Monday, January 15, 2007


I have moved to new digs--check the wild knitting adventures at KNITZANITY!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Life begins anew!

DONE! Last paper turned in a day early (Metadata will torture me no more! until next semester....) extra credit submitted (I may not be the sharpest tack, but I work hard) and a good night's sleep behind me. Life begins!

We have a chunk of the weekend with no kids (Xmas party, mum is taking them for a sleepover) but I have work and groceries to occupy me Saturday though, I will try to have a bit of fun. I have the three-under-five today, so the fun thing may be Chicken Ballet (chick-fil-a), they play while I knit, but that is plenty fun after the papers I have had.

Sunday morning I want to start seaming the Rebecca sweater....finally!

(Above picture from BoyWonder's birthday party--we hung donuts from a string and everyone was supposed to eat with no hands. It was really fun! Then Boywonder ate 3 more donuts. )

Sunday, December 03, 2006


It has been a tough few months. Since September I have had
  • The car accident
  • The foot problems (woke up one AM and could not put any weight on foot! better now. Morton's Neuromas in both feet, in case you are interested. Thrilling!)
  • The three major appliances dying in one week (had to buy a new oven, stove top and washing machine in one swoop!)
  • My regular workload which includes library school, my two kids and my neighbor's two kids, plus my wonderful job in a local library (the one peaceful oasis in my day. )
THEN as I was sorting my woolens I discovered HOLES!
Turns out I had MOTHS! My chest is clenching with fear even as I type this. The bugs--I think they are carpet beetles actually, I am such a research-head--had snacked mightily on the unworn woolen stash I have under the bed in a zippered duvet bag. The casualties included some lovely vintage woolens I inherited from Ireland, plus the cabled sweater I knit for my beloved grandmother (she wore it nearly every day for the last 18 months of her life). SOB! None of this stuff was destined to be worn again, but it is still heartbreaking. AND disturbing. What if they invaded the stash!!!!!

I did find a hole in an item in the closet, so a big clean was in order.
  1. I put EVERYTHING WOOLEN in my drawers and closet into the freezer. That would kill everything. I then took everything out for a week and put it back in. My socks are fine and the one scarf is darn-able. Many of the older items may need a wash, or even to be TRASHED. To be decided.
  2. I blitzed the closet, removing everything and vacuuming throughout. I then wiped most of it down. Yuck.
  3. I took the bed apart and cleaned under the bed, wiped it down and vacuuming. I also washed the dust ruffle and vacuumed the mattress, looking for larvae. Yuck.
I will have to continue to monitor; I killed a flying something last night. From what I have read, this may be an ongoing problem.

Then, onward to the stash. FORTUNATELY the stash is stored in the attic; my reading sugested that high and low temperatures discourages bugs. Its an unheated/uncooled space. The stash is in Rubbermaid tubs, but that is not enough when you have had an infestation (IMHO).

I found NO BUGS! Relief. Still, Protection was needed. Stash was sorted into cotton/blends, and wool. Then, I used 3 space bags to package the wool--one for the Cascade 220, one for the Koigu and the Morehouse Merino, and one for the other leftovers and sock yarn. My research said that the bugs would eat anything, but that wool was most vulnerable. I may go back and put the cotton in spacebags.

Here is the sorting process; room space donated by the BoyWonder (his room has great natural light).

And the cotton stash, maybe 3/4 of the tub.

I have WANTED to purchase more yarn, but afraid to bring anything into this house of PAIN! Plus, the semester is ending and I am up to my oxthers in final papers. I turned in one yesterday and the other is due Friday. After that one is turned in I am DEFINITELY going to need a yarn reward.

QUESTIONS: Aside from mothballs, which are toxic and STINKY, what do I do to keep bugs from my stash? Are simple lavender sachets going to help? Where do I get them? Any ideas what yarn stores do????

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Its a baby!

