Saturday, January 29, 2011

Toto--and a Hole

Yesterday afternoon at work I finished Toto the Oven Mitt. I have to say I do like applied I-cord bind off; it makes the edge look so nice and substantial. And I had to learn 3-needle bind off to join the two halves of the mitt. (Even though the pattern calls for making the mitt on 2 circular needles I ended up making it on Double Points because I'm just better with them.) Toto is a short little thing as you can see in the "puppet" picture. I suppose a person could make it longer to cover more of your hand but I kind of like it this way. (The last line of the pattern even tells you to use it as a puppet "to get it out of your system.") Now I just have to see how it works!

I pulled out the Twister Wrister at work today and was just about to get started
when I noticed that I did something wrong a few rows back and there's a hole in it. Now I've got to sit in a bright light with my heart in my throat, drop the offending stitch or stitches down to the hole, and knit them painstakingly back up using a crochet hook. Bugger. I need to figure out how I manage to do that and STOP.

Not wanting to keep working on the wrister when I was just going to have to tear it apart I pulled the sad little bag with the Sudoku Afghan squares in it and worked on that. I'll be glad when I get the "stone" ones done. That is one dull color.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yarn Snacks

You know how sometimes you've had a nice, healthy meal but you can't stop grazing? You eat toast, and then a handful of carrots, followed by fruit, but it's not right. Next you try a few rice cakes, especially the caramel ones, an M&M or two...or a hundred. Then comes pudding, sugar free of course with a few chocolate chips to enhance the chocolatey-ness and a dollop of super chunky peanut butter stirred in because everyone knows that chocolate and peanut butter are made for each other, except for Durwood who thinks that pb is yukky. (I know, I know, I probably shouldn't have married him if I'd known that then, but he's got the most gorgeous blue eyes and his voice is like warm honey. You'd have married him too, I'm telling you.) Last night was like that in the yarn sense. I could have worked on the Toes Up X2 socks...

or the first Twister Wrister...

There's a narrow scarf OTN or the Winter Sock, but did I work on either of those? Of course not.

I cast on a Toto Oven Mitt from the second Mason-Dixon Knitting book and wo
rked on it at work today. I'm liking the 1970s colors of green, brown and blue as kind of an homage to my remaining avocado appliances and kitchen sink. I'm using DPNs instead of 2 circs. DPNs feel much better in my hands than circs. I'll finish it tomorrow and then go back to working on the old stuff. It's a good pattern for a yarn snack.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I finished my Cashmere & Wool Wrap last night. I knew it would be close since the two kinds of yarn didn't have the same number of yards per skein but I never realized I'd be skating this close to the edge. I ran out of the black cashmere blend 3 sts from the end of the bind off. Meh. I had 18" of the Ara left.

It's very warm and colorful but it's kind of odd. So I guess it fits me, both physically and temperamentally.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Last week I asked Zoe, the Yarn Whisperer, if she'd teach me how to knit 2 socks at once, toe-up using the Magic Loop method. She said she would, so I booked a meeting room at Goodwill for an hour on Friday night and got a lesson. Dusty came too because she had been trying to teach herself how to use Magic Loop, cuff down, and having no luck. It was brilliant to get out of the constant chatter of FNKC and be able to concentrate. I didn't have as tough a time as Dusty because I had already knitted a pair of socks on 2 circs and the same rules apply. Dusty was feeling bad about needing a lot more help but I told her that not only had I successfully knitted a pair on 2 circs but I have a pair of cuffs in a "disappointment bag" downstairs.

Here's how far I got Friday night. This is my first time making socks toes up. I used the Figure 8 cast on Zoe taught us at Knitting Guild last week and it worked great. It was a genius idea to use two different colors of yarn and also to use worsted yarn so I could easily see what I was doing. Using two colors was someone else's idea and the worsted was an accident but I enjoyed the lesson. Thanks, Zoe!

Yesterday at work I realized that I hated the way the wrister was looking with the mock cable stranded in a sea of reverse stockinette. HATED. IT. I cruised the projects on Ravelry and more than one of the people who made this pattern bracketed the cable in a few pur
ls and knit the rest. So I frogged down to the cuff and started again. I am much happier with the looks of it and know it'll get done much faster.

I'm excited to be on the last skeins of wool and cashmere for my wrap. Hopefully I'll sit myself down on the couch, plug my earbuds in to my ears,
and get it done sometime before bedtime tonight. We shall see.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Oh, I was so glad to have to stop and get some prescriptions for Mom after work. I had to drive right by Play It Again Sports on the way home so I stopped in and BOUGHT ME SOME NEW SNOWSHOES!!!! They even have a canvas carrying bag. Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Boss for giving me a little late Christmas bonus. I'm thinking that I might have to take a tromp around the yard before bedtime tonight. Hey, I have to take out the trash tonight anyway so I might as well take the new snowshoes for a spin.

The other day I cast on a pair of wristers in some stash yarn. I get to make them because I gave a pair to a lady in a drive-though a couple weeks ago. The ones I'm making have
got a big mock cable up the back with nice wide ribbing at the top and bottom. I need to knit faster, it's supposed to get reallyreally cold this weekend.

