Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy New Year!

And Merry Christmas too, to those of you who are so inclined. I, once again, apologize for my blog flakiness. I'll make up for it soon, I promise. Big stuff going on. Bit stuff. More on that later.

Christmas was great. We had a super fun time with my husband's (large) family. Lots of music, games, gifts, food, etc. They do a super fun white elephant gift exchange that is just soooo amusing. We played some Cranium - what a fun game! And we sang lots of silly carols, led by some outstanding musicians (my husband, his sister, and her friend). And the food.... to die for, of course. And best part, we scored the ham bone (with plenty of meat still on it), with which my hubby made the BEST split pea soup. Which is tonight's dinner (once again). Love the split pea soup.

That all took place the weekend before Christmas. On actual Christmas we had a small brunch gathering at our house which was also just lovely. I made this insanely unhealthy egg bake thing which was such a hit my mom made me promise to make it again this weekend.

And the fun continues. This evening my brother and his wife arrive from Venezuela. And on Sunday we're all heading up to Tahoe for a few days of New Years fun. I'm not a skier, but my two brothers are (or used to be back in the day), so that should be fun for them. And I'm looking forward to some relaxing by the fire surrounded by snowy beauty. Maybe a little hiking too.

My dvd tips for the week are: Once. Loved it. That's all I can say. Loved it. And the Namesake. I read the book, but also loved the movie, as did my husband. So that's my tip for the week. Oh how I miss the Daily Show, and the Colbert Report. Wish those writers and producers would settle their differences so I can be entertained and informed once again.

And that's my update. Sorry, not much knitting to share. I started the Hemlock Ring Blanket, but am kinda struggling with the pattern. Once I get the chart figured out I think I'll be good to go. Guess I should join the yahoo group to see what kind of tips I can find.

Here's my one knits in action picture - my husband's nephew wearing his Utopia hat. He liked it and wore it all evening.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Long time no blog

I see that it's been nearly a month since I've blogged. That's bad. I didn't realize I've been gone so long. I did do a fair bit of knitting in that time, small stuff - holiday gifts mostly.

Sophie Bag
Pattern: Sophie from Magknits
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino - Royal Purple and Dark Gray
Needles: US 10 1/2
This was a quick and easy knit. It really felted up small, but it's still a pretty cute little bag. I made the straps quite a bit longer than the pattern called for, and added a loop closure and a button.

Zak's Utopia Hat
Pattern: Utopia Cabled Hat from Smariek Knits
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino - Dark Gray
Needles: US7 for ribbing, US8 for the rest
I loved this pattern. So cute and easy. I liked it so much I cast on immediately for another in purple.

Purple Utopia Hat

Also, I finished another Wisp. It's pretty much identical to the first one I made so I won't bother with pictures.

Sorry to be gone so long. I'm hoping to get back on the blog train more regularly soon, if not right away. Hope everyone's holidays are happy so far!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


There is something about an earflap hat that just seems fun and joyful. I see that they are also quite practical, but mostly they just scream out playfulness to me. I learned so much doing this hat - it was my second ever fairisle project and a wee bit more complicated than my first - the Center Square Hat. But still, pretty simple, and this hat knit up quickly as well. Only thing is, it came out a little too big, even for hubby's man-sized head. So, I decided to give it a little felting - ran it through the washing machine, inside a pillowcase on a short cycle on hot water. Still too big. So I stuck it in the dryer with a damp towel. That did the trick. It came out nicely sized and I really like what the felting did to tighten up the stitches and create a little fuzziness. Plus it'll be super water-proof now. So I guess it's about time for us to take a trip to the snow!

