Sunday, December 23, 2007

I've done it!

well.. nearly! I'm pretty damn close... I have about an hours worth of work on dad's arm warmers than I'm completely done for the Christmas day stuff! I have also finished 1 of the needed socks for our trip to Seattle.

I'm very proud of myself, and I will be knitting a nice par of socks for ME as soon as all this is over!

Friday, December 21, 2007

knitting along...

So, I'm not done, but I may still make it! The key here is disjointed holiday gatherings. I only need 5 things done for the actual Christmas day. 2 of which are completely finished, 1 that is 75% done, 1 50% done and 1 not started (But is a quick knit and could be abandoned if needed). Then I have rthe trip to Seattle where 6 presents are needed. 2 could be put off until returned home. 2 are finished (stretching a point for a couple little heels....) and 2 are started and each is 25% done. and one gift for sunday which is finished.

So thats 12 presents, 5 finished, 4 started and 3 not yet started.

Wish me luck! I've got to get back to the knitting. If I finish things I'll attempt to take pictures!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Everything Started....

I believe I have started all my major knitting for christmas. I just haven't finished much! There are two pair of socks which haven't been cast on yet. But I've picked the yarn... that counts as starting, right?
Here's the fast picture montage, because I obviously need to get back to knitting! Less than 10 knitting days left!

Here are those stripy socks almost done.

Here is a binary hat with binary initials. I'm just closing in the top.

OH Shit. Here is the pile of stuff I'm still working on!

No more blogging! I need to knit!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sweater Pictures

You asked. I comply.
My first sweater for ME! Finished!

Pictures taken at a holiday party last night (I wanted to wear the sweater at the party so much that I brought it with me and knit the sleeves during the party!

Everyone seemed a little too plastered to take pictures of it for me so I used their big bathroom mirror....

I'm very happy with it, its very soft and warm and it FITS!
Pattern: anthropologie inspired capelet

Thursday, November 29, 2007

For me too

I've been knitting lots.
Lots and lots.
Socks and socks.
There's slippers,
And there's arm warmers,
And amazingly,
Even with all that all on the needles at once,

I'm knitting myself a sweater.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holiday Time!


I LOVE the holidays. I really love to give presents, I love all the yummy food and cozy houses.

But... Leading up to the holidays are crazy knitting times!
I'm totally broke right now so I'm knitting from the stash and trying to knit as many presents as I can this year.
So... Here's the list:
Dad - Arm warmers, CO 40, k2p2, size 8 needles, going for ~2 feet long
Bro1 - Socks, Limbo Mexico, CO 48, size 4 needles, short row heel to save time
Bro1's wife - thick socks with superwash mission falls

Bro2 - Pot Holders? Socks? Scarf? Haven't decided yet.
Mom- Pot holders? Socks? Gloves? Dunno...
Yaya - Socks or potholders.
In laws - Socks? Hats? Possibly fingerless gloves... Oh, and that skirt...
Uncle - Potholders

K - What do you knit for a man who spends his evening like this? A hard drive cozy?

Btw: Anyone need a 14.4 Kb modem?
There is one in that pile ---------------------------------->

For some reason we've been doing 'winter cleaning' lately. I cleaned my room at my mom's house, and found a bunch of old computer bits, which has somehow led to K being on the living room floor surrounded by his old computer parts cleaning out his own boxes. And threatening me with slow modems, IDE cables, and non-ergonomic mice. eeeek!

Well, back to knitting. 35 days to go.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Finshing to Starting

I finished mom's socks which I started about a year ago! I'm headed towards the finish-line on K's socks. I'm turning the heel on the 2nd pair. I really want to start a pair of socks for me (found awesome striping yarn...) and I need to make a couple of hats for christmas presents... and probably a couple pairs of socks.... Oh and a nice little capelet for me out of yarn I've been hording forever...

Oh wait. Maybe I should also finish all the stuff I started last year?
Here is a recap of what I was supposed to knit this past summer...

* 3 pairs of socks - Done!
* A shrug/small sweater. One that flatters/hides the cleavage, possible in alpaca. - Finally found pattern! See! still on track!
* City of Lost Children Sweater for K. - Waiting for yarn order.... Testing is pretty much done.
* Christmas Presents - A few pair of socks, finish a skirt I started last year -None of this is done yet. I still have high hopes for finishing that freaking skirt...
* Baby stuff for Chrishan- Totally done! she's due any day now!

Well, while I don't have a good track record of promptly finishing anything, I do seem to get things done eventually...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Striped Brioche Scarf

This pattern is cool because its ALL knit stitches! It knits up fast and the striping keeps it interesting. This pattern will work well for any sport to worsted weight yarn. I used Noro Silk Lite alternating 2 balls of the same colorway to get the striped effect. This could be done with any 2 balls of different colors too. Or don't stripe it at all.... :)

This is what I used, but the pattern will adapt to any yarn and needle size needed!
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Lite #2075- 2 balls 275 yards total for 6.5 ft scarf
Needles: Size 8US
Gauge: 3.5 stitches per inch in pattern

K1B = Knit one Below, or "Knit one through the stitch below the next stitch"
Click on Pictures to make them HUGE

Cast on a multiple of 2 stitches from Ball 1. I used 18 stitches.
Row 1: Knit
Rows 2-5: K2 *K1B K1*
Change Balls
Rows 6-9: *K1 K1B* K2
Change Balls

Repeat rows 2-9 until desired length.
Bind off.

