Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas sweatshop

Remind me next year that I MUST either (1) start earlier on my holiday knitting, or (2) take on fewer things!!! The past two or three weeks I have been working in a sweatshop!!! This year I made the two chevrons, one for my MIL (hers went out almost 2 weeks ago in the mail) and one for my mom (hers was finished yesterday), socks for my mom (finished today!), a secret something that I am not at liberty to divulge yet, and a scarf for my dad. Dad's scarf is going to be a New Year's present. We exchange gifts with my parents tonight, and I still have a couple of feet to go on his scarf. It's not happening.
My mom's socks ended up being one of the biggest pains in the butt in all knitdom for me. First, I couldn't decide on a pattern. I first cast on for her socks back in late October. I wasn't feeling any pattern I tried. I finally settled on a plain old sock. Then came the pooling. I decided to just bear with it, and kinda liked it in the end. Until I got a little in to sock #2. That one decided to stripe instead!! There is no way anyone could mistake the two for a "pair" of socks. Bring on sock number THREE! I figured whatever happened with sock 3 would be the pair. It striped, which was good, because I prefer the stripe. But then the second skein of yarn that I had to buy to make a third sock was different. It didn't have as deep a brown as the first skein. I had a ping-pong ball sized bit of the first skein left, so I worked it in to the third sock. I think it came out alright. The yarn is wonderful to work with. I used Zen String Serendipity Sport weight in Parfait. The chevron was done with the same yarn in fingering weight, and I honestly don't remember what the other skein was... but they were great to use.

Here are the socks and the chevron:

And here are the mis-matched socks, number 1 & 2!!!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope all of your deadline knitting is done and finds an appreciative recipient!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hello SITMT pal

Hi there, SITMT pal! I saw your comment on my previous post, and wanted to let you know that I haven't gotten any email from you in the past week. I'm sorry you are having email issues-- I know how annoying those can be. Thanks for thinking about me and for saying "hi" on the blog! I hope everything is going well with you other than the email!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Tale of Two Chevrons

I finished the first of two Chevrons that I am doing as Christmas gifts. It was beginning to feel a little like an albatross! This is my first experience with deadline knitting. Last Christmas, I was only 4 or 5 months into my career as a knit-a-holic, and I didn't dare make anything as a gift. Well, actually, I did make a super-chunky scarf for my brother. But I couldn't even think about making anything for anyone else. This year, I have some confidence and felt like I could pull off the chevrons. I just wasn't counting on the stress factor that would result from taking on two of them the first week of December! Anyway, I finished the first one. It's for my mother-in-law. I did it with a JojoLand 100% cashmere yarn and Koigu Kersti in Squashblossom. It is soft and decadent. I hope she enjoys it. Here it is:

So now I am on to my Mom's. I have made a little progress, but not a ton. Mom's is being done with two different Zen String Serendipity Sport colorways. Here it is:

Mom's is being made to match socks that I am also knitting for her. The first one is done:

My chevron, which I began back in September or October is never going to get finished! I made great progress on it during our Hawaii trip. But I have just about reached chevron overload. I will need a long break before finishing my own!

All the moaning aside, I am so lucky to have these two women in my life, and I really am thrilled to be able to make something special for them.

Woolgirl bounty

Since I finally charged the camera, I can now show you the amazing things that have come in from Woolgirl in the last few weeks. First off, I am now a member of the Woolly Woolgirl Club. Amazingly, Jen made me a member of a club just when I was about to begin a Woolgirl fan club! Ha ha. Upon your 7th purchase from Woolgirl, Jen in all of her generosity, sends one of these amazing packages to welcome you to the club:

If that wasn't enough, Jen held a contest on her blog over Thanksgiving. I won! Jen sent me gorgeous Das Schneescaf yarn, great stitch markers, and the cutest calender from Thomas Joseph. I can't show the calender because it is on display in my office. But here is the yarn:

And then, the piece de resistance... the Peanuts Christmas kit!!! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a complete freak for all things Snoopy and/or Peanuts. When Jen announced that these kits were hitting the store in very limited supply, I began to have panic attacks about not getting one! It's a terrible picture, I apologize. But there is the cutest Peanuts project bag, 2 skeins of Charlie Brown Christmas yarn from White Oak Studio, 2 packets of Peanuts hot coccoa (who knew such a thing existed!?) and a cute stitch marker. I was lucky enough to score one, and here it is:

I love Woolgirl!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You know you're a knitter when...

You are stuck in heinous traffic and contemplate whipping out the project you are working on! This morning, my 35-40 minute commute took over an hour. As I was at a stand-still on the freeway, I spied my knitting bag which was still in the passenger seat from last night's gathering with the Wine Harlot posse (aka Purl and Lisa). I was seriously tempted to pull out my Woolgirl Sock Club sock and start working on it. Then the attorney in me decided that I would have absolutely no defense if I got in a wreck. Somehow I managed to rationalize myself into leaving my poor, lonely sock in the bag. It was a boring drive in, and I know I could've made some progress on that beautiful sock!!!! No fair!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cables Untangled

Today, Purl and I took the most fantastic class. It was a class by Melissa Leapman, the author of "Cables Untangled". Melissa was in Houston for a series of classes and Purl and I took the first one, which was an intro to cables. If you ever have a chance to take a class by her, don't hesitate... DO IT! She is a phenomenal teacher, and shares so much information that you actually do feel empowered to do these crazy things. Not only did I get a great foundation in how to do cabling, but she also touched on fair isle and gave us a quick primer on that technique. By the end of the class, we were knitting cables with two colors. It was amazing. I wish I had signed up for more of her classes while she is here in Houston. Had I known just how much I would get out of her class, I would definitely have set aside the time to do more. We had to sign up a couple of months ago for the class, and I just had no idea how great it would be. You live and you learn, right?

The only problem with my newfound excitement over cables is that I am absolutely dying to go play around and work with them. Unfortunately, I have too much deadline knitting to do for the holidays and I can't spare even a second for play knitting right now. I have 1/2 of a chevron scarf to do by next weekend (to get it in the mail in time!) and another one to finish 3/4 of before the 25th. Plus socks and other assorted small items. What on earth was I thinking????? I think I may start on Christmas 2008 gifts on Dec. 26th this year!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Contest winning and knitting stuff

I guess I had Irish luck on my side this Thanksgiving. Jen at Woolgirl (my favorite shop in the whole world) held a contest on her blog for Thanksgiving. The contest was to leave a comment with a favorite turkey day side dish and even the recipe if possible. I entered, and my name was drawn! You have to experience a package from Jen to truly understand how exciting this win is. Apparently, I have some really cute Irish stitch markers from Zephyr and a Thomas Joseph 2008 calendar coming my way, along with some (sharp intake of breath...) YARN! Woo hoo!! I am quite excited.

I have gone sock and chevron mad over the past few days. I am almost finished with sock number one for my hubby. I've also made great progress on the pair for my mom. Mom will be getting a chevron to match. One of the yarns in the chevron is the same I'm using for her socks. (Zen String parfait). Then I decided to do another (my third for those keeping track!) chevron scarf, this one for my mother in law. I'm using sport weight yarn for hers, as she lives in Michigan where it is COLD. Here in Houston, a heavy wool scarf doesn't get much use, so fingering weight works great. I am pleased with how hers is coming along too. I can't post pictures right now because these items are supposed to be a Christmas surprise. But I will take photos of each and post after they have been opened. Hopefully, I will manage to get all of the gifts done. I would love to do a pair of socks for a couple of other people, but I don't want to push my luck! I do have yarn tucked aside in case I manage to get to them though. :-)

Well, I'm wasting good knitting time sitting here typing. The yarn is calling me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Revealed

My SP 11 pal revealed herself to me. She is a Texan living in Georgia. Barely a week went by that I didn't get a funny card in the mail. Sometimes they included a comic or bookmark or something little for the kids, others they were simply hysterical greetings. Either way, I knew that my pal was thinking of me and that she put a lot of effort into this exchange. A glance at her blog tells me that we have a lot in common. I am taking a brief break from Thanksgiving cooking right now, but can't wait to read more of her blog later.