Here it is before felting:
Pete's Earflap Hat

And after:
Pete's Earflap Hat

Now isn't that fun?!
Pete's Earflap Hat
Pattern: Ryan's Hat from Interweave Knits (Winter '05 - staff project)
Yarn: Valley Yarns - Berkshire in Coffee Bean, Stone Blue and Mistletoe
Needles: US 9
Modifications: None, aside from the felting at the end to shrink it a bit. I'm not super thrilled with my color choices - the green and blue are a little too similar so the pattern doesn't stand out as much as I'd like. But overall I'm pleased with how it came out.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Finished A Wisp

I finished a Wisp, from This was such a quick and fun little lace project. I happened to have a bunch of brushed alpaca laceweight in my stash - not as fuzzy as the Kidsilk Haze (which I haven't yet had the pleasure to work with), but it has a nice, soft halo about it. And I think it worked nicely. It knit up in a couple of days and will make a nice, lightweight (but warm) scarf for a holiday gift. I think I may make more of these!

Lavender Wisp
Pattern: Wisp from
Yarn: brushed alpaca laceweight (a gift from a friend who purchased it in Argentina) - I used maybe 300-400 yardsNeedles:
US 9Finished Size: 60" x 13"
Modifications: I skipped the eyelets along the size, since I wasn't planning to add buttons anyway, and that was just one more thing to keep track of. I used a larger needle size and it blocked out to be larger than the pattern intended, which was fine with me since it will be used as a scarf.

Also, my yarn arrived from Webs today - it's Valley Yarns Berkshire and it's for Pete's Ryan's Hat. The brown is a little darker than I pictured, but I still think the colors will go together nicely to make a lovely hat for my hubby.
Yarn for Pete's Hat
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Target Practice

Recently my husband asked me to knit him an Andean-style earflap hat. Now, since he's never really asked me to knit him anything before, there's really no way I could refuse. I gave him some patterns to look at, and he liked Ryan's hat from Interweave. Only trouble is, I have never done fairisle, or stranded knitting. So I had some learning to do. And I thought maybe I should learn on something other than his hat, get a litle practice first. So I looked around for the easiest fairisle project I could find, and I came up with Center Square from This turned out to be an awesome first fairisle project! Super fast and easy - it knit up in less than one day. And it really helped me build my confidence about stranded knitting. I ordered some yarn for the earflap hat and now I can hardly wait for it to arrive so I can get started.

Center Square Target Hat

Pattern: Center Square from
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool Merino in red & white
Needles: US 9 (the biggest knitpicks options tips I have. I have since ordered 11's as called for in the pattern)
Obviously, I did not mean for my hat to look like a Target ad, but it totally cracks me up that it does. It just happened to be the colors I had available. I will definitely make this hat again in more carefully selected colors.

Now I'm inspired to try other fairisle projects too. Like maybe the We Call Them Pirates hat. I'm not into pirates myself, and it seems like that particular trend must be fading, but maybe my 11 year old nephew might like it.

While I wait for my yarn and needles to arrive, I decided to start on another holiday gift - Wisp from This is such a great, fast and easy lace scarf/wrap. I started yesterday and it's now about half done. I'm using some lavender alpaca laceweight yarn that my friend Katy gave me. It's got a little fuzz to it, so it works nicely with this pattern, though I bet it would be even more beautiful with some actual Kidsilk Haze.

Lavender Wisp
So that's all I've got for now. I just downloaded an audiobook from to keep me company while I knit. It's called "The Short and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao", and so far I love it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Parsnips are our friends

The Parsnip-Apple Cupcakes were surprisingly delicious. If you ever find yourself with some parsnips you don't know what to do with, I can recommend this recipe.

I finished my Shedir last week, but only just had some pictures taken.
Pink Shedir

The top of the hat is especially lovely. When I wear it out in public I will be sure to keep my head down so people can admire the top of my hat.
Pink Shedir

Pattern: Shedir, from
Yarn: Rowan Calmer, 1 ball (with almost none leftover)
Needles: US3
Modifications: I elminated one of the cable pattern repeats. Otherwise I would have run out of yarn.