-On the 6th and 10th rows the K1B of the previous row is worked K1B and the single K1 as K1 again (these are the rows directly after the ball/color changes).
-There are few enough rows between the color changes to run the 2nd color up the side. Just twist the 2 strands when you get to that side on rows when you aren't changing colors
- The K1B is done by putting your needle under the next stitch and knitting. Trust it! It works!
-To make a nicer edge you may consider slipping the 1st stitch of each row instead of knitting it, but it may be difficult to do on the color change side.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Knit both ways...

I'm not a toe up sock knitter. Never done it. May do it someday if I find a pattern I like...
But here I am, knitting up an ankle of a sock. "How did you manage that?" you ask. "Since you have never knitted from toe up and don't plan on knitting toe up any time soon?"

Easy... I un-picked, cut off, and picked up stitches on the cuff of K's socks. Shit.
Scared the life out of me but he wanted a couple more inchs on the leg so I threw in a life line just under my ribbing.

See it?

That white line was where my ribbed used to end. I am now knitting back up the other way. It seems to be working. I just need to figure out how to get the 2nd sock to match, because I suspect a bind off edge on ome sock and a cast on edge on the other will look/feel weird. I'm contemplating doing a provisional cast on on the 2nd sock and also knitting up after having knitted down and therefore having both have a bind off edge at the top while maintaining my 'top down' policy for the majority of the sock. Opinions?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Multiply some crazy

SO I spent 2.5 hours standing on a football field with 2000 students yesterday after we were evacuated because someone let off some undetermined gaseous irritant in one of the hallways. Bloody Freaking Hell.
I even had fairy wings on. More on the halloween costume another day....

I came home today to find This:

In my Living room!

Yep, its an antenna.
Yep, we do have cable.

K got a digital receiver thing, and he's testing the random selection of channels we can get, so now I get to watch all the weird alternative pbs channels.....

SO I started knitting some samplers of the future sweater for K. I finally found yarn I like, its New England Highland (or shetland, I haven't yet decided on the weight, scroll down for all the colors...).

So far so good. He seems to like it (or at least to think it looks like his old sweaters) I was amused by the ladies at the yarn shop. It went like this....

Me: I'm looking for yarn to knit my boyfriend a sweater, Do you have a knitted swatch of this fingering weight wool?
Yarn Store Lady: You would have to knit that yarn on no larger than size 2's and you would have to cast on something like 400 stitches. Maybe you should look at thicker yarn for this.
Me: But we live in California and he layers under his sweaters, and this looks just like the wool in his other sweaters....
YSL: But that is a lot of work for a boyfriend...
Me: (finally understanding) Well, We've been together over 12 years, so I think he can have a nice sweater now....
YSL: Oh! That's different!

Oddly enough I'm leaning towards using the thicker wool, but I bought both weights to knit sample of though. I'm still going to be knitting on 3's and 4's. At least he is not a big man!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cuties for the footies...

I'm going to a baby shower this weekend. And while I finished the Mitered baby blanket a couple months ago I felt like knitting some little things for her too... So I made a little hat and I found an adorable pattern for little baby booties. I'll put a picture of mine up soon (I'm still finishing) but check out the pattern here (links to a .pdf file!). They are SOOO cute! And they only take a little over an hour for me to knit one (I know this because I made one during a meeting yesterday!) I finished the scarf and I'll have the pattern up as soon as I can get some pictures taken. We really need a new camera...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm knitting a scarf the I don't hate

Scarves are not my thing. I have knitted only a few and I usually hate every minute of it and it takes me f....o...r....e...v...e...r to finish them. My last one was almost a year to finish and it was yarn I loved in a not too annoying pattern, but apparently it was not interesting enough on both accounts to keep me knitting on it. But... I may have found the secret to getting over my scarf block!
1. Noro.
2. A 'not garter' yet all Knit stitch pattern!

I have a funky old knitting dictionary (1963) with some interesting yet sometimes undecipherable stitches in it. I had resisted trying the "K1B" patterns for no other reason than I wasn't really sure how one properly does a "K1B" and their lame ass description just said you "Knit one through loop below next stitch" WTF?!? Well I finally tackle it, it IS really a "Knit one into the stitch below the next stitch".

So it was a small step from there to the 'Contrary Brioche Stitch" and this....

2 balls, same color Noro silk garden lite (my first noro...) worked alternating balls every 4 rows.
Nuf said. I WILL be making this scarf again. Full pattern to come soon.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stealth Knitting

I'm in stealth knitting mode. I'm trying not to do too much knitting while I have the extra class to teach. Too much to do... but I'm getting little knitting highs secretly late at night. I've started Kier's socks out of the Socks-that-Rock Black Onyx that I bought at Purlescence on the Peninsula. I'm actually using Size 0 needles! Crazy. I also have inherited another project, a scarf started by a new knitter for her daughter but never destined to be finished (knitting is not her thing...) This is the second time I've finished a garter stitch scarf for someone. Oh well, I don't really mind since I'd never start one on my own so finishing someone else's never seems as bad as doing a whole one on my own.
We'll have company this week so we've been cleaning house, including a yarn containment plan and a big bag of odd ball ends to donate at article pract. I've hidden the large project extra balls and the loose fibers in the bedroom but I've actually fit everything else (that I've found so far) into my knitting basket in the living room. So far so good, but I have to tackle the bedroom tomorrow, there should be some rule against having to clean on your birthday. Oh, and I still have to clean my car too.... bleah.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Just a quick word to those of you who plan on creating babies.... BREED NOW! I have been around too many people lately who have miscarried or have had genetic problems with their children. It isn't always an age factor, but it sucks to see someone have such difficulties. SO, Breed early and often... and I'll knit baby blankets....

