Friday, December 21, 2007

Cancer sucks

Be at peace, sweet friend.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mmmmmm, coffee!

And goodies, too!

From my KCS3 partner Emiko:

kcs3 box
Diablo roast from Caffe Ladro, a book about coffee, Sharon's Soaps N' Stuff Coffee soap, Australian black licorice, a magnetic notepad with little post-its (that somehow missed the photo op), and a lovely coffee card.
The card looks like it was hand stamped with beans and mugs.

A closer look at the yarn. The color is not quite right in either picture. It's a blend of reds and burgundy called Ruby River that is just what I would pick for myself. This yarn is perfectly named, it is totally smoosh- and squeezable.

Friday, November 09, 2007


OK, this has actually been finished for over a month. Just now blogging. Anyway . . .

I love this FO. Maybe more than anything I've done to date. The fabric has a wonderful drape, the texture pops, and there are no obvious (to the non-knitter, anyway) errors.

It actually fits him a bit better than this photo shows. He was wearing a baggy t-shirt under it to brave the chill.

Pattern: Sherwood, Knitty Fall 2006
Yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton, color Elf
Started: August (?) '07
Finished: September '07

I love it! He loves it, too. He was upset with me when I made him change before eating spaghetti.

Silly me, I thought things would slow down around here as fall arrived. First of all, if the toddler never slows down, chances are the rest of my life won't either.

And I've been working Saturdays at my LYS (Boersma's Knitting Basket). They actually approached me about working. (!!)

I love it! It's so fun helping people find just the right yarn/project/tools. Not to mention getting paid to go to Knit & Chat! I'm working on two projects for the shop.

If/when I find some childcare/preschool thing for E, I'll work another day or two, but only if it falls in my lap. I am going to be teaching two classes in the late winter/spring.

Ravelry is another obstacle to blogging. It definitely hasn't improved my lurker habits, as it's so easy to browse and look things up, without the extra effort (and toddler-free time) blogging requires.

I've been knitting like crazy. I finished the 2nd pair of a4A socks in time to make the deadline.

I sent a SASE with the socks, and they sent back the cutest postcards.

I also finished a YYMN* custom.

Pattern: Perfection Pants
Yarn: Marr Haven dyed by Spiffy Knits, color AMK

I loved this yarn, which came as a total surprise. When I first took it out of the envelope, Isighed and resigned myself to knitting something less pleasant. I usually steer clear of the "fluffy" yarns, like Sweet Grass Targhee and others. They snag on dry skin, and don't slide as smoothly through the fingers. It gives my a feeling like those old fake flannel nighties everyone had in the '80s. But this stuff is different. It is soft and squishy and very nice to work with.

This project was a total adrenaline rush, as I used literally every scrap of the multi-colored yarn. I was prepared for some serious frogging when I remembered the swatch. That little 4x4 square gave me enough yarn to get the last inch or so of leg.
*Your Yarn, My Needles

I knit 6" of the KPS toddler vest when I realized I was going through yarn awful fast. It slowly occurred to me that maybe I had knit the swatch on 9s, not 10s. I stopped, knit a swatch on 10.5s, gave it a dunk, and let it dry. Sure enough, the yarn grew. A lot. Going from 14 st/inch to 12. Sigh.

I love the fabric so rather than going down a needle size, I'm starting over following the numbers for the next smaller size.

It's sort of on hold now, as I'm rushing to finish some stuff for sale, and then some gloves.
M actually asked me to knit him something! Since 11 year-olds are notoriously fickle and short of attention, I better get them done soon. He wants convertible gloves "with a button on the back for the flap". The yarn we picked first is one I'm getting through a coop, and it looks like it will be a while, so if he doesn't like anything in the stash, I'll take him to a yarn store or two and see if he can find another good choice.

OK, it's getting late (yay for school inservice day tomorrow!), more later.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Congrats to Rachael/Yarn-a-go-go

Her novel made it to the top 5 finalists in Gather's First Romance Competition.