Next husband wants me to make this hat. I, however, have never knit any fairisle before. For some reason this technique has always intimidated me. So, while I'm waiting for his yarn to arrive, I decided I should try a simpler fairisle hat, for practice. So I cast on for the Center Square hat from Turns out the fairisle thing is not too hard at all. And this hat is awesome. It knits up very fast on two strands of worsted weight wool. It will make a thick, warm hat too. I think I'll be done in no time at all.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Slipper Gifts

So I decided to try these felted house slippers from Knit 2 Together. It's really my first felted project and ohmygoodness I am in love with it! They knit up so fast and easy - 2 days, lickety split. And it was super fun watching them grow, and then shrink. And I think they're pretty darn adorable, and a great way to use up the stash yarn. This is my new favorite little gift knit.
Felted House Slippers
Pattern: House Slippers from Knit 2 Together
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino - red - 3 strands held together (1+ balls)
Knitpicks Merino Style - cornflower - 4 strands held together (1 ball)
Needles: US13 straight and US 9 circular

So, we belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm co-op thing, and we get a bin of veggies every other week (because we split with a friend). And, this week, among other things, our bin contained parsnips. And I suspect that might be something we get often during the winter months. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never cooked with parsnips before, and frankly don't have a clue what to do with them. But I found this recipe for Parsnip-Apple Cupcakes, and now I'm dying to try them. Doesn't that sound fun and different? So tonight's baking project is cupcakes. Also roast chicken with yams. I love this farm basket program because it makes us try out different vegetables and diffrent recipes.

It's nap time for me. So have a great weekend everyone! Don't forget to leave me a comment. Other parsnip ideas would be appreciated too.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Sock Wrap Up

I am not a fast sock knitter. It always takes me at least a couple weeks to finish a pair of socks (though I rarely work exclusively on socks). These took closer to a month I'm afraid, but I quite like them now that they're done.

Hedera Socks
Pattern: Hedera, by Cookie A. from
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential, Dusk
Needles: Knitpicks classic circular size US 1

I'm still working away at my Shedir. I'm pretty close to half done. I'm starting to freak out a bit about whether I'll have enough yarn. I'll decide after I finish this repeat if it might be long enough to skip one repeat. Right now I'm thinking probably not. It's a very cool pattern. I think I'm going to be very pleased with the end result, if I don't run out of yarn that is.


Have a great weekend all!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Some good karma

I whipped up this hat for my brother - his birthday is next week.

Cap Karma Hat

Pattern: Cap Karma Hat by Smariek Knits
Yarn: Wool Ease Heather - grey
Needles: US8
Modifications: I used Brooklyn Tweed's modified crown to continue the cables on up to the top.

It's a great pattern, and a super quick knit. I can't wait to see it on him!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I am addicted to Ravelry

I can't help myself. I spend hours looking at other people's projects, other people's queues, and searching out interesting patterns. I have plenty of projects in my own queue, but I can't help myself. Yesterday I discovered the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I don't know why I didn't pay attention when I saw it on Brooklyn Tweed's site, but when I look at all the beautiful versions of it in Ravelry I am in awe. Must knit one. Today, I somehow got caught up in looking for toys to knit. There are zillions in Ravelry. I added a few to my queue. Yesterday I decided I should try to knit a hat for my brother's birthday (October 30th). So I searched around for a suitable pattern and came across, the Cap Karma Hat. Again, Brooklyn Tweed's version is fantastic. If you have not signed up for Ravelry yet, please get yourself on the waiting list. Trust me, you will not regret it. It is really fuelling my knitting passion.

Also, my other newest I don't know why it has taken me so long to get into Audiobooks, but last month I signed up for an membership and downloaded my first book, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, who also wrote the Kite Runner. I am enjoying it so much. It's a beautifully told story, and the narration is perfect. The deal that I signed up for includes one free book per month. I'm thinking of downloading the Friday Night Knitting Club next, but I'm open to other suggestions if anyone wants to leave me one in the comments.

