Wednesday, January 31, 2007

...meanwhile ...

I'm knitting away on my mitered squares socks. I'm working on the third sock (no pairs yet), with different yarn and different needle size. They fit me all, but I'm not satisfied enough, to write it down, as it is. I'm going to have three! pairs of socks very soon. ;o)
So, until I have something to show you, I'd like you to have a look what my daughter Hannah was doing (knit wise).
She's doing yoga, so she needed a bag for her yoga mat. She can't stand to waste anything, that's why she went through my stash to get all the yarn, which was great for felting. At times she hates that monstrous thing, but stuck to it.

We threw it into the washing machine and had to turn it on five times, until she was satisfied with the size. Funny thing though, she used different colors of Lopi and other 100% wool, only the red Lopi didn't felt as all the others did. I thought the little bulge on top, was an interesting touch. Hannah was just glad it was DONE!

edited: I don't want to embarrass Hannah here, but I'd like to say, that I'm proud of her, that she stuck to it, because a lot went wrong with this project. She's knit two stitch marker into the fabric and just noticed it after about an inch of knitting, At the first try, she's twisted the cast on stitches and knit about 5 inches until she's noticed the twist. She had to rip it all out again. And after all that, she did something, I'm still laughing about, when I think of it. I've taught her how to connect wool (the yucky spit and rub method) and she spit and rubbed two ends together, just to find out, that she had just connected two balls of wool! ;o)

After that she needed a quick project and since my digi camera fell into the snow the other day (and is still working, thank god), she made me a case for it, with left over yarns. On the back there's even Regal Silk in the knitted fabric. I love it, and I think it looks a little bit like woven fabric. It's thick and will cushion all future falls of my digicam, from my pocket.
There's also the Calorimetry she made for "me". Well, it's her second try. The first one was big enough for an elephants head. The second try fit's my head (just a little bit smaller). I don't know if there will be a third try. She's gone down from 5mm needles to 4.5mm and thinner yarn. Right now she doesn't even want to touch knitting stuff. She's so disappointed, because the pattern is great and looks nice and is comfortable, I can tell, since I'm wearing it right now. Maybe I'll knit HER one! ;o)

Sam thinks snow tastes yummy! (and wants more of it).

Monday, January 29, 2007

Smoking Hot Sock!

edited to show finished pictures:
the yarn is very busy and it started to pool shortly before the heel. It's also a heavy, thick sock. I'm going to try another pair with normal sock yarn. I'm going to leave the nubs out as well, since they don't show very well; it was just playing around with an idea anyway. I've used the jojo heel again and the magic cast on, both my favorites. The slip stitch pattern on top of the foot got blocked out very well. No more pulling in.

click to see some sparkles

I'm so excited! Last night, I started this sock. It's my own pattern. I've seen quite a lot patchwork socks throughout blogger land and even have a pattern for one of them, but quite frankly they are to fiddly, with lots of ends to weave in (there are more than two ends to weave in here as well), and complicated to start. I just didn't like it. I'm always looking for the easy way out and since I'm knitting my Noro blanket (not lately though), I was wondering, if I could apply this to a sock. One mitered square built upon another, and yes, it's possible. Of course it had to be a toe up version as well.

I'm going to try to write up a pattern, but first I've got to knit the other one. Oh, yeah, I forgot, the first one is finished and being blocked as we speak.

My son, David saw it, and said, it's big (the leg part), and yes, it looks big, but it's garter stitch (squishy). After I've bound off, I tried it on and, he so gentlemanly said, that I've got horse feet (because they fit my foot and leg perfectly). Well, I made it for me, so it better fit!

Anyway, I've used Cherry Tree Hill Super Glitz (there's a strand glitter plied in), but it's DK weight, knit with 3mm needles.
On top of the foot I've made a slip stitch pattern, which I wanted to try out for ages. It was not the best choice, because this stitch pattern pulls in (but stretches easily, when worn). Since my daughter was following the designing and knitting process with interest, she suggested to make some nubs as well, and since I've had so much fun with the nubs on the Swallowtail shawl, I was game. One round of nubs, coming up! After that, some ribbing and bind off.
The finished pictures will follow soon.
What do you think? Is it worth the trouble of writing this experiment down?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Swallowtail Shawl

Snowfall during the night and freezing rain in the morning, makes a nice setting for taking pictures. I present to you the ugly duckling, the mop rag : my Swallowtail shawl, but wait,

... what a change, the ugly duckling emerged to be, if not a swan, than a nice little shawl for sure!

