Knit-along lil'Doggy

I have found Knitting to be a great therapy and wonderful for stress relief ... life is never dull, and more often hectic and crazy :), being able to pull my knitting out of its bag and even do one or two rows really helps me to refocus and recenter.

Signature Jus'anuth'r Knitter (W.B.)
Location Pennsylvania, United States
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Monday, November 27, 2006

More Yarn Please!!

You know how when you are just starting something you need to accumulate the tools to do that thing correctly, but once you have the tools you can do almost anything wihtout having to replace or add to the assortment of tools that you have? Well that is about where I am with knitting ;) ... Each new project needs yarns, needles, and various accessories. Yup, I'm in the "need more yarn" phase right now. I have this pattern for a 'seamless' man's sweater, knit with fingering-weight yarn on sizes #2 and #3 (us) double pointed needles. Well it recommends 14" double-pointed needs, and I cannot for the life of me find dpns of that length, so I'm going to get the appropriate sizes in circular - 4 of each size to cover my bases ... and then 15, 50oz balls/skiens of fingering weight yarn ... about $35-45 worth of yarn wool or wool-blend yarn! Knit-pics has lovely solid-colored fingering-weight yarn they recommend for Fairisle knitting called "Pallette" yarn. I am thinking about using this for the sweater as it is not too expensive, and a wool yarn. eBay too, has a large number of sellers specializing in wool, wool-blends, and other natural fibers for knitting ... in most of the weights. Some of the yarn is just GORGEOUS ... and I will be trying to win a couple of those auctions for socks (which I LOVE knitting up).

Thanksgiving was great, and the trades I was watching were impressive. I may have a good portion of my 'learning losses' recouped by beginning of the year - which would be AWESOME! Lord willing I'll be able to continue my learning and improved pip-catching ability and make trading work for us more and more! :)

Great Quote:
"Great Opportunities come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advatage of them is simple fidelity to watch what each day brings" ~ Albert Danning

Friday, November 24, 2006

-groan- Black Friday ...

Yup, we've made it through Thanksgiving without exploding from food consumption ... go figure :) ... I have no regrets ... well one - I shouldn't have eaten so much chocolate mousse pie!! Sugar and I don't get along so well ... and I ate WAY too much sweet stuff (cola, pie, sweet-potato casserole) and am in sugar-hangover mode. The turkey, made by my in-laws (the 'Jaques Pepin & Julia Childs' way) was superb, moist and delicous. The stuffing was savory with fresh sage, sausage, mushrooms in a cornbread base. There was the "schluckque-pop!" style (canned) cranberry sauce (jelly), sweet potato casserole (southern style with nuts, butter, and brown sugar), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a cranberry chutney (divinely sour!) ... oh! and the most divine whole-wheat rolls (made by my lil' sister-in-law) and croissants (made by ME!).

All in all it was a delicious spread, and an amazing feast ... and is greater tradition even than the turkey on Thanksgiving, there are a TON of leftovers :).

Traveling Thanksgiving day morning was lovely as well. It was like a Pittsburgh ghost-town as nobody was on the roads at 8-9 in the morning. Our trip was fast too, we made excellent time as we hit most of the green lights and clear roads all the way to our destination. We are getting very good gas-mileage on the new SUV (I LUV my SUV!) and haven't sacrificed much in that area with the upgrade, which is, of course, a nice change of pace considering the gas prices are still a little on the high side (well, they are improving, but still not below $2 where I'd like to see them!).

Oh, and the WEATHER, was almost balmy! Chrystal clear sky, warm, bright sun, and the air was DRY. The traditional Turkey-bowl game was played with minimal mud and NO jackets, gloves, scarves, ear-muffs, hats, or SNOW! Are we going to have a mild winter? or is this just the weather's way of holding off the inevitable until it decides to dump the LOADS of snow on us? Though I can't speak too loudly - we've already felt the 'wrath' of the snow belt :) ... and even then we didn't get near what Buffalo, NY did just before Halloween - 2ft in about 6 hours!

