Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fighting a Bad Case of Startitis

There is something about early spring that makes me want to make sweaters. Simple sweaters, not mega intense Fair Isles or giant itchy Lopis just easy-to-wear walk the dog type throw-ons. I have had my eye on this pattern from Shear Spirit for a while and want to spin enough of something to make it even though I already have 2 short sleeved sweaters that I never wear. I am still talking myself into making it. I really, really want it and I am NOT going to feel guilty about the Lillehammer that is still sitting here unfinished. It had it's day and now it's time to move on. I can finish it any old time, like during the next winter Olympics. Right?

I also emptied the clearance bin at Micheal's where they were offering some Paton's Classic in Sesame for $2.50 a skein. I am pretty sure there is a cabled something with my name on it in this book. I am thinking October Frost may the cure to my spring startitis itch.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Somethings to Dye For

Inspired by the warmish weather, I bought a box of color to play with. I have also loaded up on the Easter egg dye since it's all over the place right now. I do believe the stash contains quite a bit of white stuff that needs to be improved upon but I am still doubtful that I've got what it takes in the dye department. Last summer's disasters left me humbled. Very humbled.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yet Another Box of Fun

I just had to go back and get more fiber from Sheepish Creations. As if they know me and my sloppy record keeping only too well, they neatly tucked a card with the amount and type of fiber into each sample for which I am extremely grateful. I bought 4 oz of Corriedale in the Friar Tuck colorway, in addition to 4 ozs each of some black Jacob, brown Shetland and some to-absolutely-die-for black and white BFL.

They also offered an adorably squeezable little sheep stress ball that I just couldn't resist. We are only about a month away from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival now, so this HAS to be my last purchase before the big splurge but I'm not making any bets.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.....

I knew things were going horribly wrong with Olympic hat #2 but I just had to keep going.

I made a hat fit for a Conehead. It pays to have a good sense of humor when things turn out like this. Humor I may have, but it seems, the ability to walk away from a train wreck is not in my nature. Yarn for try # 3 is on the way. There may be daffodils in the garden but there will still be winter moose on the needles for a while.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A 2010 First

My first outside spin of the year in the late afternoon sunshine. A cup of tea plus Lady Gaga on the ipod equals a better end to a trying day. 3 days until spring break. I just may make it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stressed? Who Me?

I just had to steal this from Grosgrain Garage.
It's been one of those weeks.

Monday, March 22, 2010


A lot of fiber ends up in my mailbox but this week's arrival from Sheepish Creations leaves me without words to describe its beauty. Here is the too humble description from the seller:

This is a mix of 75% white BFL wool and 25% black BFL wool. I have overdyed it, resulting in really complex, rich colors.

It is the most beautiful hunk of wooly stuff I have ever seen.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Little Spring in My Step

The key to getting my knitting mojo back has been to work on projects that are not doomed to be packed away upon completion. I have been carrying around these socks for months now with no interest but today they are my project of choice. They will be perfect for my pink Crocs. Yes, I said pink Crocs. I have every intention of being one of those old ladies that dress the part. I may even start dyeing my hair to match.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Someday Soon

My retirement plans go something like this:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

I am already starting to pack up my classsroom and I found this mini quilt tucked away among the many souvenirs of times gone by. I have taught first grade for almost forever but 10 years ago I was moved to 3rd grade for a single school year. At that time we had a school wide challenge to make a classroom quilt. Each day we set aside a few minutes to piece together some blocks that we tufted using embroidery thread. When I say we I really mean myself and the boys in the room. The girls had no interest whatsoever in working on it but I spent many a happy recess stitching away and chatting with the little guys. Those boys would be graduating from high school this year and I wonder if any of them remember how much fun they had with a needle and thread.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Holy Sh*t!

While packing away the winter woolies I found that something has been snacking on a pair of elderly just-in-case mittens I keep locked away in a drawer, in a big cabinet, in my classroom. Teachers have not done recess duty in over 5 years so these Spiral mittens have not seen the light of day in at least that much time. It's amazing how those little buggers found the one real wooly thing in a sea of acrylic to munch on.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not Knitting

I can't seem to pick up the needles but my little Golding spindle has been keeping me busy at lunch time. I thought spinning the yarn for my Swallowtail would be an unachievable goal but the biggest problem is keeping up with the plying. Spindle plying is an athletic event and I can't seem to work up the energy in the evenings to get it done. I need a few free daylight hours, a good movie and a bottle of Motrin. Just thinking about it makes my shoulder hurt.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Got Snow?