In my little neighborhood the moms from the bustop all help each other out. Kids run from house to house, we do grocery runs for each other, and overall we try to help each other out when things get crazy. One of The Mommy Mafia is expecting another--number four!

Since they do not know what flavor they are having, I had to make something simple and gender neutral. It had to be machine washable and go with everything.

DENIM! Every baby needs a jean jacket.

If you have ever worked with Denim you know that it has a few quirks. It can be washed and dried in the machine, and it gets better every time, fading just like jeans do. It tightens in the first wash the most, losing 10-15% of its LENGTH and some of its dye in that first wash. So in Denim, you must knit everything longer than you need it. Finally, you must use washed and dried yarn to sew it up, for unsewn will pucker in the first wash and ruin your piece.

So....I have been on an EZ kick lately, and wanted to try the Baby Surprise Jacket. It was just as magical as described, and just as much fun. BUT the length shrank! and the two cardigan fronts did not meet, and the buttonholes were far away and USELESS.

Gotta boss that knitting around! So I sewed the buttons OVER the buttonholes and then crocheted loops for the buttons. My crochet is....basic, at best. But I kinda got away with it. The baby is unlikely to hate it.

I had bought this cone of denim--two pounds!--in 2005 to make a sweater for Mr. Funny. Instead it has become a blanket, two kid sweaters, and now the surprise jacket. Not much left now.

(Salt shaker included for scale.)

Now this expected child is the fourth, and will have three older brothers. My knitting could be its only chance for new clothes! What is cuter than baby feet?

Baby feet in Koigu!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Joy of knits

I have to confess: I have never made a sweater for myself that I really liked. I know, its awful. Criminal.

Socks, no problem. Love every pair of socks that I have made, love every pair of socks other people have made for me.

Scarves, shawls, almost as good. Wear them all the time.

Stuff for the kids--sweaters, vests, ponchos, much of it is worn.

Dishcloths, no problem. Use them all the time.

But an actual sweater? Not yet.

First sweater--the ribby. Liked it, hate the yarn! I used Lamb's Pride Superwash, and I find the fibers POKEY--and I love the gentle scratchiness of wool. But not this one. Plus, its too short.

Second--wrap sweater. Tried it on and frogged immediately. Hairy gorilla.

Third--Summer Tweed green one. Its ok, but I just do not like wearing it. Worn once.

Here is the next one--The Ballet Camisole. I used a Cotton/silk blend (from a now frogged camisole). I am not sure. Its too big! Not a lot, but enough to be loose. It should be tight for this style of clothing. Maybe if I had a shirt to go under it--I only have one woven collared shirt though, and its not a good color with this.

Maybe another loser. Am I really so picky?

The floor is open for suggestions on what to do with this.

But, I continue to be an optimist....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


We had a great time at the fair. The kids remember the rides from last year (the slides! the dragon roller coaster!) and they wanted to ride them again......over and over and over and over.....

I won 3rd for my pink Koigu shawl(mine is the solid on the right)--

And I was happy to get it; the shawls and lace that I saw were stunning. Mine was no competition for them! This one got first. I wish they would display them another way-these are all in cases and folded. You cannot see the lace at all.

The sweaters were really great! First place was won by this Sunrise Circle Jacket from IK Spring '06--its a Kate Gilbert design (CLAPOTIS!) and is free online.

This gorgeous piece was knitted by one of the Tuesday Night Knitters named Amy! Jane and Mary both belong to this group. Love it! Must make this pattern!

I would love to know what criteria the judges use so I can be more competitive next year. Are finishing techniques really important? Beauty? Entire package?

I am not a quilter, but so much quilting work is inspiring. I absolutely love this one--its funny, original and unbelievably cute! This quilter won a few blue ribbons this year.

Each of these little people in their costumes are appliqued on--most of them are 3-dimensional, with wings and other parts rising from the surface of the quilt. The border fabric is black bats!Really really fun.

