Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Knitting Goals

Goal Number One: Get all the yarn I own to fit into the 16 clear plastic bins that I have. That means knitting from the stash, alot.

Goal Number Two: Complete the following 30 projects so that I have room in the stash (I think I have the yarn for all of them and I do have all of the patterns)
1. Clapotis
2. Pea Pod Baby Set From Interweave (because you know someone I know will be having a baby). I have enough of Knitpicks Shine to knit 1 set for a boy.
3. Cinder's Fairy Godmother Scarf. I have the beads and the lace-weight yarn. Now all I need to do is knit it.
4. Simple Shawl from KnitspotI have enough Alpaca to knit it.
5.Cherry Blossom Socks by Silvia Harding. I'm thinking about using some Yarn Pirate for that.
6. Ms. Marigold by Sarah and Rachel of Zephrstyle. I have enough Berroco Pleasure to work it up if it gets gauge.
7. Kathy's Fingerless Gloves. I don't have the yarn for this one, but have asked Melissa from Stash to get it for me.
8. Red Light Special by BrooklynTweed. I have enough Dale Baby Ull to knit this. I would just need to figure out what to line it with.
9. Wavy . I have enough Cascade 220 for this.
10.Penllyn Socks by Lisa Parker for Wildhorse Farm Designs. I seen a bunch of these knit up and they are very pretty. I have the materials to make a bunch.
11. Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap. I have enough sock yarn to make these and baby socks to match for quite a few expectant mothers.
12. Branching Out. I have the Silky Wool to make a bunch of these
13. Dashing. The plan for my father for his birthday for next year. I have a tweed Alpaca that looks like it would work perfectly.
14. Endpaper Mitts. I have the Louet Gems for this.
15. Vog On. They seem like the perfect Summer Socks.
16. Shifting Sands Scarf. It seems like it would be perfect in some hand-dyed sport Weight that I have.
17. Hearts. How can you resist these guys for Valentines day? Perfect for using up little scraps of leftover yarn.
18. Mountain Peaks Shawl. Perfect for using up some of my laceweight.
19. Marina Piccola. I have the perfect yarn for this thanks to my Holiday Swap partner, a lovey lightweight STR.
20. My So Called Scarf. I have the perfect yarn for this, 2 skeins of Malibrigu in a varigated colorway.
21. Koolhaas Hat. Perfect for the Alpaca from Shibu that I got last week in Little Rock.
22. Sheep and Wool Hat. Because it's cute and I have enough Cascade 220 to knit a house cozy.
23. Falling Water Scarf. It's beautiful and uses a pair of socks worth of fingering-weight yarn. Need I say more?
24. Retro Wedge Felted Bag. Super Cute and uses Cascade 220.
25. Summer Cardigan by Knitting Pure and SImple. I'm thinking of making it out of some of the Noro Lily that is in the stash.
26. Secret of the Stole II. This is a yahoo group mystery stole knitalong that begins in mid-January. I'll be using some of the green lace-weight in my stash. More info can be found on the Nautical Knitter's blog.
27. Bell Hat by Pickupsticks. Perfect to use up more Cascade 220.
28. Titania's Revenge. I want to make these before the Loopy Retreat in April and wear them there.
29. Central Air Socks. Because I have too big of an STR stash and I love this pattern.
30. All the STR club kits from this year that I never got a chance to make.

Goal 3: Knit a pair of simple plain-jane socks every month.
Goal 4: Photograph the stash and get it all into Ravelry (I'm starting this today).

That's about it (although it seems like a ton) for my goals for 2008. What are some of yours?

Sunday, December 30, 2007


So I need an opinion (or several). I knit this Orchid Lace Mitt yesterday and I'm not really feeling the love. The yarn is gorgeous (It's Wollmeise in the Suzanne colorway) and the pattern is very pretty also (you can find it here). But together they seem to lack something. Hmmmm... I am planning on knitting the other mitt today, just because this is a great way to use up sock yarn (and with Wollmeise's yardage I can get the mitts done and socks for someone with smaller feet than I out of one skein). I also need a pair of fingerless gloves. These will be my last project for 2007. That's kinda sad. Tomorrow I will post about my knitting goals for 2008 (I'm going to list the top 30 projects that I plan on making in the coming year, most of which will use sock yarn).

