Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lather up!

Another blogiversary, another gift for me from Yogiela. It's a hand made herbal soap! Thank you, Elfi! I'll lather up later today, and blow you some bubbles! :o)


Friday, January 29, 2010

Handspun Friday - Rambouillet

Usually I spin very thin. I don't always like to have lace weight, or fingering weight yarn, but that's what I get. This time I've tried to spin thicker without having to x-ply the singles, which always comes out thick/thinnish, but I see hope, if I keep trying. My choice of fiber fell on these two colorways.

Rambouillet fiber

On the left you see 4oz of Rambouillet, colorway "Awakening" from, and on the right you see 4oz Rambouillet, colorway "Pallid" from Hello Yarn Fiber Club, November 2009.
I thought with these two colorway in my stash, they could go together, how well, I could not imagine.

2 skeins Rambouillet yarn, total ~ 466yds, 8-10 WPI, 2-ply

Well, Awakening swallowed Pallid, at least from what I can see. It could change, once I'll knit it up, we'll see.

2 skeins Rambouillet yarn, total ~ 466yds, 8-10 WPI, 2-ply-4

This turned out to be two skeins of 2-ply yarn, a total of ~ 466yds, 8-10 WPI. Definitely an improvement on the thickness scale.

2 skeins Rambouillet yarn, total ~ 466yds, 8-10 WPI, 2-ply-6

Here surrounded by yummy colorful Humbug fiber, waiting to be spun.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Two wonderful renditions of a beautiful song:

Hallelujah (Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris)

Hallelujah (Alexandra Burke)

Close your eyes, and just listen .......

I've got to add this version too:



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stupid dog owners!

I don't like them. Today we went to the dog park at around noon. The day before it was raining, and over night the ground froze. It was very tricky to walk on all the icy patches there.
When we got there we found one dog walker with about 15 dogs running wild. There was one black midsized dog, which kept bothering Happy, but did not get to him, since Happy is quite fast.
An Asian woman joined us with her Newfoundland male, un-neutered dog (just over one year old). I'm sure he weighed more than she did.

Usually there are two dog walkers with about 20 dogs, but one of their vans broke down, so the other woman was out collecting the rest of the gang. The one there at the dog park was busy looking for a lost booty from one of t he dogs, and did not pay attention to what the dogs did.
There was a gang of three Huskies, showing serious signs of pack behavior, as well as growling at everybody, and their dogs. They made me quite uncomfortable. Two of them charged at Biko, who barked at them, which stopped them in their tracks.
The Asian woman was standing beside me, when one of the Huskies started bothering me. He had a low growl, and kept pushing me. What made me roll my eyes (and wanting to flick her forehead) was, that she said laughing, "Oh, I think he likes you!" Did she NOT see how rude his behavior was, and how dominant? I guess not, because at that moment her Newfoundlander jumped up on her from behind, and she almost fell over. She just said, "That's not nice." I guess he really likes her.
We left as soon as we collected our pups. I don't need to stay there to wait for trouble. In the future we'll not be going there when we see the dog walkers.
By the way, on our way out, the black midsized dog nipped Biko in the butt, which was mean, since she was on leash and could not defend herself. Such a rude punch today!


And on the knitting front: I've got another pair of mittens. It's the last one I made last year, before Christmas. I wanted to make more, but decided to do a shawl for my mom instead.
This pair I made for my son. I used Nanette Blanchard's basic mitten pattern again, like the ones from my last post, but I substituted the colorwork for my own. He wanted it to be simple, and I wanted something geometrical.
David's mittens

pattern: Embudito Canyon mittens, by Nanette Blanchard; with a different colorwork pattern
yarn: elann's Peruvian Highland wool
needles: cuff 3.5mm, hand 3mm
size: large, mens
start-finish: November 5-7, 2009

January 9- Happy

Happy is 8 month today. He looks so grown up in this photograph, but he's still smaller than Biko.
Jan. 20

He's just so darn cute! These photos are from a week ago, when we still had nice crunchy snow in our backyard. After yesterdays rain, it's just ice now.
January 9- Happy