I am playing hooky from class tonight and going to KnitNite. Hopefully I will finish the sleeves on this item

...the Mr. Funny sweater. I'll be rowing off Sleeve Island!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Secret Knitting Progress

I have been knitting--though for a week I did not, when we came back from vacation and I had work and school catch-up and kids school and jet lag and.........even I could not knit. Too wiped out! And this is from a knitter who knits EVERY DAY (I think I had missed maybe 2 days in the last 2 years.)

AND THEN on my way home from work two weeks ago I was rear-ended at a stoplight. I think I hit my face on the steering wheel--I was leaning forward to look at the traffic. I have a very sore neck and back, and my face and eye are really bashed up. No broken bones, but my eye was swollen shut for a few days, and I have a big lump over my eye that still hurts. I slept for two days between the medicine and the pain, so I lost a bit more study and knitting time (another 3 days! bad times). I had to take some time off work--I really could not drive. But the swelling went down and my eye was able to open again, and things are better. This is what it looked like last Sunday, about 7 days after the accident:

People keep asking me if Mr. Funny is treating me ok....I know they think I am a battered wife. I certainly look like one! The car survived--the entire back of the car is pushed in and will be in the shop for about a month. Not totaled though, thank goodness.

I have a cool rental (I try to look on the bright side) I call it the MorticiaMommyMobile. It looks a bit like what the Munsters drove, but I love Morticia (she knits! she has pets!) I am not an SUV girl, but for a month this is ok.

On to knitting content! This is the Modular Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. It is for Girlpants, though it may not fit her for long (she is a very tall child! but then, handknits stretch.) The original has a hood, and I had knitted a LOVELY hood for it, grafted the middle of it.....and realized I would not have enough yarn to finish the sleeves and i-cord edging. So out came the good (heartbreaking! GirlPants wanted the "hook" too, she likes the hooks.) It needs a zipper; I'll purchase that next week.

Pattern: Modular Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I used The Opinionated Knitter for this one, but it also appears in Knitting Without Tears.
Yarn:Nashua Handknits Wooly Stripes, 6 balls 88 yards/ball. I had part of a ball left.
Size: Kid sized! Girlpants is 3, but she is tall. I'd say this is a 3-4 year old size.

I love how this turned out! As we all know Pink and Purple are the official team colors of girls under 8 and my girl is no exeption. She likes it! The pattern is so classic and really works with this self-striping yarn. In some places I tried to make the stripe pattern match--you can see that the fronts are similar, and in places I spit-spliced yarn within color blocks to make the transitions move more smoothly. A success!

More to post soon--some WIPs and a trip to the State Fair to visit my entries. Good times!

Friday, September 29, 2006

The LONGEST vacation!

Hooray! I'm posting!
Its been a crazy few months, and it has taken some adjustments.

We made our annual trip to see the ManFam in Ireland.

We swung through the air:

Met lots of new friends:

Played with Baby David--not a baby anymore!

Yes, I did knit--here is my one picture of the koigu shawl.

Library/grad school started when I was away--my instructors gave me a pass the first week--but it was hit the books HARD when I returned.

This summer I found a library job! I now work in the library at a local community college, a job found for me BY ANOTHER KNITTER (thanks Mira, you KNOW you rock!) Its part time and a lot of fun. And after years of being Mommy, its very exciting to be a person again--not to mention having a real paycheck.

The massive drawback is that I am committed every night. Two nights of work, two nights of school takes all of my KnitNite options. I really miss my knitbuds. Not to mention having piles of schoolwork to do, plus the small children to care for, and a spouse to.....hey, we are all busy. You know how it is. Blogging got the shaft until I could catch up.

But I am still knitting!

BIG NEWS--My Koigu Scrum Kiri shawl won 3rd prize at the state fair! I placed! We are going this weekend; I'll evaluate the competition. It was my first lace shawl, and really fun to knit (simple pattern too). I finished it while in Ireland.

I want to make time for blogging--I have loads to show. A finished tank, a pair of socks, a completed baby tomten jacket, a old WIP much knitting! Stay tuned!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another month gone

My blogging gets worse and worse! So many developments at ChezObsess, none bad.

