Shou 3ada Ma Bada

OK, I’ve been tagged SOOOO many times now, I’d best get it over with.
1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag some friends.
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing. Blah blah blah.

“Pearl’s A Singer”  Pattie Darcy Jones

“Love Her Madly” The Doors

“Could You Be Loved” Bob Marley

“My Dear Country” Norah Jones

“Sweet Memory” Melody Gardot

“They Gotta Quit Kickin’ My Dog Around” Buffy Sainte-Marie

“La Javanaise” Madeleine Peyroux

“Everywhere” Fleetwood Mac

“You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart” Sinead O’Connor

“Heroine” Sinead O’Connor

“A Bad Penny” Cat Stevens

“Eight Days a Week” The Beatles

“Hook and Ladder” Nancy Sinatra

“The First Cut is the Deepest” Sheryl Crow

“Quinn the Eskimo” Bob Dylan

“Now that the Buffalo’s Gone” Buffy Sainte-Marie

(Dude, was that really necessary????)

“Us and Them” Pink Floyd

“A Question of Lust” Depeche Mode

“Stand By Me” Adrian Bailey

“I Dug Up a Diamond” Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris

(In my dreams…)
“Empty Hands” Ana Egge
(does this mean I should put the knitting down?)
“The Wind” Cat Stevens

“Shou 3ada Ma Bada”  Ziyad Al Rahbani


And bad mojo.

I tried to spin last night.  It went rather poorly.  This confirms a lack of crafting mojo in the last 2 weeks.

So I decided it would be a great time to cast on for my Sylvi coat.  I started with the cuff, knit about half way through, and decided I didn’t like it.  So I frogged it.

I did restart today though, I am again about halfway through the first cuff.  I think it is going better now!  I realize that my KAL for this doesn’t start until March 15, but I just needed something….ANYTHING….to work out for me.

Socks start Sunday!

A post on not knitting

And why.

One of my favorite things to do to keep knitting and blogging exciting is to create small challenges for myself and for the people around me.  Just sit me down at a knit night, start throwing ideas back and forth, and soon a new challenge is born.

So last fall it occured to me that we could do a month of only sock knitting.  A great idea since I had hoped to knit 24 socks in a year, and because I have inordinate amounts of sock yarn waiting to be knit.  Since we had a few other challenges in store, and since we also had personal goals, we decided on February 15-March 14 2009.

My intention, personally, was to knit 6 pairs of socks, at least 3 of which would be Monkey Toes patterns in order to enter them all into sock knitters anonymous February challenge.

I should have known.  I should have known that it is nearly impossible for me to knit only one thing.  I should have know that there is not enough variety in socks for me to focus on just that.  And mostly, I should have known month o’socks was doomed when Gigi Silva, designer of at least 3 of the patterns I had picked, in a zombie like manner returned from the dead.  Seriously….what could doom sock month more than a zombie designer huh?

First pair of socks went fine.  My handspun was thick enough to disguise fit problems.  Second pair went on the needles well.  I found the pattern annoying and difficult…but pretty!  Too bad I didn’t try them on.  I did 2 extra repeats and then started yet another sock.  Then I tried pair #2 on.  They couldn’t fit over my heel.  I was frustrated, such a pretty pattern, so much pain to get there, and I couldn’t even wear them.  I put them in a time out.  Worked on sock pair #3, enjoyed the cabled pattern.  Kept working on it since I assumed 72 stitches on the needle was more than 60, therefore I’d have a pair of socks that fit.  Oh…how mistaken I was.  Never underestimate the power of a zombie designer to ruin your best plans!  So I had to frog them.  I decided that size 2 needles were bigger than size 1 needles so surely a retry of this fun pattern would work just fine.  Again, I was so mistaken!  And just to add insult to injury, as I was frogging the socks, one of my needles broke.

This was the wooden stake to the heart of month o’socks for me.  *I couldn’t find an appropriate zombie reference here, just go with it* In fact, I am on a self imposed knitting break.  I’ve swatched for the Sylvi coat.  I’ve balled some yarn for upcoming projects.  But I haven’t been knitting and I am not really ready to.  I’ve decided I will start knitting again on Sunday.  March 1.  New month, new sock challenge, vast amount of patterns not created by a zombie designer.  I’ll be putting 3-4 pairs of socks on the needles right off the bat, and I’ll hit the ground running, knitting socks exclusively until March 15.  You will see focus.  You will see maturity.  You will see socks flying off the needles.  And you won’t see a zombie design among them.  In the meantime, unless Bug comes up with something truly classic, the blog may be a bit quiet.