Now.... to those of you who can't raise respectful children... DON'T BREED! I currently have no telephone in my classroom... why? Because someone stole it while I had a substitute yesterday. They also removed stuff from my cupboard, stole my good overhead pens (that I purchased myself), threw away homework papers, made a roll of paper towels disappear... among other things. Little shits. The sub will not be working at our school again. I haven't gotten the whole story yet but apparently she has a habit of LEAVING the classroom, so my little darlings (read: shits) may have been unattended for some time. I feel violated.

On the upside, apparently I'm the 'good' calculus teacher, because I'm actually keeping the correct pacing and assignments while the Junior College teacher fill-in for the other calculus class is 2 days behind, isn't giving the correct assignments and is a bit scatterbrained. I've had a couple of his students come in to ask about being behind and what they might be missing... much fun.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I finished my homework.

Strange day. I taught two algebra 2 classes back to back, which is an awesome schedule, it went well, didn't loose anyone (I don't think, but I always talk/teach on the fast side) then left my Algebra 1 to a substitute so I could go to a dentist appointment (with K too!). I brought home the Algebra 2 homework which was to write a 2 page "Math-ography" I read 70 of them tonight, then did 30 problems of calculus homework (the assignment the students will get tomorrow). I'm tired, and I really hope my Algebra 1 class didn't abuse the sub.

The strangest part of this calculus thing is the feeling that I'm back in high school, not when I'm at school, but when I'm at home working on planning or homework. K and I started dating when I was a senior in high school (taking Calculus). So, "Go AWAY, I'm doing my Calculus homework!" Is really a flashback phrase for us 12 years later. Granted, the big difference is that I get to drink beer while I do my homework, and I don't have to be home by 10pm...

In minor knitting news: I got half a baby hat done while getting my teeth cleaned (K2P2 is harder to do w/o looking than just plain knit, I would have finished if it was just knit...)

Monday, September 3, 2007

I bought a stitch counter.

Well, I thought I bought a TI-89, very powerful, extra complicated, calculator (so I wouldn't look silly still using my TI-85 from 12 years ago) but it turns out that the first feature I have used on it is the Sum notation and it was to calculate when I'll be halfway done with the Bunny Hop baby blanket I've started knitting.

Now, normal rectangular knitting is EASY to calculate, Rows/2 gets you haw many rows in order to be halfway done, if you do rows/2*stitches per row you get the # of stitches you'll have knitted. No fancy calculator needed, but I have yet again started a giant mitered square. This time I have cast on 484 stitches and I'll be decreasing 2 stitches on each corner every other row (this time I allowed for a corner stitch in each corner), meaning my stitches per row are constantly changing and I'll be halfway done with the total stitches long before I am halfway done with the rows. Enter new calculator:

E (8x-8)*2 = 28272

(sorry, blogger won't deal with a Sigma symbol for some reason...)
I'll have 120 rows, but since each row is repeated (the *2) I'm just looking at 60 (which is also the starting # of stitches between each marker) for this count. Remember, I'll still have 4 stitches left in the end because I added those corners.
So 28272 stitches for the whole thing... with some playing around I found I'll be halfway done when I'm down to 43 stitches in each part, or
about 34 rows in.

Nerd out.
I need to get back to the calculus now....

Thursday, August 30, 2007


No, I'm not kidding.
Stop laughing.
Please stop laughing?
Its only for 7 weeks....

My department chair severely broke her ankle last month and is out until October 22nd. I somehow got hornswaggled into taking her calculus class until she gets back. I'm going to go read the Calculus book now. If any of you people who are infinitely more qualified to teach this than I am have any suggestions...

On a knitting note, I gave my department chair the 'Barbi camouflage' socks, but because of her cast she could only wear one, so I made her a little toe cover for the cast foot out of the leftover yarn.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ambition and Distraction

The Mock Turtle

The Mock Turtle went on. “We had the best of educations . . . Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.”

Here is my view for the day:
Lesson planning for Algebra 2. My teachers edition, my old lesson plan book, and my new (bigger and better) lesson plan book.

But look...
I've just finished a panda cotton sock in "Barbi camouflage" for my department chair, and I've started the 2nd one, I should work on that so its done for her next week....

Ooooh, and here's some Maizy that I think I'll use for Peg's socks. I need to start these so they're finished next week too....

And I started a baby blanket in Bunny Hop, I got some green to soften all the crazy rainbow, but I'm not thrilled with the pattern. I'm going to go back and rethink it...

And I can't forget 'bout all this... This was all purchased with the incredible enabling skills of my friend Ms. Loopy. Well... I think I may have enabled myself with that fiber... Its Camel and Silk! Must borrow spinning wheel soon....

Wait. Wasn't there something else I was supposed to be doing today?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Somewhere there is a picture...

I didn't want to post until I had a picture.
So I took one.
Then the battery on the camera died.
Then I proceeded to not replace the battery.
So here is a picture-less post.
The picture was of all the yarn I bought when K's car needed a new transmission. Now, it wouldn't normally be that a dead car = yarn but somehow thats what ended up happening. I took K to work and then met up with Ms. Loopy (who I met at the yarnharlot signing in June...) and proceeded to do an impromptu 5 shop yarn crawl of the peninsula. Granted, all I bought was sock yarn, but it was definitely a case of fumes twisting my perception of reality... actually I think it was bamboo fumes, not wool fumes this time. I will post the picture as soon as I get off my lazy summer ass and replace the batteries in the camera.