My time has been suddenly very crowded! Must concentrate and feel the force!

1. I got a job! At a library! I owe Mira big for this one; she told me about it. The position part time (I do go to school as well) and has been really fun so far. Its such a happy thing to COMPLETE something during the day. With little kids, or even knitting, you don't often complete things each day. At work, I do loads of stuff.

2. The semester ended--meaning, I had a final project--I had a friend visit from outta town, and I had to go away for a working weekend for my mom, and it was my second week on the job. After working 60+ on the project, visiting, working at the library then slaving at the mom thing, I was WIPED OUT.

3. Babysitting. I've been sitting for my sis who has been working on her old house (now rented) to sell. I hear its looking good. But with my two and her 4--plus some assorted individuals from the neighborhood--its been busy around here. I did find that three boxes of mac-n-cheese and a medium watermelon are just enough to feed eight kids. Just enough.

4. Ireland! We are leaving for our annual trip to Ireland today to visit Mr. Funny's lovely family. We will be traveling all over, since his clan is becoming more and more spread out. The southeast, the west, the north, Dublin too. AND Mr. Funny and I are visiting friends in Liverpool for a weekend, no kids. The kids are excited about I-land toast (they ate an entire loaf in one sitting last visit) and I am thrilled to see everyone again. We will be well taken care of!

Ireland in August is going to feel very cold--or a welcome relief. Highs in the low 60s during the day, 50s at night. I am taking my Clap. In VA, its 90s most days. A 30 degree drop is very significant.

I am taking my Kiri shawl to work on, two pairs of sox, and the pullover for Mr. Funny. I should stay very busy. Kiri and one pair of sox are going on the plane with me. I live in fear of the needles being confiscated by security....all that knitting time, GONE!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Knit and life and stuff

Knitting is clicking along as it should, in spite of the WildThings and all of their screaming at each other. I've been dragging the yarn to the pool and knitting a few while the crew splash. And dragging it to swimming lessons, and all the other exciting places I get to go.

Brace yourself now, recitation of mental WIP list coming up....

1. The Noni bag is felted and drying, as is one of the flowers. I am still thinking about making a contrasting color flower (not pink) for it. The pattern had two pink ones but I think it needs a different color. I want to enter this one in the fair--its simple and good.

2. The short row sock is stalled; waiting at the heel. I knitted on it at Busch Gardens while waiting in line and Mr. Funny (aka Favespouse) watched everyone look LONGINGLY at the sock, all of them wishing they had something interesting to do while waiting. Many people asked about it and even admired it (kids especially, since its pink with sparkles). Mr. Funny was very surprised--he had no idea the feedback would be so positive.

I knew--and told him so!

3. I made 3 lemon/fruit hats for the breastfeeding program that The Harlot mentioned on her blog. Those go out tomorrow. Fun hats for a good cause!

4. I sent a big box of yarn to a woman who makes things for a women's shelter that Mary had mentioned on her blog. What a relief to pass on some love!

5. I have a package ready to go to The Heathen Housewife--she is making a mitered square blanket from sock yarn ends and bits--she wants your leftover yarn! I am just waiting on her physical address.

6. New project! Ballet Camisole from MagKnits, our yarn group's FAVORITE online knitting magazine! I am doing it in Frog Tree Pima/Silk that I had originally used for Annie Modesitt's Silk Corset, but had ripped b/c the size/gauge was all wrong, after I was more than 2/3 of the way through it. Bad times. I just do not feel like I will ever complete the project now, so I picked a new pattern for the yarn. Up to the waist shaping now; good mindless in-the-round stockinette so that I can.....

7. Watch Dr. Who!!!! over and over and over (in that wonderfully obsessive I mean analytical way that I have). I wept during the last show of season one (yes, wept, it was so perfectly beautiful and really summed up the entire season.) And now through the power of TIVO I have been rewatching the season. AND I have been brainwashing the children--the kids now are watching with me. I need the next generation to go with me to see all the good SF/Fantasy stuff' Mr. Funny is not a fan. Even Girlpants asks "Can we watch Dr. Who? PLEASE?" When your three year old knows about the Doctor something is either very right....or very wrong.