Once, I've removed Hannah's fingers from her coffee mug (one by one, I might add), she gave in and modeled the shawl for me. She's smiling but I'm sure she's thinking not so nice thoughts. It's before 9 AM and still drizzling little icy droplets. Oh, well. While I did scout around for nice places to bring my Swallowtail to life, she was refilling her coffee mug. Heat up some water for my tea, please!

This shawl is a most delicate and small one. I LOVE it! At least I love the pattern, if not the yarn/color I've chosen. It's O.K., I guess, now that it is blocked and struggling for my favor. Relax, you'll be more likely to be worn, than your little rose sister!
Although I've been warned about those little nubbies, and I had the utmost respect tackling them (I had a cheat sheet for cheater nubs ready), I did NOT encounter severe trouble with these tiny little P5tog'ers. O.K. I'll admit, I did THREE cheater nubs, where it was impossible to get the needle through. But I'm still working with addi turbo needles, and they are still blunt. I've read somewhere, that there are new addi's out there, especially made for lace knitting. Haven't seen one yet.
If you must know, here are the specs for this shawl:
pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark from Interweave Knits Fall 2006
yarn: Knit Picks Shadow 100% merino wool, color: Oregon Coast , less than 50g used.
needles: 3.5mm addi turbo circulars
blocked size: 42" x 25"

Some day I will knit another one, with a shiny yarn in a color I absolutely adore, with larger needles to make it bigger. I do NOT complain about the size, in fact I like it small. I'll just like it a little different. Who wants to knit the exact same thing twice??? Not me.
With this shawl, I had a bumpy start, but it's size is excellent, because as soon as you start getting bored, it's done! ;o)
I've learned something too, I need to learn how to count, I'm challenged that way. So, lets do this right away, one, two, three, five.... see, need to practice some more. Maybe one day, and I really, really hope so, I can make a whole shawl without ANY mistakes! Wow, that would be awesome! ;o)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

No knitting content - Sam overload!

I've been reading Dave's blog entries and what I especially liked about them, are his pictures and stories of his walks through his neighborhood and the special shots he took of ordinary things around him. He inspired me to take my camera with me on my walks and these pictures are the result of it. Yesterday was a most wonderful day. Sunny, not too cold, the fresh snow was sparkling - just my kind of perfect day.

click on pics to see the snow sparkle

I thought I let the pics speak for themselves. Sam was a little frustrated, because he would rather have moved on quickly to the next bush, tree, trash can and NOT freeze his rear off. Thanks anyway, good sport!

I did try to make a snow angel and failed, due to Sam. He thought it quite funny and thought it was a new game we were playing. And of course the leash was in the way all the time!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Swallowtail Shawl!

What looks like an old mopping rag? My version of the Swallowtail Shawl in Knit Picks colorway "Oregon Coast"! (What's up with that color? What's up with me choosing this color in the first place?)
Prime knitting time is in the evenings and last night was more tinking than knitting going on, and a lot of cursing as well. How can two shawls be so very different to knit? I'm quite sure this one's an easy one too, but for some reason, I really don't know, it is giving me a hard time. I know the yarn overs are out to get me (and have for some time now), but still, I'm on to them and on guard here! If there's one stitch to many, no problem, knit it together. If I'm one stitch short, no problem, make one! Next row - nothing's where's supposed to be and suddenly everything looks the same! So, I declare defeat and tink back. In the back of my mind there's a word floating around, no not that one, it's "life line"! I've heard of it, seen it, but never used it or even know how to do it, but somehow I think I should make myself familiar with it.

How can I knit 12 repeats of this chart and everything falls into place and it's smooth knitting, but by the 13th (Aha!) repeat I'm like a person with sausages for fingers and no thumbs? AND I'M NOT EVEN AT THE HARD PART YET! Still four more rows to go before I can start with the Lily of the Valley chart one.
I'm sure it's not me, it's the distractions around me. It's Sam and Biko, it's Hannah and David, and the sun and the moon ...... but not me!