I knit up a ballband discloth. Seems like everyone was making these for a while there. I don't have Mason Dixon Knitting, but I found the pattern online for free here. I may make a few more of these for stocking stuffers. They're quick and mindless - perfect tv knitting.
Ballband Dishcloth

I received the yarn that I ordered at the TKGA Knit & Crochet Show. It is soooo beautiful. Interlacements Rick Rack II. Now I'm excited about starting a shawl in it.
Interlacements Rick Rack II

Here's a couple pics of my cute hubby modeling the sunflower tam.
Sunflower Tam

Sunflower Tam

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunflower Tam

I knit up a quick Sunflower Tam, from Knitting Nature. What a fun, quick and easy project. It took just two days, and I loved watching the design develop.

Sunflower Tam

Pattern: Sunflower Tam from Knitting Nature, by Norah Gaughan
Yarn: Moda Dea Washable Wool - free (in a gift bag) from the TKGA knit & crochet show in Oakland. It is a lovely yarn.
Needles: US 8 for the ribbing, US 9 for the rest
Modifications: I cast on 96 stitches for the ribbing, but in retrospect, 90 would have been plenty.

If I can find someone who will actually wear this, I'd love to knit it again. I received Knitting Nature as a gift last Christmas and I love looking at the pictures, but this is the first project I've knit from it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Third time's the charm

I finished my third Wool Peddler's Shawl. The first one was for Pete's mom, then one for my mom, and this one is for Pete's aunt, who loved his mom's so much she wanted a matching one. Fortunately it's an easy and very comforting shawl to knit. The yarn is soft and squishy, the garter stitch is soothing. And the result is warm and lovely. So I'm pleased. It's still blocking, but here's a preview shot:
Nancy's Woold Peddler's Shawl

Pattern: Wool Peddler's Shawl from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle
Yarn: Knitpicks Andean Treasure, Lilac - 6.5 balls
Needles: Knitpicks Options US 7
Finished Size: 72" x 36"

I'm now excited to start something new. I'm thinking about trying this Sunflower Tam from Knitting Nature, or some other fun hat project. Woohoo!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Our mountain getaway

I'm back from my little mountain paradise getaway. We spent 3 days at Sorensen's, a sweet little cabin resort 20 miles south of Lake Tahoe. This place is so awesome, surrounded by beauty and quiet and thousands of miles of spectacular hiking trails. When we arrived, the fall colors were in full display. The aspens were just gorgeous. And when we woke up on Wednesday morning, it was snowing! The world became a winter wonderland. So beautiful. We did some really great hikes. The dogs had a blast, and the whole thing was super romantic and relaxing.

Wagon Wheel Cabin
Our cabin at Sorensen's.

Fall colors with a touch of snow
Fall colors in Hope Valley.

Canada or Mexico?
We opted to head toward Mexico... but we never did find the lake we were looking for.

Bear Tracks
Fresh bear tracks!

I did accomplish some knitting. I made good progress on my Wool Peddler's shawl for Aunt Nancy. I think I can complete it in the next couple days.

I ordered (and received) a copy of One-Skein Wonders from Amazon. I was hoping to find some good, relatively quick Christmas gift ideas, and other ideas to use up random balls of yarn. I don't know yet though. So far I'm not extremely inspired. Anybody have any favorites they've knit from this book? I'm in the mood for some quick projects.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Mystery Solved

I completed my Mystery Stole 3 (aka, Swan Lake), and I'm quite pleased with the results. Not perfect, but still, quite beautiful, and plenty big. I was concerned that the stole wouldn't be big enough, since I was making the symmetrical version by knitting two halves (without the alternate center panel) and grafting them together. I may have slightly overcompensated for this concern by blocking aggressively. The stole came out to a lovely 89" x 21", which I will admit, is a little long. But I love it. I love the sparkly little beads and the delicate ivory lace.
Mystery Stole 3

Yarn: Zephyr Wool/Silk laceweight, ivory, about 950 yards
Beads: 8/0 clear ab
Needles: US5 (Knitpicks Options)
Started: June, 2007
Completed: October, 2007
Finished Size: 89" x 21" blocked
Modifications: I knit the symmetrical version, by knitting to row 287, twice, then grafting the two sides together.

Comments: I really struggled with this project, mostly because I was not fond of the wing in the original design, so I set it aside for some time. But when I ultimately decided to complete the symmetrical version, it really moved quickly. I knit the second half in just over a week. And I think the end result is just beautiful.

