Somebody STOP me!!!

I can’t stop with the Monkey socks.  I seriously cannot.  They keep my attention so well but are totally mindless.  I can knit them in the dark and with my eyes closed.  Love the Monkeys.

There is proof.

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in colorway Childsplay.  It ended up being a great pattern for this particular yarn since it wanted to pool so badly with other patterns.

I have the Bug hard at work balling up my La Digitessa wollmeise yarn.  Those are next on the list.  And the Francies for grandpa are headed to work to be finished up.  Life is good.

Did I mention that Bug learned the half hitch cast on Monday evening?  She has practiced it every night since.  I’ll have her knitting in no time!  She really gets it, she gets which direction the yarn has to go and how the needle needs to go up under the yarn for the twist.  I was very impressed.


Everytime I think about my favorite cast on learned from stitches, I say it in my head in a very “teenage mutant ninja turtles” way.

Monday night I started another sweater for J.  I had bought the yarn some time ago to experiment with some designing, but soon found out that what he wanted to design and the yarn I had picked certainly did not go together.  So the yarn sat in stash for a bit, until I saw Ummeyusuf’s cricket pullover.  Then I started to think…upsized for a man, with the colors I had chosen for the designing, and only adding a bit of another color I already had in stash and I’d have myself a rather nice sweater for J.  I patiently waited for stitches to be over with to cast on, but Monday evening had me raring to go!  Plus I got to practice my TUBULAR!!! cast on.

I’ve made some changes of course, I started with a 1×1 rib.  I began the cable pattern when I increased for the body of the sweater.  I then had to do the math so that the darkest gray line had a cable in the middle of it and work it accordingly.  Those of you who know me understand that so much math was a stretch.  I’d rather knit willy nilly and forget the math.  But I did it, as I wanted it set up right.

I am a bit concerned about what happens at the neckline, but figure I’ll worry about that when I get there.  All in all I think this is great progress for 3 evenings of knitting.

I am attempting to keep this one quiet but I might get too excited over it and show him ahead of time.  Verdict is still out on that.

My Wollmeise Fairy

She has struck again!  She is quite amazing as she struck 3 people at once this time.   That is a lot of wollmeise fey she has to be able to gift skeins to 3 different people.  I do so love her!  Her generosity is quite amazing.  I think it is wonderful that she wants to share the wollmeise love.

Let me show you what she sent this time…

Aren’t they just so gorgeous and rich in color?  My coworkers loved it, and I was amazed to see them both hold it up to their nose and smell it.  Later the new coworker (whom I shall call crafty coworker from now on) came back to smell it again.  And my faculty would come over and feel it and admire how the colors all blended in to one another.  See?  Even non yarnies aren’t immune to the love of this yarn.

Included in the package was a pair of monkeys to add to my collection.

They are so pretty and soft!  They are made out of Lorna’s Laces in Georgetown colorway.  I am currently knitting monkeys in Lorna’s Laces Childsplay and the yarn feels completely different to knit with than it feels in washed and blocked socks!  They are a lot softer upon finishing.  And can you believe these are one of the very first pairs of socks she ever knit?  They are perfect I tell ya, not a flaw in ’em.

She also sent along some nice soap and some of the fruitiest flavored dark chocolate (guess why I can’t show you that!) and a keychain mini sock blocker and patterns for a sock.  So cute!

Thank you wollmeise fairy for your incredibly generous spirit!

And….as a side note…I scored another skein of wollmeise in trade for my handspun!  Who knew that it was worthy of wollmeise!

Ravelympics finish line

Yes, it has been over for a couple days now, but I didn’t have the chance to post about it.  I did though, want to post a wrap up featuring the beautiful work of my dear teammates, since you have already seen the February Lady Sweater of my own.

Let’s start with Phyllis, who completed a lace shawl and a hat during the ravelympics.

(The hat featured completely reversible cables, how cook is that?

Next up Sarah with her scarf that I am sure she thought would never end.

Turned out beautifully, great stitch definition, the cables and lace combination is stunning!

Savasana made some already well loved socks for her sister, and they are fantastic!

I think the matching heels, toes, and ribbing is just the cutest thing!

And Ummeyusuf really cleaned up despite a computer disaster.  Her knit and crochet yoke sweater is done though I hear she is still WIP wrestling despite the ravelympics being done.  I wish her luck as I know that this time of year is busy for her!