To make this knitting related ... have I mentioned that I finished the second 'footie' for my DH? He loves them, and so do I! They are a little long for me though, and he gets quite upset with me when I wear them :). (Oh, well ;)). I started another washcloth - HAVE TO KNIT ... I really want to do some more socks, but the yarn for them is so expensive ... I can't bring myself to spending that kind of $ on yarn right now (though I'm going to have to take the plunch sooner or later simply because I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to make some cashmere or wool blend socks for myself, and a wool sweater for Dave (oh, yeah, I have a pattern that is knit in the round - NO SEAMS that is going to be GORGEOUS in a soft green or vibrant soldier blue fingering wool.

My trading is going well. the recent holiday has spurred on the $ weakness across the board, and I've profitted from the move - though it is $1 at a time (/pip) in the mini account right now it is still $1 at a time! and + pips is always a good thing!!!

Well, I'm off - I have some general shopping to do - yup, I said I was going to go shopping on Black Friday! I am NUTS, totally INSANE, and just a little titched! but that is just too bad, because there is NOTHING like the sales on Black Friday or the weekend after Thanksgiving ... and as I am totally into saving as much $ as possible - I absolutely want to take advantage of some of those sales and savings - though I don't think I'm going to get to close to the mall, on principle ... then again, Michael's is having a huge sale right now and there are coupons in the paper ... AND there is a Dolman sweater at Khols and I think JCPenny's that I covet - almost 70% off with the sales going on! Who could pass that up????

Oh, well, :) ... I'll catch y'all later with more news from jus'anuther Knitter.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Fall/Winter Holiday Seaons has begun!

Ah, the bustle of cleaning, cooking, and general hum of friends, football, fall, and family. I do so much enjoy the holiday season! I am THIRLLED to be able to join our families this year, it has been a long time since we've been able to join them for the holiday insanity! Why insanity? HALF of my side of the family is 62+ STRONG! yup, I said 62+ ... nope, not a typo ... the other half of that side is in the 70's somewhere. My DH's side of the family is far smaller, unless you include the church that he grew up in, then you get in to the double-digit numbers!!

It is truly a blessing to be able to join our families for this Thanksgiving. LAST year we were in FL, joining our neighbors for a lovely fried turkey. They were kind enough to include us in many of their celebrations and holiday gatherings and I don't think I ever adequately thanked them for their generosity or kindness.

THIS year we have the opportunity to eat until we explode! :) ... yeah, well, I'm going to have to behave ;) I've done so well so far, I don't want to undo the weight-loss thus far!

My contribution(s) to the feast? Chocolate Mousse pie (silky smooth, incredibly rich, decadent, and sooooo simple!) and buttery, soft Croissants. They're all finished, now they just need to be added to the pile that is joining us on the trip that will officially begin Thanksgiving!

I'll post recipes later ... for now I have to finish getting ready, and finish up some things around here before we have to get going!

and May the Lord above Bless you and Keep you!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Raining? Nope ... POURING!

You know how when it rains it generally pours. Or how events (good and bad) usually come in threes - like it takes us at least three times to learn the lesson the Lord is trying to teach us?

Yeah, well that is how the past week (or more) has been ... first we slip in to the ditch in bad weather, then we get stuck on a hill (in the same bad weather) so new tires, new brakes ... then we find out that the car won't pass emissions in our county so we have to put into the car new sensors, clean and practically re-build the engine and it STILL shows the idiot light that is causing all the problems ... so we have to find a new car. Eh, that's not so bad, but financing becomes an issue, and after we've given up, the Lord says, ok, you can have it afterall.

ARRRGH!! Sometimes I just want life to be simple again - the simplicity that comes with childhood!

Anyhow ... I've finished the second 'little ombre' sock, as well as a 'sack' sock for my hubby ... sounds weird I know, but I did too many stitches on the sock so it looks WAY too big - so we call it the 'sack sock', and I finished a REAL footie/slipper sock for him just last night! Third time is the charm? It is really cute, and fits his lovely feet very well ... I am now working on the pther half of this pair so that he doesn't have to wear the 'sack' sock to keep his lovely tootsies warm :).

