31 January 2011

In the homestretch...


Day XX
Three more days left to go ~ I think I have just enough yarn but may have to skip day 23 anyway since the chart appears incorrect and I only downloaded the charts and not the written instructions for this kal.  I think Kelli and Karen both skipped the day but Morgan, if you did do day 23 and figured out what the errors are I would love to know!

I wasn't liking day 19 at all, until it was completed and then I decided it was lovely.  Day 20 took me quite a few hours over three days to do ~ the 3/9 stitches are slow going but I managed to get it done error free and love (LOVE!) this day!  I did find a few small mistakes in this batch of patterns which I'll list at the end of this post even though I think I'm the only person left doing this scarf!

If it will help anyone, here are the stitch counts at the end of each row for day 20~ Row 1 [104st], Row 3 [123st], Row 5 [86st], Row 7 [104st], Row 9 [123st] & Row 11 [86st]

It looks like I'll meet my goal of having this beauty finished and blocked so that I can wear her on Valentine's Day ;)

Errata Day 20:  In the spacer section it says to decrease 2 stitches on row 8 before starting the chart ~ DON'T!  You need 86 stitches for this day's chart so don't do any decreases before moving on!

Errata Day 21:  In the charted instructions it says on all wrong side rows to 'knit all knit stitches and purl all purl stitches' ~ there are no knit stitches to knit so you purl every stitch between your edge stitch markers.

30 January 2011

Worthy of a Second Post

Thank you, JR, for a brilliant idea!  Fantastic way to end a great weekend and a good use of some of our blackberry jam!  I never post twice in one day but I had to make an exception.  You rock, brother ;)

Girls in Sheep Clothing Blackberry Milkshakes

1/4 c 2% milk

Blend together until well mixed and then share with a loved one ~ makes enough for two ;)
It's yummy!!!

Soaking as we speak!

Hooray! She's done and soaking. Now to run to SeaTac and see if they have a spare runway for blocking purposes!

The Knitting Attic ~ Part II

Primed and ready for paint!

Rice Paper
Remember the attic before I started?  I finished the primer last weekend and just finished painting the ceiling and the sloped part of the walls with Martha Stewart's 'Rice Paper' ~ it's a creamy, egg custard looking color ~ I love it!  Makes me hungry for a Chocolate Eclair...

Not sure if I'll need a second coat or not since the paint went on really thick.  I'll have to see once it's dry...

Went to IKEA yesterday to look for cabinets for the room.  I thought we had a great plan by showing up 10 minutes before they opened so that we could be in and out before it got crowded.  No such luck.  I have to say that although I did find what I needed for an exceptional price, that store is like hell on earth for me.  I know they give you a map but, dang, to try and find something a second time is ridiculously hard.  The crowds weren't sooo bad, other than the families who truly believe that it takes a village and let their little (and I mean preschool age little!) children run unattended through the maze with their little IKEA shopping carts and expect that you will not accidentally plow over them while you are wheeling a cart loaded with so much junk that you can't see in front of you.  We left there at noon, having found everything we needed but completely stressed and vowing never to return.  I rarely complain, but that was not a pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning.

Hate to end a post on a negative note, so I'll share what cabinets I picked out!  We bought 2 Alve Cabinets with Doors to place side by side, and they will almost fill up an entire wall, with room on top to put baskets or pictures or random knitting paraphernalia...

Who wants to come hang out and knit with me when my room is put together?  I can't wait ;)

29 January 2011

Morgen's Photo Update

Well, here they are in all their "glory." These photos are the best examples yet of why I could never have a successful blog. I am lazy when it comes to photographing my knits. I see other people who have documented their work in beautifully artistic ways that in-and-of-themselveves are works of art. Me? Not so much. You know those gorgeous photos some people are talented enough to take of their handknit laces??? (Melissa, Kelli?? I mean you as well as others...) I actually made myself giggle out loud the other day contemplating my own photographic skills, or lack thereof. Instead of sunsets, flowers, chocolates and pearls that comprise the setting of successful lace photographs, I mentally picture mine surrounded by empty Slim Jim wrappers, pork rinds and beer cans. Oh well, I claim to be a knitter not a photographer!

