Sunday, December 31, 2006

The shawl!!

I finally did it! The tea shawl is complete and blocking. It wasn't finished without a few mishaps though. I cut out one of the repeats in the second chart (horseshoes). I also skipped a few plain rounds after the last chart. I was rockin' on the edging when I realized that I wasn't going to have enough yarn.

That's 14 points from the end of the edging. I nearly cried. After all I've gone thru with the shawl. I went to the Point to see if maybe they had another hank hidden away in some hidey hole and nothing. While there a group of people suggested finding another yarn, a solid to match one of the colors in the rest of the shawl and just have that one small section different. Tamara and I were headed to the Yarn Tree, where I found a ball of Frog Tree Alpaca in the perfect weight and colorway.

Prior to blocking, measuring approx. 38" across:

The completed shawl, blocking (52" across):

A close up of the different colored section:

And a close up of the chart that gave me such hell.

A wonderful way to finish up my year. How will I be spending my New Year's eve? On the couch, with a whole lot of Knit Picks Merino Style, using a basic raglan sweater pattern from the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater patterns. I have a hankering for a black sweater with brown/cream/black stripes sleeves.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 wrap up

Everyone else in blogland is doing a recap of FO's from the past year. I actually went thru my archives and listed them. I'm almost embarrassed at the amount of knitting I did.

Northern Lights
Hermione Mittens
Broad Street Mittens
Handspun hat (2)
Baby hats (3)

Roxy Bag (2)
Nautie (2)
PSP socks (3)
Wine cozy

Multidirectional scarf
Entrelac scarf

Spey Valley (4)
Fuzzy Feet (2)
Jaywalkers (2)
Over the Knee Socks
Karen's Red Socks
Mystery socks

Baby/kid clothing
Baby dress (2)
Baby sweater
Aran sweater (3)

Adult size tops/sweaters
Go With The Flow
VK Cardigan

I'm still hoping to add the #$%^#$^ tea shawl to the list of 2006 FO's. I'm a little more than halfway done with the edging.

Mom made me stitch markers out of monkey head buttons she found.....aren't they cute?

I will leave you with the other things I've been doing on my week off.....

If I don't get back to post the shawl before the end of the year, I wish you all a very happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy humbug

Last week, I cleaned out my desk at work. I got a new job and I start on the 2nd. While going thru 9 1/2 years worth of crap, I found a bag containing a pillow. I must have brought it in to show someone and never brought it back home. See, before I fell into knitting, I was big into cross stitch. This is probably my favorite thing that I made from that hobby.

My current obsession is the #!$#%@ tea shawl. I just couldn't get past that last chart. Well, I perservered, and I made it past it. I'm now on the edging, see?

Proof that I am truly insane? As soon as this one is done, I'm going to cast on again for another one, using that soy yarn that I originally started with. Yes, truly insane.

And lastly, while I don't have much Xmas spirit this year, and my decorations are next to none, there is one small decoration up in my house. Valerie got this for me last year and it's currently hanging from my living room ceiling fan with, what else? Some handspun red yarn.

Happy holidays folks.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Xmas Knitting Part 2

Last week, I joined Tamara and Valerie at Tania's (no blog) house for some spinning. Great fun was had, and there was lots of wine consumed. My secret knitting project was revealed: a wine cozy for the hostess.

Finished brother socks. I tried to make them match. But they didn't turn out that way, and I'm ok with that.

Finished Broad Street mittens for a friend, minus the buttons to secure them.

Last week I decided that I NEEDED to make a coworker a pair of Fuzzy Feet. But as I needed to felt them this past weekend, I needed to get a jump on things. Luckily, they are a quick knit, and into the washer they went with mom's boyfriend's Fuzzy Feet. Here they are drying.

I decided that I would leave mom's handspun hat as is, and spin up the alpaca for mom. Here is is resting on the niddy noddy. First yardage estimate is just shy of 300 yards. After a good washing, I will remeasure the yardage.

And, with that, my holiday knitting/spinning is done. Next up? Finishing that @#$%#$^! tea shawl if it kills me. I'm currently on row 8 of the last chart, but you'll forgive me if I don't talk about it....I'm hoping that if I keep my mouth shut, the knitting will go smoothly.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Knitting and spinning and dyeing, oh my!