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Ignore the fuzzy photos. Apparently, my camera can't handle to excitement of photographing people in what I knit for them. I'm going to give you the specifics on some of the projects. If you're on Ravelry, you can just look at my projects page. I think this is more fun.

Project: Trick's Mitts

Made for: Trick, Becky's boyfriend of forever/partner in sin

Why I selected this pattern: From prior posts, you can determine that I was going to knit Trick a very cute snake and mouse. Well.....I ran out of time for the felting process (It would have been wet in the gift wrap, never a good sign) Trick's a smoker, so he needed some fingerless gloves so that he would no longer freeze his fingers off. I looked through several books and my queue and found this pattern in a book I already owned (always a plus when knitting at the last minute). I also had some very guy friendly Noro I got at Woolgirl's sale a few months ago.

Pattern: Medallion Mitts by Michael de Vecchio. Found in the book, Knitting with Balls.

Needles: I used size 5 and they seemed a bit small but fit Trick perfectly. I would use a size six next time around. I used my addi lace and magic looped them. Loved it. Need to use that technique more often.

Yarn: Noro Kureyon. It took 1 ball plus 10 yards of another.

Mods: I made these a little bit longer than the pattern called for (hence needing extra yarn).

Notes: I love this pattern, it was a super quick knit and the cables kept it interesting. One that I would make again.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Good Time Was Had By All

A belated Merry Christmas to everyone. The gift knitting went down to the wire, but all was completed in time. Here's some pics from our holiday. I'll go into more detail about the projects knitted (the watch was a gift, can you get more rockstar than a purple leather pirate skull watch with rhinestones? I think not) at a later date. Today is my day to recover.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Free Patterns

I've uploaded the Vadleany Socks pattern to the free pattern link on the side and will add it to ravelry patterns selection after Christmas. For tech reasons, I can't get the 2 parts to merge. You will have to download part one (which is the first page) and then part two (which is the second page). Like always, please enjoy my patterns and have fun. If you have any questions, you can send them to me via the contact this person button on the free pattern page. Please do not claim my pattern as your own. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Meme

Kathy tagged me to complete this meme. So here goes...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like to give gifts in cloth or homemade bags when possible. I hate wrapping but the hippie in me also hates the amount of waste created by paper and gift bags.

2. Real or artificial tree? - I like the smell of real pine, but I'll be honest. I visit houses with trees in them, I'm not real big into them myself. I'm def. not a theme tree person.

3. When do you put up your tree? - See above

4. When do you take the tree down? This is getting repetitive.

5. Do you like eggnog? No. I'd rather have hot coco or hot apple cider (with or without the rum) any day.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? -Every Christmas I got something that was my favorite. Santa is awesome at my house. This year I'e gotten a kick ass pirate watch from my friend Nikki along with HeMan and SheRa Christmas Special on DVD. Rockstar.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? - No (I don't decorate)

8. Worst Christmas gift you've ever received? - My students have given me some pretty bad ones. But it's the thought that counts and any present is better then none.

9. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? - Email and some mailed

10. Favorite Christmas movie? - Muppet Family Christmas (unfortunately, one of my evil ex roommates stole it and you can't get it anymore).

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever. If I see something that makes me think of someone than I get it for them.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies made by mom.

13. Clear or colored lights on the tree? - I like the clear or just blue

14. Favorite Christmas song? -Silent Night

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Credit Card Fraud

Someone stole my Chase credit card number and has been having a good old time with it. It caused my to loose out on the next round of yarn pirate sock club and has caused all sorts of other trouble (mainly not being ably to knit because I have to be on the phone and the computer at the same time looking up every little paypal payment I've made in the last few days). Totally sucks. Everyone out there, please check over everything that you need to. Trust me, the whole thing sucks.