Durwood was intrigued by the way today's sunshine made the little snow pockets on the pine trees glow. He called it "snow lights." I like it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

My friend, JJ was in the dive shop Tuesday and we were talking about snowshoeing because I knew he used to run a trapline and I told him I wanted to learn how. There's a waterfowl preserve out by the bay that rents snowshoes on weekends for $4 and they have trails. Some of the knitters, the young ones, went out there last winter but I was busy and couldn't go, then the snow melted and spring came. Well, JJ came back yesterday with his snowshoes for me to borrow. He told me that he hadn't used them in over a year. They're nice, light aluminum ones instead of the old traditional bent wood and leather kind. He gave me a few pointers and I was on the verge of dragging him out to the tiny lawn of the shop when a pesky customer came in, and he had to leave to pick up kids anyway. Drat. On my way home from work last night I stopped at Play It Again Sports and bought a pair of used ski poles to help me keep my balance and get up when I fall. They were only ten bucks.

Sooooo, this morning I put on my fleece pants, warm socks and my best Thinsulate-lined boots and headed out into the backyard for my maiden voyage. It was a blast! I walked around the house (I'm sure the neighbors thought I was nuts) and then I filled the birdfeeders which was much easier on snowshoes. I can't wait to go with Zoe (who got her own snowshoes before Christmas) by her house or on some trail somewhere. Durwood took my picture. Don't I lo
ok cool?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Can't Stop Starting

I was so thrilled last week when I finished a sock and scarf so I could knuckle down and work on other projects that I have on the needles. Did I do that? Kind of. I ordered and received 3 more skeins of Dalegarn Ara wool to finish my wool & cashmere wrap and made good progress toward finishing that.

But then...

I like to have a sock on the go because it's something small to take to work. Besides I like making socks because the yarn's so pretty. I'm calling this one the Winter sock, partly because the pattern I'm using is November sock (Ravelry link) and partly because of the time of year and partly because of the colors of the yarn--purple, dusty blue green, and pale blue. It's called Happy Feet and I hope it makes mine happy. I think it will.

For my day-trip to Appleton with Durwood on Friday I needed a very simple project for car knitting. I'll bet you can guess what I did. Yes, I CAST ON ANOTHER PURSE STITCH SCARF. I'm sorry for hollering but I am amazed at the strength of my addiction. I'm calling this one "It's A Disease." Appropriate, don't you think?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Voodoo Orchids

Three years ago DIL1's parents gave Mom an orchid plant for Mother's Day. My mother, who usually kills philodendrons, kept the care tag and bought a little bottle of orchid fertilizer. She put the plant on a wash stand about six feet from a south facing patio door. It only gets direct sunlight in the dead of summer because she's on the second floor of three and the upstairs balcony overshadows hers most of the year, so the little orchid gets indirect light. She said she gives it a little drink when she thinks of it and the top of the soil is dry. I posted a picture last spring when all of the buds had opened. After a few months all the flowers dropped off and the stalk began to die back, then a miracle happened, another flower stalk began to grow. Buds swelled, and more orchids opened. So now it's January and that crazy plant has been blooming since April 2010! Durwood says he thinks she's got a rainforest in there, I think it's a fake. She pooh-poohed both suggestions. She swears it's real. Whatever it is, it sure is pretty.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finito X 2

In the last few days I have finished 2 items--the Dreamsicle sock and the I Can't Quit scarf. Both of them turned out well, in fact I plan to wear the scarf today when I go to Mom's for lunch. Just now when I was in the living room taking the scarf's picture my eye lit on a bag of single skeins in my knitting basket and I chose the next scarf's yarn. The. Next. Scarf. Does this tell you something about me? Do you see that I'm on a scarf knitting jag that has gone on, unabated, since early October? Would you like to hear how hard it was to give DD, DIL1, DIL2, Mom & Carla my beautician the scarves I made for them for Christmas? It was excruciating! I want them all. I want to sit in my nest and pat them, stroke them, tickle them along their lengths and wear them so that people will exclaim "where did you get that scarf?" and then I'll pet it and preen and say "why, I made it, of course" and be all proud. If they're very nice and respectful I'll even tell them how to make their very own. (It's too easy to believe.) You would cry at the time you have lost in making your own scarves to love and pet. Even better than having a wardrobe of stunning fashion scarves to wear making them has made me not hate purling anymore. (Ooh, a hint!) Now I can pick up my Red Marl sweater front and forge ahead up through the colorwork to the shoulders. Maybe I'll even finish it before the snow melts.

I like the sock too but it's no Purse stitch scarf. Oh, man, now that the cat's out of the bag I might as well tell you.

All I do is cast on 12 stitches (in worsted yarn, 8 in chunky) on US10 1/2 needles and then follow the directions for purse stitch lace (k1, *yo, p2tog,* rep * * to
last stitch, k1), that's it. Back and forth, back and forth until the scarf's as long as you want. I've been buying a 125-200 yd. skein and just going until it runs out. Some are longer, some are shorter, all are gorgeous. Well, I think so.

This morning a ballsy squirrel decided to see if it couldn't intimidate the sharpshinned hawk as it sat on top of the fence. The hawk kept an eye on it and eventually moved a bit to get away from the pest, but when the squirrel managed to chase it way, Durwood popped the fuzzy little c
reep in the hindquarters with the BB gun to teach it some manners.