The knitting:

Socks that are taking FOREVER, but should be done soon.

The first of the Broad Street mittens, minus the mitten top. Hopefully I can get it done plus the second one by Xmas.

The spinning:

I'm spinning up some red/brown alpaca top, in hopes to have a fingering/sport weight with enough yardage to give to my mom with the handspun hat. This is about 2 1/2 ounces of singles.

Also spun and navajo plied (I'm liking this method more and more), some merino to make mittens for the little guy. There's one more color to add to the mix (a brick red)....the kid has a strange sense of color.

The dyeing:
I've done a bit of dyeing with Kool Aid on yarn. I wanted to venture into dyeing my own fiber. I bought a bunch of colors of Wilton's (I figured I could use the Wilton's for baking if I wasn't thrilled with dyeing) and used 2 ounces of BFL that I got when I bought Lulu. Some pink and brown Wilton's, some time in the oven at 250 and some drying time and this is what I got:

I'm not sure how I feel about it. I was hoping for a deeper brown, but for the first time dyeing, it'll do. I think it is what I'm taking with me for a mini spining get together on Thursday. I can't'll be fun.

Oh, and for Jo....a pick of the entire sweater. This is the 4T size.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Yay! The sweaters are done. They were actually done on Tuesday, but I'm a lazy girl and didn't get around to posting til today. Pic is a little dark, but I think it's a nice shot. Props to hubby for taking the pic to represent the true color.

Last night, Tamara and I went to the Point for the re-release launch party for Knit 1. There were door prizes. Look what she won:

Guess who won the second copy of the book? Me. I didn't win things before I became a knitblogger.

We hit a the Caliente Cab Co. afterwards for some dinner and some drinks. Yum. No, the similar sweaters were not planned.

Trekking socks for the brother are moving slowly...I'm not quite done with the first one yet. But then again, I picked up another's secret though. I will share that it's being made out of stash yarn! :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

She's got the big guns

Oh, how I love Skid Row. Unlike my coworker who the day after Thanksgiving turned her radio to 24/7 Xmas music on it's highest volume and is trying to make me jump out the window.

Anyways, a finished handspun superfine alpaca hat for mom. It's plain, and I'd like to jazz it up a little bit. Any suggestions? I'd like to use regular stash yarn or handspun stash if possible. If I can't jazz it up, I'm hoping to finish spinning up a good amount of some lovely brown alpaca I have to give to her. Heck, I may do that even if I jazz up the hat.

Also done are Fuzzy Feet. Not felted (obviously). Mom's boyfriend has size 8 1/2 feet, and they look fairly large....I hope that they fit properly once felted. Yarn is Wool of the Andes (2 and a smidge of a third ball), leftovers from my Rogue. Gotta love stash busting.

Progress on the brother's sock...Trekking from stash.

Also started....Broad Street Mittens for a friend...Knit Picks Sock Memories from...where else? Stash!

Any guesses on when the next "finished Xmas object post" will go up? :)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Xmas knitting - part one

The knitting portion of the aran sweaters all done. Seaming remains.

A closer look at the sweater bodies...

And one more item knocked off my Christmas knitting list: socks for the sister. Woo!

For some reason, the entire sock matches stripes, except at the toes. Hmmm...

Next up, a handspun superfine alpaca hat for mom, and the same socks as above, but in a different colorway for the brother. Fuzzy Feet may make an appearance for mom's boyfriend, depending on if I can find something suitable in stash. Poor Lulu is being neglected as I work on all the Xmas projects. Can you hear her crying?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Merino/tencel. It started life like this, became these singles, and now it is a 2 ply yarn:

Approximately 410 yards, 19 WPI and balanced!

Yesterday I met up with Rosi G. I won her blog contest and she gave me my prize, a hank of Lisa Souza Sock! Merino, in Mars Quake. Isn't it yummy? Thanks Rosi!

What do I plan to do this Thanksgiving? I hope to finish a pair of socks for my sister for Christmas. I'm taking a break from the aran sweaters....seaming on two need to be done and the knitting of the last one. I deserve a break, and socks are a good way to go. Here's the start of Spey Valley socks in Trekking for my sis.