Thank you so much Christy for the gifts and thoughts. You truly spoiled me rotten.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who read this. (anyone who doesn't read my blog doesn't deserve such wishes! ha ha ha)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sock it to me Twice Questionnaire

1. How long have you been knitting? Do you consider yourself beginner, intermediate, advanced?

I have been knitting for about 15 months. I consider myself on the intermediate side of things.

2. How long have you been knitting socks?

I started this summer, in June. So about 6 months.

3. What are your favorite fibers to work with?

Natural fibers. I love squishy, sport weight sock yarns, nice merino wools, cotton, silk, bamboo....

4. What is your favorite color?

It's a toss up between orange and navy. I really love color in general. The only color I really don't care for is purple.

5. What are your current WIPs (works in progress)?

2 chevron scarves, socks, a sweater and a blanket for my son

6. Name your favorite yarns, (brand, fibers, colors, etc.).

I love Zen String, Miss Babs and Sereknitty sport weight sock yarns. They all have such amazing colors and are so soft and sproingy! And what in the world is softer than Malabrigo worsted? I also love the Araucania yarns and Queensland yarns-- epecially the Queensland Kathmandhu. Again, it's the colors! I am a freak for all things Woolgirl. She has the most amazing yarns.

7. What are some yarns/fibers that you stay away from.

Anything acrylic. It gives me the heebie jeebies.

8. What is your family situation? (Married, kids, pets?)

Yes to all. Married for 15 years in early November. Two kids (9 and 4) and 3 pets (1 old cat, 1 shih tzu dog and a nutso kitten)

9. Name some of your hobbies.

The obvious one- knitting, reading, bubble baths, sailing, drinking wine with friends, watching movies, cooking

10. Name some of your favorite movies?

Monty Python's Holy Grail, The Great White Hype, Ocean's 11, A Room with A View, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

11. Do you like to read?


12. Do you collect anything?

Teapots, Homer Laughlin Wells Art glaze dishes in green, Baccarat crystal figurines, YARN!

13. Do you own an iPod or mp3 player?


14. What are your favorite type of knitting needles?

My favorites are Lantern Moon wooden needles, but I tend to use Addi circs the most, which doesn't make any sense to me as I put it in writing!

15. What knitting notion could you not live without?

The freebie tape measure that my LYS gives to first time customers!

16. Who are some of your favorite designers?

Diane Soucy and her Knitting Pure and Simple patterns

17. Do you subscribe to any magazines? (Knitting or otherwise.)

I am a magazine junky. The only knitting mag I get is IK. Otherwise, lots of cooking and fashion mags-- Bon Appetite, Cooks Illustrated, Cooking Light, In Style, Allure, Lucky and then the one incredibly guilty pleasure (I am embarrased to admit it)-- Us Weekly!

18. When is your birthday?

July 22

19. Do you have a "wishlist", (on Ravelry, Froogle, or Amazon)?


20. Do you have a Ravelry ID?


21. If you had a sheep, what would you name it?


Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Clappy is a Goner

In my never-ending world of frogging, I have a new victim-- my Clappy. I am on the 8th repeat in the third section (where you begin the drops) and have completely screwed things up somehow. And truth be told, I wasn't feeling the love for the thing anyway. I have been using Malabrigo worsted in Amorosa. It's gorgeous stuff, and beautiful to work with. However, I have been finding the semi-solid color a bit monotonous. And it is HEAVY. Then there is the issue of the yarn sticking, making the drops practically impossible. Each time I had to drop a stitch, I would literally have to rip the stitch all the way down by hand. I have decided that the current screwup debacle is a sign that I should just frog the thing and use the yarn for something more suited for it. I will probably do a sweater, as the yarn is just gorgeous. So now I'm on the hunt for more Clappy yarn. I'll probably just go the traditional route and use Loran's Lion and Lamb... we'll see.

In Chevron news, I am close to 1/2 way on my own Chevron. While we were traveling, my mother oogled my scarf and asked me to make her one. That was all I needed to hear to prompt me to make a purchase from Woolgirl while on vacation in Maui!!! Is there a 12-step program for Woolgirl addiction? If so, I need to join. I ended up buying Zen String Parfait and a Miss Babs that looks something like this (although not exactly this one). I began working on it and LOVE it. My mom is going to go bezerk when she sees it. I actually like it better than mine!

I'm still looking for the perfect sock pattern for my mom's socks. It's difficult for me because I only do socks on circs, and it seems that patterns are somewhat limited for circs. And for the life of me, I can't figure out how to translate a dpn pattern to circs.

In other news, my dear, dear, dear friend Purl passed the Texas Bar!!!! WOO HOO!! Way to go Purl! I'm so happy for you. I know first hand how relieved you are, and I really couldn't be more excited about the news. Purl called me in Maui to tell me the news, and I started screaming to everyone at the hotel pool that my friend had passed the Bar! I'm not sure that the elderly couple from Florida really cared (sorry, Purl!), but I was truly being a spazz. My mom, dad, hubby and I all had a celebratory drink in Purl's honor. I think the elderly Florida couple had a drink in order to drown me out. :-)

Purl has also been kind enough to babysit our kitten Rainy during our vacation. Rainy has spent countless hours with Purl and her hubby, generally terrorizing them! He has found his favorite spot on earth in their dishwasher, has developed a fondness for Socks that Rock, gone AWOL (inducing panic in the babysitters!) while hiding on a bookshelf, committed to leaping out from behind doors in an attempt to scare said babysitters...

This morning we had a real treat. We met my college friends Becky and Dean and finally met their new daughter Paisley. Becky was a pledge sister of mine and was my closest friend in college. Dean was her boyfriend throughout college, and put up with more than his fair share of antics, trouble and turmoil with me and Becky! Becky is responsible for my knitting today. About 14 months ago, I mentioned to her while we were visiting them in Dallas that I really wanted to learn to knit. She hooked me up with the person who taught me to knit and purl. This morning, Becky, Dean and Paisley met us for breakfast while driving through Houston. It was amazing to see Paisley. She is the most precious little girl. Like our Sarah, Paisley is from Hunan, China. While the girls are 3 years apart in age, they share the same birthday of October 28. Paisley is obviously a happy girl. And so observant-- she never stopped soaking it all in. What a cute family the three of them make! It was a great morning!!!

I guess that wraps things up for now. More to come later, with pictures of Chevron progress!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Knitting and travel

For my few readers, sorry it's been so long since my last post. As most of you know, my family (hubby, kids and parents) are on vacation. We are having a great time in Maui, Hawaii. This is very special for me, as I vacationed here with my parents and brother many times when I was in junior high school through college. It has been a long time since I have been back, and I can't believe that I am getting to do it with my hubby and kids (none of them have been here before) and with my parents, who are a lot of fun to travel with.

I had lofty ambitions of knitting a ton of socks while sittting on the beach. And on the long airplane ride. I also planned to finish my chevron scarf. Let's just say that a little bit of progress has been made on the scarf, and not much on ANY socks! Oops. I did cast on with some gorgeous Zen Strings yarn that I got from Woolgirl just before our departure. I bought it for my mom in a colorway of her choosing. I got a few repeats into the pattern, and it just wasn't working for me, so I frogged it. I think I have found a pattern from More Sensational Socks that will work much better. We'll see!

Anywho, I just wanted to make a quick post and say aloha to my devoted reader(s)! See you soon.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sock it to me Twice Swap

I've joined another swap. This one is the Sock it To Me Twice swap. I think it will be a lot of fun. Participation is limited, so I think there will be more interaction amongst the participants. The only thing that scares me is the act of knitting socks for another knitter. I have yet to do a pair that I am completely happy with. So doing a pair to give to a knitter is enough to make me start shaking! But it gives me an excuse to buy more yarn from Woolgirl! of course, my husband would say that I never seem to need an excuse! :-)

Monday, October 22, 2007

oh to be home....

We have our first cold front coming through Houston today. When I woke up this morning, it was 73 degrees out. That is cool compared to the 80's it has been. But the sky is super dark and a real front is moving through. It is now 56 dgrees out. And tonight's low is supposed to be in the 40's.

