Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thanks a Lot, Ann

I've just spent the last half hour going back over my last few posts linking the he** out of things. It was fun. Lastly I linked the "training sock" pattern you used to yesterday's post. *sigh* Can you guess what knitting I'm planning to pack? Hint--it's small enough to put in your carry-on and I'll have to buy some yarn. In fact, I'll probably cast one on when Dad's at work. (I'll wait until he leaves so he doesn't tease me too much.) *sigh* Oh, you're such an enabler.

I'm so glad you were here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Ann showed me how to sock! It's very tiny, made on big needles with worsted yarn but it's a sock. I'm so proud. Maybe someday I'll make a real sock. It's so cute. Coochie coochie, little sock.

Abby's Mittens & A Cupcake

Abby was so tickled by the mittens that Ann and I made last Saturday that I said I'd make her some so I did. I had the fuzzy/hairy yarn, in fact I had a variety to choose from, and I bought the thick & quick from Patti's. Purple, mmmm.

I saw the cupcake pattern in One Skein and decided to make one out of what I had on hand. Well, I did have to buy the fluffy white stuff, but I had the bottom stuff and the fiberfill "in stock." It's bigger than I thought it would be and somehow disappointing. Cute, though, but useless. I did put a little rice (in a sandwich bag) in the bottom to make it stand up a bit better.

Look! I linked! Thanks, Ann, for teaching me how.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Elfin Magic

When I picked up my crochet hook last winter to help quit smoking my daughter told me about a Free Crochet Pattern a day website and I used to check it when I remembered. Then when I started this blog I linked to it so it was easier to check every day. Most of the time the pattern is for something I'm not that interested in, but every once in a while it sparks my interest. You have to print it out, or save it, because they don't have an archive. Last week, or the week before, the pattern was for a trio of little shelf-sitters: a gingerbread man, a snowman, and an elf. The gingerbread man and the snowman? Eh. But the elf I couldn't get out of my mind. I picked up some Caron Soft Shadows yarn on sale at Michael's and coerced DD into helping me make one on Christmas Eve. I crocheted the body, head, and hat; she made the limbs and collar. We finished him Christmas morning--and fell in love. Then we had to make another one for her so we reversed the colors so we didn't have to buy more yarn. Here they are: Elmer and Abercrombie. Aren't they the cutest?

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Time is flying too fast these days. I have too much I want to do and not enough time to do it. DD and I took a quick mitten class yesterday at my LYS (v. 2), Loops & Links--and we both burst out giggling whenever we look at what we made. Here are mine; DD isn't quite finished with mitten #2 so that debut will be a bit delayed. All gift knitting for opening on the actual Christmas day is done and wrapped. (I'd pat myself on the back but my arms are sore.) I finished the Selfish Fetchings yesterday morning, but forgot to decrease one stitch on each needle so one top is a little ruffley. I might have to pick it out and redo it. Maybe, maybe not. Depends on how much it bugs me, but it may be a while until I wear them again. It was nearly 50 degrees and rainy yesterday. Today it looks like this. You can't see the blowing snow but let me assure you it's blowing a gale. Gusts to 50 mph. Gak.

DH, DD, and I decorated the tree this morning--finally. We played Nat King Cole's Christmas cd and sang along. I've got Chex mix in the oven, our traditional holiday snack, and the buzzer's ringing. Gotta go stir!

If I get busy(er) and don't get back to the blog for a few days, have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fetching & Dashing

Sounds like something you'd do when Christmas shopping, doesn't it? Actually those are the names of two more fingerless mitts patterns. Hey, I'm weaning myself away from Forbidden Love but I can't quit cold turkey. I gotta knit mitts! But I think there's something wrong with this picture. Fetching was the original pattern. And it is beautiful with its three rows of little cables making the cuff and the k4p1 rib up the body making it look like some sort of Greek column then the final row of cables on the top. Then came Dashing, intended to be the masculine counterpart. It has the same k4p1 rib but one big cable in the center--and it's twice as long. It comes almost to my elbow and when I realized it was going to be so long, I cut back on the number of rows. I'm too stubborn to rip it out so I have to make a mate for it, but it's so long!

Friday, December 14, 2007


I think I have all the gift-knitting done. I think.

Now I'm onto selfish knitting. Or as Ann would say, the Selfish Fetchings. I'm using them to wean myself off the Forbidden Love Wrist Warmers, especially since I gave the
pattern copy from my knitting bag to a woman at The Attic last night before writer's. I see her there every once in a while working on an afghan or scarf and admire it. She liked my mitts so I gave her the pattern since I'd changed it a bit from the original so they don't go halfway up your arms getting caught on sleeves.

And just so you understand that I'm more
than just a knitter, here's the cover of the Fall 2007 issue of The Sheepshead Review. One of my stories, Soup for Marco, is in it. Yay, me!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Carnations and Obsession

First, you have to see the beautiful red carnations DH gave me for our 31st anniversary. Aren't they georgeous? And he grilled steaks and made fresh asparagus and homemade twice-baked potatoes for supper. What a catch!

I've been steadily working my way up (out?) on the Short & Sassy Shawl. Please remind me to check shawl patterns before I cast on in the future and only choose the ones that grow narrower rather than wider. This one gets bigger by 2 stitches each row. Thank heavens it's a one-skein pattern as I'm slowly going mad with the snail's pace.

