Thursday, December 27, 2007


The cards and packages were sent, the baking was all finished, the wrapping was done and the tree is up!

We had a quiet dinner at my parent's house, which was great since I ended up with a bad cold and a fever. Charlie and I spent most of the afternoon curled up sleeping on Mom's couch. (Yes, Charlie was invited for Christmas dinner too, although Mom still bristles when I call him her grandson!! Which makes me do it all the more.)

And, just in time, the Christmas knitting all got finished. Click each photo for more details.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday too!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Five Days . . .

Are you panicking yet?

I've knit two little stocking ornaments - one Pea claimed as his own, and the other went on the bag of cookies we gave our ballroom teacher last night. I'm also finishing up the toe on the second slipper for my brother. It should have been in the mail by now, but that's what he gets for having size 11 feet!!

Cookies are baked, a few decorations are out, and the cards are all addressed (but waiting for a trip to the post office for stamps and mailing). All the presents are bought, a few small ones still need to be knit, and most need to be wrapped. And no, there is still no tree. We're getting it tonight, I swear.

Charlie isn't much help with Christmas prep, but he's always good for a laugh!

What is your game plan for the next few days? Are you all ready??

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Because Sonya said I had to . . .

I read this meme on Sonya's blog, and she said after I read it I had to do it. So here goes.

If your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?

Here’s how it works:
1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every section, type the song that’s playing
5. next section — press the next button
6. don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool

opening credits: Nessun Dorma - Luciano Pavarotti

waking up: Take Five - Dave Brubeck (not much of a wake-up song!!)

first day at school: Knitting Song - Rainbow Chasers

falling in love: I Believe In You - Don Williams (this was the song I danced to with my dad at my wedding. I'm not much of a country music fan, but he is - and I've always loved this song)

breaking up: Same Old Lang Syne - Dan Fogelbert

prom: Can't Find My Way Home - Blind Faith (uumm, I don't like what's implied there!!)

life’s okay: Sway - Michale BublĂ© (oh yeah!!)

mental breakdown: Deja Voodoo - Kenny Wayne Shepherd

driving: Valotte - Julian Lennon (okay, I won't get any speeding tickets with this one!)

flashback: Sign Your Name - Terence Trent D'Arby (CHILD OF THE 80s!!)

getting back together: Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners (tee hee)

wedding: Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac (huh?)

birth of child: White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane (OMG, am I giving birth to a druggie??)

final battle: Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills & Nash

death scene: Caruso - Luciano Pavarotti

end credits: I'd Really Love to See You Tonight - England Dan & John Ford Coley

Okay, have you ever seen such a disjointed set of song? My taste in music is so varied it's kind of scary!!

Want to play too? Let me know, so I can come read your list!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bah Humbug

Two weeks until Christmas, and here's where things are at:

* Christmas cards written -> 0
* trees put up -> 0
* cookies baked -> 0
* cards addressed -> 0
* presents wrapped -> 0
* halls decked -> 0

It's very unChristmas-like around here.

It really isn't like me to be so Scrooge-y. I'm not sure what my problem is this year. (Okay, I have an idea - but it's best not to get into it.) With two weeks to go, I'd better get myself in gear and start spreading cheer instead of doom and gloom.

At least the Christmas knitting is coming along. I started a hat, but thought it was coming out too small.

Since I liked it, I decided to finish it up anyway, knowing there would always be a little head around to gift it to. But, wonder of wonders, it turned out to be the right size. It's blocking now, and I'll share all the details next time.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hello December

My goal last month was to reduce my outstanding WIPs by one third. I had 10 projects going, so if I had only 6 there in December I'd consider it a success! Although I only finished two, I bit the bullet last week and frogged three. So I consider it a great success, as I am down to five things to finish up.

Sunrise Circle DONE!!
Ampersand Socks DONE!!
Blanket for Charlie - FROGGED!!
Pillars of Atlantis socks - FROGGED!!
Snowflake Shawl - FROGGED!!

Of course, December is not your normal month. It's CHRISTMAS KNITTING MONTH!! Although I've knit a pile of gifts as part of Holiday Headstart, I'd like to squeak out a few more small ones.

I also joined the Top 10 Stash Projects KAL. The idea is to choose 10 projects you will knit with stash yarn from December 1 to March 31. During this time, no yarn shopping will be done (with an exception for charity knitting or yarn to give as a gift).