Happy Thanksgiving folks! Eat lots of turkey and do lots of knitting.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I'm making progress on the aran sweaters. The largest one (size 6) is done, minus seaming the sleeves and sides. The back and front are done of the middle sized one, and the sleeves have been cast on. Since it's the same exact photo as before, and I have nothing else to show, I thought I'd show you a video of "how I spin". Tamara has seen it and asked what technique it was, and I have no clue. It works for me, that's all I can say. In it, I'm spinning up the Sno Cone roving.

Video is here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hello and how are you?

Front to the first aran sweater finished. Sleeves, both at once started.

I'm on the last increase row on the tea shawl. 6 more plain rows and I start the last evil pattern chart. Lacevember is for 2 months, yes? I may need both months to get thru that chart.

Valerie presented me with 4 oz of hand dyed (by her!) superwash merino this morning. Yum. I can't wait to spin it up.

Speaking of spinning, there is a merino/tencel blend on Lulu at the moment. I'm quite proud that the singles are 36 wpi. It's the Autumn colorway from The Sheepshed.

Also done is the Sno Cone roving, all plied up (navajo ply). I have approximately 140 yards of it. Now, what to do with it?

Bonus points to whomever can tell me what tv show song the title of this post comes from.....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A whole bevy of things

Pink Merino/Silk all spun up. I have a little over 350 yards of it. It's so purty that I don't want to use it, just look at it and pet it.

Christmas knitting. Yes, I've already started. I told my oldest friend that I would make her kids matching aran sweaters. She's got three. I don't know what I was thinking. But, I found a pretty easy pattern (Julia's Aran Pullover from the premier issue of Knit It!) and got some Knit Picks Swish and with my new KP options needles, the knitting is going pretty quickly. In fact, I already have the back of the largest size sweater done. I like this view the best, but you can see a wider shot here.

Socks. I love socks. I pulled out all my IK issues and looked for socks that I might not have done. Apparently I haven't done most of the socks. So I started. I started the Simply Lovely Lace socks from Spring '06, in Gems Pearl. I'm using 0's, and they hurt my hands if I do more than a dozen rows at a time, so they're going slowly. But they're really pretty. And I like the picot edging.

Lacevember. I'm a joiner, what can I say? My project? The tea shawl. I will finish it. I'm determined as heck to get thru it.

The lacevember questionniare:

How long have you been knitting? A little over 5 years
How did you learn to knit? Books and the web.
Favorite thing about knitting? The creation of garments/objects.
How long have you been knitting lace? Less than 5 years, more than a year.
Favorite thing about knitting lace. The tiny needles, the delicate stitches

The yarn questions, or flash your stash

Favorite lace yarn? I don't have one yet.
variegated or solids for shawls? I don't have a preference.
Favorite lace color? I like all colors, but lean towards pink.

Technique, or show us your skillz

Circs or straights? Circs.
Favorite lace knitting trick? I don't think I have any tricks.
Lifelines? If so with what? I have never used a lifeline. But I have unwaxed, unflavored dental floss for in case....
Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet? I normally use pins, but I used blocking wires for the first time a month or so ago and I loved them. I must get me some of my own.

Pattern, or can you follow directions

shawls or lacey items? Both
triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls? I've only done triangle, but my lacevember project is circular.
Charts or printed instructions? Charts please!
Favorite lace you've knit? Icarus, hands down.
Favorite lace you want to knit? I want to finish the damn tea shawl!

Just Fun, yup that's right, just for fun

Favorite jelly belly flavor? Pear!
Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red..... And he would be....?
Coke, classic or with lime? Classic, but lime is good.
Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves? Sing along, but I can't do it 24/7.
What is the definition of irony? "It's like rain on your wedding day, it's a free ride when you've already paid, it's the good advice that you didn't take....."
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? I'm not allowed to have tootsie roll pops with my braces....
Why is my cat always puking in front of my son's bedroom door? Boys rooms are funny smelling...
What is your superhero power? I can knit a sweater in 10 days.
If the laundry is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that's a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be? Rainbow.
What's for dinner tonight? Leftovers
What is clogging my children's bathtub drain? You really don't want to know.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A whole lot o' nothin'

We have a winner! Penny Karma, email me or pm me with your address. PK's entry made hubby laugh out loud.

What should I blog about today? Should I blog about the stuff I'm spinning?