Monday, January 25, 2010

Embudito Canyon Mittens

dark green mittens
After Meida's mittens, I've got the taste for more mitten knitting. The great thing about those is, that you only have colorwork on the cuff, and just plain knitting for the rest of the mitten. This is wonderful for me, because when I see a stranded knitting mitten with colorwork all over, I feel like crying. I get very whiny, and cranky, even if I choose to make them myself, and nobody is holding a gun to my head.
So these are just right for me.

dark green mittens

dark green mittens
pattern: Embudito Canyon mittens by Nanette Blanchard
yarn: elann Peruvian Highland wool, in color # 7359524 (dark green), color # 1477491 (light green).
needles: for the cuff 3.5mm, for the rest of the mitten 3.25mm
size: womens large
start-finish: November 3-5, 2009

I love this pattern! The basic mitten construction fits very well, and the instruction were clear and easy to follow.

dark green mittens

It's been raining since yesterday, and it's grey, and wet outside. The backyard, our playground is mushy, and if the temperatures drop, it will be one big ice rink. My mood is accordingly blue too.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hanspun Friday - A Batt

I've got this batt as a free gift with an order. I don't like spinning from batts, and this was a real PIA to spin. I think it was not carded enough, although I have never done carding myself. It looked like the lint out of my dryer, but it was sooooo very soft to the touch, and I really wanted to know how this mish-mash of fibers would turn out.

free gift from Fluff-n-Stuff 50g batt merino, cashmere, nylon, corriedale, BFL very soft stuff

This is a blend of merino, cashmere, nylon, corriedale, and BFL.

free gift from Fluff-n-Stuff 50g merino, cashmere, nylon, corriedale, BFL very soft stuff - navajo plied - 51g batt ~ 155yds-2

I was surprised that I still got ~ 155yds of navajo plied yarn out of it. At the beginning I picked out the nebs, but soon it got so bothersome, that I just wanted it to be done.
I thought of knitting wrist warmers with it at some point.

I almost forgot to mention, that I've got this woven scarf from Sharon ! She promised me her first woven project off her new loom, and here it is! I'm very impressed, thanks Sharon! :o)

gift from Sharon, her first woven scarf!

I seem to be having a lucky streak, because I've got this knitting book as a gift from Monica's blogiversary give away.
gift from Monica

Thanks, Monica!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Meida's mittens

O.K. these mittens are way overdue. I knit them back in October 2009!
I'm not happy with them. They turned out too big even for my hands. After I knit the first mitten, I washed it and blocked it, and realized that the red yarn bled into the white - I hate that!
The second mitten was not washed but steam blocked, much better.
As I was knitting Cat Bordhi's socks from her new book at that time, I thought I'd try the leg opening she uses, for the thumb here! What was I thinking? It worked, but it looks dump, even though the hands fit nicely into the mitten and thumb that way. Well, it was worth a try.

Even with decreases after the thumb opening (I could tell they were going to be huge), they turned out too big. I can't shrink them with washing, since it's sw sock yarn I used.

finished Meida's mittens

finished Meida's mittens

I do like the color work on the cuff, even though I screwed up the first one, due to not looking closely at the chart. Noticed when knitting the second one.

finished Meida's mittens

pattern: Nancy Bush's Meida's mittens
yarn: various sock yarns left overs
needles: 2.25mm
size: large womens
mods: as described above
start-finish: October 28-31, 2009

GGS-40inches and growing-with Happy

I'm still enjoying working on my Giant Granny square. It's past 40 inches now. I'll go until I run out of yarn, or reach 70 inches (or more, up to 78" would be O.K.). Happy thinks it's boring to crochet round, and round, and round ....

Happy after a hard days work

And here he is, after a hard day of work. Look what he did to his pillow. I disturbed him in his sleep, cuddling his sheep toy (which has a very long tail, so he can throw it through the air).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Yet another Scarf

Triangular scarf

I've still not shown you this little scarf, I made back in early December '09. I dyed this yarn last summer, along with other skeins. One was made into my bloody toes knee high socks. Another into my version of the Baktus scarf. I didn't want to make another pair of socks, but was curious how the colors would present themselves.

