Monday, October 31, 2005

With my Magic Wand I can

... turn 2 skeins of yarn into a scarf in less than a week, and tie a perfect double windsor
... finish one sock, and make a 1lb box of candy disappear!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


This is what I have so far on the Harry Potter scarf. It's "fake" Mistake Stitch, and it's done by casting on like this ll-(lll-)*12ll. The dashes represent needles out of work. Basically you knit 30 rows, drop the stitches to each side of the NOW and latch up 2 bars at a time. It goes fast and it looks like 1 by 1 rib on one side and kinda sorta like Mistake Rib on the other. I'm going with it since it took me a while to get this far, having ripped it out several times because of mistakes (no pun intended) then the last time because it was too narrow. As you can see it's a pre-HP-4 scarf as the new ones for Goblet of Fire are designed a little differently -- I'm not starting over.
As for Science Camp -- 2 nights down and 2 to go. The See's is holding up and is looking like it's going to last. I've had help from DH and kind offers of help from friends. I think I can manage on my own though. It's weird not having K around. She balances things. The 3 of us are like a chair missing 1 leg. L surprisingly is enjoying all the attention. She did however, spend yesterday afternoon making a "Welcome Home" poster for her sister, I think she misses her too.

Monday, October 24, 2005


I finished the Mermaid Socks from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks for Warm Feet.These are my daughter's feet. She took my her socks and left for Science Camp. This is a week long camp for 5th graders here in Santa Clara County. It's the first time for her to be away from home and family. I think her sister will miss her the most -- being the youngest and having never been separated from her sister. It'll be hard on me too because I've never been separated from her for that long. I think by mid-week I'll need something strong to keep me going so I'm considering a stop at the Black Watch, a local tavern that serves killer Kamikazes. In the meantime, I've got to turn these 2 skeins of Cascade 220 into a Harry Potter scarf by Halloween. Too bad I can't use the wand (but I could use my bulky knitting machine). I started a new pair of socks for my other daughter (because you can't finish a pair for one and not start the next pair for the other).
And if that doesn't keep me from chewing all my nails with worry, I do have other projects to knit (and start) but just in case none of that helps, I have these...
they should last until Friday when she returns. Check back...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Armed and Dangerous

I've got this teensy obsession with mittens at the moment. It's mostly because I've been catching up with the Yarn Harlot's archives (Sept 2004 through Feb 2005). So I've been doing a little research, I bought this...

and this...
plus all of these... Yes, that's all 30 of Knit Picks colors in Palette, their fingering weight yarn. It was such a good deal, and such a bold thing to do -- who could resist? Certainly not I. There's like at least what 7 pairs of mittens in there. So here's the plan, choose a design, decide on the colors and get going. Except, there's a catch...I want them to be convertible. I know, how unconventional, traditional ethnic mittens with flip tops. Isn't it bad enough I gotta throw a Kaffe Fassett twist in there? Bear with me, what I want the mittens for is going to the ice rink where my daughters take skating lessons. Well...I would like them to have flip tops so...I can still knit while I watch. See? Only a knitter would think of this. Where else are you gonna get them? Sure you can buy convertible mittens -- but can you buy convertible Latvian mittens? How about convertible Latvian mittens a la Kaffe Fassett? I don't think so. These mittens only exist in the mind of a knitter.

The weekend approaches -- I've got a sock to finish, ends to weave, other projects to start and mittens to design. So while I go off and do all that I'll leave you with these beautiful stitch markers that I made, they are so addicting -- betcha can't just make one!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Dreams come true

This is the finished Debbie Bliss fairisle. A few words on fair ilse (shetland style)
1) it is done in the round
2) it is made with fingering weight wool
3) each pattern row is done in 2 colors

This sweater breaks all 3 rules
1) it is done flat
2) it is made with cotton
3) 2 patterns require 3 colors per row

This did not stop me from knitting it -- however, it nearly stopped me from finishing it.

Look at the detail of the collar -- it is picked up from the body -- see how nicely it mirrors the patterning from the bottom of the sweater? I didn't plan that -- it just happened. There are lots of little serendipitous things like this that happened, like the patterns match at the seams -- even the sleeve seams -- this could be the genius of Debbie Bliss. I know one thing that is the genius of Debbie Bliss -- it fits my daughter, 4 years after I started it. Okay, I planned the sweater for my older daughter -- but even she was 7 at the time I planned to finish it. This is sized for a 5-6 yo. But this is Debbie Bliss and she designs her sweaters to run big.

Okay now here's a secret, another thing that nearly kept me from finishing -- I was running out of the maroon. I finished the back, looked at what I had left and realized that I may run out. With all the difficulties I was having with all the broken rules, I put the sweater away. Several years later, I found the sweater and wondered why I never finished it. As I started the front I soon found out. I re-realized I was running out of not only the maroon but the black as well. I thought I'd purchase one more of each. I found the black -- obviously not the same dye lot but it was close. But, I could not find the maroon anywhere, apparently it was discontinued. This was nerve-wracking. Why didn't I buy the extra yarn before? Ugh. What could I do? I did what any knitter in with cyberspace at her fingertips. I googled for the yarn and the color number and it came up in a shop in Germany! I e-mailed them, and purchased one skein (I now get their newsletters in German -- it's entertaining if nothing else). However, it took a long time to come. I waited. I couldn't work on the sweater until I had all the yarn. Just as I was about to contact the store, it finally arrived and I discovered that it ended up being sent to Canada before making it to California (get it CA, vs CA?). It seemed a tad darker but I saved it and used it for the last section of one sleeve and the collar. Can you tell? I think it's the sleeve on the right. You can't tell from the collar. I'm just glad it's done and it's a dream come true. Except of course it's not quite done. I need to weave in the ends. If finishing (knitting and making up) is a dream come true then this...

is a nightmare.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dream On

Haven't started the new projects yet. I can't do it. What I need to do is finish the last of the 2001 projects. I did work on the fairisle pullover this weekend. The sleeves are done. I prematurely finished the first sleeve only to find that it wasn't quite long enough so after I finished the second sleeve I lengthened the first. The directions say next to bind one shoulder and pick up for the neck. Remember this is fairisle done in cotton and therefore is written flat. After the collar I can sew up the other shoulder and the collar, attach the sleeves and seam. Then I'll have to deal with the ends. I haven't counted them. But I'll just say this -- there's a story in the new Yarn Harlot book (Secret Life of a Knitter) about a sweater she calls, the Bird Jacket (pg. 140 "Freakin' Birds"). It is by the same designer -- in fact my fairisle is a version of a sweater from the very same book as the Bird Jacket. Read the story -- feel the pain.

Speaking of the Yarn Harlot I'm catching up on her blog. I started reading it in March of this year so after reading her first book I decided to go back to the beginning of her blog. I'm up to October 2004 now. I can see it coming already. Christmas 2004 -- did she finish all the handknit gifts she started? Somehow I doubt it. This year she's started a hotline. Yup, a support line for those of you (not me) who overcommit. I've got the number in the sidebar. On another note, for some reason I have the urge to knit mittens...