Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lost: knitting mojo

I am offering a reward for the return of my lost knitting mojo. It went missing approximately 10 days ago. Last seen finishing a Hypoteneuse scarf (by Anne Hanson). Need it returned as projects are backing up. Please contact me for reward if you see my mojo. Thank you.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

hypoteneuse blocking up close

hypoteneuse blocking
Originally uploaded by houcinben

hypoteneuse blocking2

hypoteneuse blocking2
Originally uploaded by houcinben
I'm baack! It's been a long time, but I decided to resurrecct my blog! I am in for the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling this April. I am beyond excited and truly cannot wait. As part of the run up to the event, there is a wonderfully active group of Fling-goers on Ravelry. We are doing KALs based on the teachers/designers who will be at the Fling.

January's featured designer is Anne Hanson. It was hard to choose just one of her amazing patterns to do. Anne is probably my favorite knitwear designer. In the end, I did Hypoteneuse. I used Aracaunia Itata (a wool/bamboo/silk blend) in fingering weight, which meant doing almost double the repeats called for in the pattern. But I wanted something a little more lightweight and wearable in the Spring in Houston.

Here it is, blocking!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ike Shmike

I really am thankful that my family is all fine and healthy. And I really am happy that we didn't sustain any real damage from Hurricane Ike. Just a ton of landscaping debris and one small tree lost. Otherwise, not so much destruction to my property or that of any family. All of that being said, I am completely exhausted from trying to exist for 10 days without power. In Houston. With 90 degree heat. And two kids. And no ice. We initally thought our power would be back up today or tomorrow, but now Centerpoint is saying that we will be restored "after Thursday". Holy shit wads, Batman.

The saving grace is that my office has power. 911 has operations in my building. Power was out in the neighborhood for all of 20 minutes. Then it came back on. Our neighbors must love my building! Well, 911 at least! So here I sit for the first time in 10 days, enjoying the modern conveniences of ice, a/c, internet and lights! I have never been so happy to see them all in one place.

Things are on the rebound. We can find gas easily again. Our tap water is usable again. Some street lights are coming back on. Our yard has been cleaned up. The trees, power lines, debris and trash are being cleared from streets. And our local grocery store has power, so we can buy most things... they have even been restocked with perishables as of yesterday. Now if we could just get that elusive power back!

So, what to do during a hurricane? Knit, of course! With little else to do for the past 10 days, I did manage to get a lot of knitting done. I finished a scarf and matching hat for my niece. I did my "Hurricane Ike" scarf out of Rowan Summer Tweed... it was a fun knit from a pattern that I bought in Portland. It is lacy and very pretty. I also got about 4 feet knit on my STR Chevron Scarf. And did some work on a vest that I am doing with Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn... it's a pattern from Knits So Fine... my favorite knitting book EVER. I stuck to pretty simple stuff because I knew that I would screw up anything that required too much patience or brain power!!!

In the midst of it all, I got the latest Seven Deadly Spins package last week. It is one of the prettiest things I have seen in my time knitting. It is also one of the most intimidating patterns I have ever seen! I am bound and determined to do it though. I plan to work it with Purl, and I am hopeful that we can get through it together. I am really bad at suspense, and I always look at spoilers. This time around, being in the dark, not only did I not see any spoilers, but I didn't even know the package was on its way. It was the best surprise, and it made my day!!

Finally, I have to say that I have met the sweetest, dearest woman through swapping on Ravelry. It is neat to find someone that wants to trade a skein of yarn with you, but it's pretty amazing when a friendship strikes up in the process! Thank you knittingleftie!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Purl and I had a long girls' weekend in Portland this weekend. We got home late last night, exhausted and laden with yarn! If it weren't for our husbands and my kids, I am sure we would have stayed forever and refused to come back to Houston. We had an amazing time, full of laughs, great wine and gorgeous trips out of the city.

We also had fantastic company. On Friday, we got to meet and spend time with Jen, the amazing woman behind our favorite yarn-pusher, Woolgirl. Jen was so wonderful to pick us up at our hotel and serve as our guide around town for the afternoon and evening. The evening ended with Purl and I getting to act like kids in a candy store during a trip to Woolgirl Central! Jen has such amazing taste, and honestly, I have never been so tempted by yarn before in my life. I tried to lock myself in the stock room, but it turned out that Jen had a key. :-(

Purl and I did a wine tour, Powell's books, more yarn shopping, lots of great dining... we came home with a plethora of books and yarn! Portland is one heck of a knitter's town. That's all I can say!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Has it really been almost 6 weeks since I posted? Yikes. Where has the summer gone?! We were up on Lake Michigan for 10 days or so, relaxing on my Mother-in-Law's porch which overlooks the lake. It was beautiful. Normally we end up there in late July, when it's almost as hot there as it is in Houston! This time around, it was very temperate (low in the 50's, highs in the upper 70's, lower 80's) and very comfortable. I did a ton of knitting. I finished some Farmhouse socks for my MIL on the way there. It was a red-white-blue yarn and I did them for her since we were there on the 4th. She loved them. It is always nice to have an appreciative recipient! I hate making something, spending all that time on it, and then having the person be non-plussed about it. Not that they have to fawn and act all googly over something I make, but it is a let down when I can tell someone could really care less. I try to be more selective about who I make things for these days.

I also finished a sundress for my daughter. It's a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern, and it is really quite easy. I did one last summer, and my daughter loved it and asked for another one. This time around, I used Debbie Bliss cotton in red, and it came out really cute. I also finished a pair of no-purl monkey socks in Mama Llama Bom dia Bon-gee-yah. I did a pair of socks for my daughter in the White Oak Hello Kitty colorway. In all honesty, this yarn was not my cup of tea. But the little socks for my daughter were super-quick to make and are just adorable. I did a simple 2 x 2 rib for the entire sock. She loves them. Finally, I made a ton of progress on my first Clapotis. I am about 1/2 way through the straight section.

