Friday, December 28, 2007

Quiet Christmas

It was a nice quiet Christmas this year at our house. We didn't even open our gifts until about 2:30 on Christmas day. We went to a couple's house we know from church for dinner on Chistmas Day and watched the movie Meet Me In St Louis which I had never seen in it's entirety before.
Michael and I went together and bought a GPS for us both to use and I made a hat for David with Baby Alpaca Grande to wear when he's out in the yard.
Mom sent us some great knives she bought in Iowa, some chocolate and a new sonic toothbrush to brush our teeth after the chocolate. She also sent some cookies which were mostly still in one piece, but you could tell the package was definitely 'not' handled with any care whatsoever.

This is the hat I made for David.

I also made one for myself and one for Michael with Misti Alpaca Handpainted Chunky. We both noticed that the handpainted yarn isn't as soft as the solid colors. Maybe it's the dyeing process that has affected the texture?!

I'm currently working on another Noro Stripe scarf with the Cashmere Island. This is a little softer than the Silk Garden and I'm also making this one wider, so I bought 6 skeins at Cast-On Cottage with my prize money from the Shop Hop. The color stripes are shorter, but I still like the color play between the two alternating skeins. I totally stole the scarf photo idea from The Yarn Doctor. Although his looks much nicer. Thanks Brett!

I'm working on a fleece jacket for Michael that is baby seals. I just need to put in the zipper and finish the bottom hem. I'll post a pic as soon as it's done.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I bought a new book on modular origami last week, Unit Ployhedron Origami by Tomoko Fuse, so I've been on an origami kick again lately. Most of the stuff I've done is in the library where I work. The large white sphere in the background is comprised of 180 pieces of paper. It's about 2.5 feet across. The picture is a little deceiving. It's on another shelf about 6 feet away from the pieces in the foreground. It took me about a week to fold and assemble. Each unit has two parts that have to be folded and assembled first.

The multi colored star in the foreground is probably the one that has been the most difficult to assemble so far. The folding part is not hard, it's just getting them all together and intersecting in the right way. It's actually 5 three sided pyramids all intersecting. Each color is a single pyramid.

This is one I just finished this morning. It's comprised of 60 pieces of paper and I used old books covers from children's books for the paper. The paper is nice and heavy and most of them are glossy and the colors won't fade in the sun. It's about 14" across.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the computer is home..YAY!

Luckily it was just some conflict to the operating system caused by the latest update. I got the newsletter sent to our printer and now I can rest easier tonight not having to anguish over it anymore... this month. :)

Would you believe after being on the computer for less than 10 minutes it had the nerve to ask if I wanted to update the operating system! I think you can guess what my response to that was.

Back to the Medallion bag, that seems to be going slower with each row. I don't know why this project has been so tough to get through. It's not a hard pattern and I enjoy doing fair isle, it just seems to be one of those projects that resists being a a friendly piece to knit on. Does that sound strange?!?

Thanks for the well wishes for the computer surgery.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Noro strikes again

I had to start another Noro stripe scarf to try to preserve what shred of sanity I have left this week. (This time I'm using colors 8 and 87.) It's mindless and comforting knitting, better than Calgon. "Noro, take me away..."

The medallion bag is over half way done now and I should have it done by this weekend. I also still need to knit a teddy bear outfit for the guild trauma bear donations next week.

The Atlanta Knitting Guild newsletter is being held hostage by our now dead hard drive. I had it almost finished and was going to send it out Sunday. Of course the last time the backup was saved was a week ago. The hard drive, as I type, is having surgery to try to recover the files and transfer them to a new drive. If the newsletter has been lost, you may hear a wail of frustration and angst from midtown. It would mean I have to start all over (about 15-20 hours of work time lost) Please offer good vibes to the computer gods that all the files will return home safely. I started another copy of the newsletter last night and got the template all set up again... but I'd rather have the original since it was supposed to go out already. Has some evil person programmed a secret code into our computer operating systems telling them to die at the most oportune moment that will cause the most grief and anxiety!?!?

Friday, November 23, 2007

after the turkey

Turkey day was a nice and quiet relaxing day for me. Michael and I went to dinner at our landlord's house (we rent the upstairs apartment in a house and her son lives downstairs). We then came home and passed out in front of the TV for an hour. I took my Noro stripe scarf to work on while we were there. I finished it this morning. The colors are definitely on the 'muted' side for me, but I like the end result and Michael has a hat that it matches nicely.

It went very quickly and I want to start another one RIGHT NOW, but I need to work on a Noni bag that I'm doing on commission for Knitch. It's the Medallion Travel Bag, which is a very large bag and all done in fair isle. This picture shows about half of the bottom of the bag and I'm about 4 inches up the side so far.

