Monday, May 31, 2010

My Little Flock

I received a package of fiber in the mail this week and it was decorated with this cute little guy.

Of course I just had to have a sheep stamp of my very own so I was very happy to discover that ebay had plenty of cute ones to choose from. Unfortunately, I do NOT have a stamp pad yet so I had to make due with a neon green highlighter in order to print up my first little flock.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More New Arrivals

I have the urge to do more dyeing (of the harmless variety) so I ordered several kinds of white fiber. My experiments with "real" dyes have been downright terrible so I'm going back to the more "fun" stuff in some sunshiny colors.

My next victims will be some innocent Polwarth and BFL from Woolgatherings.

Just in case things go awry, I ordered 8 more ounces of super soft Polwarth from Copper Moose.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ooohhh Shiny!

Now that the sun may shine again, I have the urge to knit tiny little things out in the natural light where I can actually see them. Although I already have a small stash of beads, I decided to add just a few more colors to my inventory in spite of the fact that the green bag I began last summer is only half way completed.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I have 2 paychecks left before I become poor. Really, really poor. Early retirement poor. I am going to miss coming home to lots of little boxes jammed in the mailbox. The mail lady however is probably counting down my days left with more anticipation than I am. I keep telling myself I have enough stuff. Too much stuff. What I really need is the time to do something with all of it. We'll see.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Goody Goody

Our school year is drawing to a close, which sadly means my new little lunchtime knitting circle will be disbanding. My little prodigy decided to show her thanks by gifting me with a bag of sweet Asian snacks. Candy is candy in any language so by the time you read this, most of these goodies will be history. Mmmmmmm.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Knitting in the Fast Lane

The Prodigy has passed the teacher and it only took a month. This is her first toe up sock. I have not mastered the toe up sock yet in spite of several disastrous tries. Toe up AND lace. I am going to have to start asking her for lessons.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spring Things

Graduations, engagement parties and other social obligations equal lots of weekend road trips. Happily, I have plenty of mindless I-don't-really-care-how-this-turns-out type knitting to drag along. I put lots of mileage on my latest super awful sheep to sock project on an 8 hour round trip drive on Saturday. Sock number 2 is almost done. Since I have so much of this yarn left, sock number 3 and maybe even 4 are in the planning stage. I keep telling myself that I'll be happy to have all these ugly things next winter.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'll Be Lost on Tuesday Nights

After all my doubts about where the show was heading this season, I just have to say that I LOVED the finale. When Vincent stretched out beside Jack, I completely lost it. I measure a good story by how much I cry and tonight it was buckets. Bravo.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Really Big Bag

I know I have been sounding like a Knit Picks commercial lately, but I have been in the hoarding mood and it's my favorite place to get a whole lot for a little. I saw this bag on clearance for only $6 and assumed it was an itty bitty project bag about the size of the small vinyl one I bought from them last week, so imagine my surprise when this GIANT thing showed up.

It has a cute little knitting logo on one side, the side I DIDN'T photograph, of course, and two pockets to hold your notions. It's quite a big deal for the money. Perfect to stuff with summer projects.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

At Last

I pre-ordered this book direct from Abby in October but due to one thing after another (in her life-not mine for a change), she had to cancel many of the orders, including my copy. Knitters are patient people so those of us, whose books went missing, spent seven months looking in the mailbox everyday hoping our copy would arrive. It was particularly difficult after the books hit the bookstores and people began to rave about how great it is. When the news finally arrived this week that the books were not ever coming, I ordered myself a replacement copy and it was here in just 2 days. Thank you Post Office. People have been saying very bad things about you over on Abby's Ravelry forum, but now all is forgiven.

Friday, May 21, 2010


While rummaging through a local Hallmark store, I came upon this amazing jigsaw puzzle.

Is that a nostepinne? A swift? Stitch holders? It looks like I dumped over my knitting basket except that my projects are not as wonderful as most of these. Just look at those booties. Whoever set up this photo knows knitting. For real.

Uh oh. This is what 1000 pieces look like. I better go get started.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Much Better

I am so happy. This sleeve fits. I usually knit just to be knitting but I really want to wear this sweater someday. I think I now have the secret to the sleeves but thinking ahead to the waist shaping is scaring me to death. I haven't had a waist in years but it still seems to be important to shape the Classic Lines Cardigan somewhat anatomically correct-while at the same time factoring in a front steek, no less. Lots of drama to come, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Precious Cargo

My tiny spindles are fragile and expensive and I love them. I worry about them all the time. I have been carrying them all around in a giant jumble in a large stacking box just asking for a major catastrophe to occur.

