Thursday, January 31, 2008

Not much ...

... to show you at the moment. But first, once again, a very big THANK YOU all for your comments on Alex's shawl. It's still winging its way to her, with a short break in Halifax, where there was some addition to her package, and now it's once again on the move.
But my dad sent me this picture of Christl and her shawl. She likes it! She's going to be 81 years coming April, and apparently she's doing fine, not so her daughter, I'm afraid. I'm glad I knit the shawl for her, and we had a nice talk on the phone, after she received it.
I'm working on a project, which I can't show you yet, because the recepient is reading my blog. There was spinning involved, and after there some knitting, ripping, knitting, and ripping, and now knitting again. Now the remaining time is short, so I better knit some more, and not rip again! :o) Look at this lovely roving! It's called "Happy Feet", 4.8 oz blended wool from Copperpot Woolies (etsy store), link is on my side bar. I've got some more goodies, but this I had to start spinning at once, even though I don't really have time for it now. So there's not much done yet, just so I got going, and a feeling how it will turn out.
Of course when there's black involved, the other colors get muddled a lot, that's very unfortunate. I'm going to Navajo ply it, spinning it rather thin. I'd love to sit and spin, but for now I'm just going to look longingly at it. So back to knitting, to get it over with.

I might have bought a new knitting book, just for one scarve pattern I saw and NEEDED to have: It might have been this book. Turns out, there are more than one pattern in there, which I'd love to make eventually, thank god! :o)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Alex comfort shawl!

I'm posting this today, because I don't have time tomorrow.
Alex is a dear friend of my daughter Hannah's. She's just a few years younger than I am, and is a mother of five. She was diagnosed with lung cancer just a couple of weeks ago. I don't know her personally, but from what my daughter told me, I felt I had to do something. So, even before I decided to do the Christl shawl (decided to do that one while waiting for the yarn to arrive), I thought of knitting a shawl for Alex, who as I understand, has not only to deal with cancer, but has a lot of other stress in her life right now.

I asked Maggie if she would dye me some yarn in colores, which would mimic those gem stones: Riebeckite - Dioptase - Fluarite - Chrysocolla

My creation

and as you can see, she did a fantastic job! I love the yarn. (I'm so glad there's some left over!) I've never loved knitting with any yarn as much before, as I did with this yarn or rather colorway. I don't know why that is, I just kept smiling while knitting. I did not knit on the shawl when I was upset (rather often lately), but wanted this shawl be in NO way negative. I choose those gem stone colores, because these gem stones are supposedly good for the respiratory system. Every little thing helps, one hopes!

My creation

This shawl turned out huge! I think it's the largest I've ever made.

Here are some specifics for you:

yarn: "Crystalline" by Dyed in the wool handmade, 100% superwash merino, 115g/378yds - used 2 3/4 skeins = 1029yds

needles: 4mm addi lace circs

pattern: this shawl was assembled by me, from the booklet "Knitting Lace Triangles" by Evelyn A. Clark. In this booklet she gives you four lace patterns, which you can use in whatever order you wish. She gives the beginnings, the main lace pattern, transition rows, and one edging for all of them. All her sample shawls in there are tiny. If you wish, you can make many different lace shawls from this book. Unfortunately for me, I only like the ripple lace and the leave lace. I don't like the flower lace and the medallion lace patterns.

If you have this booklet and like the shawl the way I made it here's a little recipe:

Ripple lace beginning - 18 rows

Ripple lace repeats incl. transition rows: 50 rows

Leaf lace repeats incl. transition rows: 50 rows

Ripple lace repeats incl. transition rows: 40 rows

Leaf lace repeats: 50 rows (no transition to edging needed)

Edging: 8 rows

Bind off row.

size after blocking: 46" x 86"

The shawl will be on its way tomorrow. I wish Alex all the best!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Is it Christmas already?