It takes about 15 minutes to do one round since I have to keep referring to the chart and there are 71 rows total and I'm only on row 7 so far. I'll probably work on it most of the day today. I'm hoping to have it done by next weekend, so I'm going to make myself knit only on the bag until it's done and avoid starting something else to draw my attention away. (yes, I heard the 'yeah right' in your head) ;) Oh ye knitter's of little faith... I know, me too.. I'll probably make it to this afternoon and be overwhelmed by all the new stash from last week. I also want to start another Koolhaas hat, and the Shedir hat from Knitty, and... uh-oh

There was a great get-together at Knitch this past Sunday with Knitch supplying the turkey and squash casserole and then everyone else bringing in potluck. There were probably about 25-30 people all together and the food was incredible. Michael even came along and brought his scarf to knit on. He's still a beginner and has a hard time trying to concentrate on his knitting and hold a conversation at the same time, but I told him that will change when he is a little more experienced and comfortable with his knitting. I remember being so focused on the knitting that anything going on around me was a distraction. He didn't want to appear anti-social and then his hip also was starting to hurt from sitting in the folding chairs, so he retired to the sofa and had a nap. Those sofa's are very comfortable. Kim took a picture of him and said she was considering a photo montage of sofa sleepers on the wall behind it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

the shop hop begins

Lou and I drove to 4 of the shops on Saturday starting in Snellville at All That Yarn, then to Main Street in Watkinsville, Only Ewe and Cotton Too in Alpharetta and Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock. We wanted to get all the stores that were the farthest away first and then all the ones in town will be easier during the week. I've been to 6 of the 10 now and shouldn't have any problem getting to the other 4. We heard of several other groups making the rounds on Saturday, but we only met up with one other person we knew from the guild. I tried to find unique stuff or something new I hadn't seen or bought before since I knew I'd be buying small(ish) amounts.
Here is what I've acquired so far...

Arucania Ranco #307
Arucania Ranco #301
Tofutsies 732
Paca Paints Moonlight
Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky #12
Beroco Ultra alpaca - for the Argyle scarf in Son of Stitch n bitch

We are doing a knit along for the arglye scarf from Son of Stitch N Bitch in our Friday Night group at Knitch. I'm using the Ultra Alpaca I bought. I'm curious to see what colors other people have chosen. It's done in double knit so it will take a while.

I finished my second Koolhaas hat. I used Cascade 220 black and Noro Silk Garden #8. It took a little longer than the first since it was fair isle. This one was a little snug, so I'm going to make it again and go up a couple of needle sizes and fewer pattern repeats.

I've also started the Cables & Corrugations Sock from Cat Bordhi new book New Pathways For Sock Knitters: Book One. I'm using White Oak TVyarn (Nightmare After Christmas is the colorway). This was from the SAFF stash of Melissa.. she was divesting herself of some of her purchases.

I started a Noni bag for Knitch last night too. It will be a shop sample. It's all fair isle and will probably take me a few weeks... it's a big bag.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

So many sock ideas, so little time

I took one of the classes with Cat Bordhi at Knitch this week and learned so many new techniques which are featured in her new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One. Now I have several patterns and lots of sock yarn from SAFF to keep me a happy knitter for a while. It's an excellent book with clear and illustrated directions. If you have a chance to take a class with her I highly recommend you take it. She is a very empowering instructor and uses lots of her original socks for demonstrating her new techniques. She also tells lots of wonderful stories and the history behind her knitting ideas and patterns. Once again I was without my camera... there should be photos of the class out there in blogland somewhere I'm sure. Claudia, Jen, Jane and Melissa were all in the class of about 16. Unfortunately, Lou wasn't able to attend since he wasn't feeling well.

I've started another Koolhaas hat with Noro and black Cascade 220 this time. I'll post a pic here and on Ravelry as soon as I take some. I don't know why I've been so bad about taking pictures lately.

Claudia's Stricken Sie Deutsch swatch instructions were posted on Tuesday. I was having a hard time sleeping Tuesday night so I dove right in and finished and blocked it. The pattern is really pretty and I plan to make a scarf with it using reversible Zopfen (cables). So Claudia, was ist 'reversible' auf Deutsch? wendbar? My english-german dictionary has several choices for reversible. Maybe that will be in the next swatch challenge? ;)

Now that I've finished Michael's sweater I want to start another and have started the hunt for the next "must-knit-now" pattern. I've been wanting to make myself a cardigan for quite a while and bought some charcoal grey alpaca at SAFF last year that I think will look really nice. I tnik it's sport weight, so it should take me a while.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

SAFF, the recap

We packed a lot into a 20 hour day last weekend at SAFF. Now I remember why we stayed overnight last year! I was worn out by the time we got home.