So there you have it!  That draws us to the close of 17 days of intense knitting and project completing.  Thank you to my teammates for allowing me to use their pictures and links for my blog.

Annual Girls Weekend 2008

So this was my first annual girls weekend, aka stitches midwest, with my dear friends Sarah, Corrie, and Kathy. Stitches took place outside of Chicago at the Schaumburg convention center. I drove out on Friday, arriving around noon. And here I will attempt to give you a weekend recap, and try not to miss anything along the way. With pictures of course. This could get long, bear with me. 🙂

First off, I was a bit nervous about driving my car to Chicago. It is getting up there in years and though I think it is quite reliable, you just never know. I did, on my moms advice, get triple A just in case. Also, it has been awhile since I have driven near a city (excepting on the trip with my parents recently, and that did go swimmingly, but then again I didn’t have to do it for a long period of time.) The drive was overall quite easy. I had no trouble following my directions and my inner secret city driver kicked in just fine in the traffic heavy areas. I did miss one turn in Schaumburg itself but was easily able to figure out an alternate route to the hotel.

Walking into the hotel was quite amazing. I had called Kathy to have her meet me and take me up to the room to get settled in. I showed up between class times luckily. The hotel had an entire floor that was just beautiful lobby area with loads of seating for relaxing and knitting. It was bright as one side was entirely glass, and as you looked up you could see all the floors above you. There were fountains and fireplaces, creating a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. We had a room with 2 double beds, and the bathroom had a TV in the mirror! I was somewhat weirded out by that, but it was rather impressive. The reason the TV in the bathroom was disturbing was that it turned on when both the lights went on, therefor you would be in the bathroom, doing whatever it was which you needed to do, and suddenly there is a voice talking in the room with you. Impressive, perhaps, but very strange.

I had a short class on Friday, so I wandered about the marketplace for awhile. Completely overwhelming, I cannot even begin to describe. Aisle after aisle of booths dedicated to yarns and fiber arts. I couldn’t focus at all! I couldn’t find what I wanted and just kept walking about, not purchasing anything on my list because I couldn’t get focused enough to do so. I went to my class (creative cast-on’s) and learned a lot. Namely that I am unlikely to ever use a picot cast on as it looks….like fingers dropping off the bottom of the cast on edge. I also learned a 2 color cast on and a tubular cast on, both of which I will use, and have already used. Next sweater will get a tubular cast on and it is called for in the scarf I intend to knit for Nick next as well. I then walked about the marketplace some more, picked up some natural camel colored alpaca for a coraline sweater. I think the drape and the softness will work very nicely, and the smocked yoke will show up perfectly.

I also grabbed up some silk hankies to spin. My purchasing rules for spinning were that it had to be something I have not done before, and silk hankies I have been wanting to try for a long time. Then I was more than done with the market, as I still couldn’t focus though I was blaming it on the long drive. (Those that know me will realize this was just an excuse.) Oh, I did also pick up some wool/silk for a tangled yoke cardigan. It is in the most lovely smoky dark blue color. And shiny due to the silk!

Friday evening was the fashion show and dinner which I had declined to go to. I let the girls be on their way while I made plans to have some Indian food. You see, I was smart and asked some people here what were their favorite places to go eat in Schaumburg. My idea was to try not to eat any chain or american style cuisine as when in Chicago, one should take advantage of the good food. So I wandered off the a lovely little Indian restaurant all by myself. I took a book. The servers were very nice to me (probably in the “look at this poor young woman all alone” way) and left me to my food and my book. So it turned into a very enjoyable evening for me! I headed back to the room afterwards and waited upon the return of the fashion show gals, then we headed downstairs to the seating areas to knit and enjoy a glass of wine.

Saturday was a day which both Sarah and I had free. Kathy and Corrie had classes all day. Sarah agreed to come help me in the market, as she seemed to know her way around better and be more focused. She was indeed very good at keeping me focused. She was able to see things which I would like and draw my attention to them while I could not see them in the first place. She was also good about “We will come back to that later, once you have seen everything.” Which does help in the spending department. Our first stop was at the stand that was selling blue moon fiber arts socks that rock. Fabulous yarn, and I never buy it since shipping tends to be pricey. I had thought to buy another sheep to shoe kit as I was so thrilled with the first but ended up getting sock yarn and locks to spin instead. Oh, and some silk laceweight in one of the raven colorways as well.