So far, not much pleasure in knitting this one, but once again, I'm like a dog with a bone, just can't give it up! I'll keep you posted.

My mom's a nice person. She likes to shop and she loves to rummage through hobby & crafts markets and flea market as well. She bought and sent me this pair of socks. They are hand knit of course. Maybe a year ago, she would not even have looked twice at hand knit items, she's all about cross stitched table cloths and so on, but since I've started knitting (again), and she gets to see some pictures of it here on the blog or, gets actually to feel some socks on her feet (which I made), since all this happened, she looks at hand knits differently. She also buys me lots of yarn, special deals of course, because she's an expert shopper. And I am not one to say NO to a pair of hand knit socks, never! You just can't have enough of them, and don't they fit my feet nicely??? - and yes, this is my very photogenic pumpkin in the background. It's still with us. My kids tell me everyday, that one day soon there will be a "poof" and all the moldy innards of this pumpkin will explode into my living room. I say not, it will dry out and sit there forever! (by the way, this is not a cup of coffee! I'm a tea totaller(?) !)

And of course there is something to learn about my dogs:

Biko smart, Sam dumb?

That's how Biko uses a pillow to sleep on the couch. Smart!

This is how Sam uses a box of wool as a pillow, to sleep on the couch, ahem ..... or he's just very comfortable about all the knitting going on in this house!

Besides, we both got a scare last night, or maybe it was just I that got scared, he didn't know what the hell was going on, with me running home after our last short walk, yelling like a banshee for my son. This is what happened:

Sam's finally allowed to go for walks. We do short walks, rather than long walks, but several. I monitor him, to see how he's doing on these walks, so I can judge how far we go. He's still limping, but it gets better every day. Anyway, it was almost dark and we were walking along the neighborhood sidewalk, thinking happy thoughts, him and me; it's stop and go, there's a lot to sniff at (many dogs here), there's pee, stop and go, you get it. At one of these stop's at first I'm off thinking said happy thoughts, mostly about knitting (nay), when I noticed that Sam's not sniffing nor peeing, but chewing and swallowing. Alarm bells ringing! I jank him away, see a heap of a white powder like substance and some clumps of that stuff all over the sidewalk. I grab what I can with my gloved hand, jank (sorry Sam) Sam around and hot foot it home as fast as we both could. Doors fly open, I yell for David, to come and see, I just couldn't bring myself to have a closer look, Sam's panting beside me. I stick the stuff under David's nose, he says, huh? I say, smell it, what is it? (O.K. I yelled it, total panic). David sticks his nose to the stuff and looks at me, wondering if I've gone totally mad now. Tell me what it is, I said.
Why - it's feta cheese, of course! Huh?
What the hell is feta cheese doing on my side walk??? - And Sam's panting, came from the running, I guess. Poor guy.
All's well. ;o)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Shetland Triangle Shawl

One last mention of my contest: All prizes have been claimed and the packages are on their way to the winners! Enjoy, ladies! ;o)

Last night this little shawl jumped off my needles, right into a relaxing bubble bath and on to the blocking mattress and now here it is:

The Shetland Triangle Shawl!

I'm totally in LOVE with Evelyn A. Clark's designs. Her patterns are so well written and the stitch patterns fit together so smoothly, it's pure pleasure to knit her shawls (well, except the nubbs and 5 or 7 knit togethers, but that's another shawl).

The pattern for this shawl was waiting for me for month now. I really, really wanted to knit it, but never got to it, until now. I can't think of a reason why, maybe because I've knit on my rough Noro blanket and wanted to feel something airy between my fingers. Who knows and it doesn't matter anyway.
Once again, there's a shawl with no destination other than a drawer (and how do you store your precious hand knits anyway?). This is definitely NOT my color. Rose, there's nothing delicate about me, like this flimsy shawl. Nobody would ever think that this is mine, would it be lost.

But nevertheless, it was pure pleasure to knit. How can I make you understand? It's like the first sip of tea when it's the right temperature, or if you take a deep breath on a summer day, after it rained, or your first smoke of the day? (maybe, I'm not a smoker, but I've been told that it's wonderful). You might think I'm ponkers, but you might also understand.