Click button for details

Goodness knows I could knit endless projects with all my stash yarn, so it was easy to choose 10. It's a mix of Christmas knitting, those last five WIPs, and a few new things for myself at the end as a reward.
  1. Beaded Gloves from Handknit Holidays
  2. Swiffer Cover - pdf link
  3. Hats (does anyone have good suggestions for a chemo cap for a man?)
  4. Finish my Perfect Pie Shawl
  5. Finish Tahoe
  6. Finish the Casino Shawl
  7. Finish my Mystery Stole
  8. Finish up my Ribbed Socks
  9. More socks (I've got enough sock yarn to knit for years!!)
  10. Felted Bag (maybe Sophie?)

Whew!! December is always a busy month, so we'll see how far I get by January. I'm not going to put unrealistic expectations on myself . . . we'll just see how it goes.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Frogging Frenzy

In the ongoing effort to clear out my UFOs and WIPs, I've decided that any project that

  1. I don't love knitting
  2. I don't think will fit or
  3. I'm just not sure about
will need to be frogged.

And today is F-Day. Frogging Frenzy Friday.

First on the lily pad is a blanket I started for Charlie.

It was with Lion Homespun from my stash, and less than one row in I realized I hated knitting with this yarn. I soldiered on, but didn't get very far. Then I put it down and haven't touched it in weeks. I thought about it, and Charlie really couldn't care less about a hand knit blanket. I'm sure I'll still make him one some day, but it will be out of yarn I love to knit. I want happy vibes in his blanket. So, rip . . . rip . . . rip.

The next project to make the leap from WIP back to stash really hurt me. It was my Pillars of Atlantis socks.

I love the pattern, love the yarn even more, and love the sock so much. But it was coming out way too small. After finally facing up to that fact, the only option was to rip. Both the pattern and the yarn will be paired up with better partners some day.

The last project to take a plunge into the frog pond was my Snowflake Shawl.

To be honest, I really cast this on because I wanted to knit the Casino Shawl but thought it was too hard for me. I later decided to give Casino a try, and put Snowflake aside. I hadn't knit much on it, maybe an hour or so, and it seems best just to let it go. Maybe I'll start it again some day. Maybe I won't.

Believe it or not, it feels good to have ripped out three projects. It's very freeing. Hopefully I can resist the urge to cast on six more now!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I'm a firm believer in giving people what they want. I love to make people happy. So when Heide expressed a wish that Charlie had made a cameo appearance with the socks in my last post, I knew he and I would have to team up for my next post.

This morning, I carefully laid out the UFO that got moved up to WIP status last week so you could have a look. I artfully placed Charlie in the shot. Unfortunately, all of the pictures turned out something like this . . .

In fact, that is the best of the bunch. It's not that Charlie thinks he's too good for the blog. The problem is, simply, he loves me. He wants to be where ever I am, and kept following me around so he could rub up against my leg. (I shutter to think of the readers who might come to my blog after Googling that last phrase!!)

The only solution? Let him follow me around until he's ready for a nap, and then move the photo shoot to him.

That's more like it!! A cute shot of Charlie with my Perfect Pie Shawl!! I started this project in August of 2006. No, that's not a typo. 2006. When I put it down, I had one wedge done. I'm not quite sure why it got stuck in the UFO bin, because I've always liked it. I guess I just got distracted. In the past week I've completed two more wedges.

Three more to go, and then the edging, and this old UFO will be a FO! As for Charlie, he's done too. All the photographic excitement has tired him out and he's once again sleeping soundly by my feet. The life of a blog star is a tough one!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The socks I started the day after Rhinebeck have been finished for over a week. Why haven't I posted them? Well, I kept trying to think of a fun, witty post to go along with my new favorite socks. I tried and tried, but my fun and wit are no where to be found. So, may I present, in boring blogger fashion, my Ampersand Socks.

Ampersand Socks
Cast On: 21 October 2007
Complete: 16 November 2007
Yarn: Socks That Rock Medium weight in Garnet Dreams (bought at Rhinebeck)
Needles: US2 (3 mm) Knit Picks 24" Circulars

The pattern was great and knit up very fast. And this skein of yarn has broken my Blue Moon Curse. No breaks and no pooling! Third times a charm, and I'm sure my other two skeins will behave much better now that they see what pretty socks they could become. Hurray, I knew all those Socks that Rock fans couldn't be wrong.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


There are many things in my life that I am thankful for each year. I'm very lucky to have friends, family, a good home, and so much love and comfort in my life.

