Monday, January 23, 2006


First, a real elephant. We went to the circus this week. This was Girl #1's favorite part.

Then a swatched elephant.

This one shows the color better:

This one is obviously washed out, but you get a better sense of the shape. This will do far a good swatch, but I am still playing around with the overall shape. Both girls instantly said "Elephant!" when I asked them what it was. Still, his back and hindquarters are bugging me. A tad lumpy. The whole thing has to fit in an area about 22 stitches by 20 rows, so there's not much room.

Any ideas?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The yarn has entered the building

The yarn for my pal's Anouk arrived today. It is the eggplant cone on the right. I already had the Willow on the left. I had this delusion that I was going to make this fabulous shirt from one of the Jaeger books. Nice pattern, but it did not accommodate my post-baby belly-bulge.

I am planning on changing the pattern I did for Girl #2‘s version and adding elephants. If I can find the time I’ll swatch tonight. Things are crazy here. Girl #2 is sick, again. She’s a thumb sucker and catches everything that comes along.

Needless to say she’s a bit high maintenance right now. Yesterday she fell while she played in the backyard. When I got there to give the hugs and TLC she was screaming “I wish I had brains! I wish I had brains!”. You and me both, kid. I think they were playing Wizard of Oz, but still, it was kinda funny.

My life’s goal right now is to spend a whole day and not have to touch anything sticky. . Between the lollypops at the bank, and the honey, and the spilled milk, and the children’s medicine spat back in my face everything I touch around here is sticky. Which is making knitting hard.

Seriously, I’ve had to scrub the kitchen floor for three days in a row. Hands and knees scrub, not Swiffer.

So, since not much actual knitting has happened, here’s a picture of Dad in his new vest. Sorry for the moving hand, it is the best shot of the vest. He’s visiting in a few weeks, so I’ll try to get a better shot.

The knitting for the purse is done. I need to sew the lining and figure out the closure up top. I really like how it is turning out. The whole thing is done in binary numbers, don’t ‘cha love it?.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New purse!

Well, almost.

This is my current project. You might notice it is NOT a sleeve for a cardigan made of Valley Cotton on size 2 needles. I am an inch away from finishing the first sleeve, but my fingers are TIRED.

So they are taking a break with this:

It is a purse I am working up on size eight needles. The fabric is for the lining. It is knitted in one piece. I have finished one side and the edge:

Now I just need to find some handles and we are good to go.

Since none of our local stores sell handles (without purses attached) does anyone know a good online supplier of such things?

As soon as I am done and sure it worked out I’ll post a pattern. It’s pretty simple, and a good way to use a small amount of pretty yarn.

If I finish the body of the purse today I'll post, but now we are off to the beach!

I know, I should't gloat, but really this will probably be our only winter in sunny Florida, so we might as well enjoy it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Local Harvest

Hey! hope everyone is having a snappy day.

And you all are too smart, it is in fact "We have eaten the elephant"

Not much going on today, so I thought I'd show you this:

This is a group that connects you to small farmers and markets and you can buy their goods online. They have a nice selection of yarn, rovings and such. Thought you might enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

V F E-10 D LFN

When we were kids we used to get shipped off for a few weeks with the grandparents every summer. You know, the parents needed a break.

So we'd head down to South Carolina. A good bit of time was spent driving to visit relatives in Summerton SC. That's where my Aunt Bobby lived. No, that's not any sort of transexual thing. She was just the first person in her small town to get a "bob" haircut back in the 1920's.

Bobby was the family spinster. Born in 1899 she was a county extension agent. Going to her house was always a dangerous trip. It was great, but she didn't believe in air conditioning or fans. She also believed kids were great blueberry pickers. So in the afternoon, when it was 100 degrees, well lets just say it was HOT in those bushes.

No one ever cleaned out anything at the old family homested, so all the closets were full of jars of marbles, and civil war era clothes. And books, lots and lots of books. She had paths through them in her living room. She was one of those old people.
Anycase, one summer she got us a copy of CDC. If you haven't seen this book, it has letters put together to spell things. Like CDC = See? The sea. This one had a little cartoon of kids at the beach for a clue. Well all summer ther was one we couldn't figure out.
So everytime I think of elephants, I think of this book. And why am I thinking elephants? Well, I am planning on doing a bit of a variation on my variation of Annouk. I think I am going to do it Valley Cotton from Webs In these colors:

I adore Valley Cotton. It is a weaving cotton that comes with 1200 yards on a cone for around $15. LOVE IT. I made the most succesful craft project ever out of it:

Well around the same time I did my original Anouk I also worked up a chart for a fair isle type pattern with elephants marching accross. Once the children go to bed I'll try to find it to show you. I already have the willow, and I am trying to decide which purple, I am thinking Magenta.

And I appologize now for the spelling and typos. I'll try to fix after bedtime. The girls need to go to bed. The husband is out late, so just me and the girlstoday, all day today...

(Oh, and if noone guesses it I'll post the answer to the puzzle tomorrow)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

That Friend

You know how we all have THAT friend. You’ve known each other forever, even before you got new last names, and real jobs, and stretch marks. You know the one…she always calls at just the right time?

Well my friend is named Julie.

A letter from Julie (Merve was the code name for my then - boyfriend, hah!)

We’ve known each other since middle school out in Southern California. We were both east coast transplants. And before we met people always got us confused. I always had these weirdoes walking up and saying “Hey Julie, guess what?” and then rattling on while I stood there thinking “I do not know her, why is this freak talking to me?”

Well one day I rounded the corner and literally ran into this girl. As we stepped back and started to apologize we both just stared for a second. I pointed and shouted “Julie!” and she pointed and shouted “Becca!”. It had been happening to her too. Maybe it was our East-Coast aura that made people confuse us.