Sarah was also able to focus me enough to see the Habu Textiles booth. In this booth I fell in love. I kept going back over and over to look at the colors and the fibers all packaged up so neatly. I couldn’t stop! I cannot even begin to describe the wonderfulness of this booth! I ended up purchasing some bamboo laceweight, for a very inexpensive price and I managed to leave the other stuff alone. Mostly because I couldn’t decide on anything. There was silk/mohair blend that would make lovely scarves, and hand reeled silk from the cocoons and handspun and dyed, purchased in Laos. I wanted that more than anything else but refrained (for now). Even more amazing were the various textiles like paper, or stainless steel, which were turned into yarn! I found this booth so fascinating I just couldn’t stay away.

I found a booth selling Irish yarn, they had tons of sweaters in cabled patterns done up as samples. The wool was scratchy but had some of the nicest cable definition I have ever seen. This yarn would prevent the great Starmore aran felting disaster of 2007.

I really could go on and on about the yarn in all its goodness, but you would have to see it to believe it. And perhaps you can begin to get a picture of it all when I show you this:

(Don’t you yarnies just want to roll around on this?)

This is a picture of the yarn haul of 4 women at the stitches midwest market. We thought it would be very interesting to put it all on a bed and take a picture. Looks like a lot, but the gals use their stitches purchases to get them through an entire year of knitting. (As I hope to do!)

And also you can see our obsession with blue moon fiber arts, this is the haul of 4 girls at the blue moon fiber arts booth. What amazes me is that we tended to pick similar colors even when we shopped separately.

I had gotten the recommendation of a small Pakistani restaurant in the area. I was warned that it was very casual but told that I would like it. Since Sarah and I were both free to wander, I asked if she was feeling adventurous enough to go too. Given that my friends have a love of adventure, she was more than willing to give it a try so off we went. We came upon a small restaurant which did not look like it was used by many Caucasian american born people.(all the better since the food is probably not “watered down”, I hate that, I love the spice!) We were having a bit of a late lunch but there were still quite a few people there. We were both quickly overwhelmed by choices so decided on the buffet. I cannot tell you exactly what we were eating, but there was goat curry, one of my favorites, and it was wonderful! Sarah laughed at me eating the meat while she was enjoying her vegetarian choices more than the meat based dishes. Now, I worried that Sarah was just being polite when she told me she loved the food, but when she went back and told the girls that she liked it, AND called her husband to tell him she liked it, I started to feel confident that she actually did like it.

All that good food just put us to sleep, so Sarah and I took a nap while waiting for Corrie and Kathy to get back from their afternoon classes. You see, we had big plans for the evening! We were headed to 1492 Tapas Bar in Chicago. Now, there was a bit of confusion over how we would get there. Once we figured out that a taxi would cost boatloads and we couldn’t figure out how the train could get us there on time for our reservations, Kathy decided to drive us. Now, Kathy lived in Chicago area for 11 years and basically learned to drive there, but I well know that those driving skills go underground when you live in a smaller city. I was amazed with her courage even before we got in the car. And by the time we got there I decided she was a Rockstar with Mad City Driving Skilz! I, with all certainty, could not have done it. She maneuvered flawlessly down streets so narrow they should be one ways yet there were cars side by side. She was quick thinking and quick acting while being safe. She saw the cars around her which were not seeing her and trying to pull into our lane. Absolutely brilliant. The restaurant was wonderful, we were seated inside in a small back corner. We eagerly perused the menu’s and came up with our favorite tapas. In our rather oddly organized fashion we all thought we should write them down, and we even managed to come up with pen and paper. Our (very adorable) server seemed to think it quite wonderful. I fell in love with “Croquetas de Queso Goat cheese croquettes over roasted bread with honey – balsamic dressing” and we even ordered a second serving. Corrie was going back solely for the “Datiles con Tocino Premium Dates wrapped in bacon with a mango – marinara sauce” I think, and we all agreed that they were wonderful in a very odd way. We had the server take our picture:

He told us we made his night. I agree, We were fun! LOL. The evening probably couldn’t have gotten much better.

In the picture, from left to right, Kathy, Sarah, Corrie, and myself.

