A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Monday, January 31, 2005

Just in time!

On Saturday afternoon, I was rushing around, trying to get ready for Paul's company holiday party, when I realized that I hadn't finished my mini bag. I had finished the felted button on Friday, totally intending to finish the bag in time for the party, but we were so busy on Saturday, trying to figure out how to arrange our living room furniture, that I totally forgot. So as I was on my way out the door, I quickly grabbed Paul's sewing kit (yep -- he has one and I don't) and stitched the button on. And voila! It's finished. One little bag, just the right size for my keys, a few cards, my cell phone, and a compact of powder. Perfect for the party.

Fun and felted Posted by Hello

We also ran to Old Navy on Saturday afternoon, and I picked out the perfect black top to wear -- one that would match one of my scarves (I ended up wearing the Boa scarf).

In other news, I finally found the yarn I wanted for Lisa's wedding shawl. I ordered it on Friday, and I should have it by Thursday or so. Can't wait!

Friday, January 28, 2005

ONE pink baby sock!

Remember the count from Sesame Street? I was just counting like the count. I've done one pink baby sock... For the most part, it looks like a real sock. Paul was pretty darn impressed. I tried a different pattern this time, and I wasn't happy with the ladder-like effect around the gusset-join area (I think that's where it is). But it's so cute and pink that no one will notice.

I started my second sock before going to the gym last night (going to the gym would be so much easier if I could figure out a way to knit while I'm working out), and I continued working on it while Paul and I watched out previously-recorded episode of The Apprentice (they definitely did pick out all kinds of crazy to put on the third season...). I think I'm going to morph this pattern with my other one for the second sock -- to avoid the ladders.

But I have to tell you how proud I am. I still haven't finished a new project. I told myself last night that I have to finish one more project before I start another one. That means either 1) creating the button for my felted bag and sewing it on, 2) sewing my cell phone case together, complete with buttons and velcro, or 3) finishing my second baby sock.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


It took sheer willpower last night to fight the urge to start a new project. I put the finishing touches on my aunt's scarf, and I really wanted to start something new (something, maybe, for myself). But I stayed strong. Instead, I did a little sock practice, and I almost finished baby sock #1. All that's left is the grafting.

Of course, that's when it hit me that I really should have made myself a shawl for my husband's company Christmas party, which was postponed last week and will now take place on Saturday. If only I had enough time...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What blizzard?

Okay...let's try this entry again. I started on it yesterday, but my computer crashed in the middle...

So last week, everyone in Ohio was bracing for The Blizzard of the Century. On Friday, Paul's company canceled their post-Christmas party, which had been scheduled for Saturday night, due to the big storm that was headed our way. That was fine by me, since I was also supposed to go to a local sports bar on Saturday to join my local college alumni chapter in watching our basketball game against our biggest rivals.

On Saturday, Paul got up to shovel, and he found that we'd only gotten about an inch. Just an inch. I called my mom back in Michigan, who was in a panic because they'd gotten a foot of snow, and she couldn't leave the house. Mom get stir-crazy like that.

Shortly thereafter, I discovered that the basketball game had been postponed until Monday (we won, by the way). So we didn't have *any* plans for the day. So we went shopping. I picked up some extra yarn and some stitch holders (at 40% off) at Hobby Lobby. And Paul went to Lowe's to get some drywall so he could fix the hole in our garage. At night, we made a tasty homemade lasagna (complete with homemade pasta), and I did some knitting and TV watching while Paul finished working in the garage.

On Sunday, we still had no snow. Meanwhile, those back in Massachusetts were getting bombarded with a couple of feet (I'm trying not to laugh here, but...ha-ha!). So Paul and I bundled up and went to the outlet mall, where I ended up getting two pairs of Aeropastale jeans for $10 each, three shirts at Banana Republic for $15, and a Fossil watch to replace the one that died almost a year ago. And Paul got all kinds of work clothes and casual clothes, including a very nice pair of Guess jeans for $20. I was totally jealous.

Everyone was in shock over the whole lack-of-snow thing. Even the plows were out on Sunday, driving down the totally clean roads, trying to figure out what to do. Of course, they didn't come to our neighborhood, where the roads are still covered in slush...

So I got to do a little movie-watching and a little knitting over the weekend. I finally finished my aunt's scarf, which I can ship back to Michigan before she returns from their place in Florida. And it only took me one skein of Bernat Soft Boucle (in Deep Rose). Since it had been on sale at Hobby Lobby, I got an extra skein. So it looks like someone else is going to get a Deep Rose Boucle scarf...

Hmmm...which project shall I start next?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

UFO night

We were supposed to go to the gym last night, but Columbus was hit with a bit of an ice storm, so we decided that it might be best to put that off for one more night. Instead, Paul did a little drawing, and I decided to tackle a couple of my UFOs.

