Friday, December 31, 2010

Some Vest Progress

The right front is done, now I'm working my way up the left.

The armholes look huge, but the ribbing will fill them in a little. I think I'll use the same motif that is bordering the front openings. Still haven't decided on neckline treatment.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Want the Book This Picture Comes From

I don't care if it's in Estonian.

A chart is a chart, right? Now I just have to track down a copy. Found a source, but no online ordering, so now I have to wait until morning to call. Fingers crossed that the last copy is not gone. Serious book lust here......

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to the Vest

With the mittens and mystery Christmas gift done, I've gone back to work on the grey vest. Just a couple more inches to do on the back, and then I can start the fronts.

The back motif is looking a little blobby. Oh well, I'll be wearing this under a shirt most of the time.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Super Fun Present

From my great sister, of course. I love office supplies/paper goods; and I love knitting. So what could be better?

A pencil case, pencils, note cards, magnetic memo pad and notebook - all with knitting motifs! (There's a roll of wrapping paper, too, it just didn't fit well in the picture.)

Close up of pencils - too cute!

Thanks Annie-Pazoo! I'm off to sharpen me some pencils.....

Sunday, December 26, 2010


WHEN icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-whit! tu-whoo! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all around the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl—
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-whit! tu-whoo! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

William Shakespeare
From Love's Labours Lost, Act V. Sc. II

ETA rather nice commentary on the poem here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Bright Mittens are Done

I've washed them now. They should be dry in a day or two, then off in the mail to my niece.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Toys for Tots

The economy has been rough, and lots of kids are facing a kind of bleak Christmas. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve "Toys for Tots" program is a wonderful way to help, not just "tots", but schoolchildren and teens, too.

If shopping time is getting a little short, it's possible to donate to the program online (with either a credit card or via Paypal). Even a few dollars will make a difference, and over 96% goes directly to providing gifts - one of the best ratios of any nonprofit.

So here's the link: Toys for Tots. Send a salute to the Marines for all they do.

From the Annals of Weird Knitting

H/T to Roger Ebert

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Really Go For the Lunch

I got up this morning and made up a pan of brownies for the Blood Drive. In the early afternoon I carried them up to the High School, and of course stayed to give blood. Since I got there right when they opened up, the lines went pretty quickly, and it didn't take long to get to the good part.

Once you have given blood, you must have something to eat and drink, because they don't want anyone fainting on the way out. The same group of women have been staffing the canteen for years. They always have two kinds of sandwiches (egg salad and ham salad) and trays and trays of home baked cookies and bars. The ham salad is my favorite. The peanut butter rice crispy bars with chocolate on top are my favorites. Needless to say, I had both.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Here It Comes

There have been reports of a big storm headed our way. When I got up this morning it was clear (by the ice that needed to be chipped from the car windows) that we had freezing rain in the wee hours. By the time I left work at noon the temperature was above freezing and the snow was rapidly melting. That held for a couple of hours, but just now I looked out the window to see this.

Big, fat, thick, wet flakes of snow. I'm lucky. If need be I can stay in for the rest of the weekend. Should be a good time to get some more work done on the niece's mittens.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Simple Gift

I'm afraid that the grey vest has been hibernating - no progress to show there. I did just finish off a smallish Christmas gift.

No, I won't say what it is - though I will say it is more functional than fashionable, and it is not a mitten cuff.

Now I should cast on for a pair of mittens requested by my niece. These won't be for Christmas, so I can mention them without qualm.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Winter is Here

The first snowfall of the year was a big one.

We had set out early in the morning to pick up my Mom for a trip to Illinois to see my niece dance in her ballet school's production of The Nutcracker. Very snowy roads with more still falling, and alas by the time we got to the city we realized it was unlikely we could make the performance in time, as the storm would be barely ahead of us all the way. With reluctance, we cancelled. We made the best of a disappointing situation by going to breakfast at The Original Pancake House on University Ave.

Back home again, I amused myself with paper and scissors.

This little bird comes from the Christmas page at, a fun and free website for children of any age.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Front Row Seat

I woke up yesterday to the sound of hammers against wood. A young couple have been renovating the house next door, so I assumed that was the source. But a look out the window showed no one there. Curious, I went into the study and discovered the work was all at the house behind us, and that sitting in the chair for the computer desk gave me a nearly eye level view of the action.

At first I couldn't figure out why they were laying down that grid of two by fours.

Then I realized they weren't just putting on new shingles. The boards are the foundation for a steel roof. It's been fun watching the action, and that roof is going to be really nice.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You Know You're a Knitter When

Your first reaction is, "Wait, is that the Five Hour Baby Sweater?"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

We Had a Lovely Thanksgiving

Sixteen people at the table, and I'm grateful for every one of them. Don't know how we all squeezed in, but we did. "Where there's heart room, there's house room."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not Bad, For the Price

The replacement needles that it turns out I didn't really need have arrived. For $2.99 per set, they aren't bad. The finish isn't glassy, but it's smooth enough. The points are a little blunt for my taste, but workable. In other words, they aren't Crystal Palace, but they will do. Why so many? Well I (thought) I needed to replace 2 sets of #2s, and decided it would be nice to have some 6" size 5's, because my current ones are 7". And by that time I was within spitting range of free shipping, so decided I might as well order a couple more sets as pay the postage. Hey, I might run into someone who needs them.