So here are the photos of Days 14-21. I have completed the spacer section for Day 22 and hope to have the whole thing wrapped up and blocked on Monday. We'll see!

I have learned several things: while I love the colors of the Alpaca Sox yarn, I really don't like knitting with it that much, at least not for lace. I can feel the nylon in it, and it just disappoints me somehow. There have been days' patterns that I have loved and some that I have hated with a passion. A few have spurred my brain on to some design ideas (yay!) Overall, I really enjoy the piecemeal approach to doing these scarves, and I have LOVED every minute of chatting with new friends near and far about the process. Thank you all for keeping my nose to the grindstone and making sure that I completed this one!

I have been toying with dyepots this week trying my hand (I have no clue what I am doing) at dyeing yarn for my next shawl project, "Shipwreck" from Knitty. The shawl is actually supposed to be dyed post-knitting for a more weathered look, but it calls for 5000 beads, and I am a little nervous about how successfully one can dye a shawl and not mar the surface of the beads. Good thing too, because while my dye trial turned out beautiful in its own right, it didn't turn out the color I want. I have tried three additional overdyes and still have a beautiful but wrong color. Have ordered more yarn and will try again. In the meantime...I shall finish the calendar knit which my son has dubbed a car cozy because we think we could wrap our Highlander (the car not the Celt) in it!

How goes it with all of you?


I have been racing on this scarf/shawl/circus tent which, of course, is a mistake. The faster I try to go, the more mistakes I make and the more tinking/frogging I need to do to recover. I should know this by now. Methinks I've been working a bit too much on it. I bolted awake early this morning from a bad dream in which I was pinning out the shawl to take pictures of the days I haven't yet photographed and saw a dropped stitch about 2 feet down that I had some how made up by adding an extra stitch somewhere along the way. Day 20 just about killed me; that day when you make 9 stitches out of three...

I am currently 1/2 way through Day 21 and am determined to have this finished and on the blocking board on Tuesday.

Then will begin the difficult search for an elephant with a sense of style who is in need of a hand-knit scarf...

26 January 2011

Making the most of every minute...



 My boss said I could take off early since it was a quiet afternoon ~ so I did!  I managed to get home in time to get some daylight photos of my latest three kal shawl pieces.  Much truer in color than the last batch, not that I didn't like the amber shade they appeared!  I finished the spacer for Day 19 in my car before work this morning while I was drinking my coffee, so I should be able to get that one done tonight.  Three quarters done...or more if my yarn doesn't hold out til the end!).
View from our deck
 Here's proof that the sun does shine around here once in awhile, even if it is just peeking between the hills and the clouds.  That's enough for me!  Can't get enough of that sight this time of year!
Pink Polka Dotted Pre-Primered Attic
Now I still have time to get one last coat of primer on the knitting attic ~ man, those giant pink splotches are tough to cover up ~ before I whip up a batch of Kelli's Tuna Noodle Casserole and then settle down for an evening of knitting.  I love unexpected free time during the week ~ time to go make the most of it!

25 January 2011

A New Scarf For 2011

Guess who's wearing their new scarf to work... don't you just love when you've put all the work into something like this and nobody notices. I'll find out today.
I love it. That's what matters.
Now I can't wait to knit with big yarn and big needles.
Melissa, this scarf might not even be here without you.~Thanks

21 January 2011

Half light ~

I feel like the sun is impatiently waiting to burst through this never ending cloudiness and ground saturating rain.  We have huge lakes of standing water in our backyard that Dozer is a little too interested in and it's a constant battle to get him unmuddied when he comes in from stomping in the puddles.  Aside from that, the dreary atmosphere is not the best for great photos but I'll share my newest completed days on the kal shawl.  It really is the same yarn ~ it appears amber (beautiful) in these pics but it's still the same 'rose' yarn I've been slowly knitting away at.
Day XV


I am enthralled with day 15 ~ it proved to be quite the concentration knit.  I'm getting much better at reading my lace instead of counting stitches to keep on track, but I just couldn't see any rhyme or reason do this day until I was close to finished.  But, boy, when I finally got what was going on, I love it!!!  I really do find the more complicated a pattern is to knit up, the more I'm impressed and pleased with what I see at the end.

So, I'm slowly plugging away at this kal and also working on my gift for a friend project so I won't finish either of them quickly, but they'll both get done eventually.  Tomorrow should prove to be a fairly knitless day (sigh) since I'm planning on getting my knitting attic primed and ready to paint.  Very exciting!  Now, to buckle down and pick a paint color....decisions, decisions......

Errata - Spacer section between day 15 & 16  ~ I think the error may have been corrected in copies of the pattern that were downloaded later on in the month of December, but I downloaded mine daily as the pieces were released so I've been finding some errors that may not be on everyone else's copies.  My download for 'Day 16 Spacer Section' said to increase ONE stitch in the first row for a total of 86st, and then decrease THREE stitches evenly on row 8 for a total of 83st.  Row one was easy to figure out since day 15 ended with 83 stitches, so you actually INCREASE 3 STITCHES EVENLY IN ROW 1 (for a total of 86 stitches).  Row 8 was a little more difficult since I had to work backwards from the chart til I got the math correct.  Instead of decreasing by 3st, INCREASE 2 STITCHES EVENLY IN ROW 8 (for a total of 88st).  I have no idea if this will help anybody but I thought I'd share anyway ;)

18 January 2011

Worst Knitting Photo EVER!

Greetings all!

I have officially fallen behind schedule on this knit. I have only completed 14 days of patterns and here it is already the 18th. Sigh. I don't really have hopes of finishing up in time to cross the finish line on the 24th, but who knows. Maybe the knitting gods will smile down on me. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you what must surely be the worst knitting photo of all time:

17 January 2011

Here We Are Soaked and Tired~

We still look great after walking blocks and blocks in the pouring down rain,lugging our treasures around town. The cab to Voodoo would have been the way to go~

Thanks ladies for such fun memories~

16 January 2011

STP Yarn Train 2011

King Street Station
After getting off to a rough start which included spilling an entire cup of coffee in my lap at the train station as the train was boarding (managed to soak my jeans, my camera and my cell phone all in one fell swoop ~ no damage done other than a big stain on my pants so no harm no foul!), we headed south a little drowsy but excited for our first trip to Portland on the annual Yarn Train sponsored by the Snohomish Knitters Guild.

my first train ride ever!
 The trip down was fun as we started waking up and visiting with other knitters, and watching the light of day break outside our window.

left to right: Kelli, me (see the stain on my knee?), Trudy, Sherry
 It proved to be a rough day for a walking tour since it rained a hard, non-stop, torrential downpour the entire time we were in Oregon. We opted for a taxi to our first stop of the day, Knit Purl, a great shop with a stellar staff that made us all feel welcome and gave us some free swag as well as our 10% event day discount.

Union Station in Portland
 Our second stop was Dublin Bay, one of my favorite stops of the day.  It's beautiful inside and I wish I could have sat and knitted for awhile in front of the fireplace to dry out from the rain.  They had a great book selection and I picked up a copy of 'Knitted Lace of Estonia' by Nancy Bush, among other things.  I didn't realize until I uploaded pictures when I got home that I was lucky enough to catch our guest KAL blogger, Morgen, while she was shopping (that's her in the gray sweater below).

Dublin Bay
 Our third stop was Twisted, not on the walking tour but since we were taking a taxi everywhere we had some extra time so we headed out to see if Sivia Harding was there.  This is her home shop below, where she works.  We weren't lucky enough to be there on a day when she was there, but the shop was offering a 15% discount for the tour so of course, we shopped a bit...

 ...and Trudy got to rest her weary knees and do a little reading.

 Our last stop was Urban Fiber Arts, which had some great things we hadn't seen anywhere else during the day, but we were tired and hungry and the shop was really crowded so we decided not to linger and went down the street to Deschutes Brewery & Public House.  I had a fantastic breakfast-lunch-dinner (we hadn't really eaten all day!) ~ grilled sirloin with rosemary jus, smashed potatoes with white cheddar, bacon and hops, grilled squash and an ice cold Cascade Ale (one of my new favorites!).  I think everyone enjoyed the food as much as I did but I was so engrossed in my meal I don't think I even asked how their food was!

are you drooling??
We found some amazing stash builders (that's mine in the above photo), got lost trying to walk to Voodoo Doughnuts for the still elusive bacon maple bars (we ended up in a reaaaaaly bad neighborhood and quickly decided it was time to turn around and get our butts to the train station), had lots of laughs (broken umbrellas, crazy taxi drivers, almost leaving Sherry behind in Portland....I'm so sorry Sherry!!!  I lost my mind!), and had a fantastic adventure.  Thanks to everyone at the guild who helped to organize this trip ~ especially Mo! ~ what a huge undertaking!  You gave 200 knitters, us included, a day full of cherished memories!

15 January 2011

Watch out Portland, here we come!!!!  I could hardly sleep last night ~ feels like Christmas morning all over again ;)

13 January 2011

What's that saying about not being able to see the forest for the trees?  I think that's how it goes.  Tuesday night at the SKG meeting, one of my new friends asked me if I had ever written my own pattern.  I was a little distracted while I was talking to her since I had just cast on a project that I'm knitting up for a far away Ravelry friend that's going through a tough health battle right now.  I told her no, and that I probably wouldn't for a long time since I didn't feel like I was quite ready for that milestone yet.....and all the while I'm trying to figure out how to get the math to work so the lace pattern I'd like to use for this special project fits within my stitch count, and how many stitches I need to cast on to get the most use out of my yarn, and what my gauge is, and what I'd like to call this really neat thing when it's all finished and sent off in the mail for it's recipient.

It's now Thursday and, HELLO, I do believe that what I have been doing for the last 2 days, although unbeknownst to me, is working up my very first original creation.  Why am I always the last to know?  I'm often out of the loop on a lot of things but I don't usually leave myself out of said loop.  Good grief, I am a complete dork.

So, depending on how this top secret knit turns out, I think I may post it as a FREE pattern here on the blog.  It won't be anything stupendous but it's a start and something to be proud of, right?

The kal scarf is on hiatus until after our Portland trip this weekend.  Lace knitting just isn't conducive to visiting with 200 knitters while travelling and shopping.  We'll share our adventure and lots of photos when we get back!


Amazing Lace~

Wowzie, loving knitting this. Had had had to block it last night. I'm on day 14.

Using this 2 ply lace weight is new for me. I really like the fabric it knits up. Since I'm limited on beads, I'm just beading the first and last six days. The weight it gives to the bottom of the scarf is great.

It reminds me of a ribbon.

It's my best piece yet. Seems I get a little better at this 'knitting thing' every year...go figure.

Day 6 and day 10 are my favorites so far. I get excited when a new day comes. Yesterday I got to sit in my sweats and knit all day. My husband would smile cause I was smiling, when I flipped to the next day of the pattern, and announced(as if the world was waiting with anticipation) which day I would be knitting next.

Oh I wish I could 'sweats and knit' all day today, but I'm off to work. I bring my scarf with me to show customers my progress and try to encourage them to try lace.


10 January 2011

Extended forecast...

Calls for snow tonight and tomorrow ~ the way things shut down altogether around Seattle when we get this type of weather, I may end up with an extra day off work and another day to knit.  Hopefully if we do get anything significant it has come and gone by Saturday morning so our train trip to Portland isn't cancelled.  There will be 200+ very very sad knitters if that happens.....

I'm halfway done with my shawl ~ it's my favorite of all 4 lace samplers that I've done.  Lots of new patterns and a few new stitches, and I love it when I learn something new.  Morgen should be blogging along with us soon ~ her invite has been sent so I'm expecting to see some progress photos from her and she can share more of her great tips!  Karen is plugging along also and has posted some photo updates on her blog that you can check out here.  And Kelli, we haven't seen or heard from you lately but knowing you that means you're on a mission and probably close to finished already.  Am I right? ;)


Day XI

Day X

08 January 2011


That was an amazing game ~ 'NFL's biggest postseason upset ever' ~ yup, that's what they're saying.  The buzz here all week has been so positive and I guess we all had some sense that even though they stunk it up this season, they're rebuilding right now and things could click anytime.  Definitely the most fun game all year!

On the knitting front, I managed to finish Day 9 without messing up ~ my attention was a little divided today!  Day 7 & 9 look similar in the photos but the patterns are different.  Almost to the halfway point!

errata day 10 - the spacer section has you increase to 87 stitches (which is what I did) - I then counted the first row of the chart & the math doesn't work - I'm adding 2 extra k stitches at the beginning of every right side row after the edge stitches (so right side rows 1 thru 13 will start with k9 instead of k7 before the repeat section, and right side rows 15 thru 27 will be k2 & then the repeat section) - now to go see if my math works this way!  If you look at the written instructions, it looks like that's what was intended anyway.

Day IX



05 January 2011

Chugging along.....

Day IV

Day V

Day VI
Day 6 ~ Usually I love a more compact vs. spiderwebby lace but I think this would definitely look interesting on larger needles. I love this stitch ~ wish I knew if there was a name for this lace pattern ~ it's given me an idea for a project I may put together once I put more thought into it.....

I'll try and get better pics in the daylight but it will have to wait since the sun only shines when I'm at work these days.....

My Calender Scarf 2011

Yummy yarn and pattern. It's Dawn yarn. Loving the silk/wool,2ply,on size 2 needles, and the sweet creamy seed beads are adding an extra touch.
My husband makes blackberry milkshakes,from our homemade 'high fiber blackberry jam' Melissa and I made this summer. (High fiber cause we didn't strain any seeds.) While I knit on my scarf at night. It's a fun KAL, and the small group motivates me to get it done.
Will post more pictures as I go. Happy New Year.


02 January 2011

Game ON!

Day I

Day II

This is (so far) my favorite of all the sampler shawls I've knit.  I hope everyone is enjoying knitting this one up as much as I am.  I love the pattern, the yarn, the beads.....everything!  Can't wait to see your progress!

Nupps: I didn't like the 7-stitch in my lace weight (too much like a giant bobble) so I tried a 3-stitch (couldn't see) and finally decided on a 5-stitch.  I think they look the best with my yarn and will also save me a little yardage since I don't quite have the recommended amount the pattern called for.  Hopefully I can squeak out day 23 and 24 now?

I'm also bumping Morgen's comment about her experience with nupps into my post so it will be easier to find for anyone that maybe hasn't done them before.  She has some great tips if you're struggling with them:

"For anyone who hasn't yet done Day 2's pattern, here are a couple of hints. I have taken a number of Estonian lace classes from Nancy Bush. One thing she always emphasizes about the dreaded nupps are that it is just about impossible to make the (in this case 7 out of 1) stitches too big. In other words, as you are drawing the yarn throught the front and back for the 7 stitches, pull each loop of yarn through towards yourself as far as you reasonably can. This makes it very easy to pick up all 7 stitches on the return row and purl them together. You can also neaten the nupps up if necessary by tugging gently from below to align all their loops.
On this particular set of nupps I have noticed that on the return row, the 7 stitches are purled together, and then the next stitch to be purled is a yarnover. It is very easy to accidentally purl that yarnover together with the nupp thereby messing with your stitch count. I have found it easier to hold that yo out of the way with my lefthand thumb as I purl the nupp. Quite honestly, I find nupps really easy if you just know ahead of timewhat to watch for. I hope this info helps someone!"              thanks, Morgen!

Karen has decided to post progress photos on her own blog so if you want to check hers also, here's the link.  She's already got a photo up, and also one of her finished shawl from last year's kal.  If you want to see everyone's finished 2010 shawl , they are all on this blog in the January & February 2010 postings.  Better get back to my knitting ;)

day 4 errata! ~ heads up ~ day 3 ends with 88 stitches ~ the first row of day 4's spacer section says to 'decrease by 1 st' to get the necessary 86 stitches for day 4....I counted chart stitches, you do need 86 stitches for day 4 so you'll need to decrease the first row of the spacer section by 2 stitches