Monday, June 26, 2006

Born into fiber arts?

The other day, Knitting Friend Laura brought over two small eggplants from her garden. Today I ate them for lunch. In case you happen to have eggplants on hand too, I'll tell you how I cooked them because they were seriously tasty, if I may say so myself (and I do!):
Slice eggplant thinly
Use one piece of eggplant to smear extra virgin olive oil (or regular olive oil) over a pan
Arrange all slices on the pan, and sprinkle with garlic salt, a little red pepper flakes, and drizzle with a tiny bit more oil
Broil on low for about 7 or 8 minutes
Flip each slice with spatula and broil a few more minutes until they are toasted on both sides to your liking

Recently, Sparky has been expressing great interest in the fiber arts. "I need to knit yarn" he said to me the other day. So I got out some size 15 needles and a ball of yarn that I hate, and set him up with a few rows:
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Check out the look of concentration:
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Then today, during his nap, I was spinning. When he came out and saw me, he was all excited about it. I let him "help":
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(The strange look on his face is because as soon as he saw the camera, he was asking Mr. Fiberflash "gotta see it, want to see it!")
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Has anyone ever tried this? It's quite hair raising. Pretty much, he was just treadling at a mad crazy pace while I tried to make sure that he treadled in the proper direction, attempting to draft wool for a laceweight singles all the while. Yikes!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

shameless self-promotion

Yesterday I had a lovely time shopping with Knitting Friend Laura, and I will go into a bit more detail later, but for now, once again, I present my podcast:
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The show is not in iTunes yet (just the old one that no longer has any shows on it -- not sure how to "unsubmit" that one), but you can listen to it on website. Ok, for real this time, let me know what you think if you listen to it. =)

So far, I have three members in the podcast's Frappr map -- show me some love!
Check out our Frappr!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sarah's yarn

A while ago, Sarah (who blogs with me here) sent me this as a little "pick me up" gift:
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She's gotten quite good at dying, I must say. I knew that I'd have to save it for something special (how do you use a yarn gift?!), and today, when I was over at Craftsanity, I found just the one: Brenda Dayne's Pembrokeshire Pathways Socks. Clearly, that is what this yarn wants to be.

Congratulations to Becca and Joya. Although Joya (my little sister Joy) didn't get the name, you were correct with your memory. Yes, this is Orangina, the lovely but ever infuriating Sweater Of Summer Past.
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This is what I worked on in the salon today (the sock is for Max -- an adaptation of Spunky Toddler Socks by Amy Boogie)
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This is why I was at the salon all day:
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10:30am to 3:30pm. That's how long it takes to look this awesome. Let's not discuss cost.

I love it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

podcast down

A quick note: to anyone who's trying to download or subscribe to my podcast, the site is down at the moment. I was having some issues with my server and am looking for a better service, so I'll let you all know when it's back up. =)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Embossed Leaves

I wove in the ends just before running out the door to Stitch N Bitch group:
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The heel was supposed to be this weird, plain thing so I substituted an eye-of-the-partridge instead. I'll update this post with more project specs later, but it's date night tonight, so I've gotta make this quick.
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I wore the socks there, of course, with green clogs and my green KIP shirt. I love green.

While at SNB, I taught a new lady how to knit, then did this:
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Gotta love the Slip-Stitch Dishcloth. Easy, but looks tricky and impressive. =)

Today I cast on for this:
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I started this last summer and then ripped it back, setting it aside till I was a bit more experienced. Can anyone guess what it is?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Princess Anne

First off, a belated happy birthday to my very good friend MA. It was yesterday, and everyone forgot, including me. (Well actually, I thought that it was today, so it was an honest mistake, but everyone else who mattered flat out forgot). She's decided that she's not even going to count this birthday and just say that she's 25 forever. So please join me in wishing her a great big Happy UnBirthday!!

These socks are almost done! Do you think I can finish them in time for Stitch N Bitch tonight?
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Eunny was talking about her hair the other day, and suddenly I remembered that I used to be really good at braids!
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Not bad, not sure how many years. I think that this joined, inverted double french braid is called a Princess Anne. In the days of yore, I used to do all kinds of fancy braids for my sister Hannah, friend Sarcy and myself; french ropes, inverted french braids, regular ones. We were the best "haired" out of them all, I must say. I learned how to braid all sorts of cool ways in the Klutz Press book "Braids and Bows". If I ever have a little girl, I will totally buy this book again. Or if I decide to grow my hair out again.

Speaking of hair, I am getting my hair cut and maybe colored in the next week or so. I am undecided if I should go short again or keep it long...what color...arrgg. If you have suggestions, please let me know! I'm not above stealing someone else's idea. =)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finally, I'm a podcaster

I am pleased to introduce you to the newest knitting podcast:

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(Click picture to go to the site and listen to the first episode!)

Let me know what you think of it. =)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Worldwide KIP Day

Here are some pics from our little part of KIP Day here where I live:
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We all met up at an ice cream shop with our husbands and kids. A reporter from the local paper showed up to photograph the event. I'll scan the article in when it comes out this week.
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It was 100 degrees outside, but ice cream made it bearable!
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(This adorable baby is not mine, she belongs to the girl to the left)
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My husband and babies. Max got so messy that Greg had to take off his shirt when he was done eating.

