Sunday, December 11, 2011

Zippers Aren't That Bad

One of my goals for this upcoming year is to get my finishing work done on my WIP's  - the lack of follow-thru on the finishing is why most of my WIP's are not done.  Since this is a goal for the new year, I decided to get started early and have finished my son's new hoodie!

This garment had a zipper to install, which I found to be rather intimidating so I put it off.  I hadn't used my sewing machine in years and wasn't even sure where it was or knew if I remembered how to use it.  Well, the son who's sweater was involved found the sewing machine and brought it down stairs and placed it on the kitchen table for me.  Considerate of him, no?  He's only been after me to get the sweater done for him for about the past month or so. 

I looked up some zipper installations on the Internet, but didn't get a whole lot of useful stuff there.  One video had you hand sew it in, one swore you should crochet the edge of the zipper and use that to install it, but I found the best way for me was:

  1. Lay the sweater out flat on the kitchen table.  Fold the sleeves in if needed for space.
  2. I had crocheted the edge of the sweater to get a cleaner line - my edged were rough and I didn't want to fold the edge over since the yarn was so bulky as it was.  Your choice as to fold or not.
  3. I put the edges together and pinned the zipper (unopened) so that both edges met and the zipper did not show.  Your choice here on how much zipper to show. 
  4. Then I unzipped the pined-in zipper carefully.  It resembles a porcupine at this point, so be careful it doesn't bite you! 
  5. Sewed the zipper in.  I moved the needle as far right as I could to get a closer seam and put the zipper edge as close to the foot as possible.   Go slowly as a loop of the knitting can easily get caught in the foot of the machine.
  6. Holy cow!  It worked!  I was just really happy I remembered how to work the machine let alone successfully install a zipper!

So, on this project - all in one day - it was knit, crocheted (an edging), machine sewed (the zipper), and hand sewed (tacking).  The zipper install wasn't as bad as I'd feared - I only had to rip it out once when I realized that I had stretched the material when I sewed the zipper in.  My zipper undulated like a piece of bacon curling up in the pan.  Bacon is good, but not on your sweater.  

Use pins to hold everything in place instead of eyeballing it.  Sweaters stretch.  Zippers don't.  I had to rip out both sides of the zipper on the first try and that brought out creative swearing from me that so shocks the family.

The sweater is DONE!   It's a really dull dark gray done up in stockinette, but that's what my son wanted - typical boring guy sweater, and my son couldn't be happier.  I'd do a project with a zipper again anytime.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I got an email yesterday that told me I have a new follower on Twitter. 

A follower?  I have a follower??  I had completely forgotten I set that up.  On top of that, I'm not narcissistic enough to think that anyone - me included - would really like to get continuous updates on my day.

Examples of imaginary tweets for a day in the life of Jen:

  • Got up this morning and made oatmeal for breakfast. It was good.
  • Almost stepped in cat barf - it looked amazing like the oatmeal I just ate.  Love those cats!
  • Lather, rinse, repeat...
  • Got to work early. Sometimes wonder AM ALWAYS GRATEFUL that my carpooler doesn't kill us each time he drives. Anger management, all I'm saying.
  • And a driver's safety course.
  • Why do I ride in with a crazy driver?  More knitting time, of course.
  •  Somebody had the WORST sour breath stinking up the coffee shop.  Remember, if you can't brush your teeth, breath mints are your friend.  And everyone around you as well.
  • Oh, heavenly coffee!!!   Coffee goooooooooooood....
  • Had to spend 10 minuets digging out my badge while balancing an oversized purse, a box of items for the office, and a cup of scalding hot coffee.
  • Got first stain of the day on my shirt.  Goodie.  Let's start the day out right.
  • Noticed co-worker A * humming tunelessly.  He plays drums in a band on the side, so don't really expect him to be able to carry a tune as long as he does it in beat.
  • Co-worker B has music on hold playing loudly on his speaker phone.  Music to coma by...
  • Just realized that co-worker A is trying to hum along with the music on holdHELP!
  • Plugged in ipod and cranked it up. 
  • Later realized that co-worker B put the music on hold on his speaker phone and LEFT THE OFFICE.  Dude...he thinks this is funny.
  • Unplugged c/w B's phone.
  • Tuneless humming from c/w A stopped.  Nirvana!
  • Went back to c/w B's cube and put in the top drawer of his desk upside-down, with all the stuff in it.
  • Re-plugged phone back in & turned the speakerphone back to MoH.
  • Listened to the sweet sounds of swearing coming from c/w B's cube when he opened his drawer.
  • LUNCHTIME!  Grilled cheese sandwich!  Yum!
  • Got back to desk and smelled something bad.  Did I get cheese on me somewhere?
  • Noticed a dirty gym sock (not mine) under my desk.  Seriously gross... 
  • Waited until c/w B left his desk and tied used gym sock under the seat of his chair.  Then left and washed my hands.
  • C/W B seems to have the sniffles.  Good luck finding your sock, buddy.
  • Time to go home and experience white knuckle driving at it's best. 
  • Keep trying to stomp on the imaginary brake but it's not working!
  • Home and safe at last! 
This is why I don't Tweet.  Had this been a real day - and some parts were - I'd have been too busy actually living my life to Tweet about it.  I also don't drop a Facebook post for each & every little thing either.   It's enough to work, spend time with family and all the things to do with that, and maybe have a bit of time left to knit.  I will be deleting my Twitter account.