Other than that my knitting hasn't been doing much. I got a little discouraged after the mystery stole, which I was feeling so happy about, turned out to be an asymmetrical pattern. I can't deal with that. Its hard enough to find an occasion to wear a stole, but to wear an asymmetrical one? Nope. No can do. So I'm waiting for an acceptable symmetrical alternative to crop up, or I'll just figure it out myself. Or I just have a really nice pointy doily. Bleah.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Summertime, and the knittin' is easy....

1 pair of socks done! And somehow I only have 2 pairs unfinished (unless I've blocked some out of my mind...) So I'm starting on these....

I'll be making 2 pairs of socks, these are 2 balls made with 2 skeins each of Lorna's Lace Sock in Bee Stripe, wound so that I can knit them with a double strand (thicker, but faster). The colors of the high school I teach at are Black and Gold so these will be for my department chair and my mentor teacher. The yarn is designed to make a really clear stripe but since our mascot is a Panther not a Bee I think holding the two together will soften or eliminate the striping... we'll see.

I also finished this

Its a wrist rest made out of the left over bamboo yarn. I stuffed it with wool and so far it seems to be holding up well, we tend to abuse our wrist rests....

I need to do laundry again, I'm debating whether to take the easy way out and just knit socks our whether to take the Mystery Stole and try to catch up. I'm already behind and I'll have to do an extra 80 rows to lengthen it since I'm knitting it on small needles. Hmmm... since I have a history of making knitting mistakes while doing laundry, I think I'll just take the socks :)

Oh wait.. now I remember I do have 3 pairs already on the needles. Damn. I thought I might have finished some while sleeping. Apparently not. Oh well. I'm still plugging along...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Overload or Underload?

I have just one more day of my summer job! Yeah! But my knitting is kinda scatter brained right now. I have a bunch of things in progress but not much progress is being made. Currently I have 4 pairs of socks on the needles, 1 lace skirt ( I actually made a bit of progress on that, but since it just increased to 640 stitches around, I think its going to slow down a bit) , and the Mystery Stole (I'm 1.5 weeks behind on that one). 1 month of straight vacation should mean lots of good knitting time, I hope.

Yarn of the moment:
Crystal Palace - Panda Cotton - 55% bamboo - 24% cotton - 21% elastic nylon
in Fern.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mitered Baby Blanket

I've finished the first of my summer projects, the mitered baby blanket. I love the optical illusion of the miters and ridges, it is the same front and back, and its easy to make! The whole thing is knitted in the round without any seams too!

Mitered Baby Blanket

Makes a 30"x30" square blanket
Yarn: Worsted Weight, 4 Colors, 600 yards total
I used: Blue Sky Cotton in Color 1: Nut (100yds) , Color 2: Bone (200yds), Color 3: Sky (150 yds) , Color 4: Circus Peanut (150 yds)
Needles: US 8, 36 inch circular, 24 inch circular, double points (Or size needed to obtain gauge)
Gauge: 3.5 stitches per inch
8 Stitch Markers
Note: The stitch markers will constantly be moved due to the shrinking nature of the blanket.

Move Marker (MM): Slip stitch, remove marker, slip stitch back to left and place marker again (Marker moved 1 stitch to the right)
SSKP (Left Slanted Double Decrease): Slip 2 stitches, Knit 1, Pass 2 Slipped stitches over.

Cast on 400 stitches in Color 1, Placing a marker every 50 stitches. (see note below)
Join, being VERY careful not to twist. (There are a lot of stitches so double check!)
Markers 1,3,5 and 7 are your corners, they are where all the decreases will occur, these markers keep moving. Markers 2,4,6, and 8 are in the middle of the sides (Marker 8 ends the round) They are stationary and indicate where to switch from knit to purl.

Round 1:
K1P1 to 1 stitch before 1st marker, MM, SSKP
K1P1 past next Marker (this is a side Marker)
K1P1 to 1 stitch before 3rd Marker, MM, SSKP
Continue to MM and SSKP at 5th and 7th Markers.

Round 2: K1P1 around
Round 3: Same as round 1
Round 4: K1P1 around

Switch to Color 2, work 8 rounds as follows:
Round 1,3,5,7: Knit to 1 stitch before 1st Marker, MM, SSKP, Knit to 2nd Marker, Purl to 3rd Marker, MM, SSKP, Purl to 4th Marker, Knit to 5th Marker, MM, SSKP, Knit to 6th Marker, Purl to 7th Marker, MM SSKP, Purl to last Marker.
Rounds 2,4,6,8: K to 2nd Marker, P to 4th Marker, K to 6th marker, P to 8th Marker.
8 Rounds of Color 2 completed.

Switch to Color 3, Work 8 rounds as follows: (Knits and Purls are switched)
Round 1,3,5,7: Purl to 1st Marker, MM, SSKP, Purl to 2nd Marker, Knit to 3rd Marker, MM, SSKP, Knit to 4th Marker, Purl to 5th Marker, MM, SSKP, Purl to 6th Marker, Knit to 7th Marker, MM SSKP, Knit to last Marker.
Rounds 2,4,6,8: P to 2nd Marker, K to 4th Marker, P to 6th marker, K to 8th Marker.
8 Rounds of Color 3 completed.

Switch to Color 4, work 8 rounds as for Color 2
Switch to Color 1 Work 4 rounds as for Color 3.
32 rows completed.

Repeat the Color 2,3,4,1 pattern again.
60 rows Completed. Now is a good time to switch to the 24" Circular.