My penalty

Is my reward





My icarus has finally been completed.  I have found that malabrigo laceweight blocks better and faster than anything I have ever worked with.  There is so little bounce back after the pins are pulled.  Have I mentioned how much I love blocking?  I did quite a few more than the recommended number of repeats since I was using laceweight yarn, an it is the perfect size.  This confirms though, the need to keep variegated yarns out of my stash.  It works for this shawl, but I don’t usually care for it at all.  Lace is too beautiful to be muddied up with a lot of color.  Long lines of transitioning color is about as far as I will agree to at this point.  This shawl has been on my needles since May of last year, so it also constitutes as a complete long term WIP.  I am so happy!

Good news and bad news

I finished pair #1 for month o’socks.  Done in my own handspun, I knit Eleanor.  That would be the good news, I just love how they turned out.


Now for the bad news….

I worked really hard on the Fawkes pattern, completing it to the start of the heel and adding additional repeats.  It looked fantastic, I just loved the yarn and the pattern together even though I didn’t particularly care for the knitting of the pattern.  I decided, on a whim, to try it on and see how it would look.  It didn’t fit over my heel.

So, I cast on for Nagini, figuring a sock out of 72 stitches would fit a heck of a lot better than a sock out of 60 stitches.  I knit about 4 repeats of that, became completely obsessed with the pattern, got really excited about the yarn, and then realized that it didn’t fit either.


My failed socks, let me show you them.


I am putting month o’socks on the back burner and working on my shawl!

A day in the life…

Of a super serious sock knitter.  Or a Knitter being super serious about socks.

Monday evening, 9:30 PM status update:

Eleanor socks, 1 sock complete, second sock worked to halfway down the heel flap.

Fawkes sock, 1.5 repeats done on leg of first sock.

Tuesday morning 6:50 AM:

Eleanor socks untouched

Fawkes socks 2 complete repeats on leg of first sock.

Tuesday morning 10 AM (first break at work):

Eleanor socks, finished heel flap and turned heel, gusset stitches not picked up

Fawkes socks untouched (and at home so they won’t be touched until the evening)

Tuesday afternoon, 1:10 PM (after lunch break):

Eleanor socks gussets picked up and 4 decrease rounds complete.

Tuesday afternoon, 3:15 PM (after second break):

Eleanor socks only 2 more decrease rows left and then I can finish the rest of the foot.

Tuesday afternoon 5:30 PM:

Eleanor socks decreases complete.

Tuesday evening 10:15 PM:

Eleanor socks, working repeat # 9 out of the 11 repeats needed before I start the toe.

Fawkes socks, 4 complete repeats on the first pair.

Month O’Socks kick off.

We had a small gathering of gals today to start our month of sock knitting, or knitting with sock yarn.  I’ve completed one february sock and got started on the second one.  This is, once again, out of my 3 ply handspun, and I am quite in love with them.


The pattern is simple and addicting, almost like a monkey.  Which is good, I need a new monkey pattern in my life!

Now, I was issued a challenge, to showcase my sock and my hair at the same time.  I gladly accept:


And now that we all know just how goofy I am.

I will complete my icarus shawl during the month o’ socks, there is really only a weekends worth of work left on it, so I will finish the shawl and then penalize myself by doing a full weekend of sock knitting the weekend after I start my Syvi coat.

A Food Adventure

It is much to my chagrin that 4.5 yr olds are so picky about food.  It used to be that Bug would try just about anything, but now it really takes some coaxing to get her to try new things.

Bug is learning to like Lebanese food bit by bit under the tutelage of her JJ.  She really likes her yoghurt, and though she isn’t ready to eat hummus, she likes dipping her pita into the garlic/hummus flavored olive oil on top of the hummus.

Now, when one of my friends invited a group of us to go for Ethiopian food, I was thinking about how I might be able to get Bug involved.  I decided to call it a food adventure, and she got quite excited about it.  We then spent some time looking at world maps to see where Ethiopia was, and we watched Ethiopian music video’s on youtube.

As a back up plan, I took some of her yoghurt and olive oil, figuring she could at least dip the injera bread into that.

Now, I can say with all certainty that Bug had fun on her food adventure, but I was smart to have a back up plan, she was not at all interested in eating the food.  She was thrilled to see the same music videos we had just watched broadcast in the restaurant though.

Her favorite part was playing with the guys, specifically Kathy’s Jeff, whom she has been talking about ever since.

I recorded the experience in pictures:

This is Bug with her men at the pinball machine, she looks so small next to them!


Sarah and her hubby (I wanted to post a picture that actually had food in it!) Notice the awesome February lady sweater being worn in this picture….