Just as soon as I can remember how to get there.

* Names of co-workers have not been used to protect the innocent.  Or me.  They're both friends of mine as well as co-workers, anyway.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

The turkey is done and the pies have been eaten, the dishes have piled up and the groans of being over-full have been made.  Football games are over and plans for Black Friday are being made.

To me, Thanksgiving is about spending time with my family.  Too often nowadays, we all have separate paths and many other things pulling our attention and demanding our time.  Thanksgiving to me is a precious time to be with my family.

May your Thanksgiving be something for you to be thankful for!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I've been packing up to go on retreat tomorrow (heading out after work).  No work, no hubby, no kids, no animals - just the lake, trees and lots and lots of knitting.  Can't wait!

Got two bags packed for this trip, one large and one small.  Is it wrong to use the small bag for my clothes and the large one for my knitting stuff?  A knitter's gotta do what a knitter's gotta do...

Saturday, September 24, 2011


It's supposed to be Autumn now, and with that time marks the beginning of sweater weather. 

Yesterday's temperature here was 102 F.  Today is supposed to be "much cooler" at 86 F.  That makes it kind of hard to want to work with heavy wools.

My fingers have been itching to work on worsted yarn - been doing a lot of lace and socks lately and it just doesn't feel the same.  Not bad, mind you, but a completely different feel.  Lace and sock-weights dance on your fingers, like a light, delicate ladies' tea; while worsted-weight is heavier, like a substantial meal of hardy comfort food.  I'm ready for the comfort food, please! 

Yet, it's cooler here, but that means under 100 F (it's all relative).  Still not exactly Fall weather.   I need to move North.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


My husband is off fishing today.  Ocean fishing with a bunch of guys from work.  Very manly. They normally have a lot of fun on these trips and I'm glad he's able to go - he's been very busy and under a lot of stress at work lately (all a normal part of the job).

He was getting ready last night about 9:00 pm (he had to be up at 3:00 am the next day)  and said he couldn't find the hat I'd made him.  It gets very cold out on the water that early in the morning and the hat I'd made him was a very warm llama /wool blend.  Since he couldn't find his hat and I am a supportive wife, I immediately offered to "whip up another hat" for him. 

Good intentions - bad idea.

I had a nice bulky washable wool blend in a manly deep gray, but after an hour I was only at 2.5 inches.  At that point I realized that I was so tired my eyes were spinning and my hands were starting to cramp.  The I realized that while I could probably finish the hat if I stayed up all night, I wouldn't be able to move my fingers the next day and I had knitting group and the stupid hat wasn't worth it.

 It's all his fault.  Hubby shouldn't have lost that last hat.

Anyway, I went to bed, woke up Hubby and apologized for not getting his new hat done in time for him to take it out fishing tomorrow.  (He returned the favor by later waking me up at 3:00 am.) 

Hope he does well this trip, catches lots of fish and has a good time.  He can lose the new hat another day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Time Out for the Yucky Stuff

I've got a little problem - you see, I got a sweater's worth of Rowan Summer Tweed.  Figured, "hey, it's summer and I like tweed", and the composition of said yarn is 70% silk and 30 % cotton. 