Mystery Stole 3 blocking

I also got started on a Wool Peddler's Shawl for Pete's Aunt. It is such a comforting, easy knit after all that lace. It's all garter stitch at this point, and the yarn (Knit Picks Andean Treasure) is luscious soft.
Wool Peddler's Shawl
I have finally figured out how to add photos from flickr to my blog! I really struggled with this for quite some time, but I think I've finally got it worked out.

Here's a picture from our drive to the coast yesterday. Gorgeous!
We're going away for a couple days to a beautiful cabin in the woods south of Lake Tahoe. I'm hoping to get a lot of knitting done while there. And also a lot of hiking. And relaxing.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Good Day of Looking at Yarn

I just returned from the TKGA Knit & Crochet Show in Oakland. I had such a good time! I met up with my good friends (for 26 years!) Katy and Andrea. Katy's a knitter and Andrea's a crocheter; both are, sadly, blogless. In some ways I enjoyed this event better than Stitches West. It was MUCH less crowded, which is a huge plus for me. I get a little overwhelmed by the crowds. It was quite a bit smaller (fewer vendors), but that was fine too, since again, I am easily overwhelmed. Highlights for me:
  • We got goodie bags when we arrived (free yarn!), and that was quite thrilling.
  • I fell in love with this shawl, and the yarn is just beautiful, but they were out of it, so I ordered some. It is Interlacements Rick Rack in Colorado Treasures . It's a simple feather and fan pattern, but I just thought it was so stunning in this yarn. (Sorry about the sorta crappy pictures.)

  • I also fell in love with some beautiful silk laceweight yarn from RedFish Dyeworks. I did not buy any because I have so much laceweight yarn waiting to be knit, but I will definitely keep them in mind for future projects. This 100% silk yarn (20/2) is so gorgeous, and vast array of colors are just stunning. Their sample project was a Print O'the Wave Stole in a lovely variegated yarn.
  • And, of course, spending time with my high school girl friends! I was just astounded to realize how long we've been friends. We've been through so much together; it was such a treat to get together for a day of yarn.
  • And a big highlight for me was getting inspired. Seeing all the beautiful yarn and projects really made me want to finish up my current projects and get working on some others. I love that feeling of being excited about what's next!

On the drive to Oakland I listened to a couple podcasts. The She-Knits podcast is one of my new favorites. I can't even say exactly why I like it so much. Sharon has a friendly voice and a chatty, comfortable style. She talks about her knitting, her felted handbag design business (gorgeous bags!) and her family (she has 7 children!). If you like knitting podcasts, you might want to check this one out. My other favorite knitting podcast these days is Stash and Burn. I love those guys!

Have a great week all!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back on track

I'm back in love with the mystery stole project. I've started the second half, and it's moving right along. I think the thing is that I have a fair amount of emotion wrapped up in this stole, and I just wasn't ready to let it go. I worked on the first half of this stole through some pretty extreme highs and lows this summer. Now I'm determined to finish it. And it really is a fun lace to work on. Here's my progress so far on the second half.
Now I'm also really feeling inspired to start some other knitting projects, after I finish this one. Here's my latest must-knit list.

There are plenty of others too, but getting back into this stole has really reinspired me to knit more lace.

I did decide to plant a little winter vegetable garden after all. And I do mean little. It's just 2 big pots, in which I planted beets, onions and chard. But it's right outside my back door, next to a concrete walkway so I don't have to worry about traipsing through the mud to tend the garden. Also I planted a rhubarb out in the yard. I'm hoping that will be very low maintainence because I have no intentionof maintaining it until next spring at least. I have such fond memories of eating rhubarb crisp as a kid - it was my dad's favorite. I have always wanted to grow my own. Here is the "garden" so far:

Not too impressive, is it? We'll check back in a couple months and see how it's looking.

I have to say that I am so happy it's fall. I LOVE this time of year. Love it. I am ready for the rain to start up again, but right now the weather is perfect, sunny and warm but not too warm, just perfect!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What next?