Have I gone to bed and woken up eleven month later? I've got a Christmas package,and it arrived, ahem, early?! It was totally unexpected, and a wonderful surprise, which made my day (again)! It's from Sybille from Germany. There's self dyed sock yarn with cool aid, the light was not right, so the colors in the picture didn't come out like they really are, but hey, what's new? I can't wait to get to knit socks again, would love to cast on right NOW! There's Gummi Bears in wonderful flavours, treats for the doggies (after I gave both of them a couple of the stripes, I put the treat bag on the dining room table; Sam parked himself right under it, with his nose up in the air to at least get a good smell of the goodies) they like them A LOT. There's also yummy chocolate, a card, and magazines, which I have to look through in peace and quite, but from what I could see, there are lots of colorful projects in there.

Thanks so much, Sybille!

On another topic, which is not at all magical or pretty, but very real. I wish I would live in a perfect world, wouldn't that be nice. I've found out, that my banking card was compromised. No idea where it happened whatsoever. Very inconvenient too, but I'm surprised how well the customer service, and fraud department of our bank works. Sometimes I wish all those thieving people to hell. There's enough stress in our family life right now, I really don't need that to boot. Sigh. Wish I could bury my head in a mountain of yarn, not hearing, not seeing, and not talking to anybody. But I can't.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

And the Award goes to ...

Deb gave me this cute award, and I thank her, and pass it on to ten other people, who's blogs I read every day (or as often as they blog). They inspire me, and entertain me, and even teach me, as well as the award button so nicely says, they "make my day"! Michelle - My Boring Life

Angelika - Knit Wiz

Shannon - Our World

Monica - Chronicles of the Lazy Knitter

Hege - Heges Hobbykrok

Claudia - TheKnittingBlogbyMrPuffytheDog

Maggie - Dyed in the Wool Handmade

Elemmaciltur - Numenna-Nan Annun

Kelly - Celtic Cast On

Larry - KnitDad's Blog

It's always hard to choose so few, but rules are rules, and it says ten. So here they are.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Thank you all so much, for leaving all those wonderful comments on my Christl shawl post! The only regret I have with this shawl is, that I didn't think of knitting her one sooner!

This lovely sunrise was taken on January 3rd, as you can see the moon was just a tiny speck on the sky.

I had to laugh, when I was walking in our backyard, and saw this dried up flower sticking out it's head (snow- you are not the boss of me), or a couple of others just barely making it. I imagined the huge moan, with all that snow on top of it. (pics taken on Jan. 21)

Of course I'm knitting, but have not finished anything yet. So nothing I want to show just yet, except I finally got the December Spunky Eclectic Fiber of the Month installment called "Party Dress". Amy sent it off on December 19th, and it arrived at my house on January 18th! It was posted airmail. As I said before, I think they strapped this package on the back of a turkey!

I've seen pictures all spun up of this fiber on other blogs already. So I was prepared for the blinding colores with my sunglasses on ;o). I love this picture, the red is fabulous. Amy dyed the fiber in long color changes, so this will definitely be Navajo plied, whenever. Not a colorway I would have chosen myself, but hey. Using ones comfort colors gets boring too. I saw a lovely Baby Surprise Jacket made with this colorway, here. It is definitely cheerful, and made me realize that it doesn't have to be a hat all the time.

Almost forgot to mention this again. I've put up a new category on my side bar. It's links to fiber/yarn online stores, where I've bought fiber/yarn or would like to do so in the future. I'm collecting links to stores, but would like to find more Canadian stores, so if you happen to know of a website, which sells spinning fiber, please let me know. I put up the links mainly so I can find the stores faster, I'm so disorganized, so this helps. Not that I need anything anytime soon. (unfortunately)
Monica had a contest on her blog a while ago, and I won this huge skein of yarn! This is 973yds of wool/nylon blend yarn! Originally my prize would have been some red sock yarn, but Monica knows me so well, and sent me some orangy goodness instead! I'm thinking socks, and I'm dieing to know if it makes lovely stripes or not.

Thank you, Monica! :o)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Christl's comfort shawl - part 2

The Yarn Harlot may get over her knitting frustrations with a stiff drink, but I don't. The closest I get to booze is, when I sniff the veil with Rum flavor in my baking cabinet.

Whom was I kidding? I could not let a half finished shawl keep lying around, and start another one, as much as I wanted to. I just couldn't.