I know I have not seen the next series, but I cannot imagine any actor coming close to the multilayered performance of Christopher Eccleston. His Doctor shows tenderness, anger, loneliness, love and great pain in nearly every episode. They say that the first Doctor you see is your Doctor for life (I researched it. I try to conceal my obsessive nature but its always there.) The ninth doctor is definitely my Doctor. I've been watching Mr. Eccleston for years--since he blew my mind in Cracker in the early 90s. Hopefully for us, he will continue to pick amazing roles, and that we can get them here (and not have to ALWAYS rely on

Now that you have suffered through that, vacation pictures.

Boys crazy in the pool (yes, mine is the crazier one)
Girlpants with her fave companion and cousin.
Finger crocheting with bathing suit! what could be better?Off to jump in my Tardis!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Is that really the time? where did June go?
Is is possible to go more than a month without a post and still call yourself a blogger?
Where is the dividing line between knowing how to knit and being a knitter? somewhere close to knowing you have a blog and actually updating it?
Though I have not been chronicling it here, there has been some real knitting going on (as if I would forsake the needles! Sheesh....) For BoyWonder's fabulous teacher--who just published a book about Monarch Butterflies--I made this Milkweed Flower Corsage. Monarch caterpillars eat only milkweed, which makes them taste bad to all birds who want to scarf them down. They completely depend on this plant for food and reproduction. This is my version of the leaves and flowers, which I kinda made up with the help of Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers book. This is a really fun book! I can see more improvised flowers in my future--I made one in less than 15 minutes to wear to a party. Good times!

I also finished my sock savior socks for my second sockpal. The yarn had come from the UK and knitted up soft and strong--its a lovely dusty blue. I had bought it to make socks for FaveSpouse but discovered that there was not enough in the skein. I did let the sockpal pick out her colors and patterns--I did not foist unloved sock yarn on her! and this was the style she chose. Inside the package I added another sock-pairs worth of yarn (in navy, the same yarn) and some locally made soap from Grubby Girl. I also made some more flowers, and tied them to some flip flops. You should always have something knitted on! this way even in summer she can have a bit of yarn with her. I am going to have to make these fabby flip flops for myself too. The sock pattern came from the fantastic book by Charlene Schurch--Sensational Kntitted Socks. The lace is called Bluebell Rib, but I call it Tulip Lace (much fancier!) My pal requested no pattern around the foot, so here they are. I finished them in less than two weeks.

I hope my sockpal liked them. I know that she got them (Alison, the sock mamma, told me) but she never emailed me or left me a comment. No news is bad news? Hope not.

I have also finished the Noni bag and one of its flowers, one flower to go. When they are all done I'll felt them. I am on the i-cord edging of the kids jacket--and I hope to take that project with my to KnitNite tonight. I have not even been to KnitNite for more than a MONTH!

Vacation knitting news and other fun bits to come.....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hello again!

FIRST! I went to the book signing at Holly Spring on June 6 and it was GREAT! As usual, I stayed too long (it was too interesting and I don;t get out much). Kathy and Ginni were wonderful hostesses (no surprise there, I always feel welcome at Holly Spring.) There was quite a spread, cake and wine and cheese, and lots and lots of fiber talk. Here is Wendy modeling her FlowerBasket Shawl (I think.) (A picture of me with Wendy and crew is on the Holly Spring blog--my own picture was too blurry to use.) L-B talked about how she went to Ireland in the summer and worked and sang for her beers in the pub. Fantastic! What a talent! People would buy me beers to get me to shut up.