We’ve been friends ever since.

So, why am I telling you this?

Two days ago I had this big “must call Julie” vibe. I didn’t, since it was noon, and she was at work.

So then I get an e-mail, and she has just been approved to adopt a little girl from China. And there is a name, and a picture. So cute!

So, I need to knit something. This is an 18 month old, so she really doesn’t need a baby blanket. But I think I have decided what to do.

Two years ago I knit an Anouk for girl #2. I used Paton’s Grace in light green and violet. I’ve had it hanging in their room for decoration (and yes, I decorate with knitting, it’s bonkers, I know). Yesterday she pulled it down and tried it on for dress up.

It still fits. Is this not the best pattern ever?

So I am thinking, this would be the perfect thing for a toddler who is small for her age. A grow-with-me garment.

Now the big problem is color. I need something other than green and purple, so I am heading up to the store tomorrow to see if they still cary Grace, and we’ll move on from there.

Oh, a side note, my header of the blog is a close up of my version of Anouk. It shows the colors much better than the photo.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Some dis-assembly required

(added Monday, Jan 9th)So anyone that visited the blog over the weekend probably wondered WHY the random picture of yarn? I got the photo posted, then we lost our internet connection. Finally it has returned.

This pile if yarn is from a gorgeous sweater of the husband's from J. Crew. It is probably about 15 years old and he stopped wearing it before we were married almost ten years ago.

It is a bit more caramel than the picture shows. This is just one sleeve! I had done the other sleeve before we moved, and have finished about 2/3 of the front of a cabled vest. We're in the middle of a cold snap down here (lows in the 50's), and I am trying to finish a few projects that got stalled by the move last spring.

The neat thing is that the yarn is wool, and the process of unravelling, washing and hanging to dry has felted it slightly. It makes for a really neat fabirc. I'll try to get pics up later today.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Quick question for Friday

I am in the middle of a secret project, so this is going to be short.

This weekend, I am wondering what makes a great Knit-Along? (hint, hint)

For instance, I was lucky enough to participate in Socktoberfest, run by that snappy gal Lolly. Wonderful!

But what made it wonderful? I have some real ideas, but I am wondering what YOU think.

The secret should be revealed early next week, so stay tuned.

(And a second question...has anyone used Shine from Knit Picks? How does it hold up? I might retry the snake sweater, but I am out of Cotton Ease...any comparison?)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sweaters for Snakes

So I was at the library today for children's reading's theme you ask? Feet. You can fill a lot of time for the under five set when discussing feet. Two whole books about socks. Girl #2 turned around at one point and very seriously told the girl next to her “My mom makes those”. Nice to be noticed.

Anyway, we always get there early so I can peruse the knitting section. It is retirement central down here, so out libraries keep a pretty good selection of knitting books. We trek about 20 minutes to the Daytona Library, which is very nicely situated on the river on an island. Our local library is also good, but the reading time there is a bit scary. Last time we went the librarian had a five minute argument with a kid about whether an animal in a book was a bear or a dog. And she doesn’t let them touch the felt pieces. And as Girl #1 says, way too loudly, “Doesn’t she know you are supposed to turn the book AROUND and show the kids the pictures?”.

So today, they had “No Idle Hands : The Social History of American Knitting” by Anne MacDonald on the shelf. What a great book. I only got to skim a bit since the foot theme at reading time was pretty engrossing. The book has a history of knitting in the US from the Colonial times forward. I love things like this, don’t you?
One section the author queried folks about the oddest thing they had ever seem knit. One person said a knit uterus, for a Lamaze class. This was published in 1988, way before Knitty. My favorite was a sweater for a boa constrictor.
Which got me thinking about my latest project. The vest for Girl #2.
Knitting for the small set is a tricky business. Yes, the projects are smaller, and therefore need less yarn, and go quite a bit faster. On the down side if you do not finish the project quickly the original measurements become obsolete.
Case in point:
I mean really, it now looks like one of those long sweater/coat things that were popular a few years ago. Just what every two year old needs.
It started out OK. The measurements WOULD have circumnavigated her belly two months ago. I started in November, but them it was put aside so I could finish the Christmas knitting. Once I started it again I just measured as I went to figure out the length. Voila! A snake sweater!
She’s feeling petulant today, so no action shot. On her it is not really so bad. I still have to do the embroidery. It is so disappointing when you have a picture in your head of something, and it just ends up off. Lesson learned though, always leave lots of belly ease when knitting for the toddler in your life.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

Well tomorrow the pre-school grind starts up again. I have therefore decided to spend today at home. The less time in the van the better. Plus it is sunny and 80 degrees here, so I am torturing the girls by making them play outside. I am a cruel beast.

I have spent the last few days thinking about New Year's resolutions. I generally don't go to crazy with these, I'm pretty happy as I am. Still there are a few things I'd like to in my knitting life.

1) Finally figure out lace. I can do the most complex cables, but lace confuses me to no end.

2) Get a local knitting group started. We has a few meetings this summer, but it kind of fizzled. Any ideas on how to do this would be appreciated. I know folks here knit, because Barnes and Noble keeps a huge selection of knitting books in the stroe, and the selection is always changing, so SOMEONE is buying those books.

3) Improve my patterns. I almost always knit my own thing, but I don't always keep great notes. I'd like to start keeping track of what I did and perhaps start trying to sell a few patterns.

4) Clear some ideas out of the stash. I usually do not have a lot of projects waiting in the wing, but right now I have a real glut of things I need to get to.

I hope everyone is having a grand new year so far!!