So I'm ready to begin a new project, or I could pick up the ol' mystery stole (aka, Swan Lake Stole). But I'm feeling a wee bit stuck. I'm frustrated with the stole, though I am about 2/3 of the way through with it. But I have to rip back to about the halfway point and then knit the second half. I have given up on the wing design. I am just not feeling the love. But truth be told I think I might want to rip the whole thing back because I don't think I'm even loving this thing without the wing. Oh how I hate to frog. Hate it! What should I do?! Maybe I'll just let it rest for a while longer til I'm feeling motivated by it again. I don't really like to allow my projects to hibernate for any length of time. Don't like having unfinished projects (unless I am actively working on them of course). Anyway, I'm just not sure what to do with this one. To make matters worse I can't remember which size needles I was using. Pretty sure it was 5's, but I'm just not positive.
My husband's aunt asked me to make her a Wool Peddler's Shawl (from Folk Shawls). I've made this shawl twice before, once for my mom, and once for my mother in law. So Pete's aunt (my MIL's sister) would like the exact same shawl, same yarn & everything as the one I made for my MIL. I offered up some other colors, and other patterns, but she wants one identical to her sister. Pretty funny. So I ordered the yarn - Knitpicks Andean Treasure (which is a dream to knit with by the way) and will start on that when it arrives. It's a super easy pattern; it was my first shawl and my first lace, but much of it is garter stitch, so that gets a little tiresome. Still, I love knitting with that yarn so much, I think I will enjoy working on it. Here's my mother-in-law with her shawl.

Today begins my weekend, so hurray for that! I am suddenly in the mood for some vegetable gardening, just about 5 months too late. Doh! I am thinking about trying to grow some winter veggies this year, but it'll have to be in containers because I'm definitely not motivated to traipse through the muddy yard once the rains start. So I may see if I can find some suitable veggie boxes or pots this weekend. Fun.

Oh, and one more thing... I just discovered this knitting/crochet show that's happening next weekend in Oakland. Doesn't that look like a fun way to spend a day & a little cash?!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Baby Baseball Tee

I finished another baby knit. Those tiny items sure are fast and satisfying.

Pattern: Babe Baseball Tee from Knit 2 Together
Yarn: TLC Cotton Plus, 1 ball each, yellow and light blue
Needles: Knitpicks Options US size 6 & 4

Comments: This was a quick, easy knit. It had more seaming than I thought necessary, but I really like the end result. The yarn and needles I used were both a bit bigger than those recommended so the whole thing is a wee bit bigger, but that's fine; baby's grow fast.

I'm having a great time with Ravelry, but I have only entered a few projects, yarns, books, etc. so far. I'm going to have to spend some serious time with it one day soon to get my projects up to date. I can see that it's going to be a valuable resource for me though. I love being able to see other people's projects and read about their experiences knitting them. What a brilliant website it is!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm in!

I got my Ravelry invite! Wooohoo! They must have made some huge progress, because just a couple days ago there were 15,000 people in line ahead of me. I'm psyched. My Ravelry username is Smeelia. (Cecilia was taken.) I've done nothing with it yet though and probably won't until next week. I'm excited to be in though.

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Look

I decided to give my blog a bit of a makeover. I realized that I find other people's blogs easiest to look at when they have a plain white background, and san serif fonts. So why on earth would I not use that look for my own blog?!

I found myself in a decluttering mood this morning, and I started going through boxes in the garage. There is lots of stuff out there that we just never found a place for when we moved. So I did a lot of tossing of things that had no sentimental value, and no apparent place in our home, recycling and consolidating other stuff. I was able to get rid of two large boxes, with one more almost ready to be tossed. That's satisfying work!

Tomorrow we're heading out to attend a family wedding. So of course now is when I should be checking to see that I have something suitable to wear. But I like to live dangerously, so I think I'm just going to wing it. Hope I don't regret that decision.