It certainly was a winter to remember. It's mid March and I can still make snowballs. At least today. My piles of white stuff are getting smaller and smaller and with this weekend's downpours I fear it may be the end of them. The end of the cold stuff has triggered a total knitting malaise on my part. The abrupt jolt between February and March weather is sometimes hard to get your head around. One day snow boots and the next day flip flops. Seriously. I had to paint my toenails yesterday. Opi Russian Navy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Say it Ain't So

Now that I am almost up to the top of the charted pattern, I took the time to read ahead. Much to my horror I discovered this is NOT a steeked sweater but rather a-divide-and-finish-the-neck-by-knitting-BACK and FORTH sweater. Seriously? I can't manage two colors ON A PURL SIDE. No frickin' way. That fancy four color yoke is knitted as separate pieces and so are the sleeves. Now I know I could probably adjust this pattern so I can cut out and pick up the sleeves and neck. Probably. But I am not so sure I am brave enough to give it a go after all this work. In the meantime it's being put in timeout for bad behavior. I'll tackle this dilemma at a later date.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


That little bump under my finger is my very first nupp. After reading what people say about them and to see what people do to avoid them I was terrified of that row on my Swallowtail where they first appear. I hate to sound cocky but they turned out to be no big deal. At least for now. I know I am doing my happy dance of relief way too early and I will soon pay the price for all this confidence-but for now I am counting this as a victory and those have certainly been hard to come by lately.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just Because

I have added another pet to my collection of "probably never to be knitted" yarn. That collection includes anything I have paid over $10 a skein for. The scenario is an end of the world apocalypse where I am left with no choice but to break into the "good stuff" in order to keep my family from freezing to death in the next ice age. Sounds crazy but more than likely-it's true.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mind Over Matter

Another ugly trash stash project so that I can do some mindless weaving whenever I get the urge. Weaving, like spinning has become therapy for me. A few minutes here and a few minutes there take my mind off of whatever worries I have managed to drag home from school. I've got quite a pile of these awful semi-afghans/wraps hanging around but I am not ready to commit to making something that requires any thinking just yet. I have a box of expensive weaving yarn that is ready and waiting for when I can settle my brains long enough to plan out something decent.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another False Start

I know everyone must be sick of seeing this hat because it seems EVERYONE has made one in the past few weeks, but I just had to give it another try with a heavier yarn. I wanted to use Cascade 220 like everyone else but when I saw the price of a skein I headed right to Micheal's for the cheap stuff. I had at least 4 more false starts due to gauge so the fact that I have got this far is a miracle. Making things worse, I didn't have the right size needles to knit it in the round so I tried the magic loop and now I have fat little ridges on the edges. Grrrrr. I am also hating the feel of this squeaky acrylic. There is no give in it so carrying colors is not a lot of fun. I am still looking for decent affordable yarn for this project but it seems everything everywhere is sold out in navy, red and white. Go figure.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Daughter called me out of the blue and asked me to knit these socks for her. It seems she managed to get a copy of the latest Knit Picks catalog and fell in love with these rather goofy fish socks. Having a knitting conversation with anyone around here is such a treat that I went and ordered the materials right then and there. Of course there was one color that is on backorder until MAY. Yikes. But after reading the pattern I discovered you can duplicate stitch in that color after the socks are finished so I just may do that. My duplicate stitch is AWFUL but handling 3 colors in a row doesn't sound like much fun either.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Major Award

I never win anything. So when the Shiver Scarf kit that I won arrived from Knit Picks I was more than happy. As you can see, I decided on going with the original colorway. I was tempted to switch off to grays and reds as moss green and purple don't make me think of snowflakes but I just really like the way those colors work together in this design. I am also happy to get the chance to work with something other than Knit Picks sock or lace yarn. In fact, I just went and ordered some Wool of the Andes this morning just to find out what some of their other heavier weights feel like.

Even though winter has had its last gasp around here I am still looking forward to getting this scarf on the needles but since I am just coming off my Olympic knitting high, this week has not been a very productive one. My main goal was to catch up on sleep and Lost episodes and with spring break right around the corner there will be plenty of time to get things going again in Knitville.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Times They are A'Changing

Even though the backyard still looks like this...

I managed to find the first crocus snuggled up against the house.

My poor camillias were bent and broken during the blizzards but in spite of it all, they are still trying to bloom with all their might.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Even More Stuff I Have Bought

I know I have 50 balls of sock yarn in my stash but in my defense, I HAD been locked in the house for more than 2 weeks due to the blizzards. When we finally got mail delivery again even I was surprised at how much stuff started showing up in the mailbox. I forgot I went on another sock yarn binge. I started a pair of Berroco socks during my "snowcation" and loved the color and texture of the cabled yarn so much that I JUST HAD to have more. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Woolly Jumpers

Look what I found at Marshall's for just $3.99. Isn't that the best mug ever? Or should I say beaker?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gold Medal Moments

Even though I had to live through the heartbreak of the USA/Canada hockey match, I have to admit it was a great 2 weeks. Lots of excuses to sit in the PJ's, knit and watch TV. I don't usually fill my blog with pictures of me but today I wanted to show everyone that before I became an old knitting granny I had won a few gold medals of my own.

Cue the theme to the Dick Van Dyke Show: Da da da, Da da da, Da da da da da da da. That's me, a few years back, going for a scratch spin in a production number during the spring show at the rink.

Then there were the competitive years when beating 10 year olds was sweet. Win or lose, those were the days.