Today I found the perfect solution at AC Moore's. Small stackable boxes that hold 2 spindles at a time in a position where they can't roll with a compartment below for storing bits of fiber. Now I can safely drop them in my bag for on-the-go spindling without fear of them banging into each other and bending those little hooks. Now if I can just think of a way to keep from dropping them on the floor. As careful as I am, from time to time they escape with a sickening crash. I can only imagine how bad it's going to feel when I finally manage to break one. I have thought about carrying a small pillow around to spindle over, but that's just crazy. Right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh No I Didn't

I said I was NOT going to be tempted by the new Stroll Tonal sock yarn but after winding up a friend's skeins I just had to have a couple of skeins of my own. Meet Springtime and Queen Anne who are each destined to become a Sock Innovation project this summer. Maybe. My love affair with complex sock patterns fizzled out after spending the winter forcing myself to finish a pair of Thermal Socks that seemed to go on forever. I now have 3 pair of never worn socks because just looking at them gives me the heebie jeebies. I keep them rolled up and in the back of the drawer away from my other "happy" socks. If you don't knit that probably sounds a little crazy but, every knitter understands the difference between a project that leaves you with happy knitting memories and one that, although looking perfectly fine-will always be an ugh.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Now You See It....

...and now you don't. Almost. I am a total bag junkie so I just had to try out one of the new clear Knit Picks project bags. For about $6 you get the the smaller tote with the handle. The notion bag is around $3. I drug it around the mall today, taking the opportunity to sit and knit my two-at-time magic loop socks at Panera Bread while waiting for Daughter to get her hair cut. In spite of my reservations about it being so plastic, it turned out to be a decent enough bag because it is stiff enough to sit up on the floor. Best of all, I really like being able to see inside it because with so many projects going at once it always seems that I am either picking up the wrong bag as I head out the door or not noticing that I don't have everything I need packed up and ready to go. I suffered an intense case of knitting withdrawal at work the other day when I discovered I neglected to manage to put my knitting in the bag at all. I had an EMPTY bag. All day. I have yet to fully recover from it. It was that bad.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Batts in my Belfry

Oh my goodness. These are just the most awful looking things. I take full responsibility for the awfulness as I was in complete charge of this project from sheep to sock. I washed the fleece, dyed the wool, carded the batts, spun it and then knit the ugliest mismatched foot coverings on the planet. My first attempt to control the pattern in a self striping project was a TOTAL bust and I am not sure where it went so horribly wrong. It just seems to me that if you break apart the batts in equal sections, spin them in sequence and them ply them together in the same sequence that you would end up with large blocks of solid colors-somewhere. Not.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


That small pattern row marks the place where, in the very near future, I have to cut in order to get some sleeves going on this thing. I have steeked before so I am quite aware of what's involved. All the same, I am at the place where I always wonder if I shouldn't just stuff it and turn it into a pillow. Or just pack it up for the summer and think about it next winter.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Off to the Frog Pond

As much as I tried to tell myself that giant sleeve would somehow fit later on, the time came to finally face facts. Out in the bright sunlight of a beautiful Saturday morning, I could actually see well enough to get an accurate stitch count. I wasn't even close. Rip it. Rip it. Rip it.

The second time around, I ditched the magic loop for double points and found that knitting up the hem was a piece of cake. Happily, the false start did not put me off this sweater. The colors are so beautiful I don't want to put it down.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

No Chance in Hell

I realize I just posted about how I like to wear only the simplest of knits but, I also have this delusion that I am going to knit a tank top to wear to next year's Sheep and Wool Fest. I passed by several gorgeous lacey ones last weekend and that sent me right to the internet to research summer tops. I came up empty handed over on Ravelry but I eventually found the Crest of the Wave Tank Top over at Elann, which knit in their Sonata, costs under $20. Here it is in Fresh Pesto. Unfortunately, given my track record with getting anything I make to actually fit, the chances that this is going to turn out to be something that can be worn is pretty slim. But it won't hurt to try.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Classic

I love to knit fancy things. Lace. Cables. Colorwork. All fun to do but not fun to wear. At least for me. I am a plain Jane. I like everything simple. My plain old vanilla seamless raglans get the most wear-by far. When I saw the Classic Lines Cardigan over on Knit Picks, I knew that someday it would be mine. Someday is here because I just got finished casting it on in Vineyard and Spice. One sleeve, that is. You use two strands of lace weight held together and every 6th row you throw in another strand of a contrasting variegated lace weight. I love the way that looks.

I have managed to make gauge, but the sleeve still seems enormous. I like my sweaters baggy but I don't want to look like a bag lady. I am planning on knitting a few more inches before I decide if this is going off to the frog pond. I improvised a straight hem off two needles in order to skip the sewn in hem and almost had a brain hemorrhage trying to figure it out, so I am not quite ready to rip it all out and start over just yet.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prodigy 2

My new little knitting buddy is unstoppable. Her first colorwork project is amazing. Perfect in every way.

Now look at what she's up to.
I warned her it was a slippery slope.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just One More

During her almost 3 hour creep up Route 144 towards the fairgrounds last Saturday, Daughter took this photo of a knitter on the side of the road. Broken down cars are no fun but this lady seemed to be taking it all in stride.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Last-But Not Least:The Socks

Of course I had to add to my collection of 50 plus balls of sock yarn, so on Sunday morning I queued up for Socks That Rock and bought a skein in the Lenka colorway. I then went over to pick out something from Creatively Dyed, which had a lovely location with a breeze and a big fan. I spent a long time there before I decided on some sock weight in the Ghana colorway.