At our usual Stitch N Bitch group, we often talk about our families, so it was really cool to meet everyone, and put some faces with the names.
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As it turns out, the lace repeat is not difficult at all once the chart is read correctly! I'm actually a few inches further than this (pic was taken Monday morning), but this shot shows almost the true color of green. It's just a bit brighter than this. My hands have been feeling a little bit overworked, so I've been taking it easy and working on a few other projects in rotation. More details to follow!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Hey everyone! A quick little "contest" for you all. I will be recording a yarn related version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and submiting it to Cast-On, and I need your help! If you can think of even just one line for this re-vamped version, leave it as a comment to this post. If I choose your line, I will credit your name and link to your blog (if you have one) when I submit the song to Brenda. This will be sort of like a Round Robin Mad Libs game...well, except for the "Round" part...And the Libs...well heck, it's not going to be anything like that at all, but it will be fun. So no matter how silly or serious, leave a comment with your spinning/knitting/yarn related line for this song!

Wrapping myself in my own knits

Happy Worldwide Knit In Public Day! If you live in GA, please email me or leave a comment if you 'd like to knit with me and my group, and I tell you where we'll be today. I'll have pictures to show, I'm sure. =)

Finally, I am knitting for myself! I knit for others all the time, and never make time for myself because I figure, I can wait a little longer, but birthdays/new babies/holidays won't wait. So a few weeks ago, I decided that I need some knitted items of my very own.

This, at long last, is my completed Multidirectional Scarf. Those of my longtime readers will recognize this from the last time I knit this, and then what happened after that. I am so glad that it is finally done, and I don't regret ripping it back so that it could be perfect. It's still not quite as long as the one I knit for my sister, but I am very happy with it.
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Sparky and Max think it's lovely too.
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Also, I've been working on my Embossed Leaves Socks.
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When I first knit the cuff, I did the 1x1 cast-on, but then realized (18 rows later) that my twisted rib was offset from the cast on edge in such a way that the purls and knits were not matching up.

I don't know if this is making sense to anyone, but the picture I took before I ripped it out wasn't very clear so I can't show you. Anyway, I realized that I hadn't read the directions carefully enough. To start, the first two rows are knit back and forth on two needles only. Then they're joined in the round. It doesn't sound like it makes sense at first glance, but there is a reason for it. I posed the question of the fussy cast-on to the socknitters Yahoo group, and this is what a very helpful Lori said: "This two-row start for the beginning of this sock knit from the top down imitates the appearance of a sewn bind-off worked at the end of a toe-up sock. It's a nice design feature, but it's certainly optional if you prefer to start your socks differently." Thank you! That makes total sense. I love design features. Fussy or no, I've cast on that way. (By the way, if you've never done a 1x1 cast on, don't be intimidated by it -- there's really nothing difficult about it, it just takes a little focus.)

Once I'd finally gotten this sock cast-on and ribbed properly, I came to the chart. Last night after I got home from the knitting class that I teach, I plunged right in to the first 16 rows. An hour and one full repeat later, I realized that there was a reason the lace wasn't looking very leaf-like. I was reading the chart upsidedown and backwards. Arrggg!
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I always forget that I have trouble with the concept of charts, so I just jump in headfirst, and get bitten every time. So frustrating! On the upside, it was only one lace repeat, not the whole leg of the sock or anything.

Excuse me now while I go rip an inch or so.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fixated on socks

I'm back from Florida. Every time we go there I think, oh cool, we can spend time on the beautiful beach. But then I go to the beach...and get sand in my suit...and in my hair...and everywhere...and there's seaweed in the water...and God knows what else...and I realize, I like looking at the beach. There's a distinct difference. So after going to the beach once the first day, we spent the rest of our time at the pool near my husband's grandparent's house.
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Usually we go to St. Andrew's State Park, but didn't get around to it this time. I do like the shallow "kiddy pool" area by the rocks -- that part feels safe enough for me to enjoy. Maybe we'll hit that spot next time.

The most important parts of my trip were getting raw oysters and boiled peanuts. (Not together!) If you've never had hot boiled peanuts, you must try them at least once. They are soft, and taste somewhere between a salty mashed potato and a bean, with a little bit of peanut flavor. Very unique. Very yummy.

Here's a sexy little pair of footies that I completed for my aunt while we were there:
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Her birthday is on the 14th of this month, so I got a gift done early for a change! It feels great to be early!

Yarn: Cascade Fixation, almost 1 ball, Dark Purple
Pattern: Lace Wings Fixation Socks
Cast on: June 2nd
Cast off: June 6th
Notes: Easy, quick pattern. I love the fact that these were knit with stretchy yarn. My aunt's feet are size (US) 6 wide, and she lives in NJ, so it would suck if they didn't fit. The fact that these will stretch to fit (very tightly) my 8-1/2 foot makes me think that they'll probably be a perfect fit for her. One thing about this yarn is that it's very difficult to avoid ladders in-between needles. I would suggest the magic loop technique for this yarn, if possible. I've never tried that yet, but for my first sock with that method, I'll use Fixation.