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


My back has been really bothering me lately, just aching all the time. I decided it might be because I've become such a sloth recently*, for a variety of reasons (aka, excuses). I have terrible posture, and I mostly just slouch at my desk all day, and then go home and slouch on the sofa. Slothy Celia. So I thought, maybe I need to be a little more active, and maybe I should even try to find some exercises that will specifically strengthen my back and abdominals. So last night I popped in my "Firm and Burn Pilates" DVD. It's really more aerobics than pilates, but it uses some pilates principles and moves (or so it says) so it does tend to focus on "the core" (mid-section, abs, back, etc.). I like this workout - not too bouncy or jumpy, but definitely challenging, especially to sloths like me. So today my back might be feeling the teensiest bit better, but the rest of me is aching from using some long out of practice muscles. My thighs and butt are especially sore. I guess it's a good kind of sore, but that's a little hard to distinguish from a regular ol' back ache. I almost called my chiropractor today, but I think I'll tough it out for another day or two, and keep exercising my core, and maybe the rest of me too. I really ought to try some yoga. That would probably be just the thing. And, for other reasons, I will be starting acupuncture next week. How exciting for me, no?

Check out this picture of a big ol' bee hive/nest spotted while hiking last weekend.
Ain't that somethin'? It was just hanging there about 7 or 8 feet from the trail. Zillions of big black bees flying in and out. And it's huge! Probably at least 2 feet wide. Doesn't it have a beautiful finish on it.

*To clarify, I'm not always a sloth. Normally I get quite a bit of exercise, usually in the form of walking, but this has been a particularly slothy summer for me. And ask me if I care if "slothy" isn't a "real" word!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Next Up

I struggled for a bit about what project to start next. I enjoyed working on that Pea Pod Baby Set; it was the perfect balance of interesting lace and a quick, fairly easy knit. So I leafed through some books and found this sporty baby ensemble in my new Knit 2 Together book:

I started on this immediately, and it's moving right along. As I said before, I do love the baby knits. They're so quick and safisfying. I don't even have any babies to knit for at the moment, but I'm sure some will come along soon, and I will be good and ready. Because this sweater is pretty much all stockinette, I'm using it as an opportunity to practice purling continental. I am very comfortable with the continental knit stitch, but I still really struggle with the purl. I'm getting better at it, but still have issues with keeping a consistent guage. Soon I will have it mastered though.

We bought ourselves a Prius on Saturday. They're not the sleekest looking vehicles, but it is fun to drive and it has some really nice features, not the least of which is the amazing gas mileage. Here's our fancy charcoal gray model.

Today we decided we needed to take that baby out on the road, so we went for a drive through Napa County. The city of Napa seemed pretty darn quiet at noon on a Sunday so we just did a drive through. We stopped for lunch in Yountville, and then on to St. Helena for some walking around. Turns out they have a very nice yarn store in St. Helena, with a very helpful and friendly owner, and a beautiful selection of yarn. And, lucky for me, they were having a huge sale. Lots of their yarn was 40% off. Woohoo. Score! So I picked up a few items...

Some Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette to make this "Lacy Hug Me Tight" from Knit 2 Together. The pattern calls for Blue Sky Alpaca Silk, which, as it turns out was also 40% off. I'm kicking myself now for not getting some. But I think this yarn will also be lovely.

A ball of pink Rowan Calmer to make a Shedir hat. I never see the Calmer on sale. So I'm very pleased to have scored a ball for 40% off.

And 5 balls of Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine, which is a lovely, soft light worsted/dk weight cotton . I don't know what I'll make with this, but I was thinking some sort of summery tank or tee. I'm open to suggestions.
Oh how I wish my turn would come up at Ravelry. I'm thinking that will help me answer my what should I do with this yarn questions in the future. But for now there are still 16,048 people in line ahead of me, so I will be patient and try to figure it out on my own.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Prius and the Pea Pod

The Pea Pod Baby set is done! Well, all except the buttons that is. Oh my goodness what a cute little sweater/hat set this is. I love it!