Now how can any self-respecting knitter sit at work on a day like this and not pine for being home under a blanket knitting!? It's simply not fair. If it weren't bad enough, I am about 1/3 of the way done with sleeve number 2 of my sweater! I know that a good block of time would get me finished with it. After that, all that's left is doing the front placket and then sewing on buttons. I really think I could get it done in a day. You know, a day like today. Where the weather is cool, I could snuggle up with the baby kitty and knit. If I were home. Oh, the humanity.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another SP 11 Package!

My SP11 pal has spoiled me rotten once again. I came home to another amazing package today. It's contents? All things right up my alley. Two gorgeous skeins of Katsara Merino yarn, in the maple colorway. It is really beautiful stuff-- pinks, rose, a slight brownish tint, even a hint of purple. Also included are the happiest and cutest stitch markers ever, in my favorite- bright green, orange and yellow colors. They were inside an awesome Chinese porcelain and silver box. And OMG look at the shawl pin-- it's a carved dragonfly. It will be perfect on my clapotis when I get it finished! I can't wait! My pal also included One Skein Wonders, a book I have long wanted. Oh, and a sachet of incredible smelling lavender. I have to go now, because I have to go look at my book and pet my yarn. THANK YOU SECRET PAL!!! You are truly, truly amazing. You have once again gone waaaaaay above and beyond.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Knitting Hazard

I have found a new fan of yarn. He isn't quite as much of a yarn snob as me. In fact, I think he likes just about any kind he can get his claws on. His name is Rainy, and he is our new kitten. After the evening that we had last night, I really believe that Rainy was meant to be part of our family. Here he is:

The saga goes something like this. I left the office early yesterday for an appointment with the eye doctor. My normally punctual eye doc picked yesterday to be running exceedingly late. I didn't leave the office until 2.5 hours after my appointment time, which coincided with the worst of Houston's traffic. I was already in no mood for traffic. My hubby called me and said that our usual route home was FUBAR and that the regularly 30 minute drive had taken him almost 2 hours. See, all HELL was breaking loose in North Houston, with wind, rain, horrible storms, flooding... I heeded his warning and took the toll road (which is normally free flowing and not affected by rush hour) home. Well, suffice it to say that it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes, going 5 mph to get home. I was ready to kill someone. I truly think that if the toll road is so bad that you can't go more than 5 mph, the tolls should be waived. I paid 3 dollars for the privilege of sitting there in gridlock. UGH.

Okay, so flash forward to me getting home. To a dark house. The power on our block and the surrounding 3 blocks was out. We couldn't cook dinner. We couldn't do homework. The kids were cranky, we were cranky... not a pretty picture. The power finally came back on at 12:38am. We got up early to get the homework done, and as a result, we were all cranky again this morning.

I got about a block away from the office on my commute and saw Purl in her office parking lot. I beeped my horn to say hello. Well, Purl and her paralegal beckoned me to pull in. So I did. That was my first mistake. Then Purl showed me what the paralegal had found last night in the pouring down rain. Yup-- a teeny tiny kitten. He is about 5 inches long and fits in your hand. The second mistake came when I held said kitty. I knew he had to be mine.

Did I mention that hubby is anti-pets? Don't get me wrong. We have a cat (she's 14) and a dog(a 2 year old bat-shit-crazy shih tzu). But hubby has long said that there could only be two animals in our house, and that even that was too many. Enter the long, heated negotiations. I had given up. I emailed Purl and said "nope, can't do it". Then hubby said "ok"!

I think that all that rain brought about something good after all! He's just as adorable as could be. He is currently exploring/spelunking in my office, meowing as loud as can be. He loves laying on the carpet in the sun. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to take him home and show him to hubby and the kids. The kids will completely freak out. And I think even hubby will be won over by Rainy the wonder cat!

Monday, October 15, 2007

There and back again

That was my weekend. Hubby and son went to a Cub Scout campout. I had girl time with our daughter. We went to the park, painted our nails and ate cupcakes. While she played dress up, I knit. I finished the body on my sweater. Did the bottom edge ribbing. Picked up stitches and did the collar. Then I picked up stitches and started knitting the first sleeve. Until I realized (several rows in) that somehow everything was being purled on the right side of the sleeve. I have no earthly idea what I was doing. Frankly, I was so tired by that time that I didn't even stop to think about it. I just put it to the side to try to fix later. I have come to terms with it (almost) and I think I'll be spending a while tinking back on it. I'm deathly afraid of ripping out because if I screw up and lose a stitch, I don't want to lose the whole sweater that I've worked on endlessly for a month. Ugh.

Otherwise, I cast on with my Miss Babs yarn from the Woolgirl Sock Club. It's a sport weight yarn and a short sock, so it goes super quickly. I LOVE the pattern. It's called Waterfall. It is really beautiful with the yarn. The funny thing is that I wasn't so crazy about the purple in the yarn when it came. I am not a big fan of purple. But it is really lovely knit up. The pattern is written for the dreaded dpns, and it's the first time I've tried to convert that to 2 circs. I did fine through turning the heel, then managed to screw it all up and had to rip back. Luckily they go so quickly and I like it so much that I don't mind starting it again. It's been a first for me in a lot of ways-- first time to try to do that conversion, first time to use sport weight yarn (I LOVE how spoingy it is!), first time to do a patterned sock, and first time to do a sock club sock. It's fun!

We have a big trip coming up in 2 weeks, and I think I am going to try to find some more sport weight yarn to take on the long flights. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bad knitter

I have been unfaithful. I'm a bad knitter. I am home sick today, and I got bored with my beloved first sweater. All that stockinette stitch for days on end has gotten to me. I needed a pick me up. So I cheated on my sweater, and I cheated on Purl. I cast on my Chevron scarf. Purl and I bought our yarn together and were planning to start them together. Like I said, I'm a bad knitter. Purl has kindly agreed to forgive me. Besides, it seems like it might take an eternity to get to 78" on the darned thing. So there should be plenty of time to knit on it with Purl.

The good news is that I LOVE THE COLORS together!!!!! I chose Claudia Handpainted in Walk in the Woods and Claudia Natures Palette in Dark Teal. They are complimentary, rather than contrasting, and I am really happy with it. I can imagine doing a second one, and if/when I do, I'll try a contrasting one.

Here are the meager beginnings:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

FIA Package!!!

I got my package today from my Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Pal, Grace! Holy moly. Grace, you really spoiled me! I kept pulling things out, and I thought the package was bottomless! I got 5 skeins of wonderful yarn in gorgeous fall colors. Two Knit Picks cotton yarns, one in yellow, one orange. Another skein is the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino that I have wanted to try. I sent some to one of my own downstream pals, and it was hard to part with! Lots of fun Halloween items were included, and I've already strategically placed them around the house. Also some great smelling lilac soap and fall-themed notepads. And three awesome dishcloths. One pictures a bat and is done in my favorite color, ORANGE. Another is a beautiful lacy pattern in a taupe color. And the final one is a beautiful blue and white one. I'm afraid to use them because they are so nice!

Oh, and did I mention the treats? Grace, you obviously paid close attention. I received two packages of Twizzlers and two packages of Double Stuffed Oreos! One is even filled with orange for Halloween! Notice that those aren't in the pictures, as they are already in my fridge...

Thank you so much, Grace! I love it all and it was a really thoughtful package. I hope your pal treats you as well!

Knitters Coffee Swap Questionnaire

I have joined the knitters' coffee swap. I had so much fun with the tea swap and my wonderful pals Sarah and Lynne! It was one of the best swaps I've participated in. I am hoping the coffee swap will be as much fun. While I like tea, and enjoy it for an occasional treat, I am a coffee nut. Here are the questions:

1. Whole bean or ground?


2. Fully-loaded or decaf?

Fully loaded all the way, all the time! What's the point if it's decaf?!

3. Regular or flavored?

Regular, please. I am a purist and I can't stand flavored coffee.

4. How do you drink your coffee?

A little Splenda and a drop of half and half

5. Favorite coffee ever?

This is really tough. It would have to be a cup that I had in a little cafe in Seattle, but I couldn't tell you what it was! Lately we've been drinking Seattle's Best Organic Italian Roast. I have to say, there is nothing on earth like a great cappucino.

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?

Hmm. I'm a little fussy, in that I don't like the store brands (Folgers, Maxwell House, etc.). But in terms of varietal of the beans, I like to try them and explore. I tend to like strong, dark roast, robust coffees. We drink a lot of French Roast, Italian Roast, Guatemala Antigua...

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?

I love scones and chocolate croissants. We have a new local coffee shop around the corner from my office. They make and amazing Cuban coffee and have great chocolate croissants. It's my favorite morning treat! There used to be a place near my old office that had red currant scones, and those were to die for! Yum.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?


9. Yarn/fiber you love?

With the change of season, I have been finding a lot of wonderful wools lately. The Malabrigo Worsted, Araucania Nature Wool, Queensland Kathmandu DK. are all favorites. In general, I like natural fibers. And positively anything from Woolgirl. I have to limit myself in terms of my number of visits to her website. I drool and my credit card starts shaking when I visit her site! Amazing, glorious things to be had!

10. Yarn/fiber you hate?

Acrylics and anything fuzzy (i.e., angora)

11. What's on your needles?

I am about 1/2 through my first sweater. I also have a Clapotis in progress and another one that I am chomping at the bit to do. A blanket for my son. And the block of the month afghan that I'm doing with my LYS. And of course, SOCKS.

12. Favorite colors?

Blue, Orange, Lime Green, Brown

13. Allergies?


14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?

Nah. My only serious dislikes in relation to this swap are flavored coffee and synthetic yarns! Other than that, I am easy to please. :-)

Monday, October 08, 2007

FIA Question 4

The question of the week for the Fall into Autumn Swap is:

Either flash your needles and other items you use to make your wares or, if you don't have a camera, describe your goods for us in detail. Dpns, circs, straights, hooks, tape measures, darning needles, favorite stitch markers, needle holders, cases, the works!

Well, I have a camera, but it takes really crummy pictures. That is the main reason for the dearth of photos on my blog. Aside from that, I am at work (shh... don't tell that I'm blogging instead of working!) and not near the stashed wares. I will do my best to describe them.

First off, I have a wonderful
Namaste needle binder that my hubby and kids got me for Mothers Day. Mine is chocolate brown with blue interior. I love it. It really keeps me organzied. I also have an amazing needle box that my SP 10 pal MADE for me. I keep all of my straights in it.

As far as needles go, I think I have just about everything under the sun. I have Addi circs in size 3's for socks, size 6's and 7's. I have some wooden circs in size 5 and 8. I also have metal circs of some sort in size 5 and 10. I love my Lantern Moon wooden straights. I have a size 11 pair that came with the block of the month afghan that I am doing with my LYS. I also have a pair of 10's. Then in regular metal straights, I have every size from 2's to 9's. My grandmother-in-law sent me a wonderful surprise package early this summer and included many of her own straights. She doesn't knit any more, but was thrilled that I do. I cherish those needles!

I have a couple of sets of dpns, but I swear, there has never been anything more confounding to me in my life. I think I would be more successful trying to knit with an octopus. Since they are the bane of my existence, I put them in time out and pretend that I don't see them. So I can't tell you exactly what I have there. :-)

My tape measure is the freebie that my LYS,
Twisted Yarns gives out to first-time customers. It is a white, simple, round deal. It is my safety blanket in the knitting world. Why, I dunno. But if I have it sitting by me, I feel right. I also have to have my small crochet needle next to me for the inevitable, dreaded dropped stitch.

My darning needle is incredibly fancy-- it's a blue plastic one! But it gets the job done.

My other "treat" is my
Lantern Moon bag for carrying my work in.

I think that's enough for now.

Friday, October 05, 2007


I have had occassion to give a lot of thought to why I knit in the past two days. Yesterday, when Purl and I visited our work area's LYS, I was lamenting the fact that there are so many things I want to knit, and that while I make progress on things, I don't feel like I finish as much as I could because I have so many things going at once. (boy, how was that for a run-on sentence?!) I like having a lot of things OTN though. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a mindless knit, and picking up the enormous afghan for my son is great. Sometimes I want something more challenging. And sometimes, I only have 10 minutes, but feel the urge to knit, so I can get a row or two done on a sock. I know you know what I am talking about, even if you don't want to admit that you have this same project-itis disease!

Anyway, the owner of the LYS made a really good point in response to my lamenting. She said that knitting is supposed to be a hobby. Something you enjoy doing, and the thing that takes you away from the stress of life. The only pressure you feel in knitting is what you put on yourself. So do what makes you happy. I really liked that advice. Again, perhaps I am just trying to justify my own craziness! I really respect those knitters of you who can start one item and see it through to the end before even considering casting on for something else. I just don't have the patience gene, I guess. So having a large project, a small dishcloth project, socks and something more intricate makes me happy.

The other thing that got me thinking about the "zen" of knitting was an email from a dear friend. We have falled somewhat out of touch, and I told her that I had begun knitting. She asked how I find time between work, kids, etc. I told her that it's the one thing that I do that makes me feel as if I DO have time. Somehow, if I sit down for even 15 minutes with needles and yarn, I feel like I had some "me" time. And the process of knitting in and of itself is generally the most relaxed I ever feel. Something about the rhythm of the needles, the feel of the yarn (because I am a yarn snob, after all), the texture and the color of the yarn... it is incredibly appealing to my senses. It really makes me happy.

I know that every other knitter in the universe has probably had these same thoughts. But my email with my friend made me realize just how much knitting does for me. I love to have that finished object, but I dearly love the experience of making the object, too. Okay, except when I drop a stitch and can't fix it, throw the kntting across the room and scream and curse. :-) But even then, the knitting just sends me to a bottle of wine. So it's still not all bad!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lunctime foray into yarn heaven

I was going to be good today. No, really. I was. I had my Lean Cuisine in the freezer and was all set to eat it. And then Purl asked me if I wanted to go to our LYS during lunch. While not my favorite yarn store, we have a a really good one mere blocks from our office. I should have heard the warning bells going off in my head. I have been project happy of late. I think that my success with socks has given me a new found confidence, and I'm excited to do "things" and not just blankets and squares. I've got the Clapotis going, a sweater, and I'm about to cast on for the Chevron scarf. I also found an amazing beaded scarf that I can't stop thinking about. But nooooo. I did not heed the warning sirens. I went. I found another sweater that I want to make. And I was reminded of the scrumptious Honeypot Yarns Cashmere that I am lusting for. They even have a sample scarf made up at they LYS with the Honeypot and it is spectacular. Oh my. I am trying to reason with myself. Really, project-itis or no, how many things can I have OTN at once? I should really, really, REALLY focus on finishing something before I begin one of these other projects. Right?

However, since rationalization is the key to sanity, I had to buy two skeins of Koigu Kersti. See, that only set me back $26. That's a far cry from the $100+ that the drool-worthy projects would have cost me today. Besides, the Koigu should be called "Cindy", because I could swear that the colorway was made especially for me. It's shades of blue, orange and brown. Gorgeous stuff. I think I'm going to do the Knitty RPM Socks with it, as suggested by good old Purl. For a few minutes, I flirted with the idea of doing another clapotis or a sweater with it. But then I remembered my project-itis and decided to do socks. Much simpler and less time consuming! Oh my. So many things to knit, so little time. And so many yarns to yearn for. What's a girl to do?

Monday, October 01, 2007

FIA swap Question Week 3

The question of the week for the FIA swap asks how you change your menu with the change of season. Are there any recipes you especially enjoy having in the Fall? Any foods that are seasonal that you especially enjoy?

Our menu changes drastically as we get further into Fall (again, in Houston, more like mid-late November). We grill a lot during the very warm months (March to October)-- a lot of fish, burgers, steaks, etc. While year-round grilling is do-able in Houston, we crave heartier things when it gets cooler. Veggie soup, stufffed cabbages, baked rigatoni with peppers and sausages, spaghetti and meatballs, and pot roast are all big hits in our house.