This year, I'm extra lucky because I have something new on my list of things I am thankful for.

I am so lucky little Charlie found us and made it known that he intended to come live in our home. I have to admit, I was reluctant at first. Having never had a pet (other than fish or gerbils), and being as OCD as I am about the house, I was quite freaked at the thought of a cat roaming around the place. Just as I was getting used to the idea, we found out he had a raging case of fleas. (As you can imagine, freaking did not begin to cover that one!!)

But look at that little face. He's the sweetest cat I've ever known - and I'm really NOT a cat person. The fleas were gone as quickly as any doubts I had about taking him in. He's so loving and happy - all he really wants is food (lots and lots of food), good naps, and to follow me around the house. If he's near me, he's happy.

Thank you, Charlie, for coming into our home and our hearts and showing us just what we were missing.

Hope you all have plenty of love and happiness to be thankful for today too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sunrise In Boston

So yes, it's true, over a year after casting on, I finally finished Sunrise Circle on the morning we left for the cruise. It worked out well, because it was COLD in Boston and this is a thick, warm sweater. Unfortunately, Pea got more scenery than sweater in my modeled FO shot.

And then, of course, the batteries in the camera died. Yes, I know, they do sell batteries in Boston. I don't know why I didn't think to stop and buy some. Must have been those impending flu germs messing with my brain. But he did get a nice shot of the farmer's market in Copley Square, didn't he? I think that's the library behind me too - right Ariel?

I tried to crop the picture some, so you can sort of see the sweater. (You can also see all the pounds I gained from the cruise ship food. I'm back to salads and walks on the treadmill, I can tell you that!!) Oh, and notice me holding the leather coat behind my back? It was cold enough for the sweater and the coat.

Sunrise Circle Jacket by Kate Gilbert (pdf link)
Cast On: 4 March 2006
Completed: 4 November 2006
Yarn: Karabella Soft Tweed - Cranberry (about 8 balls)
Needles: Denise Circulars, US6

I'm pretty excited about how this sweater came out. It's the second "real sweater" I've ever knit (I don't count the shrug or Picovolli as "sweaters") and it fits pretty good. The sleeves are long, but I think the pattern was written that way. They are long in a good way - they kept me warm without getting in my way.

I enjoyed knitting the sweater except for one thing . . . . the Denise Needles. I bought these long before KnitPicks Options existed, and while I liked the idea, I hated the needles themselves. Thank goodness KnitPicks came along and rescued me! Now that this sweater is done, I plan to get my Denise set on Ebay.

The pattern was so much fun to knit. It's got a really unique construction, where you knit the sleeve and then use strategically placed increases and decreases to make the circles rise from the raglan. I'm a fan of Kate Gilbert's designs, and based on the way this pattern was written, I'll certainly be knitting more sweaters by her. In fact, I think I have a few already in my Ravelry queue.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Things I brought home from vacation . . .

stunning hand-embroidered place-mats from Bermuda . . . .

pretty sock yarn from Boston . . . .

a stuffy head, sore throat, fever, aches and chills from the cruise ship.

(Okay, this is actually a picture from our honeymoon, but we sailed on the same ship then too.)

Luckily, I didn't catch the flu until our last day on-board. Although it wasn't quite the souvenir I planned to bring home, I felt lucky that the germs held off until most of our vacation was complete. We also had a mishap on the first day - our ship boarded and sailed seven hours late because it was delayed by Hurricane Noel. However, it was all well worth it when I remember that at this time last week, I walked around in a tank top and didn't feel the least bit chilly. I sat in the sunshine in a Bermuda park and knit on a sock. And although Boston was very cold, my completed Sunrise Circle kept me toasty warm.

Today I'm back to feeling somewhat human and should be over the flu completely in the next couple of days. Spending more than two days on the couch allowed me to catch up on all the blog posts I missed while I was gone, but I didn't have a lot of energy to leave comments. (And I fear that most of the comments I did manage to leave were feverish, incoherent jumbles of words!!) For now, it's time for another nap - hopefully I'll awake with enough energy to finish off that pair of socks!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Finished Market Tote

Okay, the Farmer's Market is officially closed for the season, but my Market Tote is ready for next year.

Market Tote
Cast On: 19 August 2007
Completed: 30 October 2007
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton - Poppy Red
Needles: US9 (5.5mm) straight and US7 (4.5mm) DPNs

I'm on vacation starting tomorrow - so I won't be posting or reading blogs for a week. I'll be working hard on that WIP list though!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy November

I swear, I must have been unconscious for part of October, because I don't know how it went by so fast. Another Monthly Knit List to go over already? Here are the projects concerned.