Continue in the same knit/purl patterns but do 12 rows each of colors 2, 3, and 4 switching to double points after color 3. Finish with rows of Color 1 until you have 16 stitches remaining. K2tog every stitch around. Cut your yarn leaving an long tail and use a yarn needle to thread it through the remaining stitches to finish. Sew in any ends and block!

1/8/08 Note on Cast-on: This MAY make more sense with 404 stitches. Using 1 stitch in each corner as the 'turning' stitch. You would then place the markers alternating between 50 and 51 stitches. This will add 4 extra stitches every round as you go.
Note of finish: The original pattern called for decreasing to 4 stitches, this makes a bit of a puckered point in the center. I have changed it to do a big decrease at the end instead. This should make a smoother center.

Edited: 1/25/09 Switch last 4 words on odd sections for color 2 and 3. Its fixed now, and fixed on the Ravelry PDF too!

Monday, July 16, 2007

BUNNY!!!! Bunny... Bunny... Bunny...

You need to read this. Scroll down for the good stuff

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lacing Up

I've made some good progress on the Mystery Stole. I'm about a week behind the pace, not that I'm competitive or anything... but I'm on row 102. I'll take a picture this weekend when I have more done. I think I made one little mess up, but it doesn't bug me, and if anyone is looking that closely at my lace then they are looking WAY too hard.

Side note to Liz: It is a stole not a shawl, it will be like and extra wide scarf. Cool huh! I was thrown by the pointy beginnings but it has stopped getting bigger and the sides will be straight (at least for the next 120 rows of pattern that have been released)

K and I are off to Sonora for the weekend. I'm going to try to get lots of knitting done.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Good Times... Bad Pictures

I tried to take pics of the stuff I've been doing that has kept me so busy. But I suck at it. SO Here is the BAD pics montage....

Last weekend was K's Grandmother's 100th Birthday Party. She's a very cool lady and to help make her party special I made party favors. The bags had 100 Jelly Bellies in them. Yes... I counted.

I jumped on the Mystery Stole 3 Bandwagon. (With 6600 other people!) I bought yarn. I have needles. I printed the 1st clue. We'll see how far I get.....
Here are my bad attempts at taking a picture of the yarn. You can read the label on the dark one. You can kinda see the color on the light one. but they still both suck.

These are my new fishies. I was trying to keep a goldfish again, but it dies after 2 weeks. We had even named it... Mr. Biggles. Very sad... But I got a couple guppies, and they seem to be doing well. Except for me blinding them trying to get a picture... They're both male. No names yet.

More when my camera skills improve.
Jason's in town... I may start taking pictures of beer.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Silver looks good

Oliver was in his first 'show' like event today. It was fairly easy since it was at our barn. He was inspected for registration with the American Warmblood Society (essentially a registry for mixed types like Oliver) and... He Rocked! He took second place and the silver medal for the entire event (15 horses total) and scored a 71% (the winner scored a 75, they were the only 2 above a 70 which is a very good score!) . I am very proud of him and I can't wait to get him out to more events.

Here are some pictures. They had a professional photographer but I think mine turned out better so I didn't buy any of her photos.

This is Oliver in the morning before the show. Sporting his slinky and blanket to keep his mane and coat all clean. I was very proud of him for not ripping everything off during the night.

Here he is in the show. I took some pictures of him moving too but they are on the 'film' camera and need to be developed. Thats my trainer's daughter handling him, she did a good job.

And this is us after the show; I'm happy about the ribbon and medal, and he's happy its done!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I loved my blankie as a child. That fact alone makes me love making blankies for other children. That and the more I get done on this huge mitered square just makes me want to giggle (and I do when noone is looking).
Here is one corner, as best as I could spread it out.

And another corner....

The stripes alternate on each corner from knit to purl so that it will be reversible.

More when I get a little more done, and when I can bother to pull out the black velvet so that the carpet isn't so distracting.

Side note: Crazy horse decided to scrape himself up 4 days before he has to be inspected for his breed registration. He is now covered in healing creams and I have laid down massive amounts of shavings for him to roll in. If anyone needs me on Saturday, I will be bathing, grooming, primping, and shining the heck out of him.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Workin' and Knittin'

I was going to make an attempt at not starting to temp (my summer job of choice) for a week to recover from school. Unfortunately, I need to remember that if I call the temp agency, then they will find me a job. So, I started temping on Monday, I'm only doing 3 days this week. I'm hoping to keep it to 4 days a week and I'm going to stop at the end of July.

I've also started some summer knitting...

I'm making a baby blanket. I'm determined to knit a whole blanket. Not half a blanked, not many squares that may someday be sewn into a blanket (don't worry Liz, I haven't lost hope, we just need another friend to have a baby!) but a whole blanket, in one piece!

I'm doing a mitered corners square. I'm working my way in from a cast-on of 400 edge stitches by decreasing 2 stitches in 4 corners every 2nd row. I couldn't find a pattern so I'm using the basic Idea from a smaller mitered square (thanks again Liz :) ) and doing some striping too. I'm using Blue Sky cotton and Inca cotton in beige, ivory, blue, and cantaloupe. The lady at Article Pract said they go together. Which is a good thing, because I still have color issues. I'll post a picture tonight... Off to my OTHER job now...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done

Did I mention, I'm done?

Long day... a stupid child thought it a good idea to hand his cell/game/camera thing to a girl, who then stole his memory card, which made him jump on her, which made her squeal, which made him grab her backpack and run across the room, which made her run after him and jump on him, which made them play tug of war with the backpack.... which made me call security. All in the last 10 minutes of the school year. These are not 3rd graders. These are not even 6th graders... these are soon to be sophomores. As security arrived I let the 2 students know that I will not allow them to be in one of my classes again. I have a strict 'no double jeopardy' policy when it comes to repeat students. If you've failed my class once you get to try another teacher.