We had a lot of stuff we had to see and all in one day. The booths ring the floor of the arena and then also the entire upper ring above the seats too. I think we made the circuit at least 3 times before the buying frenzy slowed. We stopped at the llama barn first and met a very friendly llama who like to give kisses. He was mostly just interested in the smell of my sweater with me though. Lou got a nice nuzzle from him.

Happy alpacas

Alpacas with bad bangs. Where is Jose Eber when you need him?

Lou getting inside info from an alpaca informant

We spent a little time in the blogger barn knitting and chatting and sharing the best places to find new stash aquisitions.
Here's Jane (on the right) and her friend Greta from North Carolina who we had just met for the first time. Jane is working on her 99th pair of socks here.

This is Katey who won Best of Show for her handspun yarn. Sitting next to her is Amy in her beautiful Tweed Pullover sweater from Cables Untangled.

Sandy getting in some spinning in the barn.

Our favorite, and yet blogless costume designer, Diana.

Claudia and Brett enjoying the knitting and conversation in the blogger barn.

Janice contemplating a new pattern

Lou explaining to Bert how yoga can improve your knitting

Claudia invited us to the cabin she and her husband had rented for the week for a meal before hitting the road back to Atlanta. It was a really nice way to end our day at SAFF. Here is the view from the back porch of the cabin.

The fiber dogs on the porch supervising the knitting.

Lou and Brett on the porch getting a little knitting in before dinner.

Famous Steve taking a picture of the view.

Brett just didn't think it was time to give up on knitting out on the porch yet and brought out the flashlight.

...the end of our day at SAFF and the gorgeous sunset from the cabin. Thanks again to Claudia and her husband for the lovely dinner and hospitality.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Kaffe, Brandon, Lily.... names, names, names

Knitch hosted Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mabley last week for a book signing. Lou and I attended and even had a chance to chat with Brandon for a few minutes when there was a lull. He is a charmer!

I'm still working on the photos from SAFF. I have most of them done and expect to post a very heavy pic post soon.

I'm off to take a couple of classes with Lily Chin this morning on short row shaping and reversible cables. More on the classes and pics later too.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We had a great time at SAFF

We left for SAFF from Steve's house at 6 AM and got there a little after 9 AM. It was after midnight by the time I got home. Not many things I would spend 20 hours of my day devoted to. We had a really good time and it was so much fun seeing all of the other fiber fiends roaming and buying and trading stories of found treasures. I finished Michael's sweater in the car about a half an hour before we got there.
Here's a pic of Steve, myself, Brett and Lou in the alpaca barn.

I had already explained to Michael that I had to wear his sweater first for SAFF and he was very gracious and understanding. It was very comfortable and perfect for the cool weather while we were there.

After spending the whole day at SAFF, Claudia and her husband invited us to stay for dinner at the cabin they had rented for the week and treated us to a wonderful home cooked meal along with a wonderful sunset view from the back porch before heading back to Atlanta.

Michael wore his sweater to church this morning and it looks great on him. He told the class while I was out of the room it was his own special portable 'hug' to keep. He wanted the class to know I made it for him, but knows how I get embarrassed easily and didn't want me to feel too self conscious. Several people came up and gave me compliments afterward which was really nice. I felt so proud that he liked the sweater and it felt so good that he liked it so much that he wanted to do a little bragging about it.

Once I get all the pictures downloaded and rest a little more, I'll post more from the trip. I'll also take pics of the treasures I came home with too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007's almost here!

I'm so looking forward to going to SAFF this weekend, frolicking in all the yarn, spending time with my friends and getting away from work! I've been working furiously on getting Michael's sweater done so I can wear it on Saturday. The traveling rib hat is on hold and all my knitting time has been delegated to the sweater. I have this Thursday off and that will be the day of 'the steek'. Weaving in all the ends has to be done too.

I also want to start Brooklyn Tweeds Rem Koolhaas hat from IK Holiday Gifts issue to work on during the trip. I'm going to make it with Cascade 220 first before I splurge on some of the good stuff. I'll have a ton of leftover 220 from Michael's sweater so it may be multicolored as well.

I haven't been taking many photos lately and as soon as the push for the sweater is over, I'll get some taken and on here for progress results. I still haven't tried to take stash pics for Ravelry again yet either.

I've been contemplating finding a new job and it seems to compound itself with each passing day at work. Major frustration. I have no energy and this job is just sucking all the joy out of life. I dread coming in and don't look forward to the task of job hunting either. bleh! Shouldn't there be an ejection button for the co-workers who make your life hell on earth?! Sounds like a job for Dr. Evil to me. Muaah-ha-ha-ha

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm Sunrise...

