Wednesday, October 31, 2007

prayers needed

If you are a praying person would you help me pray for my Dad's peaceful passing. He has had several strokes and has been in a nursing home, this week he had another and can no longer eat or drink. I pray it won't be long, he has been through enough.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Felted purse finished

Here is my blue felted purse before felting. It is pretty basic. I used Cascade 220 yarn doubled, on size 11 needles. Since my washer disaster, we have a front loader washer now, which of course you can't felt in. So I am felting by hand. My husband found me an old fashioned washboard. I think it was meant for decoration though and not real use, because the corrugated metal kept popping out of the frame as I was scrubbing against it. Luckily, hubby is a handy hubby and he can reinforce it for my next project.
I used alternating hot sudsy water (with Kiss my Face soap) and ice water. It took about fifteen minutes to felt. Then I dried it out on the clothesline

I love this size bag, 12 x 11 inches it slings over my shoulder and holds just my essentials, with a little bit of stretch as what I consider essential is always growing!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blue Moon Rocks!

You are awesome, Blue Moon Fiber Arts! Remember this pair of socks I was working on in July and August on all my trips to Virginia. I had bought a bunch of sock yarn in June at the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon. The Blue Moon booth was wonderful. All those colors and the most luscious sock yarn. I started making this pair of socks using their Rockin' toe up pattern out of their Socks that Rock yarn in colorway Typhoon Tina. A lot of traveling this summer so lots of knitting progress, and by the time I went back to Virginia in August, I had the first sock done and was well on my way into the second (take THAT, second sock syndrome). I was at this lovely spa in the mountains in Virginia (really, this is rare for me, it was a quick weekend to celebrate my SIL 50th). Somewhere, sometime probably while I was packing to go home, I lost the first finished sock. OH NO! I couldn't believe it. I have only lost knitting once before, many years ago I lost a baby blanket I was working on, I lost the whole knitting bag. This time it was just the finished sock (without the ends woven in) I called the Homestead, I emailed them, I sent them a photo of the sock so they would know what they were looking for, I spoke to the front desk, I spoke to housekeeping, I spoke to the concierge. No luck, someone has a beautiful handknit sock for 1 foot. I was crushed. I finished the second sock, and started on the third and I realized there really isn't enough yarn to make a third sock. So I started searching. All my usual yarn shops, the internet. When I got my invite to Ravelry I quickly joined the group; ISO and destashing and put up my request for more Typhoon Tina. No luck. Someone suggested I write to Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Of course, I had searched their web site and Typhoon Tina is not available. So I wrote to them. Hallelujah! They replied this morning that they will dye some more for me! How cool is that!?! That is excellent customer service, I am so impressed. So it looks like this story ends well, Brian will not have a cold foot when he wears his Typhoon Tina socks. YeeHa!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Moment of weakness

Every week when I drive to Samuel Merritt to my physiology class I go down Telegraph Ave and drive right past a great yarn shop called Article Pract. I know I don't need any more yarn, and I am supposed to be studying this fall anyway so I don't stop to look. I can't stop just to look, I am not a good looker, I always buy something. Today, though, after 3 1/2 hours of the nursing entrance exam, there was a parking place right in front of the shop. My little bug just pulled right in, I couldn't help it.
Here is the first thing I bought. Sock yarn in a lovely colorway.


After I got it home look what I found inside!


would you look at that, inside the ball of sock yarn is a little bobbin of reinforcing yarn for the heel. How cool is that, and it matches the colorway!
Then I wandered to the sale area and couldn't pass these up,


and because I don't have enough patterns (;-), at least not any on nifty convenient little cards, I bought this.


Brian wondered if I "needed" new needles too.
I do actually, I need some size 11 circular to start some felted kitchen mitts to replace some that have been burned beyond use. I didn't buy any though.

See that capelet? I wonder if I could make that out of the yarn I just unravelled from the shawl. Anyone know how to figure out how much yardage there is in handspun? Isn't there a way to calculate it based on weight and wpi? Some way that is easier than actually measuring it?