Well, this was so satisfying, that I've cast on another one of Evelyn Clark's shawls, the Swallowtail Shawl. You'd think, enough already with the shawls, but it's an addiction, I tell you! Do I really need another shawl? 100% definitely not.

pattern: Shetland Triangle shawl by Evelyn A. Clark from the book "Wrap Style"

yarn: Kauni uni, color rose, ( this yarn comes from Denmark) I've used 48g of a 50g ball which has 300m on it, 90% wool 10% acrylic (I've got this yarn as a gift from Uta )

needles: 4mm addi turbo (blunt tip, not good)

size after blocking: 48" x 27"

Sam loves snow. Unfortunately for him, there is not much of it this year, so he's studying it very closely, to not forget how it looks until next year. He told me, he could even make out different snow flake designs. Do I believe him??? ;o)

And now to sooth my aching eyes from all that rose and snow white, some orange and green. Aaahhh!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I've done some knitting too!

I've found this head hugger pattern some time ago, but never got around knitting it. Hannah wanted a hat like that, so I gave her the yarn, needles and pattern. She cast on, knit about 4 rows and stalled. Well, mom to the rescue. Rip, rip, rip and a few hours later this hat was done. It was so much fun to knit and I can see making another one in red for her. It did grow a lot with blocking though.

I've used Artyarns Supermerino in the color # SM 250 on 4.5mm needles. I've used 2 skeins/104yds each. The pattern is called Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap designed by Flor. No luck with the link. The website is

This pair of socks I made for my friend Andrea. They are still on their way to Austria. I sure hope they'll fit! The pattern comes the yahoo group "Socken-Kreativ-Liste" a German yahoo sock knitting group. The original pattern (designed by Stephanie van der Linden) had the design on the foot as well, but I made them toe-up and wasn't in the mood for row counting to get the pattern right, since I wanted to make the jojo heel and this heel has two knit rows all around, which would have made it a little complicated. Anyway, I like them the way they are.

I've used Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima Socka 75% Superwash wool 25% polyamid on 2.5mm needles, which for my taste, makes a little loose knitted fabric. But since it was slip stitch I thought it might work.

These are my birthday socks. Hannah gave me this "Mountain Colors Bearfoot" yarn for my birthday and when she came home at the beginning of January, she asked if I had made socks already. So I had to knit them up fast! They are a bit dark, but I've never felt softer and warmer socks on my feet! It's the mohair content. I did wash them twice, by hand, and glad I did. Boy do they bleed! I've never had yarn bleed that much before.

yarn: Mountain colors Bearfoot color: Moose Creek, 60% superwash wool, 25% mohair and 15% nylon on 2.25mm needles. It's a simple sock pattern to fit my feet.

Well, there you have it! My FO's so far.

I'm working on Evelyn Clark's Shetland Triangle shawl right now and on the Magic Mosaic squares as well as on my Noro blanket. No socks on the needles, but that can change without further notice! ;o)

Biko is showing off her broken tooth! The 2007 city dog tags are red hydrants this year! I find that rather funny! ;o)

Friday, January 19, 2007

I have some catching up to do!

Two of the winners have claimed their prizes. I'm still waiting for the third to contact me. This was really fun for me too.
I know Christmas has been over for some time now, but I have to show you, what Sybille sent me as a surprise Christmas present. Sorry, Sybille, not all the chocolate and candy made it to the foto shoot! When it comes to chocolate and candy from Europe, we are regular pigglets! I got a booklet of sock patterns and two older Sabrina Magazines, which are filled to the prim with great patterns! I almost love them all and that's not easy. Nowadays, I can find only one or two patterns in magazines which I like. These old ones are great! And with the sock pattern booklet there was also a ball of sock yarn! Thanks so much Sybille. Oh, by the way you have to check out her blog. She made a wonderful feather and fan shawl with leftover yarn! It's wonderful!

Some of my knitted items made it to California (as gifts my daughter gave to her friends)! On top there's Elizabeth Zimmermann's "snail hat".

Clara is wearing a "Diamond Blossom Scarf" by Iris Schreier. For Chris, I made socks for his spindly thin legs and large feet, as well as a wavy scarf in blue wool/alpaca blend.

On the left, Hannah is wearing the little red hat I made with self dyed yarn (she's got matching socks as well) and on the right she's sitting on a hill somewhere on California's coast, with the chevron scarf around her neck and some straw between her teeth!