I started these socks for Max, and if the yarn holds my interest, I'll knit up a pair for Sparky to match.
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Max's 1st birthday is tomorrow, and most likely I won't finish these by then (who am I kidding? I definitely won't). But anyway, since I've already knit one pair of socks for Sparky (remember the little blue ones?), I figured that Max could use a little knitting love from Mamma.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Things accomplished

So. To continue the list of things I've finished in the past week:
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As you can see, Max is thrilled with it.

This is that baby blanket project from You Know Where. This yarn was so difficult to work with. I didn't like the colorway (the only way I could deal was to think of it as a "My Little Pony" theme). On the upside, the fabric works up soft and floaty. On the downside, the stitches were difficult to count, and even when my stitch count was dead on, sometimes the sides would grow out strangely. I ripped this back countless times, and finally, the other night, decided I'd had enough. No one could pay me enough to make this worth any more time working on it or looking at it. I crocheted a shell stitch edge around as a border, and called it good. Thankfully, Store Manager of Major Chain Craft Store thought it was cute, and accepted it as a good sample. I call this the Preemie Blanket.

Pattern: my own (70 stitch double crochet, shell stitch edging)
Yarn: Bernat Baby Boucle, Sugar Baby Stripes and Soft White
Hook: Size K aluminum
Notes: Hated this project, and I'm glad it's done.

On to something more enjoyable.

This was the scarf that I worked up in five hours the other day:
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I forgot to have my husband take a picture of me, and I really wanted to turn this sample in yesterday (the sooner I turn it in, the sooner I get paid!), so Sparky posed with it for me. As you can see, an 8-foot scarf is quite long. (The pattern states the finished measurements are 96 inches, so I was right on with gauge -- this is just one crazy long piece!)

Pattern: One Skein Scarf (from The Happy Hooker, but also available for free at the Patons site) Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool in Leaf Green 00240 Hook: Size K aluminum Notes: this worked up super quickly, despite it's length. It was nice and easy, since the yarn used is smooth and the pattern stitches are straightforward. I will probably work this up again for myself. The yarn was not scratchy against my neck, and is pretty inexpensive, making it a quality/good value yarn -- I'll be using this again.

On hot, humid summer days there's nothing better...
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then knitting by the pool. This was taken last week.

I've been working out a lot since January, and have lost about 10 lbs and toned up and such, but my little Baby Potbelly is still firmly in place. Also, in the bust I am quite a bit bigger when I'm nursing. However my little guy is weaning himself, so a few days ago I tried on one of my old bathing suits, and it actually fit! I haven't worn a bathing suit in three years. It's a two piece, and in the interest of covering up the little pot and not scaring anyone with a few silvery stretch marks, I wear a T-shirt over it, but my husband is very pleased that the above pic is no longer the only pool activity I'm capable of. We can actually swim together now!

One last project that I'll show you today is the purse that I FINALLY finished for my sister, Hannah:
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STATS Pattern: Textured Tweed Clutch from Fall Interweave Crochet. Yarn: Tahki Yarns New Tweed (70% Merino Wool, 15% Silk, 11% Cotton, 4% Viscose Buckle: My own, made out of Sculpy (I have no idea where to get leather covered buckles as per pattern instructions) Notes: The bobble part of the pattern looked wired to me at first and felt a little fiddly to do, but once it was all in place, I couldn't stop running my hands over it. Every who saw this purse loved it!
And it's lined!
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I would definitely suggest lining this purse, even though the pattern doesn't suggest that. It makes it so much sturdier, practical, and polished looking. I LOVE this purse. I would love one of my own as well.

For those of you who will ask, this is how I lined it: I measured a rectangular piece of fabric to be double the depth and as wide as the purse. Then I sewed the two sides together, right sides facing. I folded the top over and hemmed it down, then put the pouch into the purse without turning it right side out. Then I pinned it carefully in place, took a deep breath, and machine stitched it in place. Probably I should have basted it in first (the loosest stitch on a sewing machine) just to make sure the placement and size of the fabric was correct, but I was in a rush, and it worked.

Well, that's all I have for you today! This weekend I'll be in Palm City Beach Florida, and won't be back until Wednesday. There will be a nice chunk of car travel/knitting time, so I'm sure that I'll have something to show you. See you all then! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

All hail the humble dishcloth!

Posted by: faithdarling on Buzznet
For the knitting class I teach, I decided to have a Knitted Dishcloth month. Here are the dishcloths that I finished on Tuesday:

Click to look through gallery of each.

Yarn: Sugar 'N Cream cotton.
Needles: Size #4 straights (since I can't possibly get gauge with anything larger, even though it's worsted weight -- a cotton problem).
Cast-on to cast-off: Can't remember exactly, but it took me about a week, I think.
Notes: I had no idea how much fun a dishcloth could be! They're the perfect swatch to try stuff out on. Knit a dishcloth to test something out, and in the end, no matter what it looks like, you've got something usable! The only drawback is that I'm not crazy about using cotton -- it is a little bit hard on the hands. I'll definitely be making some of these for my home though. It was hard to sell them to the store!


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