Bug, myself, and Kathy


To be frank, Riley was so worked up to be out with so many friends that she was downright obnoxious.  But, she didn’t seem to be bothering anyone else in the restaurant.  About the funniest moment was when Jeff had her on the table using her belly as a drum and she started using her fingers to buzz her mouth.

The video is dark, but you sure can hear how hard she is laughing!

Just how far can I get?

I am officially working on the last 2 charts of my icarus shawl.  That is pretty darn close to being done!  This has been such a long term project that it is hard to believe.  I wanted to get it done before month o’ socks but I’d have to be wonder woman to manage that.

We have a month o’socks kick off tomorrow and I am setting myself some penalties for working on the shawl if I choose to do so during the sock month.

I thought I would take a picture for you, but as lace scrunched onto too small needles always looks toward the end, it is just blob like right now.


A Snowy Day

I left for work, it was clear, no snow.  I came home to this:



By the way, Bug is standing up in this picture, the snow was just not packed enough to stand on top of.  I don’t know what our technical accumulation was, but there was a good 12 inches of rather wet snow in my driveway when I got home.  It is beautiful though!  And not quite wet enough to make a snowman much to our chagrin.

I’ve been somewhat silent…

Over the past couple of days.  We will get back to regularly scheduled programming tonight.  But, now is a really good time to thank some people in my life.

To my family…You are the perfect ears to listen, the perfect minds to ask advice of, and the perfect shoulders to cry on.

To my local friends…You are the perfect people to listen to my rants, to laugh with me at the insanity, to help me find something to laugh at, and to provide me with things to do, places to go, and people to see when I am feeling introverted.  My child has so many good “aunties” who have never felt that she is anything but a part of our story together.

To my far away friends…your letters, notes, and virtual hugs brighten my day every day.  You remind me that I am more sane than I think I am on a regular basis and you don’t let me go for long without a message.  You are as dear to me as the friends I see weekly.

In short, it would be easy for me to feel down, hopeless, alone, but you never allow that.  Instead, I feel fortunate, strong….I feel like I can face whatever life throws my way.  And that is because of all of you!  I hope someday I can return the favor.

A Genuine Sigh of Relief

I’ve been thinking about this scarf for more than a year now.  I’ve been knitting it since October 08.  It has been set aside frequently, and picked up again for a few rows here and there.   But in this space between Month o’Socks and the Central Park Hoodie KAL, I needed to finish a long term project.


Locks of Love!

First of all, locks spun in the grease spin a lot easier at 70F than they do at 45F.  For those who wondered, I flicked the tips open by brushing just the tips on a hand card.

I expected to be very disappointed with how these turned out.  I loved the color, but the feel was disturbing with all that grease, I didn’t know if I should ply them or leave them as singles.  A lot of worry, stress, and decisions went into these locks.

I pulled them off the bobbin, and thought I rather liked their look.  They looked delicate, but felt stronger than I expected them to.  So I decided now was a good time to scour them.  2 hot water and dishwashing liquid baths later, I was sure I had gotten a good portion of the lanolin out.  I whacked the skein and hung it to dry.

A bit later I went back in to see the skein.  I fell in love!  But, I couldn’t figure out what to do with such a wild and wooly skein of yarn.  I contemplated all evening.

Then I got to thinking, wouldn’t I be able to knit another montego bay?  Won’t this act a bit like the mohair?  I hope so, because THAT I can picture!  Now just to finish spinning the locks.

Check this out!  I don’t think I really lost the dye in the scouring process.  So pretty!


More Maine Morning Mitts

I have had a serious case of ADD knitting this weekend.  I’ll show you pictures of that mess tomorrow.  But I wanted a project I could actually finish so I decided on some mitts for myself.

The yarn I had for it is handspun 2 ply.  This was merino sliver from fleece artist.  I spun half of it on a drop spindle on my very first drop spindle attempt and the other half I spun on my second wheel on my first try with it.  I then plied the entire thing on the wheel.  There really wasn’t very much yarn in the end, less than 100 yards.  I’ve not quite known what to do with it.


It is malabrigo soft and thick and thinly spun.  I think I’ll enjoy these!

Spinning locks

One of my rules for stitches midwest last year was to only buy fiber prepared in ways I had not spun before.  So the only fiber I picked up was silk hankies, sone wool with sparkle, and dyed locks.

Even though I don’t prefer artistic novelty yarn, I wanted to experience spinning from the lock.  So I found some dyed locks at the booth that was selling BMFA products.


