has been and continues to be an amazing journey, one which i am honored to be a part of.

Monday, April 13, 2009


i haven't been knitting very much lately. it is not because i am bored with knitting, or tired of what i am knitting. no, it is because of these...

yes, t, i can hear you groan from here. my sweet friend (who fits into the demographic these were written for) loooved these books and wanted me to read them. i, who am not into vampires at all, hemmed and hawed and took a looong time reading brisingr. the moment i was done, i was handed the first book. after slogging through all the sop in book one, i found myself interested in knowing what would happen in book two, then more interested in what would happen in book three and finally by book four i was totally lost, like don't expect me to fix supper because i am reading lost. by the end, i was glad i read them. my sweet friend and i will have lots to discuss and reference. and i got out of making a few suppers. reading is good for you!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

happy bobmas!

thank you ravelry for two years of inspiration, information, inclusion and fun. don't know what i would do without you.

happy bobmas everyone! maybe next year we will actually get yarn as presents!

Monday, March 30, 2009

quickly go the years...

earlier this month my sweet friend celebrated her 17th birthday. the only present she requested was going to see wicked with her best friend and me. though she had seen it on broadway a few years ago when she went to visit the cousins, she wanted me to see it and she wanted to see it with me. and though i hemmed and hawed about the price of the tickets, it was well worth it. she is 17. these moments are slipping through my fingers like sand. and i can't afford to miss them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


the last few weeks have been chaotic. why? because of this...

yes, it is spring musical time again. and once again i am doing makeup. which is really a lot of fun. see the young man with the fake-ish looking facial hair on the far right? i made that beard and moustache so that we could put it on, then take it off, then put it on, then take it off, then put it on and he takes it off onstage. that may not sound bad, but when he is in the midst of changing costumes and i have to get a wig on him as well as the fake facial hair, time is very short! oi! but i wouldn't miss it. my sweet friend gets to play a ditz with a red wig and dance in every number. this is a really big production with lots of singing, dancing and set changes. but it is a great group of high schoolers to be involved with. they are so kind and respectful to each other that it is an honor to be part of it all.

and lest you think there is no knitting...ta da! a few finished items.

first off, after months of knitting (yes i do envy those who can finish a pair of socks over a weekend!) the first finished pair of socks for soldiers socks. these were knit out of knit picks essential sock yarn in buckskin. ok yarn. dont' think i will use it again. it is 13 inches of k2p2 ribbing with 12 inches of knitted feet (counting the toes), but they are done and shipped out to the young man from work who is currently in afghanistan. and to tell you the truth, i miss knitting them. they were the perfect go anywhere, able to be social in any type of setting knit. i mean, how can you go wrong with 13 inches of k2p2 or 12 inches of plain knitting. i am in the midst of swatching the second pair which i hope to knit two at a time a la 2-at-a-time socks. we'll see,

the next finished item is tudora out of kilcarra yarn that i won from cheryl. i was a bit concerned about this yarn, thought it would be a bit un-soft on the neck. that was until i started to work with it. let me tell you, this yarn is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. i loved working with it. the pattern comes to life with this yarn. the cables pop right out. it is quite lovely. and the pattern is delightful. i was concerned i would fumble it up. but no, i just followed the directions and it came together quite nicely. amazing how that works! except for the buttonhole. i am truly lacking when it comes to knitting buttonholes. thankfully the button covers the buttonhole, so all is good. and my neck is fashionably warm!

now on to the next project. yay!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

take a chance...

cheryl over at a simple yarn is having a great contest.

write a caption for the pictures on her blog and you can win some beautiful kilcarra yarn and a felted coaster. this was the yarn used to make her wonderful tudora pattern. and though i have yet to blog about it, i can tell you this yarn is stunning, absolutely stunning and the pattern is a delight to knit.

so scoot on over and check it out. good luck!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

i've just seen a...

my sweet friend and i seem to be have been bitten by a baking bug. not sure exactly how or why, but we are just going with it for the moment. she is baking cupcakes and cakes and i am baking...anything. and though i am not one to celebrate today, i felt a strong pull to bake these...

and these...
and even these...
which inevitably led to this...

it was a lot of fun though. had not baked like this in many years. next time i won't make a double batch. one batch is quite sufficient. and d & t, i do not know how you get along without your kitchen aid. seriously.

because of the baking bug, i have not had as much time to work on this...