Triangular scarf

This scarf turned out a little small, more like a kerchief, but that's O.K. I like how the colors behaved. It was dyed in two 5og balls. This was another of my projects, where I started out with a shawl in mind, but discovered quickly, that it would not be enough, so changed plans and made another slip stitch thingy. I had just about a foot of yarn left over.
Triangular scarf

pattern: my own
yarn: Opal sock yarn, dyed by me
needles: 3.25mm
size after blocking: 23.5" x 49"
start-finish: Dec.'09, 1-8

Triangular scarf

Friday, January 15, 2010

Handspun Friday - Winter Woodland

Last year (sounds like a long time ago) you might remember that I received a lovely package from Donyale - Moggy and Me, including this lovely fiber to spin.

Winter Woodland

It was not easy to spin, but I did it. It's a blend of BFL-Viscose-Bamboo. It turned out to be airy and still has a wonderful drape.
I've weight the finished yarn before it took a bath, it was 93g, 2-ply, ~ 334yds.
Yarn like this was screaming to be something for a delicate neck.

I've got some yarn I'd like to design something with, it's very special, so I grabbed this yarn, to come up with something. I ripped out several times, and finally had to stop using this handspun for trial and error, because it was looking a little worn out. (still don't have a clue what to do with the other yarn)

I LOVE slip stitch patterns. I know, it's hardly visible here, especially the main part, but it was slightly less boring to knit, compared to stockinette stitch.

Sometimes I just want to sit down and knit, without having to look at a pattern. I made this little triangular scarf right after I finished Multnomah (pictures soon). So I wanted to make the ends longer, and increased every row. I changed to a different slip stitch pattern in the lower part of the little thing, a little more obvious. It was not easy to find a stitch pattern other than garter stitch which would work with this yarn.

Winter Woodland scarf

Winter Woodland scarf

Winter Woodland scarf

Winter Woodland scarf

Did you notice the edge? I was just knitting along, getting worried that I would run out of yarn, thinking up something (I think I've already forgotten how I did it, should have made notes).
It was a total surprise to me, how the edge worked out, which only revealing it's loveliness after blocking. I had about a foot of yarn left over.

Winter Woodland scarf

My "extensive" notes, give me one more clue - I used 3.25mm needles. Sometimes I shake my head about myself. I haven't even measured it after blocking, but it's just the right size to wind around ones neck.

Thanks, Dony for the lovely fiber!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kermit Sweater!

And we've got a wearable pullover for MOI!

sweater from Kathy

Kathy was going to rip out her wonderful Kermit green pullover, so I asked her if she would let me have it. I've been lusting after it for almost a year now. I liked it from the very first moment I laid my eyes on it. I LOVE this color green. My son calls me Shrek now, I feel like a Granny Smith apple when I'm wearing it, but I don't care! It's squishy, stretchy, it fits, and I can wear it NOW! I didn't have to knit it, and be disappointed, because it does not fit!
The only thing I did was rip back a few rows of the rolling collar. I can't stand it when it's tight (even if for others it would not be tight) around my throat. I love the look of turtle necks, but can't stand to wear them. Now it's just right.

For ravelers: here you can see lots of gorgeous photos of this sweater.

The pattern is called Neck down pullover for women by Diane Soucy, and I like the style.

Kathy has two gorgeous and very funny pups, and takes the most amazing photographs of them. I love to look at them and read about them.

sweater from Kathy

Even Happy and Biko got some mouthwatering treats (since they slobbered all over me to get to them). Happy wanted to take off with the whole bag after he got a whiff of it!

Thanks, Kathy!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I take it back!

I thought we were beyond that ....

As I was writing my last post, Happy felt he had to show me, that he's NOT solely here to amuse me or cheer me up. Since I was revealing such intimate details about his foot fetish, he took his revenge.

busted-Happy Jan.11
He knows exactly where it hurts! When I first saw this, my heart almost stopped. Because I thought he's unraveled this:

Happy returned to the scene of the crime- Jan.11
Returning to the scene of the crime. Does he look a little guilty?