All right then, thanks for sending me the pictures, folks! ;o)

And of course there has to be a picture of my two couch potatoes! Really, what could be more comfortable, then sitting in my single chair, knitting, drinking tea, listening to music and watching those two sleep! Oh, yeah, if it snowed gently, that would be perfect!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Contest is closed!

I thank you all for your participation in my little contest! I loved all your quotes! And it was quite fun and exciting to find out who the winners are: here are the three winners in no particular order:

- ragged around the edges


-Marianne (Busha Full of Grace).

If you would be so kind to send me your address in an e-mail, I'll be glad to send you your prizes. If I haven't heard from you in, lets say three days, I'll pick a new winner.

I hope you had as much fun with this, as I did. Now I'll be back with posting regular knitting content. ;o)

Happy knitting!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Yarnival !

The new Yarnival is up! Go see and read all the entries at Carole's blog. She even accepted my submission for "Vertigo"! ;o)

The contest is still on!

Later, my friends!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

CONTEST!!! - Are you game?

My DH Karl is finally out of Hospital since yesterday. He still has a ways to go to regain his full strength and health, but I wanted to celebrate "Life", since this was a close call.

What better way to do that, then to hold a contest! I have three little prizes, which I hope you'll like, but I'd like you to do something for it. Oh, yes, not exactly jumping through hoops, but think about life a little bit and send me a "Life quote" with your comment, hopefully with the name of the author of said quote. I'll give you some examples, ones which I found and liked very much.

I will choose three winners, which will be picked randomly. I would appreciate it further, if you would indicate if you are interested in the book, yarn or either, if your name will be picked. Thanks! ;o)

This is one ball "Fiddlesticks Knitting" Jagger Spun Zephyr Wool-Silk, 50% merino wool 50% tussah silk appr. 630 yds in a beautiful Marine Blue.

This is sock yarn from Germany which my mother so generously sent me. It will make one pair of socks. 75% wool 25% polyamid 100 g, 420 m.

Well, you can read the title page yourself. It has many projects in it, even one pair of socks.

And here are some Life Quotes for you:

John Maxwell:

A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose - a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve.

Unknown Author:

Life's problems wouldn't be called "hurdles" if there wasn't a way to get over them.


The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

Wayne W. Dyer:

The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.

Benjamin Disraeli:

What we anticipate seldom occurs, what we least expected generally happens.

Lao Tzu:

Whatever is flexible and living will tend to grow; whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die.

It you think that's how Sam spends his days, you are almost right. A week ago we started taking him for short walks again! Yeah! And he's soooo happy about it. He manages the stairs by himself and has only one pain killer left to take. Today we'll have a follow up visit with the vet, but it's looking very good. In the evenings he's still lounging on the sofa though, a little annoyed with the flash light, but not enough to move a muscle, but I saw a little clap with the tip of his tail. ;o)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Wool Peddler Shawl

This is the first day my husband is better since he was admitted to the hospital and a big load is of my chest. Any day now he'll be home to recover from this frightening experience.
Thank you all for your well wishes and caring words!
I took this as a good sign and wanted to show you my wool peddler. I'm in love with this pattern! It's so simple but beautiful. I made a few mistakes, tinked back 4 rows to fix some, and left others. It took me a while, since I felt to restless to knit at all, but eventually it was finished. I have to admit that I got bored a bit, and not with the garter stitch, as one might think, but with the lace part! Go figure! ;o)
It's not easy to use variegated yarn for lace knitting, but this one turned out nice, if I do say so myself.
Hannah modeled it for me and of course Sam as well, both were not really enthusiastic about it, but there was no way around it. ;o)
Here are the stats:
yarn: Artyarns Ultramerino 6, Luxury Merino wool, color # 135, 3 100gr skeins and for the binding off row a few yards of a forth skein (1 skein is 274 yds)
needle: 5mm
size after blocking: 37" x 70" wide
pattern: by Cheryl Oberle from the book "Folk shawls"
start: Dec. 25, 2006 - Jan. 05 2007
This is my very first triangular shawl for MYSELF! I don't know if and when I'll wear it. Maybe at home first, to get comfortable using it, but I like just looking at it as well.
Stay tuned, there's a contest coming up soon! ;o)