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

Saw this on a blitheringknitiot's blog.

I have to wonder about this 'diagnosis' of sunrise... I'm definitely NOT a morning person and usually need at least a half an hour of non-communicative alone time before I can be expected to answer without a grunt or snarl. Poor Micheal, he is a morning person and usually bears the brunt of my bad morning moods.

I finished the traveling rib hat last Sunday, but didn't like the way the top finished, so I ripped out the top and started with fewer stitches. It had too many stitches and didn't lay as flat as I would like it to. Pics soon.

It's coming to crunch time with the newsletter, Michael's sweater that I'm trying to finish by next Friday for SAFF, and work, which is fast approaching unbearable. (long story)

Michael and I went to Clayton, Georgia this past weekend for a retreat with our Sunday school class. We had about 30 people and had a great time. The weather was just beautiful and I even got to wear sweaters! I took my camera, but only took a few pictures the whole weekend. A couple from the class have a cabin on top of Screamer mountain and we had dinner there on Saturday night and I took some shots of the sunset. The weather was so clear that night we could even see the Milky Way. It's so wonderful to get away from the light polution of the big city and actually see the stars! The moon was just a sliver right on the horizon at sunset.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I spent 2 hours last night taking pictures of all my stash to upload to Ravelry... I discovered this morning when I downloaded all the photos that the lighting I was using (Reveal bulbs) were not enough light and all the pictures (74 of them) came out too dark to tell what color they truly are. Some of the dark blues and purples just look black. I should have just taken a few and then downloaded them to check them out. I was too excited and wanted to get them all in my stash list now!

I've been wanting to buy a professional light box for taking photos of finished items and this is just one more reason to now start looking seriously at really purchasing one. It would have saved me a lot of work and a few curse words too.

I'll probably give it another shot by using the flash on a few shots and see if that will work. I'm afraid it will be too much and make the colors flat and too flooded with light... only a few experiment shots will tell.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I've been having so much fun with ravelry the past few days. How am I supposed to get anything done when it's beckoning, 'just one quick look'. It's a great way to line up all the stuff you would like to knit too, surfing all the patterns... now where to find the time and the money to buy all that yarn!

I've gotten about a third the way done on the band of the Traveling Rib Hat. The color hasn't changed a lot yet, but there is a drastic change to cobalt coming soon thanks to a knot in the yarn.
I can't believe I was actually the first person to enter this pattern as a project in Ravelry. I got to enter the pattern! Hopefully that will get more people to go to Danny's website too and buy his patterns. (No, I wasn't paid for this endorsement) ;)

I've been entering my books today. I've entered all the ones I can remember off the top off my head, but there will be many more that I've missed showing up later.

We are getting lessons in german knitting terms from Claudia this month... just waiting for the day Umschlag shows up.. it will echo from the hills as it did at the mountain... UMSCHLAG!!

Monday, October 1, 2007


OMG - I got the invite today... let the madness begin.

When I've finished organizing my books, stash, projects, taken pics of all the stash... you may not see me for weeks!

It's been hard trying not to go and "browse" while I'm here at work.

I started the Traveling Rib Hat by Danny Ouellette this past weekend and I've gotten about 6 inches done on the headband so far. It's not the fastest thing to knit, but I can't wait to have it done to wear.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Noro hat for Knitters Without Borders

I took pictures of the hat that I made during the Yarn Harlot program. Brett graciously offered to model for me. Strike a pose!

The top was an experiment with decreases and rib pattern. Instead of decreasing at regular points around the hat, I just decreased in every other purl valley until all the stitches were used up. Then I started decreasing in the other purl valleys until those were used up too. Then I stared decreasing at the same place I left off on the first set on every round until I had just 6 stiches left and ran the end through and closed.

I like this hat and plan to make one for myself too. I am truly a Noro junkie now! I haven't used a yarn from Noro yet that I don't like, and there are so many more yet to try!

I've been missing Texas lately. It seems to be cropping up in conversations all around me, so I decided to bring you along in my yearning and show some of the pictures I took this spring in Texas when we were visiting family in Austin.
San Antonio Riverwalk

Winecup and Bluebonnet

Michael in the Bluebonnets

Indian Paintbrush

Bluebonnet closeup

Sunset through the trees at the Bel-K Ranch in San Saba. The ranch belongs to friends of my sister and we stayed there for a couple of nights.

If you want to see some beautiful wildflowers (thanks to Ladybird Johnson) visit the hill country area of Texas around Austin in late March and early April. It really does look like a postcard in so many places along the highways. There is also a wildflower center in Austin that was started by Ladybird about 15 years ago. The winecup and bluebonnet picture was taken there.
Hope you enjoyed my little excursion to the Texas hill country.