Thank god, he was kind enough to get a new ball from the basket instead.
That by the way, is my new long term project, a Giant Granny Square blanket! It eats up yarn like nothing else, and takes probably forever.

I have to share this with you: one brought a big smile to my face, and the other made me laugh out loud:

  • I know, I'm easily amused, but when RC did her word-verification-fun on her blog, I had to ask her what my word verification of that day (ovangst) meant. Here's what she came up with:

ovangst : adj. 1 the feeling that may overcome you before an exam at the GYN office. 2. nervous cooking

I think that's hilarious, don't you? I think from now on, I'll look at the word verification differently. :o)


Monday, January 11, 2010

Socks be gone ....

I think they are like little children, our companion pets. First we decide to have them, the anticipation before we get them, preparing for their arrival - and then they are here! Next couple of month are hell. Sleep deprived, we take care of them, day in, day out. Feed them, make sure they are safe, well, fed, happy at all costs. We buy them toys to play with, and we present them proudly to the world. We teach them to be good canine citizen, and maybe some fun tricks too, not really necessary, but so cute. They also come up with tricks on their own. All we get for our trouble is - love, and entertainment! I think Happy's purpose in life is to cheer me up, at least - he's working hard on that front, and succeeding!
See for yourself: Happy has put it in his head, that I can not sit anywhere with my socks on, so he's helping me out here:

Happy Nov.28-taking off my socks-4

Happy Nov.28-taking off my socks-3

Happy Nov.28-taking off my socks-1

Happy Nov.28-taking off my socks-2

I'm trying to make it harder for him, to get some photos, because he's been practicing for a while now, and can do it in two swifft motions. First he nudges my shoe off, then he gingerly grabs the sock at my toes and pulls once, twice, and it's off.
Just the other day I was sitting on the arm-rest, tangling my feet, while talking to my mother on the phone. I did know both dogs were there in the room with me, but I payed no attention to them. When I hung up, there I was standing barefoot, with my socks and shoes scattered all around me, Happy nowhere to be seen.

Another time, I was on my hands and knees, blocking a little shawlette (yet to be shown here), when I felt him tucking on my socks. I can't help myself, but I think it's funny. At first I did not understand his motivation. But one day I put some cream on my feet, when he came over and started licking like a mad dog. It's like catnip for him, in hand cream form (not just any hand cream will do, it's just this one brand he likes - I've checked) Now he's just checking every time he comes by, if there's some yummy cream on my feet, if not, he just moves on. He's weird. He'll be very disappointed come summer time, when there will be no socks around for a few month!


Saturday, January 09, 2010

# 1 of 10 shawls in 2010


For those who did not see it on ravelry or on flickr yet, here's my finished first shawl for the 10 shawls in 2010 ravelry group. It's the Haruni shawl. This became an instant favorite on ravelry. Listed at the end of December 2009, it has now (as I write this) 74 projects, and 1352 queued, not bad. What made me knit this lovely shawl, was the edge, no doubt about it. The main body is a bit boring to knit, but necessary to get to the edge! The only relieve is, that the stitch pattern is easy to memorize and can almost be knit in your sleep. I like how people block out the crochet edge differently.


I thought the two leaves looked like flower buds, just opened. Very pretty. I took a chance in choosing this yarn. It had many different blues in it, from almost white to almost black. I was going to dye it, if I didn't like it. I have some blueberry blue dye, that would have done the trick. But - I don't think it's necessary. While knitting, the yarn was harsh, stiff, and stained my fingers, and inside of my hands. I took a picture of one of my hands, but decided, since it looked like the hand of a Zombie, you don't need to see that. Use your imagination! I was hoping that the stiffness was due to too much dye left on the yarn, and I was right. After finishing, I put it in a warm, soapy bath, the water was almost black. I rinsed it 6 times, and the water still was cornflower blue, but I gave up after that. One thing it did though, was to even out the color overall. The almost white spots are gone now. I did find a knot as well, in the middle of knitting the edge. I was all ready to dislike this yarn, but when I picked it up after it was dry, it had soften up quite nicely, and I thought it was beautiful.


free pattern: Haruni by Emily Ross (The name Haruni means "grandmother" in Quenya, Tolkien's Elvish language, says so on the pattern)
yarn: Spritely Goods, Sylph Fine Fingering, limited edition Ryujin, 110g ~ 560yds, 100% sw merino. I weight the finished shawl and the left over yarn and it was 119g. The shawl was 103g, which means I used 477yds for it. I have another skein, so I can use the left over yarn for a bigger shawl (or something). BTW - I love her dyed yarn!
needle: 3.75mm
size after blocking: 53" x 24"
start/finish: January 3 - 7, 2010
mods: I just knit the first stitch of each row, instead of slipping it; nothing else.
Row 17 of chart B gave me some trouble, but I think there are some helpful hints posted on the rav page for it.


Can you see the snow flakes on the shawl?
Well, what's left to say about this little darling of a shawl? I like it so much, that I can see me knitting another one some day.


Friday, January 08, 2010

Handspun Friday - FatCatKnits 100% merino

This is my latest finished handspun yarn. This took me a while to finish. It's 9oz of fiber turned into yarn! I spin thin, so it takes me longer to get it done.
Both colorways are from FatCatKnits, but the darker colorway was part of November '09 fiber club, while the lighter colorway was in my fiber stash for some time.
When I started spinning, I had no clear idea on how to ply this, because there was 5oz of Fiber Club fiber, and only 4oz of the other colorway. It even took me a while to decide what colorway I would use to ply it with the Fiber Club.
I started with half of the 5oz, then spun the other colorway, and last the other half of the 5oz. By then I'd decided on a 3-ply, because no matter how and what I did, there was some singles left over either way.

FatCatKnits Mixed Blessings November 09 and FCK Fly Away 9oz project

There you have it: 100% merino

The big skein is ~ 612yds, 187g/6.5oz, 3-ply, fingering weight yarn.
The middle skein is ~ 222yds, 60g (2 1/8oz), navajo plied, fingering weight yarn.
The little one is ~ 50yds, 13g/ 0.5oz, navajo plied, fingering weight yarn.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with it! The big skein would make gorgeous socks, but as I've said before, I'm not knitting socks with merino or merino blends any more. Too many have gone to the garbage can, because they did not hold up well, to my (gentle) use.

It would be interesting if I could combine them all in one project, but so far I've not come up with an idea. The other thing is, both navajo plied yarns are much softer than the real 3-ply yarn.

Any suggestions?


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Triangular Scarf in Leaf Pattern

This shawl is another example for me starting a lace project with knowing fully well, that the yarn on hand will not be enough to finish it! (I must be touched in the head, since this happens a lot lately.)

I've got one Zauberball yarn in Cranberry colorway from Sabine (and another one in a different colorway) as a gift, and even though it's supposed to be sock yarn, for me it screamed "lace", since it's single ply yarn, although for that it's rather strong with its nylon contents.

The reason why I still cast on for this shawl was, that I've spied a Zauberball in this color at my LYS, and I knew, if needed, I could get it there. Never mind same dye lot. As it turned out, I've knit the main part with one ball, and the edge with the second ball. Now I have more than half a ball left over.

Triangular Scarf in Leaf Pattern by Nancy Bush-34“ x 53” by Nancy Bush-2

The main part of this shawl was mind numbingly boring to knit, repeating the leaf pattern over and over. What woke me up from my stupor was the edge though. I dreaded it, I feared it. I had to pick up stitches and the stitch count had to be just right. The instructions did not help me at all. It said, "pick up and knit 242 sts along selvage to lower point of triangle (about 2 sts for every slipped selvage st; see page 38)..." The operative word here would be "about". What does that mean? Either it is, or it isn't. Needless to say, I had to do it several times, with a lot of counting to get the required stitch count. Once that was done, it was smooth sailing.
Triangular Scarf in Leaf Pattern by Nancy Bush-34“ x 53” by Nancy Bush-5

I like how the edge appears to be striped, sort off, and not obvious pooling.