But... I finished my TA socks, I'm all packed up... I don't have to go back until August 28! Yipeee!

So I'm knitting some lovely socks out of Pagewood farm sock yarn (obviously popular, their website has out grown its visitor quota!). The yarn is a lovely pinkish rainbow, hand-dyed superwash wool, bamboo, nylon blend. Very soft and seems like it will wear well. I'm not sure who this pair is going to but I'm loving how easy it is to knit.... It may have something to do with my blood pressure doing a dramatic drop as soon as that last bell rang!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One More Day

I'll be out of school after tomorrow. I have to finish half a sock before the end.

Here are some of my summer projects:
  • 3 pairs of socks (for the VERY few teachers in my department who are coming back next year)
  • A shrug/small sweater. One that flatters/hides the cleavage, possible in alpaca. I've had little success finding one to purchase.
  • City of Lost Children Sweater for K. If I can get him in to the yarn store for yarn choosing.
  • Christmas Presents - A few pair of socks, finish a skirt I started last year
  • Baby stuff for Chrishan (A teacher at school, she's the only one who is preggers so I think I might go for a baby blanket. But I might cheat and crochet it. ) Oh, and add a pair of socks for her too, she's been drooling over my knitting for weeks now.
I know there's more, but until I'm out of school my brain will not process it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thought I was finished. Thought Wrong.

More TA socks! So, I finished 3 pairs of socks for my 2 TAs and the teacher I share rooms with, but of course I have an unofficial TA who feels left out. Therefore I will be doing mad sock knitting for a couple days to make a pair for her too. I wouldn't do it except she has been a seriously good help to me lately, and she would actually appreciate. I stopped and picked up some Lorna's Lace worsted in Walnut Creek (not my 1st choice of shops but the others are closed Mondays, and this was an urgent yarn need). TA said she would be cool with thick socks, so its 44 stitches on size 6 needles (If I can find a 4th needle) and away I go!

On a side note... Urs and kids will be coming out to see Oliver tomorrow!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Meeting the YarnHarlot

Wow. What a great time! I went up to Petaluma Thursday night to the talk and book signing with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Otherwise known as the yarnharlot) I got there 2 hours early, but had to sit on the floor because the seating was reserved for those who had bought the book from that bookstore. But as my new friend Laura picked up on rather quickly... I'm not bitter! Actually I had a great view of Stephanie for the entire speech, unlike many people stuck 20 rows back.

This is here taking a picture of all of us with the sock.
If you don't know. Don't ask.

The talk was hilarious, and I accomplished a lot on my socks for my TA Katie. I got even more done during the wait to have my books signed.

I also met Laura, she was collecting the hats for donation to homeless families in San Francisco. I waited and chatted with her and her coworker until nearly 10pm when we were the last to meet Stephanie and get our books signed.

It was SO cool to meet Stephanie, and have her see my knitting. and to touch the sock which thousands of other knitters have touched. Crazy good Karma anyway you look at it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Other fair stuff

I didn't do very well in the knitting stuff, I won a 1st prize on a pair of plain socks by an error in categories, I won 3rd on the pedicure socks, and 2nds on both my hand spun entries and also a 2nd on the kitchen towel. Didn't win anything for the cabled socks or the kids sweater. I won 2 1sts in Jams and Jellies, and the Judge commented ' SOOO GOOD' on the card for my Pumpkin butter. Needless to say it was a fun fair. We won't speak of the BBQ contest. It was a sad event for me, lots of appreciation for my food, but no ribbons.

Couching the Potato

Wow, last minute county fair was crazy, haven't even thought of blogging about it until now. I stayed up until the wee hours last Wednesday making my potato. I made a 'Couch Potato'. I was the only entry that made a 'something' instead of a 'someone'. I won 1st place! Yippee!

I crocheted the granny square afghan and the coffee yam doily. I batted and upholstered the potato base for the couch and everything is held together with needles, t-pins, and straight pins.

It was a lot of fun, I think I will do it again next year. I'm thinking, maybe, tater tots...?

Monday, May 21, 2007

What about the potato?

I'm done with county fair knitting. I turned it all in and got just about everything done. I replaced my potholder entry with the purple socks for my TA. Which means I should sweep the ribbons in the sock category. Woo hoo! So I'm taking a couple days break from knitting, then I'll start back on my TA socks.

In the past couple years I've entered an additional contest which required me to decorate a mailbox. After 2 mailboxes I'm moving on to something smaller and more disposible.... The MR POTATO HEAD contest. The instruction say to decorate a potato as 'someone or something' with points for creativity and overall design.
Here are my ideas so far:
  • Cleo-potatra - With headdress, possibly reclining
  • Einstein - need wig
  • Geisha - Paint, Hair, Kimono
  • California -requires a serious hunt for the correctly shaped potato and little flag labels
What do you think? Any other ideas? The top prize in this is $20... Well worth a couple potatoes!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Down to the wire and stressing

I have to turn in the county fair stuff on Monday. I'll be busy most of tomorrow, so the majority of knitting will need to happen Sunday. Here's the rundown:

Finished: handspun scarf, handspun wool, refrigerator towel

Finishing only: Ryder Sweater, Purple cable socks

Must knit fast!: 2nd pedicure sock, 2nd half of honeycomb baby hat, 1.5 potholders

That's a lot of knitting. I'm going to try to knit and walk around tomorrow in between other things. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dropping the Ball (of Yarn)

I am about ready to lose a couple county fair things. I think I'm going to drop the 'kitty' and the lemon baby hat. I haven't entered them yet and I don't think I will get them finished. I think I'll commit to the pedicure socks, I'm almost finished with the first one.