I'm a sucker for silk.  I love, LOVE, silk but equally hate cotton.  Now, usually when you have a silk blend it's nice.  This stuff is not.

I hate it.  Awful stuff.  It works like a harsh cotton on my hands and has lots of vegetable matter in it (straw, I think - or hope).  It sticks like Velcro on wood needles.  I've tried to like it.  I would really like to like it.  I had it in mind for a nice little summer cardi, but alas, the yarn had other ideas.   

You'd think it would be good stuff - Rowan is like, famous, and it looked nice in the skein.  Truly disappointing.  So now it's the Time-out bin for the yucky yarn.  Maybe it will learn how to play nice while it's there.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Tawt I saw a Pudytat

Have you ever taken a drive on a beautiful mild summer day?  The kind of day where you could roll down the windows and put your elbow up on the door and enjoy the delicious cool air flowing up your sleeve and cooling off your arm pit.  Radio on with your favorite song playing, foot tapping to the beat. 

Then you realize that a bee has flown up your sleeve and things start going a bit different after that.

The other night I was sound asleep and was enjoying a wonderful dream - you know, the kind where you are doing something amazing and you look really good doing it - and I suddenly woke up with my eyes watering and was almost choking. 

Seems a skunk had passed right by our air conditioning unit outside about 2:00 in the morning and the smell got all throughout the house.  Just couldn't get away from it.  Made me glad to go to work that morning.

My biggest worry was that my stash would have the smell - but it's OK.  Whew...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ode to Pudding

Note: this is a non-knitting post today.  Fair warning.

Today at work we had a little pot-luck to celebrate the leaving (and promotional opportunity) of a co-worker.  He's a nice guy and everyone likes him, so people brought in delicious cookies, delicate pastries, and (supposedly) the World's most amazing cupcakes ever produced.

Seriously, everyone who tasted one of these gorgeous home-made cupcakes signed and stated that this was absolutely the most amazing cupcake they'd ever tasted.  Some did the happy dance, some looked like they had a food orgasm, and the rest just kept grabbing another one. 

I'm on a diet.  Normally, I would've been right in there with them, but I'm not eating sugar at this time.  None. 

Yes, it sucked.

Especially when they kept going on about how wonderful the cupcakes were.   I just sat there and told them very nicely that I wasn't hungry when I was really thinking "F-you and the little dog you rode in on!" for taunting me with the treats.

I knew they weren't really taunting me - it just felt like it.  I really wanted one of those cupcakes.  I almost caved but I told myself I would make up some sugar-free chocolate pudding when I got home.

I made it.  And it was GOOOOOOOD...........and so was I.

Diets suck.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tech is Good

Knitting can be a funny thing.  Couple of examples:

Got my regular email from Accesswatch, an email newsletter on the Microsoft Access program - tips & tricks, that kind of thing, and low and behold - a blurb for the author's esty site where she sells her handknit items.  (It then went back to the main point of archiving linked tables to another database.)  Whoa.  I'm in tech and always love to see another fellow techie-knitter.  Way cool. 

The Internet is your friend.  I'm currently working on an old Knitty pattern, Kernel.  This is a not-too-hard lace scarf but the chart shifts over on a couple of rows, which always freaks me out when I'm not expecting it (WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE REPEAT SECTION STITCH MARKER NO LONGER FITS THE STITCH COUNT?!?!?!). 

Basically, it moves over 1 stitch and so you then move your stitch marker.  OK, got it.  But then on row 11 of the 2nd chart I couldn't figure out why I didn't have 6 stitches to knit on the last bit.  Was the chart wrong?  So I went to Knitty, Ravelry and the author's blog site to see if there were any corrections (not a bad place to start before starting to pull out your hair).  Turns out the chart was right - I had just dropped a stitch.  Research is good. 

Again, technology helps out knitting.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

What's Up?

I think I've found the cure to my knitting slump.  I switched from doing top-down raglans to doing things with sock yarn.

I have a ton of the stuff.  I pick it up when it goes on a good sale, or as a souvenir when I'm traveling, or just because it's simply gorgeous.

Haven't done much with it after I get it home.  Oh, I occasionally pull it out and fondle it while oo-ing and aww-ing, but usually it just goes into my sock bin like it's a deposit at the bank that you can't touch if you want to make any interest on it.