Triangular Scarf in Leaf Pattern by Nancy Bush-34“ x 53” by Nancy Bush-6

Here are the specs:

pattern: Triangular scarf in leaf pattern by Nancy Bush from the book "Knitted Lace of Estonia"
yarn: Zauberball in the colorway Cranberries, 420m one ball, 75% wool, 25% polyamid, 1.25 balls
needles: 3mm for the main body, 3.5mm for the edge
size after blocking: 53" x 34" (slightly bigger than the one in the book) and it IS a scarf
start-finish: Nov. 8 - 18 2009
destined: for my mom for Christmas

Triangular Scarf in Leaf Pattern by Nancy Bush-34“ x 53” by Nancy Bush-4
This was the 4th project I've knit from this book, and there are still more in there, which I like and plan on knitting.

Monday, January 04, 2010

On and on and on it goes ....

This year I started with a couple of charity squares. I saw same gorgeous blankets (rav link) made out of these squares on ravelry, and wanted to learn how to crochet them. The pattern turned out to be free, as long as you send in one finished square (or many) for Krochet Krystal to assemble blankets for charities. The only drawback is, they must be made of acrylic yarn, either white background with pastel colored petals, or black background with bright colored petals. Well, I have a huge stash, but not much of acrylic yarn in worsted weight.

Daisy Flower Charity Squares-acrylic-7inches square

These two squares were made with Bernat Satin I had stuffed in a bag, stuffed in another bag. I was surprised to find these colors. I had some really bright yellow and dark purple, and dark blue as well. Anyway, this yarn is NOT made for crochet, don't let anyone tell you otherwise! It's so darn splity, it's not funny anymore. I was going to make at least 4 squares to send of, but after these two I was ready to tear my hair out and scream. You know what that yarn does? It splits and then the same yarn slips through the opened up plies, and tangles up good. The white ball just fell apart suddenly, (it says Satin on the label, it really is slippery) and it was an incredible tangled mess. I could not crochet any further, and was considering cutting it off. But - my son is very patient. He untangled it, like so many other yarns before this one, and just mentioned, that he never had such a bad yarn in his hands. Long story short, even though there is some left over yarn, it will go into the garbage can. Sorry, yarn.
For now my crochet itch got scratched with this little project. Oh, I forgot to say, that I would not have been able to crochet this with the printed pattern, but there are tutorials on Krystal's yahoo group, with lots of pictures, and all that helped me understand it. Once you get it, it's easy enough, it's just that first square. It showed me, how basic my crochet skills are.

One day I'll start a Daisy Flower square blanket. I've not made a blanket in a l o n g time, right?

But in the meantime I've joined a group on ravelry - 10 shawls in 2010! I've read about it on another blog, but joined only after Angelika sent me an invitation. My thinking is, that's not even a challenge for me, since I made 13 shawls/shawlettes in 2009, 10 shawls will be easy enough. And I don't intend to only make small ones either. But the first shawl I chose is on the smaller side:

It's the Haruni shawl by Emily Ross. (Sorry about the ravelry links, don't know of a link not on ravelry). I've cast on and knit some, and while typing this, I look down on my blue fingers. At first I was surprised that this yarn, sw merino felt so stiff. But now I think it's the excess color on it. It might get softer after giving the shawl a good warm bath to get rid of all the excess color. It's a gorgeous blueish colorway, with many different shades of blue. I haven't knit many things blue I think. It feels - funny. I was going to knit all these shawls from stash, and I had to root around it for a while to find a skein with enough yardage to make this one. (475yds needed)
The yarn is Spritely Goods, Sylph Fine Fingering in colorway: limited edition Ryujin (?) it's handwritten and I can barely read it.

Spritely Goods Sylph Fine Fingering ` 510yds -for Haruni shawl # 1 in 10shawls in 2010

I've cast on for this shawl, even though I'm still on my first Chevron Love mitten, and my first Puppy Love sock. I finished some gorgeous handspun yarn (if I say so myself), and hopefully will spin the wheel with my next project soon.
Meanwhile, I'm having fun outside with the pups in the snow, even though the temps are around -25C with wind chill. Happy is definitely a snow dog. So many cute things happened out there, and no way I could capture it for you, but I'll try.

There are still some FO's from last year to show you, some mittens, some scarves, and some shawls, oh my! ;o)