I bound off the Afghan last Saturday as well, it has 21 rows, but the YO in the pattern I didn't do right (sigh - that is why it is a first attempt! They ended up knitting like increases rather than leaving the typical YO hole.) But even so it is a nice size for a lap (keeps the knees very warm) or even around the shoulders (it is just the right size for around my shoulders ... it may even someday double as a baby-size blanket. The "Bear Claw" pattern is lovely and I'm very thrilled that it turned out as well as it did, and the next time I do it, it will be bigger - bluer ;) - and the YO will be right!

Anyhow ... knitting has added a great point of stress relief, and has helped me to relax and focus - as I have mentioned many times before - and will probably do so again in the future many times! :) ... I'm so glad for knitting!!!

Anyhow, now I just need to find a really nice fingering or sport weight yarn so I can knit myself some REAL comfy socks ( has so many cool patterns I want to try!!)

Catch y'all later, and God Bless!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Toe up ... or Top down

gosh - delving into socks is incredible ;) ... there is so much to learn - and even MORE to discover :) ... ok, so the footies/sock/slippers I practiced on are top-down, with a little gather at the toe with the remaining stitches, and a little pointy toe. It's cool .... but I've discovered there is another way to do socks - from the toe UP ... this is for me a wonderful discovery, like finding the first new leaf buds in spring.

After I stitch up a pair of footies for my hubby with the worsted weight cotton, I'm going to purchase some smaller metal needles, some fingering or sport weight yarn and make some real SOCKS :) ... my ambition and ultimate goal is to knit myself first a pair of stockings, and second a pair of fishnet stockings (of which I found an awesome pattern) ... I love knitting the bigger things, afghans, sweaters, etc. but I think that socks are d'bomb ;).

>>> MARK YOUR CALENDAR >>> Leonid Meteor Shower November 18! Will be visible best in the wee morning hours US EST and east through the wee morning hours of the UK and Europe... I pray that the weather is as clear next weekend as it is tonight!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Different pattern - Different sock ...

[Pictures show right side, top, and bottom of first sock.]

OK, so yesterday I started a pair of socks, but the pattern needs some serious revamping and is terribly hard to understand! sooooo I decided to find another pattern that I can understand FIRST and go from there :).

So the pattern I decided to work on is from - their Slouchie, Scrunchie, Slipper Socks.

The pattern calls for a larger needle and much heavier yarn, BUT I'm using the worsted (4ply) cotton, and size 8(us) DPNs (home-made ones, other than needing a little more sanding they're awesome!!), so the pattern of course is going to turn out WAY littler than if the correct needles and yarn (chunky Wool-Ease "Thick and Quick" by Lion Brand) ... that is fine with me, since I really wanted to do up a pair quick anyhow to prove to myself that I CAN do socks :). ...

and to find out if they're something I want to do at all ...

and I'm thoroughly enthralled!

Ok, so were you really wondering the outcome?

This first sock is so CUTE!!
The color isn't very appealing I don't think. It is a cone-cotton from Walmart I originally bought intending to make a billion or so dishcloths, and was available for 'practice'. AND I changed the pattern slightly to add some additional texture to the top of the sock (k3,p2,kib2 (this gives a twisted knit stitch),p2,k3) .

The pattern is knit cuff-to-toe, and at the end (toe) you gather the remaining stitches onto a thread, pull together and tie, then weave in the ends ... I didn't do it quite the same way as it doesn't tell at what point this needs to be done, so I inverted it and did a two-needle cast-off ... it looks ok, even if it is a little pointy. I'm sure there is a better way to finish the toe in this pattern ... and I'll find it eventually :D.


Oh, and of course it being Wednesday, mid-week slump, and getting cloudy and cooling down, I had to share with you pictures of my Christmas Cactus - which is BLOOMING a little early this year ;) ...

... it is positivey eye-popping! I would love a darker pink, a red, a yellow, or (and ;)) a white one - eventually :D. This is my second year with this lovely plant, and I haven't killed it yet, which makes it that much more impressive, and special :).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election day ... socks?