As do all things, even the weekend had to come to an end, though we attempted to prolong it as long as possible. Corrie and Sarah were flying out early Sunday morning and Kathy was headed out too. I had a class at 1:30 PM so I was not leaving Chicago until 4:30. After the gals left, I wandered slowly through my morning routine, and did some knitting and packing. Checked out and headed to the market for lunch and to see who won the grand prize (not me.) then off to my steeking class. Steeking class was fantastic! We learned a bunch of different ways to steek as well as many different ways of finishing off a project. I am not nervous about them anymore in the least, as I now know that I can do it and that the yarn won’t make a mess. I thought that 3 hours would be very long, but it was not, I was entertained and engaged the entire time. And then I headed home.

Around Des Moines, after 5 hours of driving, I started having trouble. Knowing I had another 2.5 hours of driving ahead of me, I began to be concerned I would not make it home. I had been up since 4 AM with no nap so it isn’t surprising that I was nodding off. Actually, I thought I was fine but would realize that the car (which does not have cruise control) would be going slower and slower. I would speed back up and then the same thing would happen. I began to think I’d be better off stopping for the night and driving the rest of the way in the morning, so for safety’s sake, that is what I did.

What I will do different next year: As this was my first year, I didn’t know that the classes would be that great! I saw what my companions were doing and I was jealous! I just didn’t know that I would learn that much. It is hard for me to spend money on classes when I could probably figure it out for myself. But as I have never taken lessons before, I was amazed at the ease of picking things up when someone was showing me and teaching me. Additionally, taking a class might cause me to think out of the box about something. They might have a tip or a trick that I didn’t think of or come across, that makes life easier. And I am sure that I might look at some knitting techniques and never take the time to figure them out unless I was in a class dedicated to that technique. So next year, I am spending my money on the classes! I will also attempt to be there for more of it, have my vacation dedicated to it, because it is SOOOO worth it to me!

What I worked on:

Socks! All socks all the time. I had finished one of grandpa’s francies before I left and started on the other. I then finished one of the monkey’s and started on the second one. I then had a breakthrough with the dreaded pomatamus socks, and managed to finish one as well and start the next. Take a look!

Thank you for bearing with me (if you managed to read to the end) through my fantastic weekend of yarny amazement! Up next…more yarn fairy goodness and a final ravelympics post.

I did it!

I sewed.  Yep, I sewed my swatch for my steeking class.  I stressed over it, but took my mothers advice of using tissue paper over the stitches.  After an initial tension issue, I managed to sew it just fine with very pleasingly straight lines.  So it leaves me a bit of tissue paper on the edges, doesn’t matter, it is a swatch.  It served its purpose and I won’t be as scared again.

Which means I am all ready for stitches midwest now!

The post you’ve all been waiting for.

My ravelympics project, February Lady Sweater, is done. I finally sewed the buttons on last evening and then had favorite coworker take pictures today.

I modified this pattern heavily so I should probably document what I did. I knit 10 rows of garter stitch and then did the rest of the top in stockinette. I used yarn over’s for the raglan increases rather than make ones. I thought that the openness of the lace could accommodate that and that it might look interesting. I also used yarn overs for the eyelet row, as written in the pattern. Rather than beginning the lace pattern at the armpits, I continued in stockinette down over my bust as aesthetically I did not care for the look of the sweater stopping above the bust on people who are not quite flat chested. I added an additional buttonhole for a total of 4 buttons since my stockinette area was longer.

I used “Dream in color classy” in colorway Beach Fog. This yarn opened up quite a bit during blocking, I gained at least 3 inches in length and an inch or more in width. Which was necessary as it was too small when I tried it on pre blocking. Good thing I washed and blocked that swatch huh?

What I have learned….

I am just not good at project monogamy. People are sometimes awed at how fast and how much I knit. I now know the reason I knit so much and so fast is due to the ADD nature in me, always wanting to look at something new. Otherwise I would stall out on projects and leave them be for a long time. So though I can finish a sweater in a month, it is not, for me, advisable. Also, going back to a partly finished project is just as satisfying for me as a brand new project with new yarn, as evidenced in the completion of the montego bay scarf.

And without further ado….the pictures.  Please forgive the goofy look, favorite coworker was saying something funny, I forget what, and now I look strange.

It’s Magic!

Something very strange happened last night.  A project got finished and I had no idea I was that close to the end.  My Handspun from the Hush Hush Handspun Hootinany swap which I knit into a montego bay scarf just finished itself.  It was a beautiful thing!  I am left wondering exactly how that happened!