Knitter's Coffee Swap Questions

1. Whole bean or ground? Whole bean
2. Fully-loaded or decaf? Both! I often drink decaf in the evenings, or if I'm making coffee drinks.
3. Regular or flavored? Regular, please
4. How do you drink your coffee? I make it in a stovetop espresso pot, and usually add just half & half, sometimes with a little syrup (or a little Bailey's on a Saturday night)
5. Favorite coffee ever? I've had a lot of great coffees, can't pick one.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? Fairly fussy. I like dark, oily roasts best.
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Cookies, chocolate, black licorice
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? I try to only buy sustainable, fair-trade beans, and I love trying new coffees from small companies.
9. Yarn/fiber you love? Pretty much all animal fibers.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Squeaky acrylics, and most novelty yarns
11. What's on your needles? Eeek! Ok, 2 pairs of socks (Falling Leaves in wildfoote and MaiaSpins' mystery socks in Kroy), KP&S bulky child's vest in Ayany merino, 2 pairs Perfection Pants (one pair in dyed-by-me wool, one in 100purewool) , and a pair of mittens in O-Wool Classic for a shop sample.
12. Favorite colors? Rich tones, dark earthy colors, jewel tones, reds. Just not baby pastels.
13. Allergies? Nope.
14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? If there are things that you love (fibers, colors, coffees, treats) that aren't on my list, I'm open to trying new things, too. (just not flavored coffee beans)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Summer shopping extravaganza

If knitting books count as stash, I fell hard!

From the IK Hurt Book Sale. The spinning book has a little dent at the bottom, and the inside cover of Knitting on the Road left a bit of color on the title page.

Knit Picks' summer book sale. Took advantage of the free shipping to add to my needle collection, too.

My LYS has a 25% birthday discount, and a punch card program (once you've spent $250, you get $25 off). After combining the 2, I spent $9.75 for the 4 patterns and book above. Ever have reverse buyer's remorse? I was kicking myself when I got home.

I made up for it with a trip to Woodland Woolworks' "Stash Room" where I snagged a few back issues (and some sock yarn, but that's for another post, this uploading is taking forever!)

After hearing that this lovely book was going out of print, I snatched up a copy (autographed!) from an Amazon seller.

My crafty side joins my inner bookworm in a shiver of delight! I've read all of these at least once, cover to cover.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Socks! And a call for kids' knits. And contests!

Quiddity is having a contest, asking for pictures of your first and last (latest) socks.

My first matching socks were this little pair for afghans for Afghans Spring '06 newborn items campaign.
Blossom Knitwear's Super Quick Baby Socks
Susan Bates sz 7 dpns
Mystery thrift store wool

Coincidentally, my last pair (as well as the ones on the needles now) are also going to a4A.

Children in Common socks (cast on 40)
Knitpicks Options sz 5
Peace Fleece, Baghdad Blue
heels and toes reinforced with thrift store vintage wool/nylon (either Bear Brand or Red Heart)

Children in Common socks (cast-on 40)
Knit Picks Options sz 5
Elann Highland Wool, disc. color 1240

While on the subject of Afghans for Afghans, I want to encourage everyone out there to whip up something quickly for children age 7 to 11.
Mittens, socks, vests, hats or sweaters, from wool or other animal fibers.

If you can get it to them by October 12th, a4A will send these essential winter items to children in rehabilitation centers in Afghanistan. These are kids who are suffering from war-related stress and trauma.

You get a quick FO, karmic bonus points, and an entry in the drawing for a Yarn Market GC.

If you're on Ravelry, check out the Fans of Afghans for Afghans group for another little incentive.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Going Crazy!

Full moon? Change in weather? It's been nuts around here, whatever the reason.

I just remembered that the sign-ups for Coffee Swap Three opened today. Eeek, I hope I made it in.

I have 2 months worth of pix to show, so I'm going to try to post a few every day until I'm caught up again. (we'll see how well that goes)

My first Baby Surprise Jacket, in recycled merino and scraps of Manos.
(Wow, that's a crappy picture. Sorry about that.)

M & E and cousin A frolicking at the park.

A custom toy order, perfect for summer fun.
(I told you I was backlogged with photos! These are from August.)

Pancho Villa in the Laundry
(Yes, we kept him.
E fell for the little guy, and we're just big ol' pushovers.)

Coming next time: Serious stash acquisition thanks to a birthday coinciding with LYS credit plus a store closeout followed by a sock yarn sale.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Knitters' Farm Aid

Check out Knittymama's blog! She's running a contest and a drive to get donations for Sow the Seeds. The money will go to help the farmers in the midwest who have been devastaded by recent

If you donate and let her know before Saturday, you'll be entered into the drawing for some really great yarn!


OFFF report to come soon, plus more FO's!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My swift

I've had a request (hi Deb!) to post the info on my DIY swift.