I've changed things.

Firstly, I've been making socks.  Simple toe-up stockinette that shows off the pretty hand painted stuff.  These are also good while I ride in to work with my crazy-driver carpooler.  He's what you'd call an - umm - aggressive driver.  So I don't look.  I knit.  And pretend the driving doesn't scare me out of a year's growth.  Making lots of progress but notice my tension can be a bit tight.

Next up, I picked up a book on entrelac, "Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting".  I tell ya, I sure didn't know you could do all that with entrelac.  If you get the chance, I'd recommend taking a look at it.  Pretty cool stuff.

So for my second act of sock yarn knitting, I pulled out a skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn and have been making up a scarf with simple entrelac. 

I've never worked with Noro much, because I don't like the feel of Kureon and see all the tie-offs in it, but I'm about 2/3's into the skein of the silk garden and have only run into 1 tie-off.  What I really like about the stuff are all the yummy colors.  The color changes make me look goooood, like I'm a way more accomplished knitter than I really am.  I think Noro and me are going to be good friends.

I'm also looking at Leaf Lace Scarf (from page 134 in the book) with some Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light yarn I had picked up to do some lux socks.  Pretty, pretty...

My famine is officially over.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I've been in a bit of a knitting slump lately.  I'm bored, and all I've seemed to be doing the past few months is either stockinette or garter stitches.  That's going to change.

I hate it when my knitting gets boring.  There's no reason it should ever get that way.  Sooo, I pulled out a couple of skeins of Alchemy Haiku.  Would up one - I got a bot worried when it appeared to be prying off a stand of Velcro, but once things got rolling on the swift, it came right off. 

I wound, and I wound, and wound some more.  My right arm got tired so I switched to my left.  Got in a decent arm workout, anyway.  Finally, I ended up with a skein of 325 yards of super-static-y fuzzy gorgeousness.  Then got to wondering exactly what weight this stuff was - the wound ball was about the size of my palm -actually, it fits inside my palm with lots of room, and I don't have very big hands.

So I went online and googled the yarn.  Came up with some interesting results - one site said it was a DK weight, another said it was a light worsted, and another said it was lace weight.  Went to the Alchemy site, which said nothing about the yarn weight.  Hmm...

Now that that's been cleared up right muddy, I need to find a pattern that will work.  The ball label gave a gauge of 5 stitches per inch on a size 7 needle, so I'm going to go with that.  Maybe.  Kind of.

Wish me luck!    

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Where does a girl from California go for a vacation?  Certainly not to someplace that has sun & surf - no, this girl heads up North!

Wow!  I can't believe I didn't log in at all last month.  Been busy - went on vacation to Alaska and Canada (if you ever get the chance to go I highly recommend it), caught a nasty cold while I was there and am just now starting to feel human again.  (If you go I don't, however, recommend catching a cold - makes the trip not quite so much fun.)

Now that I can breathe again without hacking and coughing out a lung, I'm back and brought you come pictures of the trip.  Hope you enjoy:

Leaving Seattle

Over White Pass:

Yes, the lake was frozen.

Emerald Lake starting to thaw:


It was an amazing trip.  I think I need to go back - what a great place to wear all my nice sweaters!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Have you ever tried to knit while there's a really fun, bouncy song on the radio?  Chair dancing while knitting...

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Tried a couple of things for the February Lady sweater: Entrelac and feather & fan stitch.  Decided on the feather & fan stitch.  The ripples show the colors of the yarn better.  Pictures to come later (as soon as I get a bit done). 

In the meantime, my grown-up daughter decided she wanted to learn how to knit.  It was fun & I think I may have a new convert on my hands now. 

I tell ya, we knitters are gonna take over the world.  We'll probably end up knitting a cozy for it or something...

Knit on!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yarn Break-Up

Been working on the February Lady Sweater and got to about the 3" mark on the lace pattern using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted

I don't like it.  The yarn is totally lost in the lace work. 

Been getting a bit disappointed with this yarn.  While it's probably all my fault for not being able to pick out a design that can properly display the amazing colors, I'm starting to feel like it's turned into a high-maintenance sheep of a yarn.  Yeah, it looks pretty on display in the skein but it's not pulling its own weight when it comes down to it.  