On the knitting front, I made a ton of progress on my first sweater over the weekend. I got through the increases entirely and moved the sleeve stitches off onto scrap yarn. Now it's just a matter of knitting in stockinette for an eternity. It's nice, mindless knitting, but it also keeps me motivated because I love watching the gradation in colors of the yarn. It is such pretty stuff. And seeing the sweater grow is exciting, too. I love this pattern. It's so simple, yet so well done.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

K1 T2 Package!!!!

I am so lucky. Some people join swaps and end up having a lame pal. Somehow I end up with the greatest pals ever. My K1 T2 secret pal Sarah is no exception! We share a love for the Asian culture, and I have really enjoyed talking with her about food and other things Asian!

I got my package from her last night. Wow. Sarah sent me some amazing teas that I cannot wait to dig into. First up is Earl Grey which I love. Next, a vanilla tea made with vanilla beans. YUM. Then Melon Pear White tea. That sounds heavenly. And it smells even better! I swear it smells like a fresh cantaloupe. I am going to go pour myself a cup as soon as I finish this post.

Sarah also made me some gorgeous carnelian stitch markers and the cutest little coasters! There is also a bar of handmade soap that smells incredible and a honey stirring spoon that will be used immediately. Also in the package (as if that wasn't already enough), Sarah sent some awesome Trekking wool/bamboo sock yarn in the most calming neutrals-- browns to greys to a slight olive, with ORANGE (my fave!) running through it.

Thank you for the awesome package, Sarah and for a great swap. I hope to stay in touch (it's a red thread thing, after all)!!!

Here is a pic of the package contents. Drool away!

Some photos of WIPs

I thought I would share a couple of WIP photos. I wish that our camera was a little better at capturing the details, but it's pretty old, and I'm not the best photographer in the world. I always feel badly posting pics because I feel like they don't do the items justice! Oh well. Hopefully bad pictures are better than no pictures?????

First up is my Clapotis. I have done one drop stitch thus far, and am one repeat in to section 3. I love this yarn, and I hope that the finished product isn't too bulky, because I can really see myself wearing it A LOT if it doesn't make me look like the Michelin Tire woman! This yarn has a lot of beautiful variation in the coloring. It goes from a deep red to a bright red and has some subtle hues of purple and pink throughout. In person it has so much depth.

Next up is my first EVER sweater! I am using the Knitting Pure and Simple top down cardigan pattern, and the yarn is Araucania Nature wool. I am in LOVE with the coloring of this yarn. It's hand dyed, again, with subtle variations in the tone. I think it will give the finished sweater a richer look, and hopefully it won't look like Mr. Rogers' cardigan! I am about 12 rows away from dividing for the arms. It is really cool to watch the shoulder seams appear and see the shaping work, especially since the whole thing is knit as one piece with no "real" seaming! Okay, here it is:

Comment moderation

Hi friends. I have turned on comment moderation. If you are involved in any swaps or KALs, or in fact, anything knitting related, the moderation is not directed at you! I have tried to avoid moderating the comments. Recently, spam comments have appeared, and I am trying to prevent more.

Please don't let the moderation keep you from posting again if you are a knitter! I love to see your input/comments!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall Into Autumn Swap Question of the Week

It's time once again for the Question of the Week for my FIA Swap. The question is:

Autumn has now officially begun here in the States!! What is your favorite thing about Autumn/Fall? Why?

Well, to be honest with you, we don't really have much of an Autumn in Houston. I miss it terribly. Our Winter is more like Autumn, and it doesn't really set in until mid-to late November. That being said, my favorite things about the season are the changing of the leaves and the chill in the air (I really would love a cool evening here!!!). I , hate, hate, HATE (have I made myself clear?!) the time change and it getting dark out so early. In fact, I dread it every year, and it takes me the longest time to adjust to it. I just feel robbed of my day when I leave the office and it's already pitch dark out. Somehow I can convince myself that there is some time left in the day during the summer, when it is light out until almost 9pm.

Ooooh, I like being able to wear sweaters and jackets a lot, so I look forward to the cool air for that, too!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Clapotis progress

I cast on for the Clapotis, and have gotten through all 7 repeats of the increase section. I did the first repeat of the straight section (section 3), and it was a lot of fun and a very nervewracking to drop a stitch intentionally and watch it go! I totally don't understand how the rest of the drops will work. I can see very clearly where they will go. But from the pattern, it seems like I will just keep dropping stitches in the same exact place each time. When do I drop stitches through the rest of the piece? Maybe I'm just too tired to make any sense of it at this point. But if anyone can explain to me how it works, I'd love to hear it. The pattern calls for you to P1, remove the marker, and drop the stitch each time at Row 8. For 12 repeats... How does dropping a stitch one stitch in each time get you the ladders anywhere but the edge???

My camera (old, crummy thing that it is!) died before I could take a picture tonight. I'll post picutres of the progress soon.

Thank you (again!) Secret Pal!

I received another wonderful package from my SP11 pal yesterday. I am beginning to wonder if I know this person in real life. It's either that or she has incredible intuition. Every card, comic and package she sends me is spot on. This time around, I received some Knit Picks merino in a colorway that I just love. I have been wanting to get something more "fall" colored, and this is just perfect. I also got a box of Stash tea that I had been eyeing. When I was purchasing for my K1, T2 pal, I saw this raspberry tea and wanted to get some for myself. In the end, I talked myself out of buying for me! But now I have some and it is fantastic. Also in the package were some treats-- candy sticks and chocolate cherries. YUM! And last but not least, Chinese stamps! Woo hoo! Thank you pal. I will have a great time with all of it. Sorry the picture stinks. My camera battery died and this was the only shot I got first!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Late to the party!

The bandwagon was just about to pull away, but I managed to jump on first. I'm doing a clapotis. I can explain my tardiness to this party. See, when the "first wave" of clap-making occured, I hadn't even been born as a knitter. Last year at this time, I was still making square swatches and ripping them out, then starting over, just to get the hang of knittting and purling!

But I've been wanting to do a Clapotis for many months. The clappy is really the perfect thing for Houston winters. I am going to use Malabrigo worsted in Amorosa . It is gorgeous stuff. I hear that it can be a little "sticky" for the clappy, as the yarn doesn't want to make the drops easily, but I am going to try it anyway. I've seen many Malabrigo Clappys on Ravelry, and they are beautiful.

I was confused about a few things on the Clapotis pattern, and did a Google search in hopes of finding some discussion about the pattern. I did better than that! I found the Second Wave Clapotis KAL! Holy cow-- you mean there are other knitters out there that haven't done a Clapotis yet? I really thought I was the very last person on Earth! Woo hoo! Cast on begins on Sunday. I may have to cheat and start tonight though. :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Harlot

What a great night. Purl (forevermore known as the "Wine Harlot") and I set out together after work to go see the Yarn Harlot, who was not only in Houston, but appearing via my LYS. We had planned the evening weeks ago, and were both really looking forward to it. Just before we headed out, I got into a spat with my parents, followed by a spat with my husband over the same subject matter-- our a/c. Yes, it was entirely trivial and stupid, but frustrating. At the same time, it turned out that Purl had an equally frustrating experience. By the time we got in the car together, we both needed to blow off steam. Suffice it to say that when Purl suggested that a glass of wine might be in order before we headed into the Harlot venue, I leapt at the idea. I'm never one to turn down a glass of wine anyway. There is a little Italian restaurant next to the school where the Yarn Harlot was speaking, so we stopped there. Three hours later, we were still there drinking wine. At some point, we were faced with the decision of "stay and drink wine" or "go hear the Harlot". As much as we both wanted to do the latter, neither of us particularly wanted to do it at that exact moment in time. We were having too much fun gabbing and sipping our wine! We stayed put. I did end up seeing the Harlot, just not the Yarn one. Instead, I spent the evening with the Wine Harlot. And it was a blast!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Woolgirl Sock Club Package #1

OMG OMG OMG. I am so excited I could burst. I am totally in love with Woolgirl and the amazing yarns that she carries. You may have seen me gushing all over my blog about Jen ("Woolgirl") and her amazing customer service and equisite yarns. Well, a while back I joined the first installment of her Woolgirl Sock Club. The first package went out last week. I have been watching the Woolgirl Sock Club blog and have seen lots of people posting about receiving their package and talking about the wonders of the yarn and the contents of the package (Jen is so generous in her shipping of items-- she always tosses in little treats, and the sock club packages were no exception). I wanted to throw a tantrum befitting my 3 year old when my package didn't arrive before I left work on Friday. I have NO capacity for suspense, and it has been driving me crazy all weekend to see the package that people are raving about.

It. just. came. I literally grabbed it out of my secretary's hands and tore into it. I must have looked just like my aforementioned 3 year old! The contents of the package? Unbelievable. I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone that has not yet received the package, so suffice it to say that the yarn is definitely up to Woolgirl's equisite standards. Lots of wonderful goodies in the package as well, and a fun contest that already has me thinking...

Have I mentioned yet how much I love Woolgirl??? Oh-- and I should also mention that I have NO connection with Woolgirl, no financial ties to her business and, in fact, have never even met Woolgirl! I'm just a dye-hard fan!! :-)

Fall into Autumn Topic of the Week #2

This weeks topic for the Fall into Autumn Swap is:

When you knit or crochet dishclothes, washclothes or face clothes, what do you use? What size needle or hook? Wood? what type? Metal? Plastic? A specific Brand? Why do you love that needle or hook so much? Is there one you are dying to try? Is there a particular yarn you love and use all the time for clothes? What is so special about it?

I use Addi circs for anything they can possibly be used for. I usually use a size 7. If those are already in use for another project (and they frequently are) then I use my Lantern Moon straights, which are rosewood. I love the Addi's because nothing "sticks" to them. Yarns just slide right along without bunching and getting caught. The process is smooth and easy. I have the same experience with the Lantern Moon wood needles, but I prefer using circs wherever possible. I enjoy using the shorter needle that the circs have, as opposed to straights. Am I making any sense here? I have a head cold and I think I may be making sense only in my own addled brain!

As for yarn that I use all the time, I really like natural fibers. Blue Sky Cotton is a fave for summer, and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Cascade merino are things I use a lot for winter. In general, I am a HUGE fan of hand-dyed yarns.
Woolgirl is my hands-down favorite store for yarn. Not only does she carry the most delicious hand-dyed yarns, but the customer service truly can't be beat.

Right now, I am trying to settle on a nice semi-solid cotton or hand dyed wool to make this
sweater out of. It calls for a lot of yardage, and I don't want to completely break the bank. Some of the things I have been considering are Patagonia Nature Cotton by Araucania, Art Yarns Supermerino, Queensland Collection Kathmandu and Malabrigo worsted. I am also in love with the idea of Lobster Pot's Whale of a Skein and I'm waiting for Woolgirl to have it in stock. It looks gorgeous from the glimpse I have seen so far!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hurricane knitting

We had a pop-up hurricane here in Southeast Texas last night. Bizarre. Normally, we hear about a formation out in the Carribean, then watch it develop for a week or more as it heads into the Gulf of Mexico. Then the predictions start about where it will head and when it will hit. Regardless, we are on our toes and thinking about the possibility of a hurricane for days and days. So what happened yesterday was literally a freak of nature.

Yesterday morning I woke up and watched the weather forecast as always. We were hearing that there would be heavy rains throughout the day. That's all. Just a bunch of rain and the usual chance of flooding that occurs in Houston when heavy rains hit. What started out as a "ridge of low pressure" yesterday morning became Tropical Storm Humberto by lunchtime. Before it came ashore, it was upgraded to a hurricane. None of our weather people (or even the National Weather Service) called this one. Everyone was forecasting a lot of rain, and some heavy storms, but the "H" word (hurricane) was never mentioned. I left work a little early yesterday, in order to beat the "heavy storms" and traffic. All the hysteria that went on here, and we got NOTHING. Can I just tell you that we never got so much as a sprinkle at my house? It ended up hitting a bit East of Houston/Galveston. I'm sorry for the folks in Beaumont, High Island, Port Arthur, etc. who felt the wrath.

The silver lining in the hysteria is that I got some knitting in! I finished a second dishcloth for my K1T2 pal, and I began a cloth for my Fall into Autumn pal. I'm about 1/2 finished with that. I also got a little more work done on the new baby blanket.

All of a sudden, the "hurricane sock swap" that was held this summer makes sense to me! You can get a LOT of knitting done when you are sitting around waiting for nasty weather!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A new blanket

I cast on last night for a baby blanket. Some dear friends of ours are having their first baby (a girl) in November. The last baby blankie I did was a thick, cushy one-- I used two strands of Dream Baby held together throughout the blanket. It is super soft and warm. But too warm for Houston. That one was made for my godson in Canada. For the new one, I wanted to do something a little more delicate for a girl. The trouble is, I haven't ventured in lace work yet, and YO's drive me batty. Doing a whole blanket with YO's involved would certainly mean a lot of ripping out!! So, while I was trying to decide what to do for the blanket, I did a swatch with the yarn I got. It's another Dream Baby yarn (I don't love the synthetic fiber, but it is soft and is machine washable/dryable which is a must for baby wear in my book!) and this yarn is a pretty light pink with blue, yellow and other speckles in it. While I was doing the swatch, I just liked the simplicity of the swatch itself. It was just a couple of garter stitch rows and then a few stockinette rows. I decided that I would do that very simple pattern for the blanket, so I cast on about 98 stitches, and I'm going to do about 25 rows in garter stitch (it will be about two inches or so) for the top border, then do 15 or so garter stitches at the beginning and end of each row with stockinette elsewhere on the row. It will be very basic, but I think it will be nice for a Houston girl. What do you think? Too basic? Too boring? Thoughts??? They are greatly appreciated, you know!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fall into Autumn Question of the Week

The Fall into Autumn Swap has a "topic of the week"-- this week's topic/question is:

Now that in some geographic locations the weather is starting to turn cooler, do you change the type of yarn(s) you knit/crochet with? If so, what do you now knit/crochet with instead and why? If not, why do you not switch and what do you knit/crochet with?

My answer:

This is the first Fall that I have really had a chance to even think about this. I began knitting late last summer, and didn't know what I was doing this time last year, so I was just using whatever yarn I had on hand! If and when it gets cooler here in Houston, I will turn to more wool projects. It is usually warm here through the middle of November.

Through the summer, I was using a lot of cottons, silks and bamboo yarns. Houston is so hot and humid in the summer (and fall, for that matter!) that I just can't bear the thought of working with something hot or big and bulky! I really want to make a couple of sweaters this Fall, and I will probably use some nice merino or cashmere blends for those.

I took a class at my LYS yesterday, and I looked for the
Knitting Pure and Simple Drop Shoulder Crewneck pattern. I am dying to make that. It seems like a nice, basic sweater to try for my first one. Unfortunately, the store didn't have that pattern. But they did have this one, so impetuous me bought it! I got some Cascade merino in a beautiful dark navy color and cast on last night. I will just have to do the crewneck as my second sweater!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fall into Autumn Dishswap Questionnaire

Yes, I've joined yet another swap. They are so much fun, I just can't help myself! This time around, it's the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap. Here is my questionnaire:

1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been doing it?

I knit, and have been doing it for a little over a year.

2. Have you made dischloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both?

I tried to do dishcloths early on, when I first began knitting-- they were a nice change from just knitting a swatch and trying to learn knitting and purling. But I would end up with the most fugly, unrecongnizable finished products since I would invariably make mistakes. I seem to have overcome that now and enjoy doing dishcloths!

3. What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ?

I have really only tried the Sugar and Cream and Lions Brand Cotton. I like them both, but I would love to try something different!

4. If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles?

I think circs and straight both have their uses. I usually prefer metal needles, but absolutely LOVE Lantern Moon woods!

5. What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much?

I'm a big fan of oranges, blues, chocolate brown and bright greens. I don't care much for purple.

6. What do you like best about Autumn?

Visiting someplace that actually experiences Autumn. Here in Houston, we don't really have one! I miss seeing the leaves change colors-- that is my favorite thing in Autumn.

7. Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks!

Apple= yummy! Pecan= even yummier!!

8. When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day?

On the first day, I couldn't wait. I was the first kid all dressed in a new outfit and outside waiting for the bus. Within a week, I was the one who overslept!

9. Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the timeframe of the swap)

Most definitely! We have two kids who spend the entire year planning what they will be for Halloween. They would be crushed if we didn't celebrate! And their excitement makes it so much fun! We are lucky to live in a real "neighborhood" where tons of kids do trick-or-treating and I have a blast giving out candy and seeing them all!

10. If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose?

Only 3? Ouch-- this one is hard! Okay, let's see. Double stuffed Oreos, raspberry scones and fresh raspberries. And if I could sneak one more goodie in, it would be Twizzlers!

11. Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;)

Two of each. Well, two pets (a shih tzu and a cat); two kids (one boy, one girl) but only one husband!

12. If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why?

Something soft and natural in feel but with a bright sunshine-y colorway!

13. Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths?


14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays)

Thanksgiving. I love the smells of the day and the gathering of the family.

15. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about?


Yarn Shopping (again!)

Purl and I went yarn shopping on Saturday. I actually did pretty good, and I think I demonstrated remarkable willpower. :-) I bought 4 skeins of Claudia in "Eat Your Veggies" and in the semi-solid "teal" colorways to do the Chevron scarf with. Here are pics of those two yarns:

I found some absolutely gorgeous Lorna's Laces that I want to do a Clapotis in, but made myself hold of on that expenditure until after I do the Chevron and get through some of my sock stash. Since I managed to stave off that purchase, I rewarded myself with one skein of sock yarn! hee hee... it's Madelinetosh and was so beautiful that I couldn't walk out of the store and leave it behind. It's the ginseng colorway:

I am dying to cast on for the Chevron. Purl and I agreed to begin them together (she bought yarn for one as well), and we are trying to find a day to put that plan in action. I'm trying to hold out, Purl!

Friday, August 31, 2007


I just realized that yesterday was my one year BLOGAVERSARY! Woo Hoo! When I started this thing, I never even imagined how much fun I would have getting to know people as a result. Between swaps, Ravelry and blogs, I have met so many wonderful people. I can't wait to see where the next year takes me. Cheers, everyone!

Is it the weekend yet?!

I know- it's only lunchtime on Friday. But I have Friday-itis in the worst way. It doesn't help that I'm the only attorney in the office today, and I have no pressing deadlines for a change. I am so ready for the long weekend to start, and I just can't get motivated. So what have I done this morning at work? Not work- that's for sure! Instead, I've been VERY busy doing the scavenger hunt contest for the Knit 1, Tea 2 swap! I sent my answers in to Devon a moment ago. Thanks Devon-- that was a lot of fun! It was nice to hunt through various participants' blogs and "meet" some of them.

I have been obsessing for the past couple of days with starting a Chevron scarf. Yes, I realize that I am the last knitter on Earth to get on board. But it's been 100 degrees here in Houston, so give a girl a break! It's still hot, but I have decided to cast on the scarf in the hopes that it will be cool someday! I have spent a lot of time on Ravelry, looking at various people's Chevrons to get ideas of yarn. Purl and her hubby are coming for dinner tomorrow, and us girls are going to sneak out to the two LYS by me. I am going to be shopping for the Chevron yarn. If nothing strikes my fancy at the real-life store, I have picked out something from my favorite online retailer (Woolgirl). We'll see what I end up doing. I'm going to do my best not to come out of either yarn store with sock yarn that is for anything else but the scarf!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

SP Strikes Again!

I had a nice day today at work. I had a great lunch with Purl, and had a lot of laughs with some former co-workers about the cast of characters that we know. Then the workday ended and the storms started. The sky unleashed itself just as I was headed up I-45 North, trying to get home. What is normally a 35-45 minute commute took 1 hour and 20 minutes. UGH. I was in NO mood by the time I got to the house. I pulled into the driveway, ran to the mailbox, and then took my sad, soaked self inside. When I got inside and looked at the mail, I sure did get a nice surprise! I had an envelope from my SP11 pal!!! She sent another hysterical card (my pal knows how to pick a great card!) and great bookmarks for me and the kids! One is "peace" in Chinese characters! There is an orangutan bookmark that is most definitely perfect for my son! And the greatest magnetic alien clip-- I'm claiming that for ME! Thank you, pal! Once again, you sent a wonderful, thoughtful package. After my hellish drive home, it was a real treat and a huge bright spot! You are wonderful.

Here are the contents:

Friday, August 24, 2007

My amazing SP

OMG. Secret Pal 11 started a week ago. My pal has already outdone herself. Today I got the most amzing box full of goodies. It is very apparent that my SP did her homework and she really nailed my tastes! She sent me wonderful Crystal Palace bam boo navy sock yarn (navy is my favorite color!),lime green Tofutsies sock yarn, and a beautiful brown cotton sock yarn. But that's not all! Also inside were some great-smelling lavender items and THE CUTEST NEEDLES I EVER SAW! They are wooden needles with painted wooden balls on the end, in a cheerful orange (my other favorite color) pattern. The pictures don't do them justice (my crappy camera won't focus in on the detail). Nor does my description. But suffice it to say that they are awesome. I have been spoiled beyond belief. I have really wanted to try both the Crystal Palace and Tofutsies yarns, and the brown will make a beautiful pair of socks. I will look forward to casting on! I truly cannot thank you enough, SP!

Here are some pics:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

F.O.'s and one WIP

Dishcloths may not seem like a big deal to you, but I finished one and feel like I really conquered a phobia. A year ago, when I first started knitting, I quickly grew tired of knitting and purling swatches just for practice. I tried several dishcloths, just to "make" something. The result was something that could easily be utilized for a rorschach test. They were square-ish, with indeterminable "pictures". I didn't really have trouble counting the k and p stitches, but I would end up with extra stitches or not enough stitches by the end of most rows. I would YO or drop a stitch inadverently, or my yarn would separate and I wouldn't realize that the splits were all one stitch, and I would knit each one.

I am doing the K1,T2 swap, and we are supposed to send our pals a handmade object. Being that the theme of the swap is tea, I thought I would try to make a tea-themed dishcloth. I've come a long way in the year I've been knitting. I think the finished product is pretty good this time!!! Can you tell what it is? Here's a photo:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Finally some pictures

I have been promising pictures of my socks... here they are! The green sock is Opal Hundertwasser, and those are the first pair I did. The blue, striped one is a cashmere blend, and is the softest stuff. And the sock in progress is anotherOpal Hundertwasser- this one is my favorite so far.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I love swaps. You may think it is silly, but I get downright giddy about getting my matches. I love to learn about the person I am the pal to, and put together treats for that person. It's really like Christmas to me! I have had some email correspondence with both my upstream and downstream pals for SP11. Based on what my upstream pal has indicated to me, I think I won the upstream pal lottery!!! She told me a package is already in the mail to me, and she had to put quite a bit of effort and leverage into getting a couple of the items. I sent a little something to my pal already, too.

The Knit1 Tea2 matches should be coming out any day now. I'm dying to know what "color" my pal likes so that I can begin compiling things for her!

I started a new pair of socks over the weekend, and I'm about to turn the heel. I'm using another Opal Hundertwasser yarn, and it is GORGEOUS. I love their yarns so much. Between the amazing colors and the patterns, I really enjoy working with the yarn, and it is so much fun to watch the pattern emerge each time!

I also finished my July block for the block-of-the-month afghan, and I picked up the August block pattern and yarn. It was a productively knitty weekend!

In other news, I am very happy that we aren't going to get hammered by Hurricane Dean here in Houston. I'm sorry for the folks in Mexico that are in its path. But I have to tell you, there is a part of me that was really hoping for a couple of days off with nothing to do but knit! I'm sick, I know. By the way, do you think knitting counts as exercise? Hee hee hee!

Monday, August 13, 2007


I finally had someone explain how to add a button link to my blog in terms I could understand! Someone from one of the swaps I am participating in posted step-by-step directions, and it worked! I have tried many, many times to add the stupid things to my blog, but have always screwed it up somehow. Most recently, I got the button on to the blog, but couldn't get it linked to the page it was supposed to take you to. See, the way I figure it, html is a lot like math. And I don't like math. Therefore, I don't like html! Ha! Anyway, a zillion thanks to Devon for her instructions.

In other news, my husband and I met my friend Purl and her husband for a fabulous dinner on Friday night. We went to a place I have heard about for a long time-- it is called Shade, and it was fantastic. We had a lot of fun. Our husbands really enjoyed one another's company, and I suspect that we will have lots of fun times together in the future. The only hiccup came when Purl's husband commented to my husband about how expensive yarn is, and how my husband better keep a close eye on me. I had to shush him. :-) hee hee hee. It was all in good fun.

I am just about to finish the first sock of pair number 2. Then my plan is to go back to the second sock of pair 1 and see if I can get through it this time. Pics soon....

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The cursed sock

I really hope that every pair of socks won't be as cursed as my first pair. I posted about how I frogged the second sock for the 4th or 5th time on Sunday. Well, the night before last, I was happily knitting away on the re-started version, when once again, I lost several stitches. Maybe the two glasses of wine that I drank had something to do with it. At any rate, I had to rip the whole thing out again. I was really determined to finish the second sock before I start my next pair. But at this point, I think that sock needs a time out before I can try it again.

I wanted to make some real progress on the new pair (I have, in fact, moved on!) last night, but another couple invited us to meet them at a wonderful restaurant called Gravitas. What ensued was nothing short of glutony!! We sampled at least half of the menu, and had a lot of wine. It was fantastic. Suffice it to say, no knitting got done.

The second pair of socks is being done with the JoJoLand cashmere blend. It's gorgeous stuff. The sock is turning out to be a narrow band of stripes, and it's quite pretty.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Knit One, Tea Too Swap Questionnaire

Do you like loose tea or bags, or both – something you want to try?

I like both, but if a tea comes in both forms, I usually get the bag.

What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)?

I love the Numi flowering teas and just about anything from Republic of Tea, especially their fruit flavored teas (I really enjoy fruit-flavored tea in general, as long as it isn't an artificial flavoring). I also drink a lot of jasmine tea.

Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white)
(keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up).

I really like black and green teas. Haven't tried red or white, but would love to try both!

Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind?

Both, depending on the time I have and on my mood. I collect teapots, and really like to use them if I have time to boil water, let it steep, and enjoy my tea!

What tea accessories would you like but have never purchases for yourself?

I don't really have any tea accessories, so the landscape is wide open!

How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc).

There is nothing like a good bubble bath. They are one of my favorite ways to pamper myself!

If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why?

Something soft and natural-- bamboo, cashmere, even a nice cotton. Because I like to look natural and wouldn't want to be fuzzy!!

If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why?

Baby booties. I love to knit baby items. Plus I wouldn't want to knit with fur. Synthetic yarns make me crazy. And I don't know how to do fair isle yet, and I fear it would be a little beyond my abilities at this point.

What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?)

A big event for one of my kiddos, but that is just about it! Maybe a cooking class, if it were interesting enough.

What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?)

Scones and cucumber sandwiches. And flowers on the table.

When buying yarn for a project how do you choose - do you buy the one called for or do you substitute?

I hardly ever use what is called for. I almost always pick something I want to use.

What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go?

A Lantern Moon palm leaf tote.

Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting?

Any romantic comedy. The Devil Wears Prada is a recent fave.

Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Do you care if they match?

I love porcelain tea cups, and think it's actually better if they don't match!

Favorite childhood birthday party?

One where my parents took my friends and I to see Herbie the Love Bug, then I got to have my friends sleep over and we had a pizza party. I realize that I am dating myself here!

Favorite type of scone and jam?

Raspberry or plain scones, or cranberry if they don't also contain orange (a lot of times people use orange if they use cranberry). I really enjoy raspberry jam.

If you use candles, what is your favorite scent?


You've been invited to a tea party, what 'props' will you wear (formal or casual)?

If have my druthers, I would go somewhat casual, in a nice comfy sundress or slacks with a sweater.

Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to?

No allergies, but I have a near-phobia of synthetic fibers!!!

Anything we missed that you want your pal to know?

I am obsessed with all things Chinese!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Weekend revisited

I had the most fun girls night on Friday night. Purl and I went to a wonderful wine bar and had some nice wine, great food, and great talk! Poor Purl may be walking around with only one ear now, as I think I talked the other one right off! When she did get a word in edge-wise, Purl told me about the SeaSocks cruise, which goes from Seattle to ALASKA and B.C. in May. I would love to go. It sounds like an amazing trip, and I have always wanted to see Alaska. I am going to stew about it for a while and see if I can't come up with a way to make it work!!

On Sunday morning, I eagerly picked up my second sock and got ready to finish it. I was decreasing for the toe, and was down to 14 stitches on each needle when I dropped 4 or 5 stitches. Before I could fix things, 2 of them laddered really far and got through the heel. I pretty much called it a lost cause and frogged the sock. That was agonizing. I cast on again, and am ready to turn the heel. This is attempt number 4 on the cursed sock. I hope this one ends peacefully and successfully!

I am really ready to start my second pair. I have enough sock yarn to make socks for a medium-sized village. I thought I had settled on a skein to use for pair #2. It's a beautiful cashmere blend from JoJoLand. The colors are gorgeous, and it feels fantastic. But then Purl gave me an exquisite skein of hand dyed sock yarn on Friday night, for my birthday. I need to take a picture of it, but it is orange (my fave!) with pink going through it. It is appropriately called "grapefruit". So now I am torn. Maybe it is a good thing that I had to frog the sock-- it gives me another day or two to make up my mind about what to start with next!

SP 11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Opal sock yarns are my current favorite-- the colors are so rich and it is loads of fun to watch the patterns emerge! Otherwise, I love natural fibers. Silks, bamboo, cotton, nice wools. I can't stand acrylics.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

My SP 10 pal sent me the most amazing needle box-- personalized and just perfect! I also have a Namaste needle binder that my husband and kids gave me for mothers' day. Between the two, I am fairly organized for a change!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting for approx. one year. A very dear woman who has been knitting for 60+ years spent an afternoon teaching me to knit and purl. From there, I have taught myself a lot from books and the internet, and from classes at my LYS. I would consider myself an early intermediate or late beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes. Here it is.

5. What's your favorite scent?


6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Sometimes. I like dark chocolate and fruity things.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

Some digital scrapbooking, but that's about it.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like rock and pop, and can play anything.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

My favorites are navy, orange and bright greens. I also like chocolate brown. Don't really like purple, but it's okay in small doses.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have a wonderful husband of 15 years, a son and a daughter. Also a cat and a crazy Shih Tzu dog.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I sometimes wear scarves as an accessory in the winter, but we don't have much real need for these items in Houston!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I'm a newbie to socks, and I really enjoy knitting them!

13. What are you knitting right now?

Socks, a blanket, and a Chinese-style jacket for my daughter.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Straight and circs both have their moments. I have some Lantern Moon rosewood straights that I love. But mostly I seem to use Addi circs. And for socks, it's 2 circs or nothing. I can't stand dpns.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I don't have either, but as I am getting more experience, I find myself needing both!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

6 months

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas!! I love gifting, and there is nothing better than watching the kids on Christmas morning. Getting presents myself isn't bad either!

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Teapots and Baccarat crystal animal figurines.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

There is a Knitting Pure and Simple "Classic Drop Shoulder Pullover" that I would really like to try for the winter. It would be my first sweater, but seems like it might be do-able. I like the K P & S patterns a lot, as they are pretty straightforward and don't involve a lot of seaming. (I can't sew to save my life!)

The only magazine I have a subscription to is Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I would love to learn cables and color working of some sort.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Oh yes! My foot is 9.5" long at 4.5 across. I confess I don't know how to properly state the measurements yet.

23. When is your birthday?

July 22.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Yes-- cinben