Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shake it up Baby

Tonight we had an earthquake. Welcome to California! It was 5.6 on the richter scale and the epicenter was about 30 miles from our house. At first I heard a loud noise which sounded like a plane flying lower over our house. Then the house began to shake and you should have seen the look on the girls' faces! It rolled along for about 30 seconds and then was over. Having grown up in California and having survived the big quake of '89, this one was not even scary. But to my kids who have never felt a bigger quake they were - well - a little shook up. No damage here. I still haven't heard the reports from close to the center. I hope everyone is alright.
In other news, I have taken a short break from the Secret of the Stole to make yet another hat. This one is a Sharks hat. Anyone who lives in the range of the earthquake knows how we love our hockey team. My husband is taking my daughter and her friend to the Sharks game on Friday so I decided she needed the perfect hat in team colors. The yarn is Moods from Universal Yarn in a 50/50 wool/acrylic blend. It is very soft to work with. I used the Foliage pattern from the Fall Knitty.com and I am now in love with this pattern. It is so simple and quick yet it looks like an intricate design. I'm definitely going to make this one again! I'm now also inspired to make more Sharks items - I got this yarn from the Yarn Pirate thinking it was worsted weight. It is actually fingering weight. Any suggestions of what I should make?

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The thing I have noticed while working so diligently on the Secret of the Stole is that I don't have much time to work on other projects. This then leads to a serious lack of content (a.k.a. SLOC) for the blog! I guess it's just the yin and the yang of knitting. I'm making good progress on one item which naturally causes another project to fall behind. If you catch up on reading the knitting blogs you fall behind in your actual knitting. Many nights I try to work for awhile on one project and then switch to another. After all, I wouldn't want one of my yarn babies to feel like I loved the others better now would I? I did have time last weekend during Horsey Girl's horse show to start yet another hat. I got this new yarn by Skacel - yes - the makers of those wonderful Addi turbos - and it is so yummy. It is a silk/wool blend and I got one skein in brown and one skein in a turquoise blue. I figure I can make two mirror image hats - I sure hope so. I'm really loving working with this yarn. Also a special benefit of the horse shows is that the owner of one of our LYS' has a daughter who rides at the same stables. She and her hubby knit during the show and they are a great place to turn to answer on the spot questions! Nothing like instant gratification. And because even more than my yarn babies I love my real babies - I have to brag that Horsey Girl won 7 ribbons in the show. We are so proud of her. Now if I could only figure out how to knit her a horse!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back to the Basics

I have been working hard on the Secret of the Stole and it has been a good challenge. She is giving us a lot of rows each week and it has been hard to keep up. I've slipped a little behind but not too far. I'm now on row 183 but have to get to row 258 before Friday! Jennifer suggests only counting the lace rows and not counting the purl back rows (since they are easy) and then it sounds like you have less to do. I like that idea but still have 38 rows to do! But I must admit that lace knitting takes A LOT of concentration. So I need to temper it with something simple and mindless. After all - we knit for relaxation right? So I'm back to my passion of knitting hats! Horsey Girl wore the hat I made for her to a Stanford women's soccer game the other night and now all of her friends want one. I must admit it was very gratifying that (a) she wore it, (b) people liked it, and (c) her friends actually want one! Say no more, I was off to the LYS and snooping around on-line for yarns for hats. I probably over did it (big surprise) so I may be making hats for the next decade and may have to find random people on the street to give them to but I'm having lots of fun. The turquoise one is Horsey Girl's finished hat (don't think I ever posted a photo) and the purple one is the first one finished for one of her buddies. Off to the next one!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

THANK YOU Kristin!

The Fall Felted Bag Exchange has come to a close and I have received the most wonderful bag from Kristin. It came in the mail this week and is made out of purple and red nubby yarn. My two favorite colors! It has nice and thick handles which I like. None of those scrawny things! It is sort of like a booga bag or a coco bag - basically rectangular and great for so many uses. I'm very excited to use my new bag! Check it out on her blog - it is interesting to see what it looked like before felting - the colors appeared much lighter. She also sent me lots of goodies including a knitting magazine, two great skeins of yarn with purple and red colorways, dragonfly stickers, a pretty candle holder that I think she made for me and the cutest little metal dragonfly (see him on the magazine?) She also sent me some clear vanilla so I can try her famous frosting recipe. I 'll be making some soon. There was also a yummy bag of chocolate in there but for some reason it doesn't seem to be in the picture! Thank you Kristin - I love everything and I've especially loved getting to know you and look forward to getting to know you better. Also my downstream pal has her box now according to the delivery service so I'm just waiting to hear from her. I hope she likes it!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Tale of Two Knitties