6 days Until Christmas

Twas 6 days before Christmas,
and all through the house,
busy fingers were knitting
though not done with the mouse
A hat was all finished and packaged with care
But LaLa would still not move from her chair
The yarn was all nested, all snug in the stash
While LaLa knit on in quite the mad dash
No snake, and no mouse in a box yet for Trick
No bag to be wrapped for my good friend Miss Nic
No mittens for a Thing one or Thing two
Can you believe stuff yet to do?
And reindeer are still on the list to be knit
It's enough to cause anyone sane a huge fit
Luckily, work will be over tomorrow
That will create a lot more less sorrow
Merry Knitting to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Present Down

So I changed what I was going to knit for Rae. I had already gotten her the cool body wash type stuff on top of the washcloth and decided it needed something hand knit to go with it. Today at work, I cast on the washcloth from Mason Dixon and got to work (thank goodness for exams). Here are the washcloth specs:
Yarn: Peaches in Creme, bought at the local Walmart forever ago (at least a year) and has been chillin in the stash since.
Needles: Size 7 circs and dpns
Total time: Around 5 hours give or take children's interruptions and going to check children out of school.
Being done with one of the items for someone on my Xmas list, priceless.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Button, Button, Who's Got a Button?

The baby bolero from Mayfield's baby girl is almost done. It's just lacking the buttons. Here's a recap:
Pattern: Child's Neck-Down Bolero by Knitting Pure and SImple
Needles: SIze 8 circulars and DPNs
Yarn: 2 skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash
Notes: Not so found of picking up stitches, but love that the only thing that needs sewn is the buttons. I LOVE the Cascade 220 Superwash. It really softens up after being thrown in the washer (Yes, I threw this in the washer on cold, deleciate cycle). I let it air dry because I'm not that brave. Great written pattern + great yarn= fantastic sweater. I would make this again, but not right before Christmas. I have enough stress as it is.

Speaking of Christmas Knitting, if you are anyone I might be making a present for. STOP READING THIS NOW

No really, Becky. I mean both you and Trick.

Are we ready?

Here's the list of stuff I still need to knit. I'm warning you, it's very scary.
1. A bag for Nikki. I'm currently thinking this one
2. A toy snake and mouse for Trick. If you haven't been here, you need to go. It's awesome.
3. The reindeer from the same site for Becky. I've seen them done out of leftover bits of sock yarn and have fallen in love.
4. Fetching for Ray with a matching Calorimetry (I would link, but that's taking up valuable knitting time)
5. Mittens for Julie and Mister (Luckily, they have small hands)
6. Socks for Grandma
7. A lace scarf for Trotter out of the Camelspun I got in PGH.
8. Fingerless gloves for the woman who sells me my Desoto Appeal everyday to take to school. She's very sweet.

I think that's it. It's only 1 project everyday to be done. I'm off of school starting on Thursday. It can be done, right?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Basics of Fair-Isle Knitting

I'm teaching a class on fair-isle knitting today and I thought I would share with everyone some of my favorite fair-isle patterns and sites.

First, if you're just getting started and you can't take my class, you might want to the video that the Philosopher's Wool Company has put together. While you're there, you should totally buy some of their kits. I'm in serious love with this. In case you needed more reason to buy from them, they are seriously nice people and always go to Maryland Sheep and Wool.

If you're still a bit confused, knitting help also has a video here.