Loads of knitting going on here, but few real pictures YET. The linen string bag is done (being modeled here by the kids' rocking chair. I really liked working with the linen, and will put the robe in my mental queue for the future. I have been using the bag constantly and may make another for myself (I have maybe half of the hank left.) I have a LOT of MDS&W yarn to get through first. FluffyKnitterDeb, my first Sockpal, has a display of some linen on her site today, and a source for Euroflax that she has used that she likes ( The prices are good too. So when I am ready....

The Noni HUGE Carpet Bag is going well. I am finished with the bottom and have completed about 10 of the 80 rows up the side. The real challenge with this project will be in the finishing (handles, lining, clasp) and less in the knitting. I am hoping to use this as a briefcase when I start job shopping. How cool--a felted, flowered briefcase? Librarians are CREATIVE!

I am a socksavior for Sockpaloooza! I emailed my new pal about her preferences and she picked the yarn and style of pattern. The socks are going well; I am nearly to to the heel on the second sock. Pictures soon. They should be in the mail later this week.

And now, some wildlife. Do you have monkeys in your tree?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Soul killer vanquished! Details at 11.


I nearly cropped my head off in this one (do I really look like that? maybe everyone asks that question) but it just seemed too silly, the headless shot. This pose makes me look a bit thicker around the middle....hopefully....when I look in the mirror it seems more flattering.

This is my oldest UFO, now finished, left from last summer. Dad had brought back a 10-pack of Rowan Summer Tweed in this lovely color, and I had been searching for something to do with it. I finally decided on a 3/4 length bottom-up raglan from Ann Budd's fantastic book. Once I got most of the way into it I realized that the yarn or gauge was REALLY off (one of my most common mistakes) or REALLY stretching out (maybe I am in denial) and that the sweater was HUGE! I put it away to marinate for awhile (say, 4 months). I then came up with the wrap idea and knew if would work (I tried it with a DPN) so it was back on.

I had wanted to do an attached i-cord, so I had provisionally cast on for the bottom and the sleeves. I went to The Yarn Lounge and picked out a color for the edging......that was awful. Totally wrong (yes, I did it myself; no bad advice was given.) Even Monica, my source of last honest resort in these things was an awful choice.

Back to the marinade for a few more months.

Then I decided I had to give it one more go. April was finishing month! Back to The Yarn Lounge and this time I chose wisely, a neutral, nubby brown. At Holly Spring I grabbed a lovely Shawl Pin, and the finishing was ready to go. The i-cord turned out to be a good choice, though the picked up stitches are very visible (DESIGN FEATURE!) But how TEDIOUS to knit i-cord......all over the sleeves, all over the back, the sides, the fronts........ugh! I took it to multiple knit nites. Everyone entertained me while I slogged. BUT it is done, blocked and worn. I'll be wearing it to Panera tonight. I did it!

The sweater was pinned too tight in the picture--thus the wrinkle. I have worked out that small kink by (genius!) not pulling the edges so tight.

Rowan Summer Tweed, 7 balls (I have 3 left if anyone needs them) plus 1 ball for the i-cord.
Pattern: Bottom up raglan with attached i-cord. Provisional cast on for all edges, then bound off later with contrasting yarn. Ann Budd, total genius.
Duration of knit: Summer '05 to Nearly Summer '06

That's it! April that is finishing month is now finished!

Anyone for a summer tank? I have some lovely purple cotton/silk that needs a pattern...

I lunch with Mary last week where she took the above picture--and this one! a girl sandwich! This is Girlpants with her favorite partner in crime, PurplePrincessNoelle. I babysit for Noelle on Monday and Friday afternoons, but she actually sits for me since she entertains Girlpants the whole time. The two play together peacefully and are very happy together. Girlpants LOVES her PurplePrincess Cousin! This day the two ate all of their food and then played quietly at a nearby table while Mary and I talked about important yarn stuff. It was GREAT! I can take my children out in public! Well, one of them.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pirates of Panera

Doesn't everyone need a skull and crossbones hat for their baby?

Pirates are perfect newborn wear--babies storm into your life and hijack your ship and take all your gold and then (in 18 years if you are lucky) they leave you penniless.......