I think I may need to have a break-up talk with my yarn for this pattern.  Something like, "Hey, can we talk?  Y'know, I've been, it's not you, but we just aren't working out the way I had hoped.  Your colors look dulled and there's absolutely no 'POP' in our relationship anymore.  You deserve better -we both deserve better than this.  But don't worry, you'll find another pattern to shine in.   Really."  

Anyway, the pro's are that I like how the colors of the yarn work in garter stitch, and I like the pattern.  I could continue on as is - it's OK, but the problem is that it's  just  OK.  Not spectacular.  Not doing justice to either the pattern or the yarn. choices are:

A - Continue on as is.

B - Rip out entirely and use yarn in a different pattern.

C - Rip out to the lace section and replace that section with a different stitch.

Choice A is out.  No point in continuing - I don't like it.  So I'm down to B or C.  At a minimum I'll be doing some ripping, but how far to rip?  I could also add choice D to the mix - rip back to the lace section and redo (the lace) using a different yarn.   Hmmm.....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

T-Shirts for Knitters

As I go through the boards at Ravelry, I'm inspired to make up a few T-shirts.  These were all pretty much lifted directly from the Selfish Knitters & Crocheter's group, direct quotes:

  • "Bowling is the perfect sport for knitters because you can knit between turns and there is beer."

  • "You had me at knitting & beer."  (Editor's note: Notice a theme here?)

  • "Kiss my sticks"  (Response back to the Editor.)

  • "I use DPNs a lot- multiple needles confuse the muggles"

  • "Knittin’ NINJAAAAAA!"

  • "“No. I won’t stab you with these pointy sticks, because the yarn ON these pointy sticks is worth more to me than your life. I don’t feel like getting blood all over my (insert project here) that I have spent hours on. So you are safe. For now. Until I bind off…”

Knitters are fun.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Listen to the Yarn

Once upon a time, Jen had some yarn:

She was very sure that she was going to make a simple KP&S top-down raglan with it, but somehow the yarn just didn't want to do that.  Jen tried and tried, and ripped out & re-knit 3 times before realizing that she was not listening to the yarn.  The yarn was telling her (loudly) that it wanted to be something a bit more special, it wanted to be a snazzy little thing that really showed off it's beautiful coloring.  It was calling for the February Lady Sweater.

This pattern had me at the first line: "A swingy lace cardigan, made to fit a grown-ass woman..."  Love it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Knitty!

New Knitty came in!  New Knitty came in!  (I'm really excited!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I was doing my laundry today, when my husband asked me if he can throw in a few things "since I only have a couple of things and they needed to be washed in the same cycle as the load you are doing". 

This translates to: "I don't want to do my laundry and let's see if I can get Jen to do it for me".  

Let me make it clear: no one likes to do laundry, not even their own, let alone someone else's.  (Bubba, if you're reading this, lemme tell ya that if your significant other tells you that they LIKE to do your laundry they're either lying or you are totally zonked.  Your pick.)  BUT, laundry is a necessary chore to keep your clothing and household linens clean.  Proper fabric care can extend the life of your items and keep them looking good. That works for me since I can't go buying new stuff all the time.

So with that in mind, I am testing a 'soak' cycle in the new washer to see if it will work for my handwash 100% non-superwash wool items.  It had a little bit of agitation, so I am unsure if it will work for my wool sweaters.  I don't want to felt up something I spent a lot of time creating because of careless laundering.  I think the next test is to 'soak' a test swatch or two and see what happens.

As for my husband's laundry, I did it with a smile.  And used the lavender-scented soap.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Finished knitting on Fylingdales.  Added a little extra ribbing on the front bands and got a zipper to install rather than buttons to help cover up my tummy.  Still need to weave in the ends, sew in zipper, and wash but the main part is done!  Woo-hoo!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Wonder

Have you ever started knitting yourself a nice, cozy, complicated sweater and then realize by the time you've finished that you've gained weight and the thing no longer fits properly?  Yup, me too.  Wonder how much extra ribbing I can add to the front bands of the cardigan before it looks really strange... 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Can't Eat a Mandarin Without Your Thumbs

A friend of mine (Stephanie) sent me an email saying, "You can't eat a mandarin (orange) without thumbs." 