When this scarf is worn, it looks very trendy.  I like it.  I tried to get Bug to take pictures of me but the angle she is shooting from is rather unflattering and they came out a bit blurry.  We will have to work on ways to fix that!

Ravelympics update day…

Wait, what day is it???  Yeah, thats how I feel.  Day 11, that’s right.

We’ve had some team updates from over the weekend that I wanted to get posted.  Everyone is moving right along!

Ummeyusuf has finished a beautiful baby surprise jacket.  She is also well into a knit and crochet cardigan for her daughter.  From what I hear, she has only the sleeves left on that one.  She is moving right along!

Sarah has a good portion of her scarf done, I can tell that less work agrees with her.

I just love the jojoland melody color changes, so pretty!

My sweater was blocked last night.  I am happy to report that I gained about 3 inches in length and at least an inch around the body of it, so it should fit my bust with the buttons on, a fact I was worried about.  I could feel the yarn loosen as it hit the water, so I got to feeling pretty good about it even before I blocked it.  Looked great blocking, and fit wonderfully this morning when I put it on.  I brought it to work so I could sew the buttons on, and today some time I should have a finished object.  From there, for me, it is WIP wrestling and stitches preparation.  ( you can even see my red stitches swatch blocking at the bottom of my sweater).

Savasana’s Stumble

(Shells:  I thought this was too good a stumble not to post, since we have all been there!  Plus, she did such an awesome write up and photo documentation, it would be a waste if it wasn’t blogged.)

From Sav:

I’ve been a bit behind on updates and that happened for a reason. I made a ridiculously stupid mistake. I didn’t want to post about it until I had it all under control again but I photo documented my little journey into frog land.

So you see the sock. The bottom of the sock to be precise. You might even think it is a nice looking sock. Until you remember that I’m doing a RIBBED pattern!! Yepper, after knitting in the scrap to hold the placement for the heel, I continued in stockinette on half of the sock. The front side is all nice and ribbed….the back side…..not so much! Thus…..I frogged.

And lost two days of knitting. After frogging I couldn’t even face it; picking up the stitches was absolute torture because I have had very very little experience with it and never with such tiny stitches.

Matilda helped by supervising and she didn’t even once tell me how silly I was to do something so ridiculous. But look at that giant ball of yarn! Gah!

But the good news?! I finished the first sock today and it fits my sister beautifully! Hooray!

And I’ve even started the second sock.

I’m going to try to practice project monogamy this week though so that I can finish Friday or Saturday (more likely); I don’t want to rush at the end. I shall try very hard to ignore my Noro scarf that I am thoroughly enamored with, the STR pair for myself….and now that Nick’s socks are essentially finished (whole other horror story there), they won’t distract me either.

Ida Wanna

I don’t want to knit. I don’t want to talk about knitting. I am tired of the sweater and I am too much of a project swinger to practice project monogamy. I am not even knitting right now. I am cleaning house and rearranging furniture instead. Yeah, I know, that is bad! I have fiber sitting on my wheel but would feel like I was letting my team down if I start spinning it, even though the fiber is practically screaming at me and I feel as if I have neglected spinning by being away on vacation. I’ll be doing a traditional 3 ply next, which will be a first for me. The roving I have sitting on the wheel just begs to be a 3 ply, and who am I to contradict?

Tonight I plan on not knitting again, and instead doing some yard work. In my (what feels like) very brief absence, my yard has grown over and it is difficult to see what my mom worked on when she was out here. So I need to get back in the yard to do some maintenance. The good news is that my storm and hail stripped tomato plant has another tomato! It also has buds so if it gets moving, I should have a few more tomatoes this year. My zinnias are blossoming in all their brightly colored glory and I have some other plants coming up, must be perennials that I have forgotten about, and before I even noticed them they had stems a foot high. Even though I don’t particularly like working in the garden (or I am really just not ready to admit it yet) I really do get quite a thrill out of it in the end. Compound that with Bug just loving it, and I am ready to do it again next year. Actually, I have big plans for gardening next year, which is almost entirely the fault of Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” Yeah you heard me right, this non gardener wants to peruse seed catalogs over the winter and discover heirloom vegetables of many varieties. This desire is fed by the book and also J’s huge enthusiasm for gardening. If I plan it, I know he will grow it. Now if only I could get over the panic attacks I have over harmless snakes…

In fiber arts news, I have a couple of new and fun activities coming up after ravelympics are over.