See, I was starting to feel bad. There were UFOs all over the coffee table in the family room. And I really want to start something new -- like that scarf for my aunt or a hat or a shawl for me. But I wouldn't let myself do it until I cleared off the coffee table a bit.

My first project was this bag. It's such a cute bag -- I've already felted it. But I was supposed to use it for needle-felting practice. So I finally bit the bullet last night and did a little needle felting. I was nervous, but I didn't need to be. It was pretty easy -- and the bag turned out really cool. Once I get the button sewn on, I'll post a picture. I showed Paul when I was finished, and he was blown away. "Wow!" he said, "You could sell that!"

Then I continued work on the cell phone case that I've been working on designing. I sewed it together and found that it was a bit bigger around than I wanted (oh, well...). And then I started working on I-cord for a strap. I hate I-cord. And then everything went wrong just as I was about to finish -- and I had to frog it and start over. Not happy. Did I mention I hate I-cord? But now I have all the pieces I need. I just have to sew on the strap and sew on some buttons and velcro and stuff, and I'm all set.

So I can't say that it was necessarily a relaxing night of knitting. Actually, it was a bit frustrating. But I feel much better about myself now, having done a load of laundry while almost finishing two projects. Go me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

An organized stash...

This is my office closet. It holds a few random things, like my husband's suits and my office supplies and portfolios. But it also holds my stash. Sure, I have another cupboard with odds and ends and other knitting stuff, but I love this closet. I love looking at it. And it's so organized. Notice that some of them even have little Post-Its, saying what's in each cubby...

An organized stash is a happy stash. Posted by Hello

Cozy blue socks

The battery charger for the camera still hasn't shown up, but I had pictures to take today, so I figured I'd take a few FO pictures, too. Here's my first pair of socks. They're not the nicest socks in the world -- heck, they're worsted acrylic. But they're cozy, and I made them, and that makes me happy.

My first pair of socks Posted by Hello

Security Poncho

Here's the poncho that I started in the fall and just got around to finishing. I call it my Security Poncho -- because it's warm and cozy like a security blanket. The other day, Paul came home, and I was lying on the couch, my poncho wrapped around me. He said he thought I was wrapped in a blanket. Nope! My Security Poncho!

Pardon the picture -- I was having a bad head day today.

My security poncho Posted by Hello

Monday, January 17, 2005

What a night!

I love awards shows. I love the red carpet. I love being catty about the hideous dresses that gorgeous, rich, famous women choose to wear to walk the red carpet while I'm stuck at home with nothing better to do than watch. And knit.

Last night, Paul was busy with other stuff, so I had the whole night just to sit and watch the Golden Globes and knit. I finished a hat for my brother and started two projects -- a cell phone case for myself (which I almost finished) and some tiny pink baby socks (not that I know a tiny pink baby -- it's just practice).

After the weekend of furniture shopping (our new sofa and love seat will be delivered tomorrow!) and car shopping, I deserved a nice, relaxing night of knitting...

Friday, January 14, 2005

Every day is like Christmas!

I love my calendar! Mom got me the Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar for Christmas. She bought it when she was visiting us in Massachusetts in September -- and it's a good thing she did! By the time Christmas rolled around, there was no way anyone was getting a copy. My husband said he looked everywhere and couldn't find one.

Anyway, I totally love it. I think today's pattern was the first one that I looked at and thought, "Nope...don't like that." Other than that, it's been one interesting pattern after another. And even if there are a few that I don't like -- or that I won't make -- it's still inspiring to get to look at a new knitting idea every day. The hard part, though, it the waiting. I just want to tear through it like I do through new knitting books -- study every page and every design over and over. But I want to keep some of it a surprise so I can get to my desk in the morning and see something new and beautiful and creative.

I'll admit it. I cheat sometimes. I'll flip ahead and look at random pages months in the future. I figure by then maybe I'll have forgotten that I already saw it... :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

It works!

My niece, Kaari (she's 3) learned about scarves yesterday. My mom was babysitting yesterday, and when it came time for the two of them to head out to pick my nephew, Nathan (he's 6), up from school, Kaari got bundled up in her coat, being sure to grab her stylish scarf, a Christmas present from her oh-so-crafty Auntie (that's me). Mom got her scarf, too (also from me, of course), and told Kaari, "It's really cold out. But if you wrap your scarf around your neck like this, it'll keep you warm."

So off they went to Nathan's school. As they stood outside in the cold, suddenly Kaari shouted out, "It works! It works!" She was so excited. Grandma was right -- her scarf really would keep her warm! She couldn't believe it!

In her excitement, Kaari turned to my mom and said, "You tell Auntie thank you for my scarf."

Is she the sweetest thing in the world, or what?

