Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to FO I Go!

Can it be? Real live knitting FO’s! I am finally getting around to blocking the Here and There Cables Scarf from Scarf Style and the Hand Towel from Mason-Dixon. On Monday I found my foam blocks in a box and now I finally have enough empty floor space for blocking.


Here and There Cables Scarf

Yarn: Highland Wool from Elann in color 3681 (I think it was called Carmine Pink or Candy Cane Pink). This yarn is so soft and easy to work with. I used 6 skeins at 109 yards each.
Needles: Size 8 “Denise’s. It was a little tight on this size but it made the scarf nice and dense so it will hold shape during blocking.
Pattern: Scarf Style by Interweave

This was such an easy pattern! It is a 7 row repeat with the cable on the 7th row. The cable is done on each side so that the scarf is reversible! This is a gift for a 16-year-old girl but I wanted something that even her mom would feel comfortable grabbing on a cold day.

An Up Close of the scarf

Hand Towel
Yarn: Euroflax Originals in a chocolate brown. The label says the color is 18-2444-5.
Needles: Size 3 bamboo. Pattern calls for a size 5 but it was too loose for me.
Pattern: Moss Grid Hand Towel from Mason-Dixon Knitting

Up Close of the pattern.

This pattern sucked! It called for 12 repeats but I only made it through 10 before throwing in the towel – pun intended! The pattern just didn’t mesh to me. Usually you can see the pattern emerging after a repeat but I could never fully see it. This is going to be a gift for MIL and I pray she doesn’t ask for a second one. The yarn was really rough and it split like crazy. Now I am sick because I paid so much for it.

Noro Shrug done in Highland Wool. I had to frog about 11 rows because somehow I ended up with the back being 31” across instead of the 28” they called for. I was afraid that 28” would be too small over a long sleeved shirt so I compromised and made it 29”.

A toddler sweater from Mac & Me. It is a cute hoodie that calls for Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted. I am using Only Stretch worsted because it is machine washable! I would make a toddler hand wash sweater for myself but not as a gift. This is going to be for our birthmother’s daughter, who is 3. It should be nice and snuggly for a Nebraska winter.

Tonight I am going to start a Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon. I realized that I do not have any sweaters for a 0-3 month size so the little kimono will be perfect. Strange that most patterns or store bought sweaters only start in the 3-6 month size. I guess the figure those babies younger than that don’t go out of the house!

Speaking of the house – it is coming together. I am taking today off from unpacking in hopes that it will make me a less tired, happier wife. I plan to spend the afternoon knitting, working on my blog and watching my Netfilx of the Office Season 2 – I have laughed so hard my stomach hurts!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Home Again

Finally, a home! We moved in on Friday and painted like madmen over the weekend. Our furniture was delivered on Monday and on Tuesday we drove the three hours to D.C. to pick up Baxter (YAY!). The house is a total wreck coming together nicely. Box after box has me wondering how we have accumulated so much stuff even though I regularly haul stuff to Goodwill. I live with Mr. Gadget and Mr. Pack Rat! I have put a moratorium on gadgets and batteries. But, this is the kicker…when we got married Big Boy’s aunt sent us a pottery bowl that had our names and wedding date on it with some trees. It is done in greens and blues. It is supposed to hang on the wall! It was ugly 10 years and 4 states ago and it is still ugly. Today I found it in a box (but I still haven’t found all of the towels!) and once again it survived a move. I asked permission to throw it away and was given a very dirty look. Aunt and Uncle are never coming to visit and MIL has never asked about it. I finally told him that if he wanted to keep it, it would have to go in the garage. The colors have faded and it has some sort of sticky stuff on the surface but he insists on keeping it.