1. Truly awesome trip to Chicago for Stitches Midwest with 3 of my best girlfriends. I promise to take lots of pictures and post them if they allow me to. I cannot even begin to express how excited I am about this trip, and the others sound equally thrilled. There will be knitting, classes, shopping, more knitting, a lot of chatter, and probably a lot of good food. They’ve done this before but this is the first time I am going, and I am having trouble even imagining what it will be like. I feel like a teenager again, headed on a youth group trip. Maybe this is how my mom felt when she would go on womens retreats. The only downside to this is that I have some homework to complete. Homework for a class, that requires….knitting. *Sigh* Not only knitting, but dragging out my horrible awful no good very bad sewing machine and sewing my knitting before I go. Something tells me this isn’t going to go well, I cannot even comprehend the knots that my machine will make if I use it on knitting.

2. You may remember that I posted awhile back about receiving a box full of angora. Since then I have picked up some hand cards (my consolation purchase when the Iowa Sheep and Wool festival got canceled) and I plan to attempt to blend some off white merino wool with the angora, and then spin it into laceweight. I’d love to do a shawl that has a soft angora halo. I actually got to meet the lovely woman who sent me the angora while I was on vacation, and she assures me that her bunny will continue to produce fiber for me if I need it, so I don’t think a soft angora/merino shawl is out of the question. It may be one of those long term projects like the spun lite lopi sweater, but I am pretty sure it can be achieved.

3. I also picked up some dyes and will be attempting to dye up some roving pretty soon. I think I have some good techniques laid out and I want to play a bit with colors before I purchase more dye, so I need to start that. If I get lonely and ambitious this weekend, it is not out of the question for weekend plans, since the weather is supposed to be a bit cooler. Turning on the oven when the outside is already an oven is not a happy thought.

4. And finally, with a little luck and skill from my father, and a lot of generosity from my aunt, you may see some early attempts at weaving. Story to follow at a later date.

That is it from me, I am out, off to work on my avoidance practices.

Not a Ravelympics post!

Precious little has been knit on my sweater.  This is due to a case of travel weariness that was overwhelming yesterday.  I could do little more than sit on the couch and veg.  So I thought I would post some sock progress instead, though these are most likely socks that you don’t know about yet!  😉

The brown sock is one I worked on in the plane going to my parents.  This is out of knitpicks essential tweed, colorway Dune.  They are for my grandfather.  I haven’t touched them much since I got to my parents though, so I need to take them to work.

The bright sock is another pair of monkeys since I am most likely obsessed with the pattern.  This is out of Lorna’s Laces shepherd sock multi, colorway childsplay.  This was the one that was lining up with the pom socks, pink on one side yellow on the other, and I was not happy.  The colors are swirling with the monkey pattern, which was part of the reason I chose that pattern.  (The other is because I am obsessed with the monkey pattern, but I may have mentioned that!)

Ravelympics update, day 5 progress.

I am home safe and sound now.  Headed back to work this morning.  I woke up at 4:30 AM due to the time change, and even though it is only an hour early, I really wanted to nip that in the bud.  So I had to force myself to go back to sleep.  That has caused a bit of a headache for me, but I am sure a good cup of coffee will cure that soon enough.

My plants are looking fantastic, apparently the time in the sun did them no harm, and it rained the evening before I came home so I was viewing them at their best.  I guess I need to make some pesto.  LOL.

No one broke into my home, which is my biggest irrational fear, so I was relieved.

I was able to finish the body of the sweater on the plane and pick up stitches for the sleeves.  I realized that last night was a knit night so I went to that and worked on the sleeves a bit more.  The sweater is currently feeling overwhelming, so since I am so far ahead right now, I have decided not to take it in to work.  I am sure I can finish the sleeves at home.

In team news, we have a lovely scarf photo from Sarah.  She wants us to know that though it doesn’t look like much, she has vacation next week and intends to rock out the rest of it then.  I think it looks great, as I saw it in person last evening.  Plus, she got through a full 2 repeats yesterday.  She has nothing to worry about!  I don’t know if you can see it in the pictures, but the colors run from brown to a deep purply blue.

Ummeyusuf has finished her first baby dressage project, which looks fantastic!  It has adorable little sheep around the yoke.  I love it!  Check it out here.

Now, back to work for me, and we will see what knitting the day brings.  My plate is full of other things, like mowing and grocery shopping, but I am sure I can fit some in!

Shells Day 3 progress

I knit less yesterday and enjoyed my time with family more.  I learned to play pinochle and played a rockin’ game of that last night.  I have started the lace section though.  I will be working on my mandala shawl in the car ride to my parents today, so I do not anticipate much progress to post tomorrow.

Ravelympics Day 2

This is posted a bit late, I know.  Still I wanted to give a day 2 update.

Ummeyusuf is coming right along on her first baby dressage project.  She does her colorwork very quickly.  Her project can be seen here.

Phy is coming right along with her shawl, she tells us it now would take 2 pieces of paper under the shawl to show it well, rather than one.

Savs sock is making all sorts of wonderful pink spirals:

And the top part of my sweater is just about done in the above picture.

On your mark….

I woke up this morning early, eager to take pictures of the first day of progress on my ravelympics sweater.  It went with me just about everywhere yesterday and I worked on it at every spare moment.  I think I got a good amount done for day one.  It looks a little small but I will trust that the yarn will bloom just as much as the swatch did, making it so that it fits perfectly.

Considering the name of the yarn, Beach Fog, I had a small thrill this morning when I went outside to take pictures and noticed that the New England fog was everywhere, making the city look beautiful.

Vacation knitting

My mandala shawl has really stalled out over the past couple of weeks.  Work has been too busy for me to have the desire for intense lace knitting in the evening.  I brought it on vacation simply to make sure I never ran out of knitting projects, even though I had intended to work on socks and a scarf until ravelympics started.

I found though, that the relaxing time with my family is highly conducive to intense lace knitting, so I worked on the mandala shawl almost exclusively.

I am almost done with clue 4, but as you can see, the shawl is very very small even at the end of clue 4.  I intend to use every single clue 4 choice to expand the shawl, and then possibly add a different, larger edging to increase its size.  Nonetheless, I am very pleased with it.

A day with Nick

(and a finished object)

The socks I knit for Nick were completed before the plane even took off from our city.  This is handspun from blue moon fiber arts colorway ravenscroft.  I still have 833 yards left, and I am not sure if I will keep it for a shawl or put it on etsy.  It is lovely!

Modeled by the recipient.

And a few more pictures, the first is Bug and Nick having tea…

And Nick and I enjoying Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake.

Where to begin?

I have not been able to blog for a few days now, as I have not had consistent internet access.  But for the rest of this trip I will have it.  Time?  Maybe not, but I will have a decent connection.

I want to show you what I get to see on my vacation, so I took some pictures for you.  I have one for today, and will post more as the days go by.

This first picture is of some of the lovely flowers in my mothers garden.

Bug and Mom picked the flowers and they arranged them in the tea pot.  I thought it lovely enough to share!

Button Diving

I was holding off choosing buttons for the ravelympics because I knew I would want to dive into my moms button stash.  My great aunt worked in a dress factory where they were allowed to sweep up the buttons at the end of their shift and keep them should they choose to do so.  Consequently, mom has inherited a large amount of buttons in different colors and I remember as a child just loving to sink my hands in them.  All the different colors fascinated me, and sometimes mom would try to entertain me by giving me the project of sorting out all the same buttons and stringing them on one thread.

So I was very eager to pick some out for the February Lady Sweater.  I wanted buttons that had some meaning behind them.  I also wanted to pick out buttons for my pinwheel sweater.  So I went button diving.  And the buttons held exactly the same fascination that they did when I was a child.  Even better, there were still buttons all threaded together.  I literally could not resist opening every single button jar, pouring them on the floor, and sifting through them, even though I was opening colors that were not anywhere near what I was looking for.

I have a few choices, and you are welcome to weigh in!

Due to the name of the yarn, Beach Fog, these seemed appropriate.

Though it is hard to see in this picture, the green really brings out the green in the yarn and seems to match perfectly.

These also match perfectly but are a more subtle choice.

Of course, in button diving, I found many many more that I loved!  I picked out two choices for the pinwheel sweater.

Check these out!  That is a picture of the front and the back of the same buttons.  Both sides look fantastic!

And because my pinwheel sweater will have some hot pink, I had to grab this large hot pink button!

And then there were the buttons I found that I now officially want to plan sweater around…