Friday, October 19, 2007


I frogged the shawl. It was a little painful, but not once I got pulling and winding the balls. I'm not sure what I am going to knit with the yarn, maybe a vest, maybe a hat, I just don't know. There isn't a lot of yardage. Now I don't have much left on the needles. I have my Bluefaced leiceister sweater, my Tidal wave socks and Hubby's socks which are at a standstill until I locate more Socks that Rock yarn in the right colorway. I need to start something, something, something.........


oh, where you calling me? pile of books? I have been buried in schoolwork. My physiology class has gotten hard, I guess because we have gotten to the part of the material that is totally new for me. And the professor is not so organized, so it is hard to figure out what he is expecting from us. Tomorrow I have to take the Nursing Entrance Exam. It just tests basic reading comprehension and math. I had purchased a study guide and have been doing the practice exams, it includes a lot of basic science (like Big Bang Theory, how the stars form, and parts of a plant and other useful knowledge.) I was beginning to panic, because I didn't learn some of that stuff way back when (probably because some of it was not discovered yet). I spent an evening skimming Pat's physics book, and pumping him with questions. But it turns out I don't have to worry, they are just testing us on the verbal and math sections. I just need to get a good night's sleep, eat a good breakfast and sharpen some #2 pencils, I should be fine.
Then when I am done with that I need to work on my essays for my application, due November 1.
Maybe I can knit after that.......

Monday, October 15, 2007

Should I rip it out?

L1020506.JPG, originally uploaded by knitwitmama.

See this shawl? I started this in the summer using some yarn I had spun last summer and a pattern from my knitting calendar for a travel cozy. I quickly ran out of my handspun yarn and I bought some merino and some mohair in similar colors to continue knitting. I am not liking how the whole thing is looking though. The pattern starts at the neck and establishes increases as it goes over the shoulders, and it looked a lot more lacy in the photo. I put it away for a couple of months, actually it sat in a basket near my spinning wheel looking at me. Asking me to work on it, but I have just not been inspired. I love the colors, and the feel of the yarn, but I just can't get into how it is shaping up. So this weekend for some reason I grabbed it when I went to spend the weekend with a friend who is recovering from surgery. We sat and talked and watched movies, and I knit mindlessly on the shawl. By Sunday morning I looked at it in the bright light of day and it struck me that I am crazy to just keep knitting! Why do I think it is going to improve with more length? It is not. I need to rip it out and make something completely different with the handspun yarn. If I could just bring myself to do it and give the yarn a new chance. here I go.........

Monday, October 1, 2007

Glass cozy brigade

A family of 5 can go through a lot of glasses in a day. You know how it goes, you get a glass of water and you don't finish drinking it but when you go looking for it suddenly there are three partially empty glasses and you can't figure out which one has your germs on it and which one is covered with sister kooties. So you get another clean glass out and start again. Take this times 5 and we have a full dishwasher before we get to dinner! It is extra work for the person on dish duty but it also uses more water and soap. So here is my creative solution. Individual glass cozy's. I made a bunch of them in different colored yarns, I used Peaches and Cream Cotton so that I could wash them in hot water with our cloth napkins. Everybody that takes a glass needs to put a cozy on it and use it for the entire day.

Most of us have our favorites that we use all the time, I like the yellow and my daughter likes the pink-orange-yellow, I made the black one for the 15 year old teenager who is in his black phase. Hubby wanted me to make him a dirt colored one because his hands are always dirty from gardening when he comes in for a drink and he didn't want to keep getting his cozy muddy. I haven't found that color yarn yet.

Here are the instructions for cozys that fit the french tumbler glasses that we have, the same size works on the 8oz, 12oz and the 17 oz glasses. They are knit in the round on double points or circulars.
with size 8 needles cast on 36 stitches
join without twisting
knit 5 rounds
round 6: k2tog, k to end of round
knit 5 rounds
round 12: k2tog, k to end of round
knit 5 rounds
round 18: k2tog, knit to end of round
knit 2 rounds
cast off, weave in ends
after washing they soften and grip the glasses quite well

I wish I could tell you that we only wash 5 glasses a day now; we don't. But we are using significantly fewer glasses a day, and I think it has raised awareness in the house about how easy it is to be careless with resources.
I then knit a cover for the ubiquitous can of Barkeepers Friend that sits by our sink. Hubby laughed and wondered if I was going to cover everything in the house with knitted tubes! Tell me would you rather look at this:

or this?

If they aren't going to put things away, my theory is to make stuff that is out as attractive as possible. That is why I have always used wicker laundry baskets. I knew that there would always be laundry out on any given day in some stage of being sorted or folded or transported. I like looking at wicker baskets way better than those plastic baskets! And surprisingly my wicker baskets have lasted almost 20 years!
If you can't control the clutter at least make it tolerable.