Not really. But kinda.

I made the We Call Them Pirates hat for Mira's Horatio (he is due in August and his name will actually be Drake after another famous sailing person.) Mira loves boats and sea history, and loves Skull motifs (when I first met her she was finishing Skully from Stitch and Bitch.) So now baby Horatio will have a skull hat to match mom's sweater. Tasty!

The pattern is ingeniously written and includes a lining that you knit after the hat is done (covers up some of the more awkward stranding in my case.) I put a custom label in the hat: Knitzanity is much more fun than "Knitted By That Crazy Knitting Person You Try to Ignore at Parties and Family Gatherings." You know, like shorthand. I made a sheet of them on the computer and plan to sew them into most of the stuff I make now.

I modified the pattern for size by doing only 3 pattern repeats around the hat and up the hat. This also helped to compensate for the larger gauge yarn. This was the first time I tried two-handed stranding and it worked wonderfully! I knitted one color picking with the left hand and one color throwing with the right. Fun! In fact, it was so much fun I stayed up late and knitted the entire hat in less than 48 hours. Good times!

Pattern: We Call Them Pirates (free pattern)
Yarn: Dale Svale (cotton, polymide and silk, good for a summer baby) in Black and White, purchased at Holly Spring. Sirdar Cotton from stash for the lining

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I swear I had the best sock pal ever! She even decorated the box--check out the lining in the mailer!

Kim of Knitterama is from Minnesota and loaded me up with non-frozen goodies. Check it! (clockwise)

1. Box with cool foil lining
2. Chocolates from MN (we have already finished them)
3. Wild Rice (love it! I cook all the time and this will be a very welcome addition to pilafs. Wild Rice is VERY expensive)
4. Mrs. Meyers Lavender Soap (I LOVE LAVENDER!)
5. Fabulous bright notepad
6. THREE SOCKS! Kim made Koigu/Lucy Neatby socks; two are black with koigu, one is koigu with black--the mirror image in color! How cool is that? I love off-rhyme, asymmetry and fraternal socks; these are perfect!
7. Leftover yarn for repairs on socks
8. SKYLER! Kim sent me a sock project bag for my current sock. I took it (and the socks) to the festival and everyone asked me about it. Its just right for a pattern and the sock/yarn, and keeps all the bits in one place. PLUS it is shaped like a BUG! How cool is that? The card inside said that it came from an etsy shop called Sockdiva. I saw a few other bugs on there....

Thanks so much to my overachieving sock pal! So thoughtful! I will love wearing my socks and playing with my bug bag!

Chapter 2: More Magic

Name Dropping!
Here is the Richmond contingent posing with Wendy! (l to r: Me, Mary, Melanie, Mira and Drake, Wendy and Maggi.) Most of us knit with L-B on Wednesdays (I rarely make Wednesday b/c of school, but since the semester ended I have been able to show) so Wendy welcomed us like near-friends. She is going to be doing some book signings in Richmond next month at two lovely shops (Holly Spring Homespun and The Yarn Lounge) so we will all get to see her again soon.

Sheep to Shawl Competition
We caught the last minutes of the Sheep to Shawl--the fastest team was tying off the fringe as we watched. In less than two hours the fleece was carded, spun and woven into a shawl....unbelievable. Then the shawls were washed and auctioned off to the highest bidder.

One team made a GORGEOUS green one; another had a lovely pink and purple one. The teams were judged on quality, design, speed and beauty. They all looked lovely to me. The two winners were both undyed and went to the same bidder for about $500 each. Fabulous!

State Fair Preview
We also went to the exhibition hall to look at some of the handwork. This shawl/blanket was overwhelmingly stunning--it deservedly won everything, including best in show. Many of the other items were beautifully done, but this one was so unpatterned and unexpected. Very few things were on display; I wondered if they had had many entries. I resolved to enter our fairs this year; my work (on a good day) is as good as some of the other work I saw. Melanie will be entering too. What will I make?