I've become obsessed with making fingerless mitts. I finished the last (I thought) gift pair yesterday and heaved a sigh ready to move on to another project. I cast on (and frogged) a Pixie hat with Himalayan silk because the yarn's so rigid it was nearly impossible to make the stitches especially on circs. Boo-hoo, I wanted that hat. (Maybe I can crochet one. Hmmm.) Then I cast on a slipper, but, after 3 rows, it wasn't what I wanted after all, so I frogged that. I looked at patterns and at my stash--then cast on 2 more pairs of mitts, one fuzzy and one worsted. (Good thing I picked up a second pair of #8 dpns at Hancock last weekend because I liked the color, huh?) Help! I've fallen into the Forbidden Love Mitts pattern and I can't get up.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Stuff to See Here

Just to prove that I have been knitting, here are a couple things.

First, the felted crocheted tote made from Sensations Marvel and Cascade 220
. I have to say that it smelled like I was laundering moldy sheep when I felted it. Not the most appealing scent to run into in the basement. But it felted well, now all I have to do is sew that handle on and it'll be finis.

I found the pattern for the mitts on someone's blog and couldn't resist them just because of their name--Forbidden Love Wrist W
armers. Isn't that the most tempting pattern name? The yarn's the forbidden love part; the designer made them from Yarn Bee Soft Delight Extremes (it's acrylic *gasp*). She said she was embarrassed to have fallen for a non-organic yarn but loved the colors. Me too. If you Google "Forbidden Love Wrist Warmers" you'll find them and, if you forget to type in the wrist warmers part, well, a few more interesting sites, but just go to the mitts one, k? Anyhoo, I made them shorter so they'd fit better when wearing a sweater. And look at the cool bee needle holders! My daughter made them. She's brilliant.

And remember, Ann, on Sunday I said I had decided not to make a Rib Warmer for Dad? Well, not an hour after we hung up, I cast on. I know it kind of looks like Franken-foot but it's really going to be a knitted vest thing. Anyway, I have all that yarn that's not going to be a sweater now and I really wanted to try the pattern since it's kind of like yarn origami and, well, I wanted to. It's not like I think I have to have it done for Christmas or anything, I mean, I can quit whenever I want.

Monday, December 3, 2007

8 Random Thing About Me

I have to agree with David and Abby, I don't know any other people with blogs so I'm just going to put my list on here and hope for the best.

1. I love doing Origami. I have a stash of papers and instruction books in the basement and periodically I get them out and make all sorts of stuff that I admire and then recycle. It's the best when David and Ann are home and all three of us fold and laugh.

2. I talk to myself--a lot. Most of the time it's in my head but sometimes, like when I'm mowing the lawn, it sneaks out and I'm talking out loud.

3. I hate being lost. I am almost terrified of not knowing where I am. I admire people who just hop in the car or on an airplane and go somewhere with no definite plans. I could never do that.

4. My grandma taught me how to make a Jacob's Ladder with string, like Cat's Cradle, and I know how to make a few other figures and wish I knew how to make more. I have a book about that too.

5. I'm better at learning something new, especially something physical, if I have time to think how it will feel to do it before I have to make my attempt. That's why you'll find me at the back of the line.

6. I rarely suffer stage fright. I'm not shy at all about getting in front of a microphone or standing up to speak or read something I've written, even if I think it's crap. My mom takes credit for this since she entered me in a blue million dance contests when I was a little ballerina and dragged me, along with Deenie Hobbs and her two kids, all over southern Indiana to county fairs and school gyms. My most vivid memory is one county fair where the record player was on the edge of the supported-only-at-the-ends stage and every time I moved the record skipped. It was like dancing on a trampoline. I was crying but I kept on dancing.

7. I am inordinately proud of the fact that I can scuba dive since I can barely swim. And I think I'm pretty darned good at it too.

8. I hate crowds and meeting strangers, but I'm good at mustering up my guts, pasting a smile on my face, and introducing myself. People think I'm an extrovert. I'm not.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stealth Knitting

I have been knitting. I have. But nothing I can show off. Oh, I knitted a few rows on my red shawl and I knitted a couple more fish, but you don't really need to see either of those, do you? Look at the post before the last one and imagine the shawl a bit longer and a few more fish in the school, also variegated.

The best news is that my neighbor/renter/writing friend, Jenny, told me Tuesday when she came over to write together that one of her co-workers is teaching her how to knit. On Tuesday she was the proud owner of half a knitted washcloth square, not bias, square. We spent part of our writing time that afternoon looking at knitting books and patterns, needles and yarn. DH laughed at us. As if I needed more proof that yarn fumes are dangerous, Jenny said she was planning to knit a hat, scarf, and doggie sweater for her brother and sister-in-law and their dog-to-be for Christmas. This Christmas. In 25 days. Hope springs eternal. Or more probably, yarn fumes cause delusions. I must confess I spent part of Wednesday at work
online finding easy, big needle free patterns for scarves and doggie sweaters. I already have the perfect hat pattern. So, shoot me, I'm an enabler. Wednesday evening there was a knock at my door and Jenny burst in saying, "Can you help me? I forgot how to cast on!" She had gone to Walmart and fallen prey to a lone skein of Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair on sale, all fuzzy and shiny and tempting. I helped her alright--I showed her how to cast on, I lent her bamboo needles because she had purchased metal ones which were too slippery, and I gave her a skein of chunky yarn to play with. And then I gave her the patterns I had found. Turns out she stayed up half the night knitting that mohair scarf even though she had to be at work at 6 AM. Yep, she's got it bad. Tee-hee.