I've already paid for my potholder entry, but I haven't really made a good start on them. The good news is they are fast knits. The bad news is you have to enter a set of 2.

10 days to go

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ulterior Motive Pedicure Socks - Revised 1/25/08

I don't get pedicures. I haven't painted my toenails since Liz and Jerm's wedding. However, if I did, I think I would love these socks! Instead, I'm just having fun making them. My push for County Fair entries led me to start the pedicure socks and I didn't want to just go plain so I got a bit creative. Here's the Pattern:

Ulterior Motive Pedicure Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Irving Park (It's nail polish colored!)
Needles: Size 2 double points
Gauge: ~6.5 stitches per inch

CO 60 stitches (or a multiple of 12, use The Sock Generator to calculate heel)
Join being careful not to twist
K2 P2 ribbing for 20 rows
*K1 P1 K4 P1 K1 P1 K2 P1* Repeat 5 times around
Begin Open Ribbing, stitches in bold form 'lace' ribs with a 'p1 k1 p1' in-between. Pattern is over 12 stitches and repeated around.

Open Ribbing - Repeat each row around
Row 1: K1 P1 K1 Yo K2tog K1 P1 K1 P1 K1 Yo K1 P1.
Row 2: K1 P1 K4 P1 K1 P1 K3 P1.
Row 3: K1 P1 K1 Sl1 K1 Psso Yo K1 P1 K1 P1 K3 Pass 3rd stitch on right needle over first 2 stitches P1.
Row 4: K1 P1 K4 P1 K1 P1 K2 P1.

Repeat 8 times (32 rows added)

Put half of stitches (30) on 1 needle to work heel flap leaving a symmetrical section of rib pattern
On 60 stitches: K18 Turn, move 12 more stitches onto needle for flap. This makes a heel over 3 'K4' open ribs.

S1, and purl back 29 stitches
Knit heel flap in heel stitch:
Row 1: *s1, k1* across.
Row 2: s1, p across.
Repeat until heel flap is square (about 2.5 inches).

Turn heel

Slip 1, knit 19 stitches, SKP, k1, turn.
Slip 1, purl 9, p2tog, p1, turn.
Slip 1, knit 9, SKP, k1, turn.
Slip 1, purl to next-to-last stitch before gap, p2tog across gap, p1, turn.
Repeat until all stitches have been worked, ending on a purl row.
Knit across to end of needle.

Pick up for the gussets:
Pick up one stitch through each slip stitch loop on edge of heel flap.
Knit across the instep stitches.
With another needle, pick up one stitch through each slip stitch loop on edge of heel flap.
Still with needle 4, knit to center of heel.

Decrease rounds for the gussets:
Next round: knit to 3 sts from end of needle 1, k2tog, k1.
Instep: Continue in Open Ribbing beginning Row 1
needle 3- K1, SSK, knit to center of heel.

Alternate plain and decrease rounds until 60 total stitches remain.

For instep, Knit across first needle 'up from bottom' Continue Open Ribbing across top of foot, Knit back down. Work in this way to end on Row 4 of pattern repeat.

Work K1 P1 ribbing for 15 rounds.
Bind off.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Weekend Wonders

A few things got finished and started in Sonora this weekend.

I finished the handspun scarf (or at least I used up all the yarn and cast off... I think its a little short)
I finished the toes on the purple cable socks, but in order to make it seem like I meant to switch the color for the toes, I'm doing a duplicate stitchon the heel flap too.

I started a little 'lemon' baby hat.
I got 1 inch into the honeycomb pattern on the blue baby hat.
I am down to the toe on Corrie's sock #1.

I think I'm to the point of putting down any non-fair projects, it is getting down to the finish line!
2 weeks to go!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The little knitter who could

I've made some progress on various things. I've steadily knit for about an hour each night. Here is the run down on current projects in process.

Chuggin' Along:
  • Socks for Francesca are nearly done
  • Dark blue baby hat for county fair has 2 inches, I'm beginning the body pattern
  • Furry Kitty Stuff toy, for Fair Theme contest, is started with novelty fluff yarn
Barely Movin' and Full Stop
  • Socks for Corrie are waiting for a heel flap on first sock
  • Ryder sweater still needs armpits sewn
  • Mom's 'trekking xxl' socks have turned the 2nd heel but there is a long haul to the finish
I have a pile of 'Unlikely to move again' too, but thats a whole different post.

3 1/2 Weeks until Fair stuff is due.

I think I can... I think I can... I think I can...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Strings Attached

As it happens I'll have most of a skein of Lorna's Laces Irving Park sportweight leftover after finishing the toes of my purple cable socks. And now I see a friend is in need of socks without toes. Since I have this skein with the toes missing, I might as well use the rest to make a pair of socks without the toes. It makes sense, right?

Now for the strings....

I will make 1 pair of toeless socks if....
  1. The color is okay
  2. They will be worn, used and appreciated
  3. I can use this pattern
  4. They will be entered in the county fair (doesn't everyone want award winning socks?)
  5. I can use said friend's new spinning wheel :)
And, most importantly...