I asked my son to rip back more than half of it, which he obviously enjoyed. I picked up hundreds of stitches, and decided to change shawl design altogether. Apart from the wrong color choice before, I didn't like the long tails this pattern called for. I was glad that I got to see that. A little thinking was in order, and thus I pulled out the needle once again, to rip back further. The "Feather & Fan" shawl was now going to be the "Wool Peddler" shawl. :o)

I finished knitting on Friday, blocked it on Saturday.


pattern: Wool Peddler shawl from "Folk Shawls" by Cheryl Oberle

yarn: Classic Yarns RY Cashsoft DK, 6 balls - 852yds (each ball 50g/142yds), color # SH 506, 57% extra fine merino, 33% microfiber, 10% cashmere. The quality of this yarn was crap, but the feel is very soft, and it's light. I like how it feels, but will not buy this yarn again. I think I've got a bad batch. The store I bought it from said, it's half prize because the colorway is going to discontinued. I wonder if that's true.

The shawl has a halo, when you start pulling at the halo, white stuff gets easily pulled out.

needles: 5mm circular

size after blocking: wing span 73" x 39"

destination: comfort shawl for Christl

The color in this picture is not true at all, but I like it anyway. I like how the garter stitch part starts to ripple, when you start the lace pattern. This is one of the easiest shawls, but I like the simple look. I admit, I like garter stitch, and why not? The funny thing is, this is my first FO in 2008. In 2007 my first FO was a Wool Peddler shawl too!

I like to block the edge to points, because I like it, but also because it's much easier than to block it in a straight line, which one day I'd like to do also. I like both looks.

The original Wool Peddler doesn't have yarn over rows in the garter stitch part, but mine does, because it started out as another shawl.

I'm going to pack it up today and tomorrow it will be on its way to Europe. I sure hope Christl will like it. I've put it over my shoulders this morning, after I cut off the ends. It's light on the shoulders, but warm, and so soft. The size is just right too, at least for me. Christl has a daughter who has cancer. She told me on the phone, "Why does it have to be her (daughter), and not herself?" She also said, she's old and would love to give her life for her daughters. A little later she found out, that she had a growth on her kidney, which didn't help her daughter at all, and now Christl has to deal with her own problems as well.

Since I can't be there to give her a hug in person, I hope this shawl will hug her many times in my place.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christl's comfort shawl - Party 1

Sam didn't seem to be bothered by my choice of colors for Christl's comfort shawl, and that's the reason why I knit on, despite my doubts. And that's the story I'm sticking with. It's all HIS fault.
I finished the shawl last night, and was quite happy about it, until I layed it out on the sofa, after binding off over 500 stitches. Well, well, well - Toilet Doily came to mind, but I still was in denial.
My son hinted throughout the knitting process, that the shawl looked like sour watermelon gummis, or later, like cauliflowers. Hm, I smiled and knit on.

Then, with a couple of pattern repeats to go, I stopped, because I could not move the stitches any longer. Happy, happy that I was done.
Today - I'm going to rip it back to where the feather and fan part starts. Just like that. I was a bit cranky (again) this morning, pushed the vacuum around forcefully, until I decided to rip it.
DS said," You don't have to be in such a bad mood, just because you've knit an ugly shawl!" Well, that made me laugh, because he knows me better than I do!
By the way, below is a picture of the white slups this yarn produces from time to time. There were quite a few knots as well (three out of 5 balls had several knots).
I'm going to finish this shawl, but not right away. Need a break, and I'm pressed for time with two other projects. Darn it!

Monday, January 14, 2008


I was torn between posting today and not posting. Well, guess what won? I'm in the claws of PMS over the last few days, and it sucks (right the life out of me).

In addition it's Monday! Least favorite day of the week, and the comfort shawl is turning into a monster shawl. I was sure I would have finished it by now, not so. I am at the feather and fan part, changed color, but with over 400 stitches each row, and increasing, it's just slow going. This was supposed to be an in-between project, while I was waiting for this

gorgeous yarn. It's here, and I'm itching to start the new project. It's custom dyed by Maggie of Dyed in the Wool Handmade, and she did a fabulous job! I told her what I wanted, and it turned out great. More about that when I'll get started on it.