No move is complete without disaster. When the guy hooked up our washer he didn’t tighten the hoses correctly. I filled the washer and walked away. Soon I heard a noise that didn’t sound like a washing machine but like Niagra Falls. Water gushing everywhere and no towels to be found. Big Boy was outside meeting a neighbor when I ran out and said in a crazed voice “sorry to interrupt but the washer just exploded”. Now, this would not have been a big deal if all my boxes had been correctly marked. The box that said bathroom linens actually had stuff from my cedar chest. The box of towels that normally go in the laundry room (for dogs and disasters) was in my bedroom. I think the rest of my towels may be in the guest bedroom. Needless to say, I haven’t found the yarn either.

Now we just need to get our fence installed and we will be set. Right now the dogs go out on tie outs and can’t really play without strangling each other. And, Calvin has no way to escape his sister!

I am looking forward to cooking again. I actually like to cook. I love cooking big, gourmet meals. I love trying new recipes. People love having us over because I usually bring some delicious dish (no, I have never made Schweatty Balls). I just don’t have a whole lot of time to make the gourmet meals and frankly, I despise grocery shopping. During our weeks of camping out I have started watching Rachael Ray on Food Network. Oh, she has some fantastic recipes that only take 30 minutes! BE STILL MY HEART! They are even easy enough that Big Boy could make them. He also likes to cook but is challenged in the multi-tasking department so we either get a main dish or a side, but not both.

We have had some good news this week. Our birthmother’s mother works for an attorney and she has offered to handle the Nebraska paperwork for free! This will save us about $2000!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Quirky Meme

Thank you to Knitty McPurlypants for this meme. In pondering my quirks I have started to realize that I’m just not normal! I asked DH for help with this meme but he opted to plead the 5th.

Quirk- __–noun 1. A peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism.

1. I shake my legs in bed at night to help me fall asleep. Actually, it is less of a shake and more of a rock. I started this when I had a waterbed.
2. I bounce my foot up and down when I have my legs crossed.
3. I put the spices in alphabetical order. The rest of the pantry is categorized by food group.
4. My closet is organized by clothing type – dress sweaters, long sleeved dress shirts, suit jackets, pants, skirts, things that need ironing, shorts, t-shirts, casual pants.
5. I follow a specific order in the shower and when I get dressed in the mornings. Damned be the person who makes me change it around!
6. I cut all of my food into very small pieces. I choke easily so I cut up my food like a little kid. I can’t swallow pills so they get chewed or crushed.

If you would like to play along, consider yourself tagged.

The Here and There Cables scarf is done! I think it is going to be super cute on a 16-year-old girl. Actually, I like the pattern so much that I might make one for myself out of a lighter weight yarn – baby cashmere maybe? Now I am working on a baby hat that is supposed to fit a 6-9 month old but looks more like it will fit a 6-9 year old instead!

A knitting related question – why do so many yarns have knots in the skein? I found three knots in a very small skein of Baby Cashmerino and I have lost count of the knots in the Highland Wool I am using for a shrug. At one point I thought it was just in the less expensive yarns but then I started finding it in expensive skeins. It is very frustrating!

This morning I did a little LYS scouting. I hit Ewe Knits Kits & Yarn, Hook & I, and the Yarn Basket. Ewe Knits had the best selection and customer service. The lady working made a point of showing me the new stuff and telling me about their upcoming events. They also had yarns from local spinners and they had some unusual yarns I had never heard of. I would definitely make the trip down to their store again. The best part, they knew their product and they knew all the hip stuff out right now; something one would never get at Yarn Barn (and a thank you to my favorite kilt-wearing knitter for setting up their website). I still love Hill Country Weavers best and will miss them.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

T is also for Tacos

I am going through serious withdrawal! I miss my Bill Miller Potato and Egg Tacos! No one here has breakfast tacos. I am thrilled to get decent bagels again but… I guess I will just have to figure out how to make them myself; however, the tortillas here are different. I can only find the prepackaged kind from Mission or Ortega. They just can’t compete with the fresh & hot HEB. Ok, I am starting to drool so I should change the subject.