I think I need to go get some Texas lottery tickets. Last night, I managed to score 2 skeins of Wollmeise yarn from The Loopy Ewe. I got one colorway that I have been yearning for: the Campari Orange. I also got a skein of Kalten Polar. I really wanted Turkis und Karneol but missed out on that one. Alas, I have found a kind person on Ravelry who is willing to trade! At any rate, I will soon have 2 skeins of Wollmeise to fondle. It was true madness. I can't believe that 300+ skeins of yarn were gone in 3 minutes flat. The Texas lottery should be a piece of cake in comparison!!!

Pictures. Yes, I know. Pictures are much needed here on my desolate blog. I will really try to get some up.

Hope you are all having a great summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've been knitting

Geez. I just saw that it has been almost a month since I posted. I don't really know where that time has gone! I guess it was consumed with my hubby's birthday, our son's birthday, mothers' day, and general Spring fever!

I've been doing lots of knitting. I know, I know-- I need to post some pictures. I really stink at that. I made my mom a pair of socks with Spunky Eclectic's Popsicle yarn which I got from Woolgirl. It makes the most fantastic socks, and my mom coveted mine (knit late last year) so I had to make a second pair for her!

I finished my feather and fan stole done in Schaefer Laurel, the Queen Lili'ukalani colorway (oranges, green, tuquoise and purple). I'm quite pleased with it. It's my first real lace work, and it came out pretty well. As far as lace goes, I think this was a pretty easy pattern.

I'm about 2/3 of the way done with a pinwheel blanket for my daughter. I'm making it a little on the large side (as opposed to just baby size) so that it will be usable for a while. She's 4 (going on 24), but very petite, so I think a blanket that is about 4' in diameter will do for a good while. I seem to have a knack for picking yarns that are discontinued, and this one is no exception. I'm doing her pinwheel in Cabo Verde pink and white. I think I have all the yarn I will need for it, but I may need an extra skein for the border.

My Lace Ribbon scarf is about 1/3 of the way done. I'm doing that in Bonnie's Bamboo yarn by Farmhouse. This is my new favorite yarn. It is glorious to work with, and has such beautiful drape and feel-- it is SO soft. I 'm doing the scarf in blue. And I'm using the same yarn in a rose shade for a scoop neck "tshirt" sweater. I haven't gotten all too far on that. It's a top-down affair, and I made it to the point where the sleeves get moved on to scrap yarn, and then I got sidetracked. I guess that is one of the many downfalls to having a million projects going at once.

Oh, and I started a Clapotis. I gave up on the Malabrigo version I began last fall. As much as I love the Malabrigo, the clappy was going to be way too heavy for Houston. I picked Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Edgewater.

I've been on a sock tear, too. I am nearly finished with a pair for my dear husband. I have 3 pairs to do before we go to Lake Michigan this summer (for family gifts), and I got a Hello Kitty kit from Woolgirl that I purchased for the express purpose of making my daughter some socks. She absolutely loves HK, so the kit was an enormous hit with her, and she loves the yarn. How long can it take to make a pair of socks for a 4 year old?! Anyone have a pattern suggestion? I just need a simple, basic pattern...

Hmm. What else? I guess that is the update on my projects. Summer is almost here for real. It's already in the mid- 90's here in H-town. Our son gets out of school for the summer in another week. The pool is calling but I must keep knitting!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Good signs?

Today's post relates somewhat to each of my last two posts. I am in a funk of epic magnitudes. Don't worry. I'm not out on a ledge or anything! I'm not THAT funk-i-fied. I've been feeling crummy lately and that's all there is to it. But I got a terrific treat today that lifted my spirits!

Yesterday Purl stopped by my office to show me the yarn she had gotten from a club she is in. It's the Mama Llama yarn club. I have to tell you, Catherine at Mama Llama does some of the most beautiful colorwork I've seen. The dying is seamless and her colors are so pretty even if I don't necessarily like the color! Her yarns are impeccable. That brings us to the relation to my rant on purple in a previous post. Mama Llama was the dyer on the most recent Woolgirl sock club shipment. I was disappointed at first when I saw the spoiler pics and found out it was purple yarn coming. (I HATE PURPLE!!!) But once it arrived and I saw it in person, I had to admire the yarn because of Catherine's skill. It says a lot about her art to be able to say that she made me like a purple yarn!!!

So, yesterday, when Purl came by to show me her new Mama Llama, I knew I was in for a treat. This yarn was so drop-dead gorgeous that I literally grabbed in and started running. Okay, I only went about 5 steps and then walked back and handed it back over. I've seen lots and lots and lots of yarn that makes me swoon, but this one just says Cindy all over it. My favorite colors on earth are blue and orange. And one of my favorite color combos is blue and brown. This yarn is a mix of blues/turquoise and tans/browns. It is stunning. And it is literally my favorite skein of yarn ever. Having seen it sent me directly to the Mama Llama Etsy store looking for anything comparable. Not finding similar a colorway, I did spy something else that I couldn't live without (see, that relates to my post of yesterday!) and I placed an order for it.

Then, I was on Ravelry and posted on the club's shipment thread, saying that if anyone wanted to part with theirs, I would buy it! Well, I came in this morning and the insanely generous Catherine had read my post and treated me to a little something to soothe my yarn envy. Not only is it not purple, but it's some of my favorite colors ever. It is amazing the power that yarn has over me. I've been grinning like an idiot ever since! Thank you, Catherine, for your random act of kindness! Yarnies are the best people ever.