I'm pretty sure she meant it literally, but it got me to thinking.  First it was, "Huh?"  Then I got a little bit more philosophical. 

What would happen if we didn't have thumbs?  How would that have changed us as a cultural whole?  Could we knit? Would we ever have "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"?  Would opossums have jumped to the top of the evolutionary totem pole? How do folks that really don't have thumbs function?   (Yes, it was a slow work day.)

Bach didn't use thumbs for his keyboard - it wasn't fashionable at the time to do so.  (A little side trivia: Bach didn't use a piano - they weren't invented yet.  They used harpsichords at that time, which pluck - rather than strike - the wire.)  They played just using the four fingers of each hand.    How genteel.

Lady-like knitting is not supposed to show the thumbs.  It's all hands in.   You can't get much done that way but you look good doing it!  You also don't want someone to be "all thumbs", especially if that someone is your dentist.   It sure makes it sound like thumbs are bad.

But without our thumbs we wouldn't have the tools we have, open ketchup bottles, tie ties, or knit comfortably.  I like my thumbs.  They're useful little things to have, especially for knitting.   

So I agree, Steph - you can't eat a mandarin without your thumbs. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gauge Can Be a Killer

I figured out what happened. The sweater was too snug because my gauge was off.

I thought I had gauge that was right on, but that's because I thought it was 18 stitches per 4 inches (4.25 stitches per inch), which is what I got.


It is supposed to be 16 stitches per 4 inches (4 stitches per inch). That means that I was making a sweater much smaller than what the pattern stated.

Confusing?  I know, it seems it should be the other way around, doesn't it?  It feels like it should be when you get more stitches per inch, then the size should be larger. NOT!  Lemme put it this way - 10 inches for a 4.25 gauge = 42.5 stitches. The same size for a 4 stitches per inch = 40.0.

But that doesn't sound like too much of a difference, right? And it really doesn't make that big of a difference at 10 inches. But when you talk about something that is 46" around it's the difference between 184 stitches and 195.5 stitches, or about 4 inches smaller than it should be. For me that equals negative ease, and that's just not a pretty site on me.

So I tried a gauge swatch on a larger needle (a 10). Got gauge but I didn't like the fabric as much - preferred the way it looked on a size 9 needle. Sooo, to make things more interesting, I decided to stay with the size 9 and do a bit of math to make it fit properly and then I frogged it the rest of the way and started fresh.

I’m gonna be knitting my brains out for the rest of my life….

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I had a cookie while I was at work today.  One, single, little chocolate chip cookie.  I ended up with chocolate all over my hands, my face, my clothes, my desk, and papers on my desk.  Isn't this a talent only a 2-year-old is supposed to have?  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This Little Frog

I ripped it last night.  Right up to the arm holes. 

I took out one of my favorite sweaters last night after posting - the one that has the best fit - and measured the diameter.  Then I measured the purple sweater.  4.5 inch difference.  No wonder I didn't like the way it fit!  So I made like a frog a ripped it.

Got my gauge.  Now all I need to do the math to figure out how many stitches I need to put on before continuing the main body.  Unfortunately, that involves math - something I'm not the best at even on a good day, let alone after a long day at work.  Should get interesting...keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Got the purple top-down raglan done to the bottom of the main section. Tried it on to check the length and realized that it was a bit...umm...well, snug.

Isn't this a pickle? I plan to wear this with a shirt underneath and don't like clingy clothes (I figure if it shows muffin top then it's too tight).   I'm just not happy with the fit.  So, I figure I've got two choices here:
  1. Keep it as is and hope I lose weight, or
  2. Unravel to the armpits and cast on additional stitches before knitting my brains out again.
My choice: Indecision has ruled the day - I decided to put it on 'hold' until I could either drop 10 pounds or work up the gumption to unravel the thing. Grrr....

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I got my Knit Picks delivery yesterday and I must say that the yarn I ordered was a bit of a disappointment. 

I had ordered a super-bulky yarn that was a brushed suri aplaca blend.  On the web site it looked all rich, warm, & halo-ey.  It person looks like drab brown fun-fur.  Dunno what I'm going to do with it now but it certainly won't become a sweater. 

Should have gone with a known yarn, but those are the risks you take with ordering something unknown off the internet: sometimes you get a gem and sometimes you just get a big brown turd.

Oh, the humanities.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Today that is now Yesterday

I already posted an entry named "Today", so I can't do that again, even though today is now today and the today of yesterday is gone.  (Feeling a bit philosophical - I know, it's annoying.) SOOO, the post for today will have to be something else.

Yesterday after posting, I went down to  (got to love a place named after a beloved dog), and picked up some new yarn:

This is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted (a superwash merino wool) in the color Calumet.   Knitting up looks like this:

Yummy.  I love how the colors are so rich and dark with brief flashes of light.     Beautiful. 

(OK, I started watching "Battlestar Galectica" season 1 again, so the show is influencing my outlook a bit.  Made it through part of disk 3 - not real sure exactly where I stopped last night before falling asleep in the chair.  Cool show.) 

I love getting a new yarn that I haven't used before and having it work up well.  It's like reading a new book that is so good you just can't put it down so you stay up all night reading until the book is done.   

TODAY (the real today - not the 'today' of yesterday) I plan to knit some more and see if I can't finish season 1. 

I'll also be sealing bathroom tile that I should have done yesterday, but that's another story.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Today is a holiday for me - President's Day.  I don't have to go in to work and the family has gone off for the day, so I have the house completely to myself.  What a treat!

I don't have to listen to video game guns blazing, the TV has gone black and silent, no loud radios on (except by my choice), no kids arguing or husband 'fixing' anything. 

I slept until 11:00, and here I am - it's now noon - and I'm still in my cozy flannel nightgown, sipping coffee and checking my online reading.  I'm almost giddy.

Plans for later: knitting.  Lots and lots of uninterrupted knitting. 

I'm definitely giddy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This Weekend

This weekend there are two major fiber shows happening on the West coast - Madrona and Stitches West.

I'm not going to either.

It sucks. 

I was offered free tickets to Stitches and could've carpooled with a choice of several different friends (it's a day trip but a bit of driving from Sac - makes for a fun, but long day - the kind of day where you get home exhausted but deliciously happy). 


I told myself I couldn't go because I'd want to spend money I don't need to spend on things I don't have room for, and my other side is in a bit of a snit over it. 

I'll get over it.  I'm mature enough to realize when I've reached my limits, for budget, space, time, etc. 

Don't mean I have to like it, though.

However, I do sincerely hope that everyone going to one of the shows has a wonderful time.  Wish I was there!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I did a Homer Simpson:

See the back row?  That's actually the front and what's showing in the foreground on the pink holder yarn is the back.  They're supposed to be the same length.  But I figured, "hey, I can't possibly be done yet - I don't need to measure. Keep knitting!"  D'oh! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

My hubby knows me well.  Instead of flowers or candy, he made me a drying rack:

It's 36" by 36", the top is high enough the cats can't jump on it from the ground (they're too fat to jump well) and the whole thing folds up to about 4" flat for storage.  I've been wanting a nice flat surface to dry larger items where the cats can't get to and where I don't need to clear off in order to eat dinner. 

How cool is that? 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Case Study

OK, I currently have not one - but TWO - sweaters on the needles, so what am I doing ordering yarn from KnitPicks?

'Cause I have a pattern that calls for super-bulky yarn and want to do it cheap. 

So I bought 4 balls of  Suri Dream yarn in a rich brown (it looked rich on the web site) called Fedora.  The yarn is described as "... a marvel of construction - brushed soft Suri alpaca is secured with a nylon binder that is wrapped in wool so it is hidden when the yarn is dyed. The rich colors are enhanced by the natural sheen of the Suri. The fuzziness is not tickly, just soft, and very warm. Ideal for any knit item that denotes "snuggly" to you..."   (Note: this is NOT an advertisement for KnitPicks)

Well...that sounds kinda complicated for yarn, but I like "snuggly" and the total cost (pre-tax) is $21.96 - just couldn't pass that up. 

Now, having never used KnitPick yarns I have no idea if it's worth even that much, but I figure worst case it looks like regurgitated dog food with the feel of a Brillo pad.  I'm only out 20 bucks with a lesson learned.