There are a million and one projects waiting to be done, WIP's, yes I have two, not counting the comfort shawl, and the waiting list is getting longer and longer.

I should be happy, but that darn hormones wont let me be! It snowed during the night, as well as this morning. Everything is withe again. I already had my fun in the snow, well, the doggies did too. But, my thoughts are aimed at tomorrow, when we'll bring Biko to the Vets for x-rays of her hips. It's not getting better and even with Metacam once a day, she's not comfortable.

Another reason why I'm cranky is, that I had a horrible night. Actually it was the second one in a row. The night before, was like an episode of "America's most wanted". The helicopter circling over us with the search light on. Cars racing up and down the street, yelling, more yelling (how many ways can you say the f*** word, I think I've heard them all last night), car doors banging, and what not. Nobody knew what was going on, and I was loosing my beauty sleep.

Last night, we had none of that, but Biko was (cranky too) not shutting up, and kept my already insomniac son awake, so she came to stay with us. Sam was not happy and complained as well.

My spinning project didn't turn out the way I wanted, still not done with the second skein, but I'm at a loss, as what to do. This is definitely making me cranky! And time is getting short too!

Hm, what else? Well there are other reasons as well, but I've just now decided that it's enough for one day.

Here's something which makes me happy (I don't' do memes but this, people, is very personal): "Backerbsen" - "Soup Pearls" - "Knabberbolletjes" - "Pates "noisettes" - "Zuppa reale"!

The store where we buy European Brand names groceries didn't have them in month! So, when we saw them in the shelves, there was no holding me back. I had to stock up on it, because who knows, when we will be back there, and I'm 100% certain, they will all be gone by then. And I DID leave some for others, I'm not totally mean, even though I was cranky at that time already. (14 packages, 200g each - Ha!)

I DO share with my close family members, but they pretend that they don't like it so much, so there's more for me.

edited later: O.K. for those who don't know what I'm talking about. Soup pearls are no health food, but deep fried dough. They look like chick peas, but are crunchy little balls of dough; you put them in any kind of soup, where ever you like them. On the package they say you can eat them as a snack, but I don't' do that. I used to give them to my kids sometimes, when they were little and couldn't even walk, just to munch on something. They are ready to use. They get soggy pretty quickly, so when you eat soup you better shut up and concentrate on eating, unless you like them soggy. :o)

Anyway, my mood must have rubbed off, because Sam's been a little moody lately too:

If it were as easy as that for me, just stick the head in a corner, and sulk, until all is well again.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The need to organize ...

A week ago we went to IKEA. It's been years since I was there. I like their products, but not the shopping experience. Anyway, after putting away Christmas decoration, I wanted to clean up the living room, which is mostly the room I'm working my fiber (magic). :o) In every corner there was a pile of books (and there still are some piles in need of a place on the book shelf). We walked in at IKEA and my son spotted this bookshelf in the first display they had there. I liked it too, so we walked through the whole store, still keeping lookout for a better one, but did not find one. We bought this narrow version, a CD stand, and the wider version of this book shelf. At home we realized that the wider version was a different color. I tried to kick myself, which looked real funny. Once again, I was too trusting. We asked a guy who works there, to find out the number for the wider book shelf, and I told him the color I wanted. He provided us with the number and we got the package. In the future I'll rip open the box to look inside, just to make sure. Anyway, as it turns out, my husband needed a book shelf in his home office as bad as I needed one in the living room. Color matched his other furniture, so all was well, except I was short one shelf.
According to IKEA, they have no idea when they will get new stock of the above mentioned shelf, because they are looking for a new manufacturer for these shelves. - Oooo.Kkkk. I'll wait. Sam the keeper of all my knitting books! That's right, this shelf is full of my knitting books, minus a few scattered around the house. If you come near it, you'll get frightened off by this ghostly face:
Biko's keeping an eye on the keeper. BTW - Biko is lying where the big book shelf was supposed to be.