The original link is no longer working, but a quick Google found the new and improved directions at Crafty Diversions. Great directions, and an affordable way to avoid asking friends and family if they'd mind standing there for an indeterminate period with yarn wrapped around their arms.

I use this swift with a Royal Winder I got with a 40% off coupon from I've used them pretty frequently for at least a year, and the winder shows no signs of wear.

When my husband and I first made mine, we skipped the extra holes, just drilling one in each arm to make a 2-yard skein. I do NOT recommend this. After washing or dyeing, especially from cones, the yarn will fluff up, gaining circumference and losing length.

You won't be able to get the skein over the holes you started with. So make sure yours is adjustable.

I'm planning on building a second one in the very near future, so I can re-skein dyed yarns with a lot less mumbling and cursing.

I have some great FO and random pics, but I'm rather annoyed with my camera/software situation and don't have the energy to deal with it all tonight. I know, I keep saying that, but really, I mean it this time.

Until then, a little yarn pr0n to get you by:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

No time

for a real post.

Just wanted to thank Maia for my wonderful prize. She made me two luscious spinning batts, Earthy Colors with merino, corriedale, BFL, alpaca and tussah, and Naturals, with merino, BFlL, alpaca, and tussah. I'll try to get photos tomorrow. I'm rushing to finish the SW Merino on my spindle so I can play with these.

I made it to Farmhouse just as the Ravelry gang was getting there. It was nice to put some faces to bloggers. Farmhouse was pretty well picked clean in the sock yarn department, but I picked up a skein of STR lightweight in Turqouise.

I have tons of photos, and links to share, but we're off to the state fair.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I won!

Yay! And . . . I get to pick up my prize in person! Maia's going to be in Portland, on the Ravelry* group's Sock Yarn Hop. I am working that day (oops, forgot to mention that exciting little development here, more about it later!) but I get off at 3 so I can meet up with them at their last stop, Farmhouse Knits!

*Getting closer:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Social Nerd

You're interested in things such as politics, psychology, child care, and peace. I wouldn't go so far as to call you a hippie, but some of you may be tree-huggers. You're the type of people who are interested in bettering the world. You're possible the least nerdy of them all; unless you participate in other activies that paled your nerdiness compared to your involvement in social activities. Whatever the case, we could still use more of you around. ^_^

Drama Nerd
Literature Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thrift store score

Check out the great (not so) little bundle I picked up for $7.99!

Unwrapping it was a bit like opening Mary Poppins' Bag!

There were even more things packed in than I thought when I bought it.

Very image heavy post, if you haven't already noticed ;)

15 pairs straights:

14" Sz 1,2,3,4(x2),6,7,10,10.5,11(x2), 19, plus a lone sz 15.

10" sz 3, 6, 9

These are all Boye or Bates.

5 pairs metal double-points, all with their original packaging (and a plastic ruler). These are marked from 29 cents to $1.00.

7" Boye sz 1, Phildar sz 2 (2.75mm), Zephyr 3 and 5
10" Boye sz 8.

Knitting Knobby, by Zephyr
Label says:
"Modern Version of the Old Horse Rein Spool Knitter



Knitting looms? And an afghan pattern that uses them, from a 1982 issue of Family Circle.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Some ribbon remnants and loaded bobbins.

Some rather, um, interesting fashions in these little pamphlets. The one on the right has several sock patterns, and index card notes for argyle socks. The bobbins may be from those, too.

The notes look much like the ones I make while knitting. With lines of hash marks, and numbers jotted in random places, they are obviously meant only for the original knitter to understand.

A knit-check in very good condition, with the original cardboard wrapper.

A handful of point protectors.

An amazing collection of vintage metal circulars (and one 29" sz 8 Boye with nylon cord):

11" sz 1, 2, 4, 5
24" sz 3
29" sz 2(x2), 3 (x3), 4 (x2), 5.

The cords are a twisted wire cable, similar to some silver jewelry chain. The joins look incredibly smooth. I can't wait to try these out.

Promotional matchbook for a mortician?

Note the old-style phone number and postal code!

Well, how nice, they offered financing.

Hmm, not a matchbook after all. Instead of matches, they're some sort of glue for stopping stocking runs, along with a few colors of very fine thread and a needle.

Quite a good use of $8, I think.

(sorry about the wonky formatting. I can't seem to get the layout right.)