It's election day - Don't forget to make your opinion heard - VOTE!!

Ok, so now that is said, :D. I honestly wanted to say HI! Been a long weekend ... traveled north to visit with family this weekend, and the weather got bad fast, as Northern weather usually does. Little did we know that our tires were, well, bald. We slipped into a speed limit post/slash/ditch, a kind samaritan pulled us out, after making fun of our FL liscense plate! Our beautiful car got all scratched up and the mirror (passenger side) was broke in the process .... then thinking it was only the road we continued on, and took a long steep hill - which we got down ok, but going back UP the thing was a different matter. I have NEVER gotten stuck going up a hill in the ice, but I will tell you right now it is one of the most terrifying moments of my life - my DH, was as terrified. Anyhow, we got to our destination with only a little bit of stress to cry out ;), and Saturday we replaced the mirror, and the tires - we're now ready for winter!

So I discovered that I"m doing my YO in my afghan wrong - been doing increases NOT true YO (ugh!) so the 'lace' pattern isn't nearly as obvious as it ought to be, but I"m chocking it up to learning and NOW I knot so my next "Bear Claw" will be correct :D. I will ahve to say though that the current way of knitting the design is by FAR warmer - fewer air holes :D.

I read somewhere that socks are an addiction, well I'm knitting obsessed, so I guess socks are just the next step, ;). sooooo ...

In honor of both my DH and Election day I have started my FIRST pair of socks - using homemade size 8 DPNs. I have two rows finished and reguardless of the color (worsted weight cotton variagated ombre). I'll post additional pictures as they are worked :). The Pattern you can find @ Knit-Addicted. I hope they turn out!!! I read somewhere that socks are an addiction, well I'm knitting obsessed, so I guess socks are just the next step, ;).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

You can tell Winter is on its way ... brrrrr...

Today is the first really cold (freezing) day we've had since returning north. My hands are numb, my feet are numb, my nose is numb ... and runny (I hate colds having the flu!)... It froze solidly last night after being wet and rainy most of the day prior ... at least I got the yard mowed Tuesday! (lol, yup, in the middle of having the flu :))

We went to a new building for training last night, took our Aussie boy-dog (yup, that's him lookin your way!) with us and my DSH ran him and worked with him. It is lovely to see them learning and even when they struggle, you just know that the break-through is about to happen and that things will be 1,000x better the next week. We really have to pick up a set of 6-12 weave poles though, as all three of the dogs need mental exercise, and work on those weaves (the most challenging of all the agility obstacles to train - and learn!!).

The Afghan hasn't grown much since posting pics of it yesterday. I think I got two more rows completed, but that was far from my goal of at least six a day. After posting here I believe that I will hop under some blankets on the couch, turn on XM Classics and do some SERIOUS knitting (well, after my DSH comes home for lunch - we are so blessed that he should be able to return mid-day for sustenance from his job!!)

Knitting has given me the opportunity to make so many new friends and renew old friendships! I have even found a site (on listing local shops AND activities for knit-aholics in my local area, I'm beyond excitment!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

BearClaw Throw (LapRobe?)

As I mentioned before I am working on an afghan (well more of a lap-robe). To achieve the correct gauge I am using a size 10.5 circular needle, (ha! after working the pattern on #8(US) needles and discovering that it was way smaller than it should have been ;)), and because this is a first 'major' knitting project I am using an acrylic ($4.99/1lb skien, lot-free) worsted-weight yarn in 'taupe'. The pictures show it layed over our office chair, this is the first time even I have really seen it, and by gosh it really IS gorgeous!!!

Here are pictures of the continuing "Bear Claw" Afghan ... only another 30+ rows to go!!!A glimpse of the pattern ... up close and personal ...
Pics (C)2006 Author: W. Bates. All Rights Reserved.

I think I will re-do this pattern in the future in a softer yarn, somthing that really flows :D ... and as I've also figured out the pattern repeat I believe that it will be no less than twice (maybe three times?) as large - something really formidable! I am so excited :D ... I have many other projects in mind as well, and will post them as they progress :D - becaue I'm knit-crazy!!!