I've also been knitting, but progress is slow. It's the never ending Feather & Fan Triangle Shawl from Folk Shawl byCheryl Oberle. It's going to be a comfort shawl for a family friend. I'm using Classic Yarns RY Cashsoft DK, which I got half prize ($ 12, now $ 6). Only this color was on sale. It's 57% extra fine merino, 33% microfibre, 10% cashmere. I'm not very impressed with this yarn. It is soft, yes, but there are white parts working loose while knitting, and it will pill tremendously. For the $ 12 for a 50g/142yds ball, I would never buy it. When I bought this yarn, I did not know what to do with it, but I knew it would come in handy, and so it did. I'm quite sure it will be a wonderful warm and soft comfort shawl for the person intended. Better get back to knitting, so I can send it off soon. I'm so looking forward to the feather & fan part.
I'm also spinning for my secret project. End in sight, thank God!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Why skulls?

This is a sincere question. It doesn't give me sleepless nights, but whenever I come across a picture of another skull hat, I wonder. I made these wrist warmers for my daughter some time in 2006, and was shaking my head in wonderment the whole time. What is the fascination with these skull motives? I see so many hats, scarves, and mittens with them on it, knit beautifully, and in all kind of color combinations, and I don't get it!

I understand if young kids want skull motifs on their knit items - maybe. But adults, women and men alike wear those items proudly.

I never felt skulls to be nice to look at. Reading up on the symbolism, it didn't make me understand this any better. Why is this skull motif so popular, and not a horse shoe, or a pigs head, or a hammer, for instance?

Doesn't it only remind us of our mortality? We all know how we end up sooner or later.

Wikipedia about Skull symbolism

Have you knit things with skull motives on it, and why did you choose it?

Would appreciate if somebody could shed some light on this. :o)

BTW: some of you know that we have been worrying about my dad's health. As of yesterday we know he's FINE!!! What a releave!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Andrea's Shetland Triangle Shawl!

This is my last FO for 2007. At the rate I was going with the mittens, I thought it would be better to crank out another Shetland Triangle Shawl for my friend. It will be the first, and presumably the only one for her, so pretty special, I think.

I like this one, my third, the most. My first, was in a color I don't wear. It was gifted this Christmas, and well received. My second was a gift for my sister, and she loves it, got even compliments on it.

I like this one best, because I used an unlikely yarn for lace knitting. It is once again (made the blue Square Cake bag with this yarn), Endless Summer Collection Luna, a viscose/cotton blend. I was concerned about its ability for blocking, but it surprised me in a good way. Basically you get what you made, in size, might just stretch a little bit (opening up the lace), but the drape is wonderful, because it IS heavy. It hugs your shoulders and would not, with the first windy breeze, fly away. I, of course, like the shine as well. Not sure, she will go for it, but I hope sincerely she'll like it.

The pattern is the well known "Shetland Triangle Shawl" from Wrap Style, by Evelyn A. Clark. I used 3 balls of yarn, with a few yards from the 4th ball, for half of the bind off row. I used 4mm needles, because that are the largest addi lace circs I have.

This was a very fast and pleasurable knit. I blocked it the evening before I got sick, and it had the chance to dry for days. The finished size after blocking is 23" x 43". I did only the 8 pattern repeats, because I was worried about running out of yarn. As it is, I could have made another couple of repeats.

The mittens will be for next Christmas.

Hm, there was something else I wanted to tell you, what was it ..... oh yeah! There are new Kyla mitten pictures in my Readers Gallery, if you care to take a look. :o)

Friday, January 04, 2008

"Twigs & Berries" and more fiber!

Before it gets too old news, I have to show you my last finished yarn I made last December. It's called "Twigs & Berries", 100% superwash merino, 266 yds, navajo plyed, 14 WPI. I LOVE it! It was fun to spin, it's so squooshy, and I love the colors.
I've got the roving from Maggie, her shop: Dyed in the Wool Handmade.
I'm so very glad I found her! She has colores I love, so far all of them! That's something.
Of course that meant, that some Christmas money was converted to more fiber:
My creation
As I was unpacking the box, I found the following fiber as a freebie:
It's "Hawaiian Shirt", I've already bought 8oz, and now I have 12oz. That means I'll be able to make something bigger then the usual hat, mitten or whatever you get out of only 4oz. Thank you Maggie!