Worth the risk. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Pictorial update of projects:

1. Red sweater.  This is a Plymouth Yarn pattern, Cabled Cardigan, that I've made with Cascade 128 (the pattern called for Baby Alpaca Grande Tweed, but I would have absolutely roasted with that stuff!).  The Cacscade yarn dye ran (and ran and ran and ran).....but I was able to eventually halt the bleeding.  My son, Billy, is modeling. (I'm sure he's going to grow up to have all kinds of issues after being photographed wearing his mom's clothes and the pictures posted all over the Internet.)

2. Next up, the Malibrigo shawlette.  This was an adaption of a pattern in a British knitting magazine, Yarn Forum.  (I really like that magazine - the patterns are fresh and so clearly written.)  This shawlette used just a bit over 1 skein of Malibrgio worsted.

3. I used the remaining Malibrgio to make a hat.  No pattern, just a top down stockinette with a seed stitch brim.  (Yes, that is my dining room table and yes, those are tools in the background.  Hubby.)

4. In progress, a gansey sweater, Flyingdales, from the book, A Fine Fleece.   The yarn is Pattons wool (trying to use my stash up).  Pattern is done in one piece from the bottom up, dividing at the arm holes.  I've got the back just about done, then will do the front panels and do a 3-needle bind off.  The sleeves will be stockinette picked up and worked down in the round. 

5.  Another sweater is also on the needles.  Doing a Doris sweater KAL with some friends.  Doris is a very talented lady who "doesn't need no stinkin' pattern".  She's trying to teach us to use our brains and I, for one, am having a hard time with that idea.  No picture yet, only about an inch into it.

I also did up 2 chemo hats, but don't have any pictures and they've been donated.  (I try to do 1 chemo hat per month - it's fun because I can try all kinds of patterns and it uses up my acrylic yarn.) 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dude Alert


Hey, I live in California.  Not in the cool part like LA or San Fransisco, or in ski country or Napa with all that yummy wines.  No, I live in Sacramento.

Sacramento is the State capital, so that means we have a bunch of old guy politician shenanigans at best to keep us entertained.  But they don't live here.  They live in the cool parts of CA.  Even our Governors don't live here - the last one lived in Southern Cali and the current one lives in the Bay area. 

Sacramento amenities: there's Old town, Crocker art museum, etc., and a few other things, but once you've seen them you're kinda done.  Been there, done that.  So why am I ranting about Sacramento? Because it's still in California, and that means I still have the right to say "dude".

Yes, I'm a middle-aged white woman.  Fairly educated, a working professional.  When you use the word "dude" a few things come to mind, and none of them fit my image.  There's the surfer/stoner (some say the terms are interchangeable), high school skateboarder boy (again, sometimes interchangeable with the previous two terms), Duke Wayne or some other Western movie star, and teen-aged mutant ninja turtles - NOT a knitting Mom.

Don't care.      

The word 'dude' has so many different meanings, mostly by use of tone inflection.  For example, 'Duuude' can inflect disgust or to infer that the other person has done something truly heinous, like eaten the last of the Cheetos.  It can be a noun or explanation.  'Dude!' can be an attention grabber, like "Dude!  That other dude is about to grab the last of the Cheetos!"  It can be a remark of terror - "DUDE!!!!" (as in the car is about to go off the cliff).  Ever see the movie "Dude - Where's my Car?"  It's totally all in the tone.

So there ya go.  Dude.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Slacker Update

I'm a slacker.  At least, a blogging slacker.  Haven't posted anything since late December.  Shame on me!

Updates on projects:
  • Finished seaming the red bulky cardigan.   I am still not a big fan of bulky yarn - I figure I'm fat enough without the added bulk of the yarn - but it doesn't look too bad.
  • Finished seaming a "Grandma blanket". (This was a gift my knitting group made for one of our own who has a new granddaughter. We each did a square and I was the lucky person who got to seam it up.)
  • Did a shawlette pattern out of a magazine
  • Made a hat out of the leftover yarn from the shawlette
  • Made a keyhole scarf from a pattern recommended by a friend. 
  • Started a new cabled cardigan
My goal is to use up as much of my bulky yarns from my stash in order to have a bit of room (my storage area is gone since my daughter moved home).  It's getting there but not fast enough. 

I think I may have learned how to crochet a little bit, and had a lot of fun with it.  There may be some crocheting in the future for me...

Pictures coming.