Friday, July 20, 2007


Thank to Aija, I went back to the Hurt Book Sale, and picked up Knitting on the Road, as well as Hands on Spinning, for under $10 each. Check out the Amazon page for KotR!!

Not much progress on the knitting or shop updating front, as I'm just getting over a nasty cold, and now we're going through the spare room (which has been Room of Boxes since the move) to get it ready for my MILs visit (Three (3!!!) weeks earlier than she told us in May).

Maybe tonight I'll get some pix edited so I can do a real post.

Time to move the stash. Wish me luck! Back later, unless I get knocked out by falling boxes of yarn.

Pretty yarn to tide you over!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, July 13, 2007


Success! No, nothing fiberly. Most of my usual knitting/computer time since the 4th of July has been spent convincing the little yowler under my house that I am generally not going to bite. Just enough food and water to tempt the little bugger. Yesterday, I got within 4 feet and was pretty proud of myself. Tonight I had the stroke of genius to add some playthings to the mix. A little dangling of a bell on a length of yarn convinced it to taste the food straight from the scoop by my leg and - Gotcha!

After a few minutes of unbelievably loud crying, I gave a good ear/head rub, and was rewarded with an equally loud purr.

I think it came from the house behind us, but they really don't seem concerned about it. In fact, they went away for a 3-day weekend. We have 2 cats already, so keeping it would mean 1) convincing He-Who-Tolerates-Cats; 2) making sure it's not going to pass anything icky to the bigguns; 3) making sure said bigguns don't eat it as a tasty after-dinner snack.

I should be able to get back to the knitting now that the subterranean mewling and the insane heat are done. I have some fun news, an FO or two, and some WIPs to share.

For now, I'm off to give one more backrub to the fuzzball and then bed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tell CNN we're out here!'s leisure survey includes knitting in the choices, but it's not showing up in the top ten . . .yet!

Vote Here!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Urk - Wish me well!

Had posts planned but no time. Going camping - not prepared, plus I really do not like camping. Ugh, the things we do for the ones we love.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I missed M's Fifth Grade Recognition ceremony! On Friday, I asked him when it was (the schedule is messed up because they had to add 2.5 days to the end of the year due to the snow days) and he said Tuesday. I had the camera charged, a nice shirt washed for him, and a bag of toys to entertain E during the event. I couldn't find the latest newsletter, so I didn't get to double check. When I went to pick him up yesterday after school, the sign out front said 6/18 1 PM.

Argh! He was all morose walking to the car. I told him I had no idea, and he was shocked. Apparently the school called "all" the parents to remind them, and my name wasn't on the list of people they couldn't reach. I have no idea what happened, as my cell phone shows no missed calls and I have no voice mail.

Poor kid spent all afternoon thinking I just didn't bother to show up. I'm still sad/angry about this. The kids all sang a song, and then they got certificates, a pin, and a carnation. Then they had a classroom auction with the "money" they earned during the year. M bought a book. He had a bidding war with a friend over it. He said it was pretty fun, but he was still sad about me not coming.

He understands now, but that's not something we can get back. The only explanation I can think of is that his contact sheet was taken out when we changed our address, and never put back. Doesn't explain why they didn't cross-check with class lists, but since I've had calls from both his teacher and the office this year, I know they had the right number at one time, and it hasn't changed. I told him to make sure to tell the school that I wasn't called. Maybe they can come up with a better procedure for next year. And it's a reminder to me to double-check what he says. Ten-going-on-eleven may seem big, but he's still a kid prone to distraction.

I'll have to make do with taking lots of pictures of the last day of elementary school (today) instead.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Unpacking my life, upturning my yard

I felt like I was making progress on the unpacking and organizing, until my mom finished moving. I am now in possession of everything she was keeping for me. A lot of it I had totally forgotten about.

There were some great blasts from the past, including a box of favorite childhood books, and some beloved dolls. Unfortunately for them, they were banished to the carport post-haste after I found some fossilized moth cocoons in there. Amazing how many 1970s dolls and stuffed animals had wool stuffing, clothes, felt faces or accessories. I'm sure the moth damage happened long ago, and there are probably no living creatures anywhere in there. However, the Room of Boxes is the future CraftRoom, and contains my stash. Not worth the risk! Sorry lovies, out with you.

My freezer is already packed full with flour, mixes, and other dry goods, as I apparently didn't succeed at abolishing the previous tenants' pantry moth issue. So far, I haven't found any contaminated food, but there are 6-8 in my sticky traps. I'm hoping that the traps are working so well that all of the males are stuck in glue and there can be no breeding in my kitchen.

Also hope they aren't working too well, and attracting all the moths from outside into my kitchen.

So until we find a good deal on a chest freezer, or I find some other way to make sure any moths in the dolls are dead, my husband's going to have to work around that box.

I'm not getting much done lately. We're (well, my role is pretty much limited to moral support and bring of cold beer) putting a foundation under the house this summer. All of the ground around the house will be dug out, the house jacked up, and the foundation poured in stages underneath. It really hit me what we were getting into when J told me he found the perfect length of plywood to use as a bridge to get in the door.

This means any interior, cosmetic, and yard projects have to wait. No point in painting or window treatments before we know what will or won't crack and be replaced. Can't landscape where the Bobcat will be driving.

My response to this has been a serious case of sluggishness. I have barely touched the boxes in the last couple weeks. I'm not feeling particularly motivated by my personal knitting projects, and a new design for the store is giving my serious grief.

I am also facing a bittersweet milestone: my firstborn, my baby big guy, is done with 5th grade on Tuesday. Just 3 days left in elementary school! Wow, time sure flies. Went to the first parent night at the Middle School. What a weird feeling that was! I remember those years so well, and I sure as hell am not ready for my kiddo to go through that huge transition from 6th grade to 8th, from big little kid, to teetering on the edge of adulthood.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mmmm, lace!

Yarn dieters, look away!

Woodland Woolworks is having another "unfair internet advantage" sale. All lace yarns are 20%, only through Friday, 6/15. They have alpaca, cashmere, Zephyr, cotton, soy silk (including some beautiful hand-dyed colorways), merino, silk, and more.

Harlot sighting!

I was late leaving home, and got to my mom's too late to risk taking a bus. I figured I'd be circling the blocks looking for parking, but right as I turned at Powell's, a car pulled out of the 2nd spot!

It was around 6:30, and the place was getting full. (According to an employee, people started arriving at 4:00!) A very helpful person pointed out empty chairs to those of us that were milling around, so I actually got to sit, unlike the 100 or so that came later and stood behind the chairs, between the stacks, and crammed up against the elevator doors. While Powell's learned their lesson after the last visit, they still seemed unprepared for the barrage of yarn- and needle-wielding fans.

Running out of chairs

The hour flew by, full of chatting, knitting, and admiring all of the hand-knits. There were men, women, teens, and older folks.

Filling up the aisles

In the "small world" department, I was sitting next to Shelly, who lives in another small town near me. And in the autograph line, the woman behind me (OMG, I can't remember her name) who had driven down from Tacoma with her friends, grew up about 10 miles from here.

Astonished Powell's employee introducing . . .

A very blurry Yarn Harlot

Stephanie was hilarious. It was definitely worth the drive and the wait to hear her speak. She talked about the Blue Moon bank fiasco, how to respond when someone says "wow, you have a lot of yarn," and ways to get recognition for knitters.

After the talk, my book-signing luck deserted me. My seat was on the opposite side of the room from the line, and I had to walk upstream through those that were leaving. I think I stood in line for an hour. On the upside, I witnessed the hilarity of the Polaroid incident, and saw Monica PDX of Comments fame (go read her account of the event. Fabulous reportage, there!).

I made cherry-shaped cedar sachets to give Stephanie, and totally flubbed it. I was holding my bag, my socks-in-progress, and my camera in my left hand, and the book and cherries in my right. I handed them to her still in the ziplock, so she couldn't tell what they were. Then I took the bag out of her hand (I hope "snatched" isn't a more accurate word) and held them up. She did say they were very good, and tucked them into The Sock. She signed my book, and I walked away! Yeah, despite that fact that everyone in sight was getting photographs taken, I had a socially inept panic attack and chickened out on asking the women behind me to take a picture. No matter that we had been chatting about a wide variety of subjects for the past 45 minutes, no matter that Stephanie was happily standing and posing with everyone else.

Sigh. Some days I'm 12, I tell ya. Nope, didn't take a picture of the cherries either.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

New blog, same as the old blog . . .

As you can see, I haven't quite moved my archives over here, but I'm planning on putting all new blog posts here.

Apologies to Bloglines if you get an update every time I move an old post here.