the beginnings of the lace ribbon scarf out of malabrigo silk blend. the pattern has been in my ravelry queue for awhile so when the LYS announced it was doing a KAL of this pattern and suggested the silk blend as a yarn substitute, i was in. i have been lusting to use this yarn for something but did not know what, so here was the perfect excuse!

since using a weightier yarn then the pattern calls for, the suggestion was to use size 8 needles and drop a repeat. but i didn't have size 8 needles that were suitable, then couldn't find size 8's that were suitable. so after a bit of knashing, grumbling and finally swatching (!), i decided to use size 7 circulars with the number of stitches called for. the pattern came alive on them. and can i tell you how much i love this yarn. love this yarn. it is heaven to use and looks beautiful. since it is hand dyed, the variation of color is subtle but adds a bit of sparkle. i had never understood the fascination with manos until i used this yarn. and now i may just be hooked!

but i am not sure when i will get around to knitting on it again since tomorrow i am planning on making home made tortillas and pesole. that bug!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

catch up take 2

i joined the swap on a budget group on ravelry. i love swaps. they are fun, i meet different people, i get to put together a package and i get a package. all in all, it is pretty fun.

the last swap was this past december and though my package was late, it was well worth the wait because in it was...

...a hank of mango moon tye dyed viscose, two home made knitting utensil bags, gobs of home made stitch markers in two sizes, a coffee cup holder, a dishcloth and a home made needle holder, which i really appreciated and put to immediate use. these wonderful treats were sent to me by absolute treasure from georgia.

the yarn is really pretty. both the cute husband and my sweet friend commented on how lovely it was, which says alot. not sure what i will make out of it though. it is 150 yards and i would like to make some thing that will reflect the beautiful colors. so i will have to do some sleuthing for the proper pattern.

thanks absolute treasure for a great soab package.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

catching up...

so i have been sick the last couple of weeks. and though i do have some knitting to report on, i don't quite have the where withal to write, take pictures, download pictures, etc. so instead here are some things i have been meaning to share for awhile...

like this wonderful bag i won from worsted knitt who had a contest sometime this past summer.

not only does worsted knitt knit, design patterns, blog, moderate the ravelry dafur group but she also has this wonderful online shop, and this bag is one of the items available. it is quite sweet and big enough to hold a shawl. which is what i am using it for.

the shawl in question is the bird's nest shawl which i have been longing to make since i first started knitting. i have had the yarn for the past year, which is knit picks alpaca cloud in heathered moss. but i am being needle challenged. the pattern calls for a size 5 needle for the borders and size 6 needle for the body of the shawl. except when i swatch, i find those size needles a bit loopy/holey/loose for my taste. i find a size 4 needle more to my liking. but i debate whether to use a size 4 for the whole shawl or just for the borders and a size 5 for the body. decisions, decisions! even looking it up on ravelry didn't help since the needle sizes there were all over the map.

the next challenge with the size 4 needle is casting on. there are 346 stitches to cast on while holding the yarn double (it's knit sideways). i can do that with a size 5 or 6 needle but for some reason find it challenging on a size 4. sigh.

and so the yarn and pattern sit in this sweet little bag, patiently waiting for me to work through my various challenges. i look forward to carrying the shawl of my dreams in this sweet little bag and bragging about winning it and talking up worsted knitts shop. but, until then, stop by worsted knitts online shop and look around. your bag may not cause you so much drama!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

rhythm of the night

i like the new house. it has a lot of pluses. more pluses then negatives. but one of its negatives is a pretty big negative. for some reason the internet is down more than it is up. and, for me, that is a big negative. mainly because i am an internet junkie. i use it for everything: paying bills, making appointments, coordinating meetings, recipes, reference, reading, learning, connecting and of course, shopping. and so, since i am an internet junkie, i really don’t like that our internet is down most of the time.

though there is an upside. i am getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. i stay up late so i can be on the computer uninterrupted. but since the internet is down, i have no reason to dawdle, so i read a book and go sleep. which isn’t a bad thing.

but the most important thing i have re-discovered without internet is my knitting rhythm. after a frantic fall, on new years evening my knitting rhythm finally clicked into place...make supper, clean the kitchen, do a general pick-up and knit while watching a dvd with my sweet friend. it was a pretty perfect evening. she is finishing up a scarf, i need to knit on my sfs sock 30 min a day and then i knit on my other projects. not a bad rhythm. it suits me just fine. except now i am staying up way to late...knitting!
project info: socks for soldiers out of knit picks essential in buckskin;
knit grrl stripey scarf out of a trendsetter tonalita in raspberry shortcake.