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the Secret of the Stole. I have spent the last 10 days struggling my way through the first two hints for the SotS KAL. I have experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. I go from pride to suicidial tendencies. All of this emotion around a piece of lace! I got off to a good enough start, moving fairly quickly through the first 52 rows which were the two points that then became joined at row 53. All seemed good and I finished the first Hint - 84 rows worth - two days ahead of the arrival of Hint #2. And then I stood back and took a look. Something was wrong, my piece did not look like the photos I had seen on line. I closed one eye, looked from the side, stood on my head but there was no escaping the fact that it was not quite right. I tried to convince myself that no one would notice, I wouldn't notice, but I knew that was not true. Problem was the mistake was almost 20 rows back! What to do, what to do? Ignore it? Fix it? Throw in the towel?

Thanks to the wonderful support of Jennifer and Mom I sucked it up and pulled back 16 rows. There is no way I could unknit that much so I pulled out the needles and slowly pulled out row after row winding up the yarn every 4 rows so I didn't have a tangled mess. Then as I pulled out the last row I followed behind with some scrap yarn on a needle and picked up the stitches as I went. If only I'd had a life line! Then I figured out the problem and re-knit those 16 rows but not without incident. More than a few times I realized I'd made other mistakes and had to un-do a row or two (or three). It has been quite a frustrating weekend of knitting and after many, many hours I am now about 20 rows in to Hint #2. Problem is that leaves 64 rows to do between now and Friday and given it's back to work in the morning I think I'll be falling behind. Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Survival of the Stole. Will the Stole survive or will it be voted off the island?
On a happier note I share with you my orchid which bloomed in my kitchen window. I love orchids but I can almost never get them to bloom a second time. However this little beauty bestowed three gorgeous blossoms on me and I'm just tickled pink about it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Guest Blogging

Well actually not guest blogging but truly guest knitting. I thought I would share with you the gorgeous sweater that Mom made for Horsey Girl. Isn't it great?! It is made with Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton and is their pattern for the eyelet cardigan. She did such a wonderful job and since she doesn't have a blog to show it off I thought I would share it with you and you can leave her kudos in the comments. The most amazing part of it is that a 13 year old actually likes it and wore it to school today! Will miracles never cease?

I am working on the Secret of the Stole but will not share that with you just yet as I messed it up and the pattern is not right. I truly don't know what to do given that if I frog it back I'm afraid I'll mess it up even more. So instead I leave you with beautiful glass pumpkins from the glass pumpkin patch I attended over the weekend. It is a wonderful event where all sorts of artists have their work on display and you can buy the pumpkins. Shown here are fairly traditional colors but you name the color and they've got pumpkins to match. This is my second year attending any my glass pumpkin collection is growing!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Yes Virginia, the Shawl really does end

We all thought this day would never come. The day that the shawl that never ends actually - well - ENDED! Yes, it's finished, cast off the needles and almost ready to wear (it just needs some blocking). It is however, very, very, very long. The pattern says 18" wide and 58" long but it is really more like 70+" long. It does make for a good wrapping shawl though. Not quite sure where I'll wear it but I'm trying to come up with something. Since I've got one shawl off the needles I was forced to get another one on. I just started the Secret of the Stole. It's really fun to be working on something along with hundreds of other people at the same time. I'm sure as I start to fall behind it won't be as fun but so far so good. I am however intimidated with respect to the people who finished it the very first day! Also I've started a new blog called PhotoFryday - come visit me there and see a new photo every Friday. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Just Bag It

I'm very thrilled to have completed my bag for the Fall Felted Bag Exchange. I must admit the gorgeous finishing is once again thanks to Mom. Isn't she wonderful? She found the most perfect lining with gorgeous turquoise and purple colors and it even has leaves on it. How perfect is that for a FALL felted bag exchagne? It is the Little Coco Bag Pattern in two colors of Cascade. The bottom and top are a heathered purple and the middle is the turqouise 220 Paints. The entire bag is knit double stranded so it is nice and sturdy. I'm very happy with how it turned out and I'm really hoping that my pal will like it. It will go off in the mail this weekend. If you are visiting my blog from the FFBE - you never know - this could be yours! I'm so excited to see what my pal has been making for me. Her code name is Purple Sweet Pea and she seems like a truly wonderful person. I have enjoyed getting to know her in this exchange and can't wait to find out her true identity. In other news - it finally happened - I'M ON RAVELRY! Come visit me there as AllisonDragonfly and leave me a note. Also let me know in the comments here if you're on and what your Ravelry name is so I can add you to my friends. Mom is on too - her name is Grani. Her profile is - well - empty at the moment but I'm working with her on that! Now the real issue is how to make sure I don't get totally sucked in and end up with a zillion new projects on my "to do" list!