Before heading home, I went back over to Misty Mountain farm where I also came away with this ball of Crazy Zauberball.
At $20, $23 and $19 a skein, this is some pricey sock yarn.

To end my 2010 Maryland Sheep and Wool posts, let me confess that I also stopped on the way home at Micheal's where I came away with this pretty Patons at $4.99 a ball. I just couldn't help it. I still had a few bucks in my pocket.

This year's total: $415.
I went a little crazy, but I am now only 27 school days away from a pitiful fixed retirement income.
This stuff's gotta last me a LONG time.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Look What I Bought: Part 5

The only thing I had on an actual list to buy was dye. I needed some gray and some olive to complete the set I have been putting together a bottle at a time. When the time comes to torture more sock blanks, I will be ready.

Speaking of my dyeing skills in the same post as these masterpieces is shameful. What Fiber Optic knows about dyeing is what I hope to know someday.

I almost walked right past these beauties when I was elbowing my way into the Socks That Rock display at The Fold.
There was so much to choose from that my brain hurt from weighing the possibilities. I find it funny now that I chose 2 rather warmish colorways on a humid, 93 degree, spring morning.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Look What I Bought: Part 4

On Sunday morning, I ran into the main exhibit hall and snatched up a teeny, tiny .42 oz cherry Bosworth spindle. Then I ran over to Misty Mountain Farms and bought a bag of super soft Luxury Polworth in Forest Moss to pair with my new little friend. Earlier that morning I had heard a group oohing and aahing over bags of this unfamiliar (to me) fiber so of course, I had to have some too.

I have to say I am totally loving the combination of spindle and fiber. I don't want to put it down. I already know where I am heading next year and what I am planning on bringing home.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Look What I Bought: Part 3

I made a very quick dash into the booth where Jenny the Potter was selling her ceramic ware to pick up some more buttons in anticipation of a sesame colored cabled sweater that I have been planning for fall. I discovered the Jennie's wonderful buttons last year while stalking Heather Ordover from Craft Lit. She was supposed to be there helping out again this year but I was too hot and grouchy to be in stalking mode. I really just wanted more buttons, so I ran in and out without noticing who was where. If that was you, Heather, who took my $14, then I am very sorry that I didn't take the time to tell you how much I love your podcasts. When you are 56 and 1/2 and in the middle of a raging hot flash in 90 plus degree weather, you will understand.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Look What I Bought: Part 2

In spite of the misery on Saturday, I made an effort to go into one of the super heated exhibit halls in order to fetch a bag of my favorite brightly colored variegated Merino from Pucker Brush Farms. I was just about to pay when Daughter slapped down the money and said "Happy Mother's Day". How sweet.

I've already put it to good use with my new little Golding 2" Purpleheart Tsunami spindle. I almost passed out wading through the crowd in the Golding booth to pick out this little beauty. Much to Son #1's horror, I had to drop the ice from my iced tea into my bra to keep cool so I could stand in line to pay. It was that hot.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Look What I Bought: Part 1

My only 2010 Sheep and Wool mission was to bring home something I don't usually buy. I tend to go to the same booths and buy the same thing each year.
Somewhere deep in the back of my brain, I had the notion that this would be the year to get a fleece but since I am too shy to fight my way through the confusion of the fleece tables I never thought it could be possible. I have been a lurker for years, watching from a safe distance in admiration as people carried away their giant bags.

On Super Hot Saturday, before I had my meltdown, I was forced by The Mister and Son #1 to go take a look at this year's selection. I managed to not only walk myself up to the fleece tables but to actually pick one out and buy it. That is $153 of Cormo. Yes, I said $153. I had brought $200 with me and then plunked down almost the entire thing in one giant 9 pound purchase within minutes of arriving.

It's one big bag of wool. Certainly enough to keep me busy for the summer.

It's so pretty. I want to take a nap in it-as soon as it cools down.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Few Festival Friends

It may have been a miserable day for shopping on Saturday but the animal barns were well ventilated and shady. This little cutie wasn't letting the crowds disturb its breakfast.

The unseasonable 90 degree weather did not seem to bother the adorable baby goats who were taking turns beating the hell out of each other and then beating up a red folding chair. The little black one was particularly naughty and then seemed to put itself in time out in the corner.

I was feeling sorry for myself because I was so miserable until I saw what this guy was wearing. I hope he was in line for shearing. Poor guy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back For More

While the household was asleep, I crept out at 6:30 am for another shot at the Sheep and Wool Festival. It is almost a 2 hour drive from here, but without the Saturday traffic I was there in a flash. I was better prepared for the heat today. I dressed sensibly, carried little and made sure my first stop was to get a snow cone.

In the Saturday crowds I had missed this unusual sock display that greeted you at the entry. You can only imagine how some people were posing with it for photos.

At 8 am I was surprised to find the place full of people who were there to watch the Sheep to Shawl competition. By 9 am the place was open for business and I was in and out in about an hour with a large bag full of goodies.

Here are this year's stash additions minus the biggest purchase of all. I will show you all of this in detail in the days to come. Right now I need a cold drink and cool bath.