There is a problem with my Krista T. Actually, the problem may be the yarn. It smells. The first time I wore it I kept smelling something weird and finally figured out it was me! It smelled like B.O. When I took it off I gave myself a good smelling and I didn’t stink! The smell is in the shirt. Seriously, I don’t smell like that after an hour at the gym so I know I didn’t work up a sweat sitting around the cabin. So, the big question is, how on earth did my T develop a smell? When I washed it I did so by hand with a little Woolite and then I laid it on a clean towel on the bed. Later on I moved it outside to dry. Could it have picked up a smell from the towel or the bedding? I need to rewash it but I think I will wait until I have my own towels for drying and can spread it out on the foam blocks or kitchen table. Maybe that will help?

Kid n Ewe is coming up next month and I’m going to miss it. Last year was really small but our little group had a great time. We spent quite a bit of time fondling the Brooks Farm Yarns. After we had lunch at El Chaparral (I’m starting to drool again). This year they are going to get together with a group of bloggers from Houston – the same group we lunched with after Yarn Harlot. I had contemplated going to the Fall Fiber Festival of Virginia but I just can’t spend any money right now and if I go, I want to SHOP!

Oh well, I will just hole up in my tortilla free, stash free cabin and knit with what I have.

Friday, October 06, 2006

T is for T-shirt and Thunder

Can you believe it? Finally, a finished object! This is the Krista T from White Lies Designs. Details:

Pattern: White Lies Designs
Yarn: Sonata from Elann in white
Needles: Sizes 6 and 5
Gauge: 17 stitches per 4”.
Notes: The pattern calls for a gauge of 16 stitches per 4” for the size 38”. I found a blog where the person made it in a gauge of 17 stitches in order to get a size 36”. I followed those directions but I wish I had gone up a needle size for the sleeves. The sleeves are a little snug. The sleeves are set-in and come up really high on the shoulder – that part I don’t really care for. Also, the T tends to roll in at the bind off on the chest and the inner part of the shoulders. I’m not sure how to fix this since the yarn can’t be ironed. I may try the steam portion of my iron but it won’t be until my stuff is unpacked. I don’t want to ruin the top with the crappy iron we have here in our cabin. You can't really see the curling in the photo.

Last night we had a thunderstorm. Actually, I didn't know it was thundering until I was nearly suffocated. First, let me mention that we are still in temporary housing and we only have a double bed, which barely holds Big Boy and I. Normally Calvin and Annabelle sleep in the living area or the hallway outside our room. At five this morning I was rudely awakened by Annabelle jumping on the bed and crawling in between us. Next thing I know Calvin is climbing up to sleep in that one-inch space left between the floor and me. Poor Big Boy was shoved up against the air conditioner and all I could do was laugh! Then, the panting started! Big Boy decided that he should take Calvin into the other bedroom but this was easier said than done because it meant he had to climb over Annabelle, me and Calvin to get out. Poor Annabelle. She didn't like having us in separate rooms so she ran back and forth panting. About six I got her up on the bed with me hoping she would go to sleep but that hope was dashed when she sat on me and stared out the window at the lightning (the windows do not have blinds). The funny thing, it really was just raining; there was hardly any thunder or lightning. The harder it rained, the harder she panted! We finally decided to give her one of her happy pills but the rain stopped by the time the drug took affect.

Has anyone out there made a mosaic? I have two bags of seashells that I would love to turn into a table top but I have no idea how. I think they would also be cute on a picture frame.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Our little cabin

Speaking of the cabin… here are photos of our little abode. This is the front porch…

This is the kitchen, viewed from the living room…

This is the living room viewed from the kitchen…

This is the bedroom. See how the door is in the way? Well, that is because it won’t open any farther because the bed is in the way… Big Boy has to climb over me to get to his side of the bed. Not that he minds:-)

This is the shower… See the washcloth on the top? Well, that is the showerhead! Yep, the shower is just that small. It is impossible to wash my hair without banging my elbows. I have to stand outside the shower to shave my legs. Needless to say, I’m not doing it that often.