6. I don't have to add toes to them later.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sockin' for Thanks

I have 2 TAs and another teacher at school that I want to thank. I usually get them gift cards, but this year I've decided to knit them socks. Here is the rundown:

TA Fracesca (who loves purple even more than I do)
Yarn = Lorna's Lace Worsted in Black Purl
TA Katie and Calculus Teacher Corrie
Yarn = Schoeller+Stahl Limbo Mexico in Schwarz/blau and Yucatan

The only place local that had the Lorna's Lace color was The Yarn Boutique in Lafayette which has moved to a larger nicer spot next to the Cake Box bakery. While there I also discovered that schoeller+stahl (who makes the Fortissima Socka Color sock yarn) makes a sport weight super-wash self-striping yarn too... the Limbo Mexico stuff. So I'm on a little bit of a sock mission in-between other projects.

County Fair Update:
Hand-spun scarf - 10 more inches done, almost there...
Ryder Sweater- done except for sewing armpits, screwed up once on that seam, need to try again...
Fridge Towel - Need button for closure

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Turning into Grandma

Did anyone else grow up with Fridge Towels? My Yaya would cut a towel in half and crochet a bit and then make a loop and button closure at the top, you hook it around your fridge handle and have a handy towel. I always used it to pull open the fridge (not the best idea, but fun) . Yaya still makes them for us and we usually get one or two at Christmas.

I've just begun my first attempt at making some of my own (with the ulterior motive of winning county fair prizes)....

and ITS FUN!

I'm putting a green top on a red/yellow/green plaid towel. It was easy to loop the yarn through the towel then I did a few rows of decreases to get a nice gather. Another few rows and I'll I-cord for the loop, find a button and then.... I'm done! So easy! Who knew? ....... Yaya did.

Blue Ribbons for Me

I'm getting my county fair entries together, here's the run-down so far:

Items and Status

  • Raglan Child Sweater --------Almost done
  • Purple Cabled Socks -------Almost done (ran out of yarn, bought a different color for toes)
  • Handspun Scarf -----2/3 done
  • Handspun yarn----- Spun, still on spindle
  • Fridge Towels (knit tops) ----Towels and yarn bought
  • Potholders ------I have the yarn

I may have more..... but I should probably get going on this stuff! I have 1 month to get it all done! EEEKK!

Shrinking Along

I finished the sleeves on Saturday and began the raglan shaping. Nothing too exciting there, a bit of fudging with the decreases, I settled on a KSP, K2, K2Tog at each 'seam'. I'll probably change it up a bit when I do K's. I'm a bit annoyed at the neckline now. I think I may have to finish it and then decide if it looks okay. I've gone back on the smaller needles for the neck but it doesn't seem to be as tight as I want it.... I may have to go smaller.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Anatomy of Annoying Sleeves

  1. Go to laundromat.
  2. Cast on 28.
  3. Knit 12 rows, increasing along the seam side.
  4. Realize the increases look like crap (too many too fast).
  5. Rip back to cuff.
  6. Knit 8 rows, forgetting to do any increases at all.
  7. Rip back to cuff.
  8. Knit again increasing on rows 2, 6, 10.
  9. Realize that increases should be on rows 4,8,12 etc. to finish increases as the first stripe begins.
  10. Rip back to cuff.
  11. Refuse to fold laundry until 24 rows of correctly increased sleeve is done.
  12. Go Home.
  13. Repeat steps 6 and 7 on second sleeve.

At least I'm past the increases now, but I held a sleeve up to a 2 year old that was at school today and I think I need to make them a bit longer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sleeve me alone.

I feel a little bit like Goldilocks trying to knit the sleeves for this sweater.

24 stitches (the recommended 20% of body) seems way to tight... Ow! This sleeve is too small!
32 stitches seems way too loose.... Oooh! This sleeve is too big!
28 stitches seems to be fine... Yeah! This sleeve is just right!

All that means that I've spent 2 days knitting half sleeves and ripping them back. I am off to the laundromat to try to finish the sleeves and figure out how to attach them to the body, and maybe I'll do some laundry too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The French Sweater

I'm starting a sweater based on the sweater that One is wearing in City of Lost Children. It is a Blue with red stripes raglan style sweater and it is the first sweater K has shown any interest in having me knit for him.

I've only knit one other adult sized sweater. I knit Rogue for my mother last fall. It was a bit ambitious but I wanted something I wouldn't lose interest in, and it was a VERY well written pattern, definitely worth the $6.50 for the pattern.

Anyhow, I spent a hour last weekend slowly framing through the movie trying to find good shots of the ribbing, neckline, decreases, etc...

And there were TWO different sweater designs!

Admittedly its only noticeable to a knitter that one raglan decrease has four k1p1 ribs and the other sweater has a simple decrease for the raglan part. But now I have to choose! So as to not screw up the whole thing (and what will probably be $50 worth of nice wool yarn) I'm knitting a mini version which should end up being Ryder sized for next winter.

Here's the stats so far:
Yarn - 2 balls black Cascade 220 Superwash and 1 ball Gray for the stripes. (Its for a kid, it has to be washable..)
Pattern - Basically the pattern for a simple raglan from The Opinionated Knitter
Needles - Size 4 for cuffs/neck/hem, Size 6 for the rest, in 24" circulars and double points
Details - Cast on 120 stiches for the body, Knit 3 rounds for a curled up hem, K3P1 ribbing for ~7 rows, K1P1 ribbing for rest of body. There are two stripes the lower is 3 rows tall and I think the upper will be about 8 rows.
So I'm going to try to use this as a knitting blog. We'll see how it goes. I'm just starting to design my own patterns, mostly out of frustration at not finding exactly what I want anymore. School just started back up after spring break so this may also be an outlet for my frustrations with crazy teenagers.