Pattern: Pea Pod Baby Set, free from Interweave Knits
Yarn: Lion Brand Microspun, color: Leaf
Needles: Knitpicks Options, size 5

I don't know how well this yarn will wash and wear, but it sure knit up beautifully and it is sooooo soft. I'm very pleased with it. The pattern was interesting and knit up pretty quick, as baby knits usually do. I'm quite pleased with it.

Now I must admit that I'm at a bit of a loss about what to start next. I was thinking about starting a pair of Hedera socks, in a sort of denim blue color. Or some Monkeys out of Collinette Jitterbug in a bright blue variegated yarn. I think I'll wind that this evening and see how I feel about it. I am also thinking about returning to the Mystery Stole, aka Swan Lake Stole.

So we're preparing to buy a new car. Probably a Prius. We've tried out the Civic Hybrid and the Prius. Nothing else even comes close in terms of fuel efficiency. So probably this weekend we'll become the proud owners of a brand new car.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sweet Pea

Oh darling baby knits, how you charm me. I've been wanting to knit the Pea Pod Baby Set from the day I first saw it. Now I'm finally working on it and I love it. The color is not right in this picture - it's a little more olivey, and not so dark. I'll try to better capture the color when it's done. I'm starting to feel more inspired about starting new projects. I'm still stuck about the mystery stole. Just letting that one marinate in the basket til I decide what to do with it. But I'm looking forward to starting something new too - maybe a sweater for me. It's hard to think about starting on some wool knitting right now, since it's almost 100 degrees, but soon it'll be time for that.

I just ordered Knit 2 Together, by Tracy Ullman & Mel Clarke from Amazon just because it was on sale so cheap. $5.50! How could I not give it a try? The thing is that I never knit anything out of the books that I already have. I'm just not a very prolific knitter I guess. I mean, I've done a few shawls out of Folk Shawls, and socks out of Favorite Socks and Sensational Knitted Socks. But I've been meaning to do a sweater out of Knitting Nature but haven't got around to it. I won Domikitrix in a drawing from Craftsanity, but haven't seriously searched through it for something fun to knit. Heck, I'd love to knit something from Interweave Knits, but it's like I'm the slowest knitter in the world or something. I guess I'm feeling a little guilty for accumulating knitting books (and magazines) and not knitting anything out of them. And frustrated that I'm not producing more beautiful knitted items. But what the heck...I'm working on it at my leisure, right. I'm trying to create more balance in my life - spending time exercising, reading, etc. which might otherwise be all knitting time. So it's all good, right?

Friday, August 24, 2007


I don't care what you say, these booties are about the sweetest thing ever for tiny feet. And they knit up as fast as can be. I'll for sure be making more of these. They are the perfect quick little baby gift.

Pattern: Saartje's Booties (free download!)
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential in Pumpkin and Trekking XXL, color #110
Needles: Knitpicks Circulars size 1
Comments: This pattern is seriously brilliant!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Look I finally have something knitted to show you! I am so very pleased with myself for completing a project (even if it is just socks), and I am so excited about my beautiful new socks.

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks from Favorite Socks
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential in Grass
Needles: Knitpicks circular (magic loop), size 2 for the cuff and first repeat, size 1 for the rest
I loved this pattern. I really liked the 16 stitch, 16 row repeats. It made the socks really zip along. The toe is crazy and fascinating, and I do kinda like it. I will definitely make this pattern again. I think they are so pretty!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The deep blue sea

I do still knit. Just so you know. I have been in a bit of a slump for sure, but I haven't given it up or anything. Maybe I'll even have some FO pictures soon. I'm totally stuck on the Mystery Stole. I'm not loving the whole wing thing. And I'm not so inspired to start a second identical half and graft just now. So I set it aside. I'm working on some super fun socks. Then maybe I'll start on some baby stuff. Gotta love the speed of baby knitting.

Last Sunday, we took a drive to the coast which was so beautiful and peaceful and healing. Iam sometimes just shocked and amazed at how spectacular the Sonoma coast can be. There were waves of fog was just hugging the shore which made for perfect temperatures, and the sea was the most stunning blue.