Calvin is enjoying the cooler weather and lying outside after dark. We usually have to drag him inside at night. He has made enemies with a frog. He thought it was all fun and games until he got froggy’s poison in his mouth causing him to foam for about 10 minutes. Now he is out for revenge!

In other knitting news…I am so over the hand towel from M-D! I have managed 10 repeats and am calling it quits. The pattern calls for 12 repeats but I just don’t think I can handle that! The yarn is so hard to work with and I find the pattern boring. I really hope it softens with washing! You won't be getting a photo because the yarn is dark and would not show up well - besides, you can't really see the pattern.

The Noro shrug is coming along. I should be finished in time for winter. The yarn is so great to work with and the pattern is so easy to memorize. The yarn is Elann’s highland wool and it is so soft and stretchy.

Here and There Cables Scarf is nearly done. I think I have one skein of yarn to go. I do wish I had used a larger needle but what’s done is done. Hopefully the smaller needle and gauge will mean it will hold the cable shaping well.

I recently started a hat in Baby Cashmerino. This yarn is pure YUM! It reminds me of Barkarole. It is so dreamy to work with. The pattern is from the Baby Cashmerino book. I have changed it up a little. It is supposed to be in moss stitch, including the cables. Well, I didn’t like the way the cables looked so I frogged and am redoing it with the cables in stockinet instead.

The Krista T is completed and I have photos but I forgot to download them. I will post about it later but let's just say, there is a strange smell and I don't think it is me!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Embarrassing Moments

Let’s face it; no woman wants to admit that her jeans are too small. And, sometimes Mother Nature has to step in and help out. That is what happened to me this week. First, we were chased by a loose dog and in my attempt to get my dogs away I tripped and tore the knee out of my jeans. Today I headed to the AC Moore and told DH that one of these days I would have to look for some new jeans because I was left with one pair that fit and one pair that were (waaaay too tight) almost didn’t fit anymore. I spotted a TJ Maxx and swung in to look at jeans and baby stuff. Well, as I entered the dressing room I spotted something in the mirror – my striped Vickie’s Secrets were no longer a secret. Yep, that little snag near the back pocket had opened up for the whole world to see. I tried on seven pairs of jeans only to get more depressed with each tossed aside pair. UGH! They were either too low, too wide in the leg, too short, too expensive or too bling. Sometimes all of it in the same pair! Tomorrow I will drive to the Exchange to see if I can get my favorite pair in a ginormous, um I mean, larger size.

AC Moore was quite cool. At first I was totally unimpressed thinking that it was kind of old and dirty. Then, I got to the yarn area. It was still old and dirty but with fantastic yarn! Not only did they have the usual craft store selections but they also had a couple of LYS brands, like Katia (and another I can’t remember). They also had some cashmere for $4 a ball! I resisted because it was a little bulkier than I am used to but I may have to cave. They had a great alpaca for $5 for 75 yards. It too was a bulky weight.

We checked out the Neptune festival on Saturday. I think I hit every booth on the 3-mile boardwalk. I didn’t buy anything except my funnel cake! They had a little parade and we stopped to watch part of it but we are really spoiled from Fiesta. After you have seen drag queens on a fire engine and belly dancers that should have quit 50 years and 50 pounds ago, no parade will ever match up!

I came across these hand made needles. The gentleman who manned the booth was not happy about my photo taking. Apparently he tried to ask me what the photo was for but I didn’t hear him. Big Boy said he asked twice in the time it took me to turn on the camera and snap the photo. I told him it was to show a friend. As I explained to Big Boy, many people make their own needles so his are not exactly unique. Heck, people are making them with dowels from Michael’s and a pencil sharpener.

The coolest thing was the sandcastle contest. This is the big one…

Then, they had the smaller ones…

This is my favorite, the mourning angel.

There were a lot more sculptures but the photos didn't turn out so great.