I loved the curliness factor and the dye is way richer than the pictures make it out to be.

What I didn’t expect, and this could have just been ignorance on my part, was the grease.  For those of you spinners, do all dyed locks come in the grease?  Is that just part of spinning locks?

So I am spinning dyed locks in the grease, and if you ask me, I might as well have a painted sheep on my bobbin.


I am really trying to subdue my precision spinning nature in order to allow the locks to be nice and curly and fuzzy.  I had to quit yesterday because:

#1 I was trying to force spring upon me and I spun outside, making my hands too cold to go on.

#2 I just couldn’t stand the thick and thin anymore and needed to think it through for awhile.

Maybe I’ll be able to finish this up later today.

Second down, one more to go

I loved the first cabled hat so much that I cast on for another one.  I used J knits dream bulky, which is a wool and mohair blend, single ply.  It is very very good for felting but I rather liked it for this hat too.  I think this one is going to J as a surprise, since I haven’t seen him in just about forever.  Colorway is Michigan which is rather appropriate considering the recipient.

I’ve got Bug modeling it since she makes the cutest model, but it does fit an adult!


I have discovered not to buy any yarn with mohair content for Bug, she thinks “It doesn’t feel that good, it feels fuzzy.”  Now, she has never complained about wool so it has to be the mohair she is objecting to.

I started yet another cabled hat out of Malabrigo chunky, I wanted to see how the cables looked with a more variegated yarn.  As is typical of me, my obsession for this hat ended abruptly when I realized I had forgotten a row of cables and I didn’t feel like fixing it.  I suspect this one is in time out for awhile!

I’m a believer!

I’ve had BMFA socks that rock mediumweight in my stash for awhile now, and I love the colors.  When the colors are gorgeous in the skein, I have a hard time using it to knit socks.  There is something intrinsically artistic in hand dyed yarn and it pains me somewhat to ball it up.  But, for my birthday I received some spawn of braun colorway and it was so bright and beautiful I just had to see what it would look like as socks.  I chose the RPM pattern from and found it to be the perfect pattern for the yarn.


I added 2 repeats to the leg area and used a short row heel.

What these socks did was create a love for BMFA that I didn’t know I had!  Knitting with this is as much as a pleasure as looking at it.  I now believe I won’t have a hard time passing up skeins of wollmeise, now that I know I love a sock yarn that is readily available!

A Spoiler

Here is a little Month o’Socks spoiler.  I’ve cast on for the first 2 pairs to be knit during the month o’socks.  I wanted to try out the yarn and needles, and knit some of the ribbing so that I would be able to start my sock month with a pattern.

One of my goals for the month was to knit some socks out of my 3 ply handspun sock weight yarn.  You may remember this handspun:


This is my most favorite handspun ever.  I have never made anything that I love quite as much.  So even though looking at the skein makes me terribly happy, I thought that I’d best knit it into something, to see what it feels like to work with it.


I chose a pattern that is fairly simple in order to show off the yarn itself.  I can’t wait to see how these turn out!  I suspect it will be obsession all the way.

Another goal I set for myself was to work with some fiber combination’s I haven’t used before in socks.  It would be good to see what they feel like to work with as well as attempt to figure out how well they hold up long term.  So the first new fiber combination is yarn pirate merino/tencel sock yarn.  I seem to have a bit of a yellow/green theme going on.


On february 15, we will be having a kick off party for the Month o’Socks and I’ll be able to give you updates on these then!

More dead socks

So I talked to my mom this weekend, only to find out that a pair of socks I gave her in November have already developed holes in them.  Now, the yarn was knitpicks memories, which is straight merino and is discontinued.  I have such a love/hate relationship with knitpicks, some of their yarn is fantastic (the laceweight, the wool of the andes) and some just doesn’t work! (memories, or the merino style that felted upon wearing).  Now, mom has a particular pattern in mind for her next sock, and I decided that the next socks I knit for her will have to have some nylon in them. I  sent out a replacement pair today though they are already used.  They are just to tide her over until March.  Because the sock pattern she likes should fit nicely into the March sock challenge.

Mom, I got your yarn today!  Since I am on a yarn diet I am being very selective in what I buy, but I picked up some scraps that have enough for full socks.  I got some Lorna’s Laces shepherd sock in the lot in blackwatch.  Not too flashy, matches lots of things, has a bit of nylon, it was a really really good score!  We will give these a try.

Now, on to some spinning.  I spun up another hank of creatively dyed seacell, and then decided to try something new.  I pulled out some Lorna’s laces wool top and spun some up 2 ply just to see how it came out.  I have WAY MORE where this came from: