Tracksy Web Stats A Knitter's Wonderland: December 2005

A Knitter's Wonderland

(To the tune of Winter Wonderland) Needles click, how they glisten, cozy sound, as you listen, they’re stuck everywhere, sit down if you dare, welcome to my knitter’s wonderland. Yarn abounds to overflowing, countless books increase my knowing. I need every bit; I care not a whit if there’s no pathway through my wonderland! In an evening I can make a mitten, start a shawl, a sweater, or a hat. But the question to ask any kitten, is “Do you think she’ll really finish that?”

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Some Christmas Knitting

The blue baby hat to match the sunsuit has been reduced to a ball of blue yarn. I'm actually knitting a new LARGE swatch to check my gauge. I also realized I have made hundreds of children's hats over the years and KNOW I need around 70 sts on size 7 needles for a baby - duh! So as soon as I can get a decent gauge I'll start again.

In the meantime, here is some of the Christmas knitting I did:

A dear friend gave me her standby two needle mitten pattern. If you look hard you can see I added a cable up the back of both the black and pink pair. I didn't think about it for the smallest set so I made an I cord initial instead. These were SO fast! I used Plymouth Encore. It's very soft and is a wool/acrylic blend. These went to my niece, her husband, and son. They should be opening the package today (they were waiting for son to get back from visiting other family) so I feel safe posting.

The other Christmas knitting is waiting for a cold day (probably in January) to model the hat, scarf, and gauntlets...and matching scarf for the dog!

I am trying to decide which yarn to use to start the felted tote. I have some colorful wool I spun and dyed with easter egg dye. And I have some purchased wool in grey. Or I could go to Gourmet Yarn and get something new. Or I could spin up some of the BOXFUL of rovings I have stashed. Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Gauging Disappointment

SIGH!! The little hat I was making to match the sunsuit fits ME!! How did that happen? I checked my gauge TWICE (as you can plainly see, I don't think this is actually my fault). It's must be the yarn. I checked the gauge TWICE (oh, I already mentioned that) And not only does it fit me perfectly, I don't like it! It would look very cute on a 6 month old (with a really big head) but it just looks silly on me.

Between a heart test and my weekly herceptin treatment, I had two solid hours to knit this morning. I could have made a couple of dishcloths. I could have started the felted tote bag. I could have worked on another UFO. I could have...well, you get the picture.

I even made cute I-cord trims for the top of it. I'm so disappointed I'm not even going to take a picture of it. Where's the yarn inspector when you need yarn chewed up...

Sigh! I'll check the gauge again before I rip it out. I can't believe it fits me! It's supposed to be 16" around. It has to be at least 20". Sigh! I think I'll start the felted tote bag - no gauge needed.

And I also realized I missed the big sale at Gourmet Yarns - SIGH!

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Day After

Hope everyone had a wonderous Christmas day and everyone got at least one thing under the tree they had hoped for. I know I did. My knitterly gift was from my sweet SIL Eileen. She got me this book and hinted she might like "Flap-Top Mittens" on page 102. Guess what she's getting for Christmas next year (but don't tell her, it's a secret. And if she happens to be reading this - I'm just kidding Eileen, you're really getting something else... like... ummmm... compost soil... Yes That's It. You're getting compost soil!)

And my honey-bunny got me TWO candy books! For all you Okies,
this one is written by an Okie and has updated old candy recipes from around Oklahoma. It looks really fun and regardless of what the blurb says, there are NO cookie recipes in it!

It was so nice and peaceful around here I actually finished a UFO!

It turned out so cute I am making a sunhat to go with it! (Does anyone else have this problem? I can't just make something, but I have to make something else to go with it! It's no wonder I don't get anything finished!) I'll post a pic as soon as it's done. And I made one last DW cloth (then it's on to try the bee stitch):

I tried a couple of times to take this without the Yarn Inspector but finally just gave up. This one is on size 6 needles with 34 sts and the zig zag pattern is back. I don't really like using such small needles. And I keep thinking I can get two cloths out of one ball of Sugar & Cream. But as Polly pointed out at the last Guild meeting - if I buy two balls I can get three cloths with little yarn left over. So I will be buying two balls of the same color from now on.

Today I'm cleaning up files on my computer in preparation for finishing up my business plan this week. I'm also going to go through all the Christmas ornaments (that never DID make it to the tree) and clear out the ones I don't recognize or remember. What do you do with nice but unwanted handmade ornaments? Guess I'll put a bag together for Goodwill.

Happy Christmas Week!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Jingle Bears!

Merry Christmas!
(I would have dressed up the cats but they have no sense of humor!)
I can't believe I've got my Christmas shopping done, Christmas knitting out the door, the business planning sessions almost complete, and am caught up on dishclothes! I need to either start a new project or finish up an old one.
Decisions, decisions (I only say that to make you think I might actually consider finishing a UFO, in truth I'm going to start a felted bag and I have one more ball of variegated cotton for another dishcloth using the bee stitch).
And I am going to go buy a sheet of plastic canvas so I can get the sunsuit finished (I could also start weaving in all those multitude of ends if I was really serious about getting it done). I found some silver metalic yarn in my stash that I think will make a great buckle.
And just for fun, I found this while surfing the net:

A Politically Correct Christmas Poem
Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole,
were alleged by the union, to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished without much propriety,
released to the wilds, by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear,
that Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!
The runners had been removed from his beautiful sleigh,
because the ruts were deemed dangerous by the EPA,
And millions of people were calling the Cops,
when they heard sled noises upon their roof tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe, had his workers quite frightened,
and his fur trimmed red suit was called "unenlightened".
To show you the strangeness of today's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.
He went to Geraldo, in front of the Nation,
demanding millions in over-due workers compensation.
So...half of the reindeer were gone, and his wife
who suddenly said she'd had enough of this life,
joined a self help group, packed and left in a whiz,
demanding from now on that her title was Ms.
And as for gifts...why, he'd never had the notion
that making a choice could cause such commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur...
Which meant nothing for him or nothing for her.
Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot,
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls and nothing for just boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific,
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacifistic.
No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish upon the truth.
And fairy tales...while not yet forbidden,
were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden,
for they raised the hackles of those psychological,
who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football...someone might get hurt,
besides - playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passe.
and Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled and perplexed,
he just couldn't figure out what to do next?
He tried to be merry he tried to be gay,
but you must have to admit he was having a very bad day.
His sack was quite empty, it was flat on the ground,
nothing fully acceptable was anywhere to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might,
give to us all, without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy - with no indecision,
each group of people in every religion.
Every race, every hue,everyone, everywhere...even you!
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...

Monday, December 19, 2005


We woke up to snow again this morning! No sunshine this time. Perhaps this is to get us into the Christmas spirit. Well, it's not working! But at least the tree is no longer a shrub. Granted the tree skirt never made it under the tree and it only has one ornament at the moment.

A crocheted angel I made several years ago. But lights are pretty and the ormaments will probably get hung up before the week is out.

I finished the fingerless mitts. It seems the ever vigilant yarn inspector felt the ball of yarn I was working with was too large and cumbersome. So she thoughtfully reduced it into small, more manageable balls. It took me awhile to get it rewound.

I also finished another DW cloth made from Christmas-y red, white, and green Sugar-n-Cream cotton. I redid it about four times. The length of the color changes simply do not create the zig zag pattern. I tried it with 38 stitches, with 34 stitches, and with 30 stitches. None of them looked right. So I gave up. Here is the dishcloth with 30 stitches:

I like the size but the pattern is not very pretty. I have a green variegate I'm going to try next. Then at some point, I'll get back to finishing up the UFOs.

The Metro OKC Knit Guild meeting on Sunday afternoon was very nice. Whether there are two or two hundred, being with other knitters is simply a joy. And thanks to Margaret, we have a couple of pictures (but none of Margaret, obviously if you are taking the picture you can't be IN the picture - I think she planned it that way)

Here is Emily and Kay . Both brought great show and tell items and yummy treats for us to nibble on as we knit. Margaret made some wonderful hot apple cider too!

Here is Polly, me, and Terri (Terri started the OKLAHOMAKNITTERS list on Yahoo). The gorgeous felted basket was knitted by Polly and was still damp from being felted. It was one of Cat Bordhi's patterns and it turned out very nice. Terri brought some fruitcake stollen that was very good. I'd never had stollen and certainly nothing as festive as fruitcake stollen. We had a great time!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Fancy Footwear

The Christmas knitting is done and out the door. I'll post pics after Christmas. So I'm back on the DW dishclothes (I've just cast on a Christmas-y red, green, and white so no pics yet) and another set of fingerless mitts:

These just couldn't be easier to make! I'm using a yarn called Ascot by Spinnerin. It's a wool, mohair, nylon mix. I did a test gauge since this is for someone else and show 5 sts = 1". I cast on 46 sts and am working a 2x2 rib. When I hit 8" I'll bind it off, sew partially up the side, and get it tried on before leaving the thumb opening.

I'm using three strands held together on size 9 needles. This is going to be WARM!

And today was the our monthly knit-together. Our group is called the Knitty Committee and we meet on the 4th Saturday of every month (except Nov & Dec then we meet on the 3rd Saturday). I've been in this group about eight or nine years - we started with three of us meeting at Michael's Arts and Crafts store. Today about 15 ladies came and it was great fun as always! When Stephanie talks about being among her people, I understand perfectly - these are MY PEOPLE!

I'd planned to take my camera so I could get pics of us but in the rush to get out the door, I left it on the counter. But I have something almost as good - slipper pictures (wow - was that a great segway or what):

Okay, I know they aren't hand knit but they are way cool! The socks are bright red with gold metalic thread and the cuffs are like fun fur. They remind me of Who feet from the "Grinch Who Stole Christmas." When I put them on I just want to start singing "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!" A good friend gave them to me. Note the black nose in the corner. It belongs to the every vigilant yarn inspector! She was far more interested in the non-skid soles than the fur cuff.

And the next two pairs are knitted:

A fantastic knitter from the Knitty Committee made this pair and the following pair for me as thanks for finishing up a hooked rug for her. Imagine the purples all darker (I need to work on my picture taking techniques).

And a really nice sporty version! I love all my new slippers! I am cold most of the time and tend to wear slippers all year round in the house so I'm thrilled to have so many choices.

Last but not least, as I was surfing around the web last night, I ran across this - Cuteness Overload!! Nothing else need be said. Except tomorrow is the monthly meeting of the Knit Guild and I have set my camera ON my knitting bag.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

So late last night I learned how to use Yahoo's IM feature. Between my Mom in Tonasket, Washington, one of my brothers in Kent, Washington and my hubby, I managed to carry on several conversations at once. Wow! This is a neat feature! But I digress.

Getting into the Christmas spirit: We hadn't put up a tree or decorated for Christmas in about seven years. It's been one thing or another and we simply didn't get around to it. Famous last words. So this year, in our new house, I wanted the tree up (ours is a fake we bought the year before we got married), decorations out, and some lights on the house. Here's how far we've gotten:

The Christmas Shrub. At first branches were being added every couple of days. They no longer seem to be appearing. But notice, there are lights are on the branches. Also notice the stockings hung by the chimney with care. Those are the ONLY decorations up so far. And you can't even see the best one (on the end with it's heel towards you:

Yes folks, a modified Godzilla stocking. I made it years ago. (I also have Zilla ornaments and an advent calendar - I used to be a fanatic, now I'm just a fan).

Here are all the ornaments and decorations. Note the Christmas tree skirt over the chair. Most of our ornaments are hand crafted, except for the box full in front. Those are all Hallmark dated ornaments - we have 22 of them. We got married in Jan'85 but spent our first Christmas together in Dec '84. One shoebox is full of sheep ornaments (I used to collect sheep but the zillas ate most of them) and another shoebox is full of train ornaments (also used to be a model railroader but simply didn't have the time or space). I also have several Nativity sets but I haven't found them yet. Not that they would get put out...well, maybe ONE would!

But are we so sadly lacking in Christmas spirit - absolutely not:

There is nothing like a Christmas Tree Hat to brighten up the season!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sing a Song of Knitting

So instead of working on Christmas knitting, I've spent my spare seconds writing the little ditty you see under the heading. Special thanks to Ali who helped me change the font color in the heading - she's amazing! I couldn't get the last verse to fit so I had to chop it off. But rather than have you miss out on the whole thing, here is my knitting carol in it's entirety:

Knitter’s Wonderland
(To the tune of Winter Wonderland)

Needles click, how they glisten, cozy sound, as you listen,
They’re stuck everywhere, sit down if you dare,
Welcome to my knitter’s wonderland.

Yarn abounds to overflowing,
Countless books increase my knowing.
I need every bit; I care not a whit
If there’s no pathway through my wonderland!

In an evening I can make a mitten,
Start a shawl, a sweater, or a hat.
But the question to ask any kitten, is
“Do you think she’ll really finish that?” (Ha, Ha, Ha)

I like starting brand new projects,
Old things are rejected objects.
Some day they’ll get done, but that’s part of the fun
of living in a knitter’s wonderland.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Winter Wonderland

Yesterday started my "I hate cold, I hate snow, I didn't move to the South to freeze" whine. Not that we get all that much snow really. Yesterday was windy, cold, and snowy. Today was bright, sunny, and snowy.

This is the front porch. I doubt we even got half an inch. It was a delightful 13 degrees when we got up but managed to soar to 27 degrees by noon.

So in honor of snow, the holiday season, etc. , here is a pair of very easy, very fast fingerless mitts or gauntlets I created last year. They make up in a hurry and I absolutely love them!

I'm sorry, I should have turned my hand over so you could see the back. (and it's VERY hard to take a picture of your own hand!) I made them out of LB Homespun to match a scarf. As you can see, they are very long. They go from the middle of my forearm (no nasty cold air gap) past my knuckles.

I made them as a simple flat 2x2 rib (I measured my hand across the palm for size) on either size 8 or 9 needles, then sewed them into tubes. I figured out where I wanted the thumb hole, and easy-sneazy, sew up the side seam and Done!