The grey vest has progressed past the division for the armholes and I'm working on the back. I'm doing a motif thingy in the middle that right now looks pretty much like a blob. I think it will look better when more of it is done, or when it's all done and blocked. Hope springs eternal.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Of Course

My size 2 double points showed up the day after I ordered replacements. There they were, staring at me from a spot I thought I had looked in, but obviously hadn't. It's enough to make you believe in pixies. I don't mind too much. The replacements were very inexpensive, from an online dealer I had been wanting to try (because the price seemed to good to be true). I expect they will arrive in about a week. It will be interesting to see what the quality is like.

In the meantime, the grey vest progresses.

I'm within a couple of inches of the point where I will divide for the armholes.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Totally Missing

I know that I have (or had) at least two sets of 6" size 2 double pointed needles. I cannot find them anywhere. Anywhere! So I have given in and ordered replacements. I am sure that the originals will turn up the day that the package arrives.

A while back, I spent some time swatching and charting and re-swatching and came up with a cable combination I liked. At the time, I thought it would be cute on the bodice of a little girl's dress. But the swatch sat and sat and I did nothing with it beyond that.

I finally realized I really wasn't interested in knitting enough stockinette for the skirt, just to get to the fun part at the top.

So I'm putting the cable chart here, just in case anyone wants to use it for anything else. Of course, it's too teeny to really read on this page, but if you right click and open in a new tab it will be somewhat larger. If you then right click on the larger chart and choose "copy", open a new document in Word and hit "paste" you can save it. (At least, all of that has worked for me in Preview).

Note: The swatch only has two vertical repeats instead of three, and I ended with garter instead of the ribbing shown on the chart.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Little Progress

I'm moving along slowly, but moving all the same, on the grey vest. It's cardigan style, but I'm working in one piece to the armholes. Why sew more seams than you absolutely have to?

I've added a little detail to the front opening edges, just to add some interest to all the plain Jane stockinette.

I have a vague notion of adding some sort of pattern stitch to the upper back. Still have plenty of time to ponder that. There are at least 9 inches to go before I even get to the armholes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It was a wet weekend

which was good, as we needed the rain. The first part of the month was gloriously sunny, but dry. It gave the farmers time to harvest a bumper crop of corn (so large they are running out of storage space in this area). Now the earth was ready for a good slow soaking.

I finished off a hat that had been sitting half done through all the sunny weather.

The picture color is actually prettier than the real thing, which is more plum. It's the Burning Love hat, with some slight changes to the top decrease section. The pattern is written and has been tested, now it's off to the tech editor.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Amazing Lace, but not fiber

I love this woman's work. Check out Cal Lane and her works.

Hat tip to Steve at What do I Know?

Updated to add my favorite headline of the week: UK Lawmaker's Wife Accused of Kitten Theft

Monday, October 18, 2010

From the Depths

This yarn has been sitting in the stash a loooooong time. Like pushing 20 years long.

It's a tweedy grey, fairly fine gauge Shetland wool, pretty colors but a bit scratchy. If I recall correctly, it came to me as part of a mixed lot of coned Shetland mill ends. At some point in the past I wound it into balls, holding two strands together.

I finally got around to swatching it. It softened a little with washing, but not much. Still, I think it might make a good vest, nothing fancy, just something to give an extra layer of warmth.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


There was an auction in the park today, a benefit for our pool, which needs some pretty extensive and expensive renovations to come up to new state and federal codes. It's a beautiful fall day, so I strolled on down.

There was a nice turn out,

and lots of stuff to buy

I don't really need more stuff, but I enjoyed walking around, and visiting with neighbors. To support the cause, I had a brat (and tossed a little something in the donation can.)

On my way home, I took pictures of the kind of things I like taking pictures of.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

All But the Loose Ends

The thick knee socks are essentially done, and I can finish those ends off tonight at knit group. So what to start in on next? I'm kind of at a loss. Maybe it's time to go stash diving.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I had a group of folks from the Free Pattern Testers group on Ravelry testing out my directions for the Burning Love Hat. I got lots of helpful feedback: a few errors caught, some suggestions for improvement in the format, information on sizing/fit. So that's all good. But now I have to sit down and make the actual revisions.......and I've been having a hard time forcing myself to do that.

Coming up with design ideas is fun. Working the initial sample is fun. Actually writing it all down as clearly and accurately as possible, not so much.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Walking With Merlin Takes Patience

Because it involves a great deal of sniffing,

and some tunneling,

several dust rolls,

and time for contemplation.

These are some of the other things I saw while waiting for him to move along.