Or should I blog about the very bright yellow merino that I spun and combined with this to make this:

Or do I blog about the yummy yarn that I got with the Point gift certificate that I won? I go play with my new Knit Picks options needles? Eh...I've got 3 kid sweaters to knit for Xmas...I'm going to go play and enjoy my birthday.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I have nothing.

I haven't knit anything. I've spun up all the pink merino/silk and the twist is being set now, as well as some yellow merino. But I don't have pics. So, you get 48 Things You Could Care Less About. (Also, don't forget to put in your caption for the contest!!)

1. First name? Karen.
2. Were you named after anyone? Nope.
3. When did you last cry? Yesterday, the day before, the day before that. It's not a complete day if I don't cry.
4. Do you like your handwriting? It's ok.
5. What is your favorite lunchmeat? Boar's Head Bologna
6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I guess.
7. Do you have a journal? Yes
8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes.
9. Would you bungee jump? Yes. As well as jumping out of a plane.
10. What is your favorite cereal? Captain Crunch is the first that comes to mind.
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Not usually.
12. Do you think you’re strong? Physically, no. Mentally/emotionally....depends.
13. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Mint chocolate chip or Rocky Road.
14. Shoe size? US Women’s 8 1/2 - 9 (pregnancy does strange things to your feet....)
15. Red or pink? Pink!!
16. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? I’m too trusting.
17. Who do you miss the most? My father.
18. What color pants, shirt and shoes are you wearing? Is it bad I'm still in pjs at 5pm? It's a pink nightgown.
19. Do you want everyone to send this back to you?
20. Last thing you ate? A garlic knot dipped in marinara sauce.
21. What are you listening to right now? The chirps of Trillian and knitty chat.
22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I always liked the color periwinkle.
23. Favorite smell? Fresh baked brownies, fresh cut grass, Drakar cologne (I know...soooo very 80's, sue me).
24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Hubby...he called to make sure he got my subway sandwich order correct.
25. The first thing you notice about people you are attracted to? Eyes.
26. Do you like the person you stole this from? Of course.
27. Favorite drink? Woodpecker Cider.
28. Favorite sport? Tonsil hockey.
29. Eye color? Boring brown.
30. Hat size? Don't know
31. Do you wear contacts? Not since I had lasik surgery in Dec. '05.
32. Favorite food? I'm most happy with Chinese or Japanese.
33. Scary movies or happy endings? Both.
35. Summer or winter? Fall and spring
36. Hugs or kisses? Both
37. Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
38. Who is most likely to respond?
39. Least likely to respond?
40. What books are you reading? I just finished Life on Planet Rock by Lonn Friend.
41. What’s on your mouse pad? Don't got one.
42. What did you watch last night on TV? Uhm, Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Veronica Mars from last night, and something dvr'd off HBO that would get me too many hits if I put it on here.
43. Favorite sounds? My son's laugh
44. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles
45. The furthest you’ve been from home? Las Vegas
46. What is your special talent? Wouldn't you like to know. :)
47. Where were you born? Technically? Brooklyn. But I lived most of my unmarried life in Queens.
48. Who sent this to you? I stole it from Maryann

Monday, October 30, 2006

Yarn! A contest!

Thanks for all the comments on Madge & Anastasia! I finally got around to setting the twist on some hanks of handspun. For your viewing pleasure:

100% Merino Wool, 2 ply (spun on Val's Joy), approximately 142 yards

100% Finn, navajo plied (spun on my precious Lulu), approximately 32 yards

50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 20% Silk, singles, approximately 140 yards

Onto the contest! My birthday is next week, so I thought I'd have a fun game. Because I did the driving to/from Rhinebeck, and we left so early, I brought some energy drinks with me just in case I needed them. Below is the pic of me and the energy drinks.

What you need to do is come up with a caption for the pic (Thanks Amy for taking a good pic of me!). The best one will win 3 skeins of this:

That's Alchemy Yarns Synchronicity in Texas Bluebonnet. It's 50/50 silk and merino, 110 yards per skein. So, put on your thinking caps, come up with a great caption, leave me a comment or send me an email (link in the sidebar). I'm really looking forward to the captions. Contest ends 11/6, winner to be announce on 11/7, my birthday.