Of course, L-B will win anyway. But hey, its an exhibition, not really a competition.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

That magic weekend in Maryland....

Melanie, Mary and I arrived Friday night so that we could be up and at-'em. Good thing we did.

9:00 am: The Koigu Scrum

(everyone was very nice, we had a good time overindulging in Canadian fiber. Nobody got a black eye).

While I scrummed Melanie scored TWO HUGE BAGS of wool and cotton super-cheap. Her plan is to make 2 sweaters from the cotton and the Moderne Blanket from Mason Dixon. Right on!

After the scrum we ran to building 3, only to find that ALL of the STR was gone. At 10:30! last year we had bought it in the late afternoon....many others were dissapointed as well (sorry, Anne Margaret...)


A herd of Knitbloggers spotted in the wild!

A few of the crowd:
Eunny and Stephanie who is modeling Eunny's newly designed Texture Shell. Remember the lace tutorial? I met the creator in the flesh!

Stephanie had been wearing the Butterfly Tank in Cracksilk Haze (remember that one from the cover of Rowan?) but took it off to model this tank. Lovely!

And after a bit of stalking I also got to meet Sauniell from Saunshine (check out her designs, they are excellent, body conscious without being overly revealing. And they look REALLY fun to knit....I have my eye on 3 of them....) I felt totally famous after that--she even said that she had read my blog! I recognized the tank from the blog; she had finished it only recently.
We all knit for awhile and showed off our Sockpaloooza gift was knitting with us! My sockpal had given me a sock project bag for my current sock that I had tucked in my bag--it is gorgeous and everyone wanted to hold it. Her name is Skyler. She has eyes and wings, a little pocket for markers, and plenty of space for my sock, needles, and the yarn. I LOVE THIS!

Yarn porn tomorrow. I still have the Sheep to Shawl and the serious knitting awards to cover!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Finishing month is ALMOST finished

Time to review: April was finishing month.

Things completed:

1. Dulann Sweater: Frogging complete. Check.

2. Denim Jacket: finished, gifted and recieved. Check.

3. Bolero: finished, gifted and received. MIL loves it! Check.

4. Sockpaloooza sock: finished, gifted, mailed. Check

That is 4 out of the 5.

STILL in progress:

1. Green summer tweed cardigan: Part of i-cord edging is finished. Closure bought. Maybe 2 hours of work to do.

2. Green vest for nephew: BLOCKING. Needs tag.

3. Bamboo Shoulder scarf: Blocked, needs fringe. I grabbed this on impulse at Holly Spring for a simple project. It was fun and fast.

Unexpected finishes:

1. Sheet of garment tags for my work. I liked the Baby David tag so much I decided to make my own tags for everything. Its the fun small things that can make your knitting so special. I decided on the name KNITZANITY for myself, since it expresses the intensity of my fascination with knitting. And it echoes the spelling of my name.

2. Secret project to be gifted soon. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sock Finisher!

Ponies love to model socks! My Sockpaloooza socks are done and blocking, ready to ship out....May 2. They are going across the big water!

They are the color and pattern-style that my sockpal requested--she loves cables and green, and these have plenty of both. I really love them and would consider knitting some for myself....but not tomorrow. Need to let my fingers get a rest from this pattern, since I have knitted it twice now. After turning the heel I really had to make myself knit on this--like a job. I dragged it to Panera for KnitNite, to the park, everywhere. Knitted waiting in line at Walmart.

KnitPicks Pallette in Green (its a true Kelly Green in real life)
Braided Cable pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks
Size 0 needles.

I broke about 4 bamboo needles while knitting this. I'm usually a loose knitter but the yarn is strong and I downsized to make a firm sock. I think that 0s are so small and thin that they just snap; it was not a defect. I tried Barbara's Addis at KnitNite and I am thinking about trying Addis and the Magic Loop method on my next sock. I know that they would not snap while I knitted with them.