Now that you have the basics down, there's a few things about color dominance you need to know. Eunny Jang totally knows a ton of information about everything (I would love to be in her brain for a while). While you're there, you should check out her Endpaper Mitts and other great patterns (I love the mittens).
Now we're at the fun part of looking at patterns. Some of my favorites are Fake-Isle, and the We Call Them Pirates Hat from Hello Yarn (They also have some squirrel mittens, I've been thinking about making). Interweave always has a ton of cute Fair-Isle patterns in their magazine. If you can get your hands on an Alice Starmore book, you're golden. I'll have to hunt up more patterns later, I've got to get going for the class. Happy knitting all!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Go Elf Yourself

watch me here

Holiday Swap

I am in love with Socks That Rock Yarn. I think the huge bag of it that I have can attest to that. Debi/Cockeyed happens to be a sockateer for Tina and got me one of the few of the purple/blue colorways (my favorite) that I didn't have. She also got me some great Tazo tea, Godivia Chocolates (yummy!), bath and body works lavender shower gel, lotion, and pillow spay, a great Yankee candle, and a fabulous pattern that I've had my eyes on for quite a while. I can't wait until all the Christmas knitting is done to get started. Thank you so much Debi! I loved every bit of it!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Because I Can

Swaps and Yarn, Oh My!

This first picture is my package from my secret pal, Christina. She went out of her way to find stuff that was so me. It's amazing what a great job she did. I love all the yarn. Love it! And the gorgeous stole that all the stuff is on, she made that for me. Wow! She is truly amazing. There is some more stuff that she sent that is not pictured. The chocolate (some yummy stuff called poppets in mint and toffee) were very yummy. I also have a magic bean that's not in the picture. It's getting ready to take me to the land of the giants as we speak. Thank you so much, Christina! You are a rockstar!
I'm going to save pictures from the second swap that I was in until tomorrow. I don't think it's fair to ply you with so much swap goodness at once.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Playing on Picnik

I've been playing on picnik. It's very cool. I might have to get a premium account.


Apparently, 10 p.m. is not a good time to take pictures of yarn. The swap packages are just so awesome that you have to see them. I promise I'll get pics up soon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dyed Yarn

My hands are currently pink, purple, blue, and black because I dyed some yarn today. Can't wait to see what the students think about that tomorrow. I'll post pics of the dyed yarn and the awesome swap packages I got this week tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Land of the Books

I've been super busy for the past couple of weeks with work stuff because I decided to have a book fair. Book fairs are not fun. They involve a ton of work for very little money. My students love them, though. Even if all I sell is a few books and a plethera of junk (have you seen the amount of junk?), it makes me feel like my students are interested in junk books. Anyway, very little knitting is getting done because of the book fair. I just wanted to show you what's been keeping me so busy and at school from 6:30 in the morning until 7 at night.
On a positive knitting note: I formed a Knitting Pure and Simple group on Raverly and everyone should join it. Really, go join it now.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Shirley's Scarf

The second project that I completed over Thanksgiving is the Liesel Scarf. This is a free pattern that you can find here. The scarf is not a hard knit, but it wasn't a pattern that I could memorize. It took me the car ride home to complete (I'm thinking that I knit at least 10 of the 12 hour trip).
Here are my specs for the scarf.

Size Needle: I used size 8 addi turbos. I might go up to a 10 next time to make the scarf more lacy looking. Although, for the PGH climate, more substance is better.

Yarn: I used Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted and got 22 repeats of the pattern completed. I might have been able to squeeze out a 23rd repeat, but I really didn't want to have to rip back. Thinking about it now, I could have put in a lifeline with no worries. Hmmmmm...

Other Notes: This is a project that needs blocking. It looks so much better after being steamed blocked. It is also a fairly reversible pattern. This is one that I would knit again.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Punk-Rock Socks

I'm going to try to be better about posting in December than I was in November. Time just seems to be flying this year. Can you believe that in just a few weeks, I'll be halfway through the school year? Neither can I. Here's an FO from Thanksgiving week.
The pattern is Bellatrix from Momma Monkey . (Awesome! Bloggers letting me do the cool links again). These actually started out as the fingerless gloves version and they were way too big. I didn't want to waste 4 inches of knitting so I just changed them into socks. Think of these as a loose interpretation of the patttern. They were knit on Knitpicks 16 inch circs on size 1.5. The Yarn is Yarn Pirate Culture Club (I love her stuff!). Some color did come out in the wash, but I expect that with blacks and pinks.
Now I have got to get a move on with the Xmas knitting!