I still haven't touched my knitting needles, but by now I think I needed the break. But I've been spinning yesterday. I filled a whole bobbin, just one more to go for my 3-ply I'm working on.

Now, I've got to run, too much to do. Have a nice, and productive weekend!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thank you!

You are all the best! All the well wishes worked like little Vitamin pills, and I'm so much better today. Thank you all so much for thinking of me, with your comments and lovely e-cards. As much as I like being served chicken soup (from the can), I'd rather make it myself and be able to do so much more. Certain things like stuffy nose, just don't go away that quickly.

Since every day life commenced today, I had no choice but get going and do stuff. It was hard, sweaty work, my ears are still ringing, and I get exhausted quite easily, but I'll suck it up. Until this evening, I didn't even want to look at my knitting, WIP's, and FO, but now, I know I want to start again.

Before the flu bug bit me, I finished the Shetland Triangle shawl for my friend. It's the third time I made this shawl, and it was the last time. There are so many nice shawls out there, I'd like to try some more. I DO like this little shawl a lot though.

At first I started knitting mittens for her, but as I told you the gauge was so way off. I finished the first one nevertheless, and it fits my hand fine. I'll make the second one, but it's slow going. I'm going to give them to her as well, just because I intended them for her in the first place.

Also I made no progress on my Tiits socks. The first is a little past the heel. I love it, and have to stick to it. Unfortunately there's the second one to make. Yikes!

I joined another Fiber of the month Club - Electric Sheep, but only for three month. I can see now, that I will not be able to keep up with all the fiber I"m getting. My first installment is called "Tainted Love", 100% merino wool, 4oz. Not my favorite colores at all. I don't like neon colors, but as in the past, you'll never know how it looks spun up. So, I'll wait and see. I'm still waiting for Decembers Spunky Eclectic Fiber of the Month, but I'm in no hurry. My husband brought home a gift basket last night, and this bag was the basket, which is my fiber basket now. Sorry about the funny color in the picture, but I couldn't wait for more daylight. I've been up since 5AM, reading up on blogs, and I wanted to get this posted asap, since later I don't have time. The colors of the "Tainted Love" fiber are pretty accurate.

Yesteday was a good mail day. I've got my Spin-Off magazine, which is always very interesting to read. And I've got this book in the mail too. I think this year will be the year of mittens for me.

By the way, I'm not making any resolutions for the new year, because I never keep them anyways.

I hope I'll get some pictures taken today, so I'll have something to show you.

All right then, lets take on the new year, can't believe how fast the last one has come and gone!

BTW: Deb- the Heinzelmaennchen didn't come while I was sleeping, that's very unfortunate, I would have liked that!
Cindy- I did NOT have a bell by the bed, but my son took good care of me anyway! :o)
Angelika - NyQuil is no stranger to me!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Flu - Cold? Flold?

Just in case you are wondering why I haven't visited your blogs or commented on your posts - I've been down with the flu, or cold, or a mixture of both over the last few days. I found myself in bed with nausea, headache, runny nose, and fever, not the most fun bed companions, I can tell you! New Years Eve fireworks popped up in my feverish dreams. Sam was torn between wanting to stay with me, and running to hide as fast a he could. I left the door open so he could come back, whenever he felt comfortable. Anyway, I'm better today, but right now, my ears feel like they are stuffed with cotton balls, that's quite a weird feeling. Nose is still running, but thank god, the nausea is gone. I'm still shaky on my feet. Being here on the computer will be a short stunt, sweat is forming already on my forehead. I'd better head off to my bed now. Hopefully kicking out those unwanted bed fellows. Needless to say, that no knitting, or spinning, or any kind of activity has been going on around here. The only fiber activity I could mention are the dust bunnies lurking and multiplying with hysterical laughter. I wonder, do men know how to operate the vacuum cleaner? Do they know where it's located, in case I'm having nightmares about dust bunnies taking over the world..... (I'm sure its only the men in my household who don't know). Now, I'm really better off to bed....

Have a wonderful New Year!