In honor of the cold weather finally hitting Oklahoma, I'm sharing our favorite beef stew recipe. We had it last night for dinner and it also is very easy. Enjoy and stay warm!


14 ½ oz Can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 Cup Water
3 TBSP Quick-Cooking Tapioca
2 Tsp Sugar
1 ½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Pepper
2 Pounds Lean Beef Stew Meat, cut into 1” cubes
4 Medium Carrots, cut into 1” chunks
3 Medium Potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 Celery Ribs, cut into 3/4 “chunks
1 Medium Onion, cut into chunks

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, water, tapioca, sugar, salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Pour into a greased 13” x 9” x 2” or 3 qt baking dish. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 1 ¾ to 2 hours or until meat and veggies are tender. Serve in bowls. Makes 6 - 8 servings

Monday, December 05, 2005

Short and Sweet

After looking at all those UFOs, I think I'll start with the sunsuit. I'm going to create a buckle for it out of plastic canvas. That way I can make it the size and shape I want, use washable yarn, if the kid pulls it off it won't choke him/her, and I can truly FINISH one of these projects fairly quickly. I also decided to rip out the two projects with only an inch done on them. One I'll redo but I'm going to use my knitting machine and not waste time. I just want a plain pullover. The other will provide me with some nice cotton but it becomes stash and is no longer a UFO.

Yesterday I got sidetracked at a local yarn store and ended up buying more dishcloth yarn and yet another pair of size 8 needles. But I did get half of my Christmas knitting finished over the weekend (I'll post pics after Christmas) and have started on the other half. So I figure it's okay to BUY dishcloth cotton as long as I don't actually WORK on it until I'm done with the Christmas knitting.

And thanks to Ali, I found this great web site with multitudes of interesting classes to take. I'd been wondering how I was going get started and this looks perfect.

This is also the time of year I work on my real estate business plan for next year, so posts will be sparse while I round up numbers, go through advertising options, and generally determine what I want to accomplish. The best thing about my business plan is I also plan a year's worth of personal goals as well as business goals. Since I started putting goals on paper, in the last three years I've been up in a hot air balloon, drove a train locomotive, learned some magic tricks, and started buying investment real estate. It's amazing!

Now if I could just get some UFOs finished...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Miss Kitty and some UFO Sightings

I bought this yarn several years ago with the idea of making a cardigan. Several patterns (and rip-outs) later, Ive now decided to make the ZigZag Pullover from a Knit-n-Style. This is kind of slow going since it's done in strips then sewn together (it's the sewing part that always slows me down). Notice the small Yarn Gourmet with the big mouth. But the amount I have done looks really nice, almost the whole back is finished. I'm going to put small balls of the yarn into a bag and keep it in the car to work on.

This is a very cute, soft cotton baby sunsuit. All it lacks are the ends woven in and snaps or velcro put on at the shoulders and crotch. Why isn't it done? I can't decide how I want to add a small buckle in the middle of the black belt! Should I duplicate stitch it? Should I make i-cord and free-hand it? Should I just go buy a small plastic buckle and sew it on? Decisions, decisions. In the meantime, the baby I was making this for is now in kindergarten.

And if you're wondering where my furry yarn inspector is, right after I took this picture, a small black paw came swiftly from under the table, grabbed the loose ends, and pulled it out off!

I couldn't get the light right on this either. This colors are much prettier and not nearly as muddy as they look. This is a pattern and yarn from last spring's Patternworks. It's a short sleeve cardigan in a broken cable & eyelet stitch. This is almost half the back done. I had to set it aside when I started chemotherapy. I just couldn't concentrate on the pattern rows. I'm almost to the point I could pick it up again. Maybe another month or two. Just in time for spring.

The Bloom Shawl from done in my own handspun on size 35 needles, kool-aid and easter egg dyed. I'm about half done with it. I set it aside when I started the Christmas knitting. But now I want to make felted bags and am having a hard time not ripping this out to use. I'm sure it will make a much prettier shawl than a knitting bag...yes, I'm sure...

Last but not least is a tape sweater I started with close-out yarn bought in Kansas years ago. This is the back. I started the front only to realize (after knitting up to the armholes) I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish it. No labels, no idea of the name, so I ripped out the front then found I had some black tape I bought at the same time. I've been trying to come up with a creative way to use the black for the front and still make it work with the blue back. And again, I need to practice more with the camera. While Sugar came out the right color, this sweater back is actually a purply navy blue!

So enough of this. I have a few more. These are the high points. Yes, there are a few low points (even I don't think you can count one inch of knitting as enough of a project not to rip it out but I can't bring myself to do that on at least two items!) but I feel better already.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!