Another knitting book review

Check out my review of Bags: A Knitters' Dozen!

Another FO - and some hope for my toes...

Yesterday, I was blah. You know those blah days, when you get up and no matter what you do, you just can't get any of your brain cells to function? That was yesterday. So I decided to watch a movie in the early afternoon to get a jump start on next month's submission for my WIP column. The movie pretty much sucked, but at least it gave me some extra knitting time. I decided that I'd pull out an old unfinished project and finish it once and for all. I finally finished the poncho that I started back in September. All I needed to do was pick up stitches and knit the neck, and now it's done. It's gigantic, but it's big and warm and cozy. I call it my blankey poncho. Pictures to come.

In other knitting news, thanks to Jay, I've figured out my Kitchener problem. I've been knitting my socks inside-out. How I'm going to fix that, I don't know. But I'll figure it out. Thanks, Jay!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Kitchener stitch makes my head hurt

I spent the weekend working on Practice Sock #2. I got to the end and tried my hand -- once again -- at a little kitchener stitch seaming. But it just doesn't work. For some reason, the wrong side ends up looking wonderful, but the right side looks like a big nasty seam. What am I doing wrong? Really...I'm loving this whole sock thing, but if I can't get the final toe seam to work, it ruins the whole project. Any advice?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Knitting book reviews

I forgot to post these as they were published, so I'll do so now.

Check out my reviews of:
The Joy of Knitting Companion by Lisa R. Myers
Two Sweaters for My Father by Perri Klass

Coming soon:
Bags: A Knitters' Dozen

Felting time!

I finished my felted mini-bag in no time. I'm ready to felt it now. In fact, I ran it through the wash yesterday, but it still needs more, so I'll try again today. The challenge is finding the right things to throw in the wash with it...

Post-felting pictures to come!

It's all over but the feltin' Posted by Hello


I borrowed some non-rechargable batteries for the digital camera yesterday so I could snap a few pictures. First, here it is...

My first sock! Posted by Hello

My first sock! I just used some cheap acrylic worsted for my practice sock, but it turned out okay. I decided to make it a pair -- so I can wear them as slipper-like things, so I just cast on its partner yesterday.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Problems in Picture Land

I just finished this great new bag that I can't wait to felt. I was just about to take pictures to share when I realized that the batteries in the digital camera are dead -- and we seem to have lost the charger in the move. So pictures will come later -- I have to do it the old-fashioned way (take the picture, finish the roll, get the film developed...). Until that time, however, here are a few pictures from Christmas...

The kids...

I had so much fun with my niece (Kaari, 3) and nephew (Nathan, 6) over Christmas that I had to share a few pictures...

Nathan and Kaari Posted by Hello

Extreme Close-up: Nathan Posted by Hello

Extreme Close-Up: Kaari Posted by Hello

Let's Try That Again...

When I learned to knit, my MIL taught both me and my SIL, Suzanne. I took off running, but Suzanne, who was in college at the time and didn't have a lot of time to spare, sort of let it go. But this year, she decided to pick it up again. I assured her that she'd be a lot happier knitting on bigger needles, so she picked up a pair while we watched a movie, and by the end, she'd finished a dishcloth and had started another...

Suzanne once again picks up the needles... Posted by Hello

Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy New Year!

After three weeks of traveling and visiting family and friends (and having family and friends visit us), I'm finally home (in my big, cushy desk chair that my wonderful husband bought me for Christmas) and back to work. What a relief! I love my friends and family, but I am beat!

This year's knitted gifts were a hit. Mom loved her Sophie bag. My nephew, Nathan, was excited about his NASCAR-colored striped scarf. My niece, Kaari, tried on her poncho and was eager to have her picture taken in one of her two new scarves. (Actually, I got a great picture of Mom, Nathan, and Kaari in their new scarves.) And the dishcloths and dish scrubbies may have been a little bit expected, but Mom and Joni loved them anyway. Pictures to come!

We did a lot of driving over Christmas, so I finally decided that I had enough uninterrupted time to pull out my copy of Cat Bordi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. I was amazed by how quickly I picked it up. After anguishing once over DPNs, I figured there were just things that I'd never be able to make -- like socks. But now I can't wait to try another one. Next Christmas, everyone's getting socks!

Santa was good to me this Christmas -- and so were the after-Christmas sales. I went nuts on little sock-able circs (like the bamboo Plymouth needles that were half off at Friends of Wool. And Paul bought me some gorgeous new bamboo needles and a magnetic board for keeping track of my place in my pattern.

On our way home, I knit up a new scarf for Mom -- to match a jacket that she bought on sale at Old Navy. And now I've started another felted bag for myself...

This year, I've vowed to start Christmas knitting sooner. We'll see if that happens...

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