Tuesday, January 30, 2007

All skeined up with no place to go.

I've renamed this one "Da Bears" as I've heard there's a certain team playing in a big game this Sunday.

and bigger:

and this one still makes me want ice-cream:

I'm still trying to figure out how to divide into 2 equal skeins

And my first plied yarn:

Anyways, that's some eye candy for you for today.

My Valentinr - thechickswithsticks
Get your own valentinr

Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Princess B

Happy Birthday Princess B

Four years ago today, you made me a Mommy.

You've taught me so much about myself and about life

Your smile can brighten any room.
Your voice, can FILL any room!!
Love you Bean

Thursday, January 25, 2007

random stuff

This is for Lolly:

progress shot of Ribbi Cardi (this is just 2 hours of knitting...haven't touched it since, but I started!!)

I did some more dyeing. I dyed up the 1/2 pound of Romni that I got from Rosehaven Farms.

I had some fun with some fun colours, and this is what I came up with:

and closer:

I put it in the roaster and in the oven (following the instructions
I have the roving encased in old panty-hose which I read about

I just took it out, and little problem:
the dye didn't really soak in very well--so it's really white in spots.
I've pulled it all out of the casings and put it in the roaster and I'm going to try again with just squirting the dye on the roving.
We'll see what happens.
Can't wait to use it--because my spinning wheel is done!!
Yep, it's ready for testing--but I will need to wait for this roving to dry.
It should be ready tomorrow to test out...

I also dyed some worsted weight yesterday and wow that yellow is bright. I did yellow and turquoise but it looks like....a mallard duck exploded.
Yeah--I think I will overdye it blue and see what happens.
I'm learning...definitely learning....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Look what I can do...

Look what I spun. Look at that! It's like 23 WPI.

I finally picked up the sample roving I got from the Yarn Source, the one that I dyed. I re-read this post from the Yarn Harlot's Blog (about pre-drafting etc) and just started spinning.

Okay, so it's a single and I do plan on plying, but I was so proud of myself.

Thanks also to Maggie of Click Clack. She is a new drop spindle spinner too and gave me some good advice. Oh, and look what she's done with her hand spun...Gor-geous.

This spinning stuff, so addictive. Can't wait to actually use my wheel. Hubby took it back to the welders today, to get a part welded so the pedal won't fall off--then maybe he can finish it!!

Look what else I can do:

(just ignore the spots on the mirror)

I CAN finish this sweater.
Considering Friday night when I picked it up I had just attached the sleeves that's pretty good. I did the whole raglan decrease section (again), made the hem and sewed it down.

Now, my neck hem is wonky:

so I'm going to steam block it in a minute. I didn't do the hem the way it was written. You are supposed to leave the live stitches on the needle, run a scrap piece of yarn through the purl bumps about 6 stitches down on the wrong side, and then sew each individual stitch together.

I just found the purl bumps, marked them and knit the hem closed like I did for the bottom hem.

Maybe my way will work, maybe not. But what I am learning about knitting is that if I don't' like it, I can always rip it back and try again.

I love this sweater. It's a little scratchy (my fear of wool) so I will wear a T-shirt under it, but I love it. The sleeves are just the right length and I love the design. (I do think she was maybe a little tired when she wrote the pattern, because a lot of it just doesn't make sense..if you make this sweater--read the errata and you may still have to figure some stuff out yourself...but).

and now back to more sweater knitting--progress shots on that later....

Friday, January 19, 2007

more eye candy

I love this sock! and I love EZ's sewn bind-off. Regular bind off was too tight and I haven't' had good luck with a picot bind off (which also would look silly here)
Love this sock, have been wearing it all day.
Also got a ton done on hubby's sock yet I haven't really spent a lot of time knitting. Just little spurts--waiting for a pot to boil, waiting for the laundry to finish etc...
and today I dyed some worsted weight and got a really good black. A dark black, a yummy black, a solid black...which is apparently hard to get. I also got a deep pink, which was supposed to be brighter, but is still yummy.

Love the kettle dyeing, just need to work on control to stop the seepage. Pictures when dry...

Now I will work on Hourglass like a good Knitter.

Eye candy friday

This is my eye candy for today:

The Neopolitan cake:

and the Nemo/Dory cake:

(actually that one is kinda Miami Dolphins-esque)

I thinking of selling these, but have a couple of questions for you.
These are sport weight superwash (!) yarns and are 8 oz skeins (about 560 yards).
Would you pay $30 US for this, knowing it would make 2 pairs of socks?
or would you rather pay $15 and have 1/2 the skein?

Because of the base yarn (Kona Superwash) I used, that is what I'd have to charge to make my money back.
I would throw in free shipping for those in North America.

So, if you like either of them, leave a comment, or send a e-mail.

Back to the dye-pot.....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I've been blogged.

Lolly blogged me.
She's encouraging me to start my
Ribbi Cardi and maybe it's the push I need.
It's been all about socks here and I've enjoyed that...but..

The other night when I was dreaming about my knitting (you do that, don't you?)
I was making project lists and figured out that it's January and I still have
Hourglass and Ribbi Cardi to finish before the cold weather ends.

Hm.....I guess I should get going.

I am part of the
L&V Sock Marathon, and that ends in March but if I wait, that's 2 sweaters to finish in March and then it will be April and then I would not have had much use of my hand knits.

So, need to finish the Hourglass. It has been pulled out of
time-out and I have figured out the front/back divisions and put the markers back on. Just need to check my stitch count and place the arms back on. (Non-knitters are so not following this right now).

Lolly--thanks for the push. I hear ya.
I'm going, I'm going.

I will publicly say that I will work on Hourglass tonight (after company leaves) and once finished I will immediately cast on for
Ribbi Cardi.
Look for a picture this weekend or you can bad-blog me (I just made that up).


for all your comments and well wishes for the little monkey.
He is perfectly fine, back to normal--up and asking for pickles at 5:30am.

Yep, that's him.

Haven't been doing much knitting in the past few days. Too busy and too tired.

I am going to wind up some yarn and might even do some dyeing if I get inspired.

I'll leave you with a picture of the fam trying out the new sled:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another day, another trip to the ER

Yep, except this time it was for little man.
Why is it always on a Wednesday?
(little side note: in our little town the Dr's offices are not open on Wednesdays. Those of you from Ontario remember a little think called Rae-Days? Yeah, well they still do that here)
Every time I've had a real emergency it's been on a weekend or a Wednesday.

So, today the little monkey was playing his game of jump over the couch in the playroom, into the piano room. He is not allowed in the front room because:
a) he goes over and eats the dog food
b)he goes upstairs and the railings are not safe upstairs. (old house, wide railing slats)

I picked him up and put him back on the safe side, in the playroom and got the toy dog he wanted and was walking back around to close the door to stop the game, when I head a big bang and the start of a cry.
I walked back around and he was lying on the hardwood floor crying so hard he had yet to take a breath. I was frustrated that nothing seems to work to keep him from jumping over the couch, and upset that he was hurt.
When I picked him up the scary stuff happened.
He went limp in my arms and passed out.
I put him down on my arm to look at him and his eyes were rolling back in his head.
I called his name and he tried to look at me, his pupils were huge and scary and then his eyes just kept rolling back in his head. I screamed.
Hubby came running and when Aidan heard him he woke up and then started crying.
The whole thing lasted about 15 seconds but felt like a lifetime.

He actually let me rock him and then went all quiet again--but was just relaxed. Then as if nothing happened, he was back to normal...laughing at the dog and talking a mile a minute.
I checked him over and looked at his head, eyes and mouth and he seemed fine.
I talked to him about falling and he said "oh, noggin".

Made a call to the Tele-health (Call centre of Nurses sponsored by the Government)
who said to take him in to the hospital.
When we sat down with the Nurse and I was telling the story about the couch he said "Couch, ouch noggin" and rubbed his head.
Crazy monkey.
The Dr says he likely passed out from lack of oxygen (from not breathing for a few seconds) and not likely from the bump to the head. Since I really have no idea whether he landed on his head or slipped after, it's hard to say.

He's been fine all day and when he tried to jump over the couch again I told him
"No, ouch noggin" and he got back down.
Let's hope that works...
It's a wonder they survive childhood at all...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Updates, get your updates here.

Some sock progress:

The lighting is horrible but you get the picture.

The sock on the right--I started 2 weeks ago and haven't touched since last Wednesday.The sock on the left I started last Thursday and have only knit on for 3 nights.

I love big fat sock yarn.

I took me about an hour today on the pink sock what took an entire night on the zebra sock.

I needed something quick that would show progress and I got it. The pink yarn is the beautiful stuff from Shadkitty that she apparently got from here.

and in other progress news...something of a belated Christmas's gift:

it's an Ashford bobbin for the wheel that hubby is making.
a full shot:

sigh...can't wait to use it.

this post has taken me WAY too long to write and it's a silly little post.

I'm tired and i need to knit on that sock.

actually, it's 10;30 and I have yet to have dinner (a cinnamon dolce latte from St. Arbucks and some sweet potato chips shouldn't count...)

oh, and under the category of stupid things found in my house, look-y what hubby found in the attic:
we've lived here 4 years and never been in the attic. when we moved in we were told that it wasn't usable for storage space b/c of the humidity.
why on earth would someone want this, and why did they leave it behind?
thank goodness tomorrow is garbage/recycle day...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hello, I've missed you......

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dear Mr Murphy...

I don't like your "laws" and I don't' like it when they affect my knitting.

Why am I always doomed to tangles and problems.

So last night after FINALLY getting Princess B to bed (it took 1.5 hours and she was still fussing about "needing" something)..I decided to make some tea, wind some yarn and start some socks.

Hubby socks are coming along, but after 2 full nights of the sock looking the same, I wanted some big fat yummy yarn that would give me progress.
So, while the tea was steeping I figured I would wind some new yarn. Figuring it would only take 5 minutes.
Silly me.

It went something like this:
Wind until the gears of the ball winder grind.
Yarn decides to slip off the swift and get tangled in the gears.
Suddenly it's a "not-so-swift".
Try to fix, yarn comes off the spokes.
Try to put yarn back on spoke, spoke breaks and smashes into my cheek.
Resist urge to yell at swift, pour some tea.
Drink some tea while staring at the swift.
Stop winding and de-tangle the yarn from the swift.
The swift is now "swift".
Wind again only now the ball winder is not making a cake, it's making a mess.
Take mess of the ball winder and untangle knots.
Re-wind yarn to make a nice cake.
Swift is not-so-swift, again.
Resist 2nd urge to yell at swift and try to pull on it gently.
Make hubby come and help, since he built the swift and might be able to speak nicely to it, to make it work.
Wind s-l-o-w-l-y as hubby's swifting is too fast for the swift.
Make a nice yarn cake.
Take last bit of yarn off the swift only to find...tangles.
Hubby says "how do you feel about this tangle?"
He is implying I should just cut my losses and cut the knots.
Take pile of knots and realize this is my lot in life...to pick knots from pretty skeins of yarn.

Take pretty cake (now free of knots), cast on with pretty needles--do gauge swatch.
Reach for crochet hook.
Try to figure out where 3 y/old puts crochet hook.
Decide to "finger knit" and make own provisional cast on.
Pick up stitches....
grab pretty yarn to cast on......

.........Knock at door.

Friend is returning car.
Drive friend home.
Wonder if it's really worth all the effort, this knitting stuff.

Return home and see pretty yarn cake, pretty needles and really good tea...waiting.

Sit down and finally cast on....

And after all that, I got a toe done.
I love this toe.

It took an entire evening and less than 2 hours knitting.

and on another note (are you still reading this?)
I did some more dyeing yesterday.

I love this one...I think I'll call it: "Nemo and Dory". It totally looks like them--blue and orange/white.

and more random things:
Behold, something rarely seen in our house:

Little man, actually sitting still.

This is usually what pictures of him look like:

This was a really long, really rambly post. Thanks to all of you who stuck it out till the end.There's still time to de-lurk.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's national....

delurking week.
Some others are giving questions to help people to delurk..

So, tell me a story..
Who taught you to knit? How old were you?

I'll go first.

I was taught when I was 6. I remember my Grandmother coming to visit and teaching my sister and I to knit in our living room.
I can still see the yellow acrylic (maybe I should say hear...squeak, squeak) and the green needles in my hand.

That's my story...now tell me yours.


Suddenly I want ice-cream

Did some dyeing yesterday.

I loved my previous attempt at Brown and pink and wanted to try again.

I bought some old pots at a 2nd hand store and wanted to try some dyeing on the stove (is this kettle dyeing??)

Anyways, I love how it turned out:

Totally reminds me of this:

I want to try some more today with some blues and oranges.

So you need to go and and visit a blogfriend here:
She and I have the same brain lately

Our resolutions (not really resolutions but things we'd like to change) almost identical.

She also just blogged about wanting to dye yarn to get $$ for a wheel...same brain.

She is also going to knit my sock pattern some-time soon.

She also sent me some yarn a while back and I think I totally forgot to thank her.

See the yarn (it's the pink one, sorry about the cropped pictured by my camera is being fuzzy):

it's so purdy.
Plus she has the cutest kids....

Speaking of cute kids, here's a blurry picture of mine from last night:

Brenna was in timeout for screaming in her brother's face. He couldn't bear her sitting there alone so he sat beside her and rubbed her leg to let her know it was okay. They just sat there and held hands, it was so cute!

This morning we had a huge game of tag after breakfast. Aidan has figured out how to tag you, and how to do it gently. He runs up to you, puts his hand on your heart and says "it", then "get you" and runs away. What a big boy! Now if only I can get him to stop jumping over the couch and eating dog food....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Book Review

Remember the preview of some books I was teasing about before Christmas? You thought I had forgotten huh?
Nope, but with the craziness that is Christmas, stomach virus, company on top of company and everything else, there just hasn't been time.

One was also a secret book that can only be revealed now.

There are 3 books in total but I'll review them one at a time so as not to overwhelm with too many books at one time. (More so for me--there are many things in these books that I love and I don't want to overwhelm my brain or to-do list!!)

I now present:
Classic Knits by Erika Knight

(picture swiped from Random House Canada..go and look at their site..go right now..I'll wait)
(Just look at their Knitting section!!!)

I thought this book would be nice as I'm not one for weird patterns (except for hats) and can't follow all the trends in knitwear.

This book is brand new (just released January 2nd!!) and can be purchased from the Random House site here, or Amazon.ca

Erika Knight had written many books, and although I'm not familiar with her patterns, this book impresses me.

I need to take some pictures of the book with better lighting, but in a short list, there are sweaters, scarves, vests, bags, socks, gloves a shrug etc etc.

Some of the yarns called for are beyond my budget (a lot of Rowan, Debbie Bliss and Jaeger Silk) so I would likely substitute with other yarns.

In the back cover she goes through a list of the recommended yarns, giving recommended needle size, gauge, ball size and yarn specification so you can easily substitute. She even offers websites that sells these yarns.

These patterns are beautiful and although are "classic" in style, they still look modern in that they use chunky yarns, use (some) off the shoulder designs and modern patterns--a shrug, messenger bag etc.

The patterns that grab me most are the Casual Sweater, Slouch socks, silk shrug and deep-v sweater.
I think I'm goign to start with the slouch socks and I have beautiful green handspun that I think will fit the bill.

Beautiful book, beautiful patterns. The photography is gorgeous and I think there is something for everyone in this book.
I'm impressed and can't wait to start thouse socks.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sock Yarn Stash

Sock Yarn Stash
Originally uploaded by

I'm almost embarrassed to post this. (click on the picture for notes)
This is my sock yarn stash.
I posted this as part of L&V's Sock Yarn Marathon.
It should actually be part of Knit from your Stash....as really I have all the yarn I need for a long long long time.

Now I have been collecting this for a year or so, and most of it was bought at a great discount, or free, but still.

My goal is only to use the yarn I already have (a sweater kit included) unless it's knitting for presents. From the look of this pile....that's a good goal to have.

I have 4.3 miles (approx) of sock yarn and my goal is to knit 1 mile in the next 3 months...

So, to change the subject.

Here's a picture of the progress of the wheel....

It's coming...I can't wait for it to be finished.

I did some dyeing on the weekend.I wanted to dye the Henry's Attic stuff I have, but I might wait for the mail...I got some more dye and some synthrapol from someone who was getting rid of their stash.

The roving dyeing was fun...fuzzy picture, but you get the drift. I put some (what I thought was) black in stripes..turned out it was brown. I still think it looks cool.

and in other news:
Meg has made a pair of my I dreamed of Africa Socks.

Don't they look purdy??

She did them toe up with some Vesper yarn and I think they look great. I'm glad that someone has knit the pattern up and that it wasn't impossible to follow.

I think there are others that want to knit it, so I'm hoping that I get some more feedback.

That's all, Happy Monday!!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Knitting in Africa?

Yes, it's true.

On July 14th I left on a 3 week adventure to Kenya.
I went with my husband and 21 other people to do some missions work with various organizations.

During our time in Kenya we spent a week with the Mully Children's Family (more info here and here). While there I was able to assist in teaching some of the girls to knit. Yatta is one of the MCF residences which houses mostly girls, former street children and gives them shelter, education and the opportunity to learn a trade that will assist them to escape poverty.

There was a group of girls who had learned to knit the previous year and that since then they had given away more than 250 pairs of knitting needles to graduating girls!
There have been some donations of yarn and needles, but more are needed.

Do you have spare needles around? Mismatched pairs? Too big? Too small? Don't like plastic?

If you have any needles or yarn to spare (even acrylics), please e-mail me at:

The girls would really appreciate it!


all you fans of Carolyn's blog.

You can see more of the R2D2 hat
Here and Here

I love this little hat.
I'm seriously debating knitting one for myself....

For the person who just found me...

by googling felted chickens.

I wish you luck.
you wont' find any felted poultry or any other felted meat here....
but good luck.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007

Back home, no more travelling, no more company--for a couple of weeks anyways.

Christmas was great--it only took me about 2-3 days to recover from the stomach flu--then company for an overnight and a night out with a good friend (I hadn't been anywhere but the grocery store and Church for 3 weeks and felt like my head would explode).

Christmas knitting did get finished.
My hand was so overworked that it actually fell asleep for a few days. I do have carpal tunnel, so when I overdo it with the knitting, I pay the price and have to sleep with my brace on for a few nights.

I didn't get done all the projects I wanted to. The R2D2 hat took me about 3 weeks and I wasn't expecting that. I did get finished the projects that I needed to, the rest would have been extras.

We just came back from a nice time at my Dad's with 10 adults, 4 toddlers, 3 dogs and a partridge in a pear tree. It was fun but too short.

I am sooo needing to knit some socks. Hubby is finally going to get his first pair!
I just measured his feet, did a gauge swatch and am winging a basic pattern.

The children are nestled all snug in their beds, hubby is sawing away at my spinning wheel in the basement and I am going to couch it for a few hours (little man decided to stay up all night on Saturday so I"m beat--literally all night. He was up from 12-5am and by 4 he was doing "impressions" of sleeping--thought it funny to tell me "Big boy sleep" and then pretend to snore--if he wasn't so cute....)

I have a couple of pictures to share.

The R2D2 hat on the nephew:

I think he liked it.

R2D2 Hat Pattern by Carolyn
Yarn: Elann Devon. 1 ball each of Navy, Grey and White.
Knitpicks Circular in US2 and US 1 for the lining.

Booga Bag #2 with the sister:

Pattern: Booga Bag from Black Sheep Bags
Yarn: Patons SWS in Natural Plum
US10.5 needle from Boye Needlemaster

I also dip dyed some yarn for my sister. I used some of the Jacquard Acid Dye, in Purple. Mixed it with hot water and put the whole hank in. Every 5 minutes or so I'd pull some of the yarn out. This picture is totally junky, but it came out just loverly:

New Years--well let's just say that I'm a party animal and fell asleep on hubby's shoulder at about 11:30pm watching a movie.

We had some sushi, Mediterranean hors d'oeuvres and sparkling juice and settled to watch Click and Inside Man. Click was your basic dumb Adam Sandler movie. Every time I watch one of his movies I swear it will be the last. This one I actually thought might be somewhat appropriate, given he was a family man in the movie--not. Interesting idea but I could do without his 10-year-old-boy-humour.

Inside Man--LOVE Denzel. Have been wanting to see that movie, but as I mentioned little man was up all night and I just crashed. I saw about 20 minutes of the movie and then I was zzzzzzzz.
Saturday night was so much fun. My sister got a Karaoke thing for her Playstation. Way. too. fun.
It rates your singing and shows you a little arrow whether you're on pitch or not. You get to create your own character--mine had a green Mohawk and crazy dance moves.
I actually got a perfect score singing "Time After Time".
I realized that I've never heard the whole "Crazy in Love" song by Beyonce (I had to sing it) and I never want to hear it again.
Crazy fun.

So, Happy 2007.

I am hoping it will be filled with lots of yarn, knitting, (hopefully) spinning, family and fun!!