Let's see where we stand:

  1. Finish the Casino Shawl - NOPE, not even close, as you can see from the upper left corner of the picture.
  2. Dig out and finish Sunrise Circle - Close, but not quite. That's it on the bottom, with two small side seams to be sewn, buttons to be attached, and loops to be made. Maybe tomorrow??
  3. Finish that Market Tote I started in August. - DONE - you can see most of it in the upper right corner.
  4. And, because October is Socktober, socks, socks, socks!! - Sort of. On the bottom you can see two pairs in progress. I'm on the second Ampersand Sock and almost done with the first ribbed sock.

Since I've adopted my Finish It or Frog It motto, I'm not going to do a formal To Knit list this month. My goal this month is to reduce my outstanding WIPs by one third. A quick look in my sidebar shows I have 10 projects going, so if I have only 6 there in December I'll consider it a success!!

What are you knitting this month? Are you thinking about Christmas knitting yet?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Finish It or Frog It

Yup,that's my new motto these days. My basket of WIPs is out of control, and it's starting to get to me. So, here and now, I am declaring that I will fight the urge to cast on with all my might. I will finish up those languishing WIPs. And I will frog anything that just isn't working.

First up in the finished pile is a little mouse I whipped up for Charlie on Saturday. I picked up cat-nip at the grocery store this morning to add to the stuffing.

Wendy's Catnip Mouse
Cast On: 27 October 2007
Completed: 30 October 2007
Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style - Fog
(left over from a hat for Pea)

Needles: US5

And looks, he loves it!!!

Okay, honestly, he could care less about it . . . I totally posed him. Oh well, at least I had fun making it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tired of the R word???

Fear not, I don't have much to say about Rhinebeck. After all, you've read so much already that there isn't anything new I can tell you. The day was beautiful and the yarn was even more gorgeous. Unfortunately, I only ran into one person I knew. I missed the blogger meet-up . . . or actually, I kind of skipped it because I was feeling overwhelmed. I later realized the feeling probably stemmed from a low blood-sugar . . . which stuck with me most of the day, even though I kept eating to bring it up. In the end, an apple crisp did the trick - and I was pleased to get to eat it guild free!

I had a good chunk of cash to spend, since I had been hording my Christmas and Birthday money all year. I spent more than half within the first 30 minutes. I'll be revealing my purchases over the next few posts. Today's feature is one of the (three) skeins of Socks that Rock that followed me home. (I really don't know how this happened. I wasn't going to buy any sock yarn this year. I think it's a sickness, really.)

It's called Garnet Dreams and the colors are so pretty, I just couldn't resist. In fact, I cast on Sunday morning and I'm already past the heel on the Ampersand Socks.

Sorry for the dim picture, it's very gray here today. Which is a shame, because the pattern is fabulous with the yarn. And the socks are knitting up so fast, it's really exciting. Well, exciting to me. Charlie feels differently.

If it's not edible, it doesn't excite him at all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Presenting my latest "project" . . .


I never in my life thought I would have a cat. I'm not a cat person. And OCD me couldn't imagine letting an animal roam around my house. But Charlie had other ideas.

He showed up a few weeks ago, purring at us whenever we left the house. He charmed us from the start. I worried about where he was from and where he would go. He was obviously a pet turned stray. I noticed he hung around next door a lot, so we went over and asked the neighbors about him.

It turns out, he belonged to our neighbor's mother, who had lived around the corner from us. She was recently put in a nursing home, and her other son (who lived with her) decided he didn't want the cat anymore. So our neighbors had set up food and a bed in their garage until they decided what to do. (Their cat died a month or so ago, and they had promised their kids a dog.)

I still didn't want a cat. But I found myself putting a water dish on my front porch for him. I found myself going out several times a day to pet him. I found myself checking out the windows regularly to make sure he was there and he was okay. When I came outside, he began walking to the door and staring inside. He seemed to want to come in and live with us.

Turns out, I've gotten very attached to little Charlie. He's about 16 years old, and according the the vet today, he only has two teeth. Getting him into the carrier was not something I'm looking forward to again, but we made out okay. He was a trooper, even through two shots and a stool sample. He's doing well for a cat his age, so knock wood, he will be with us for a while.

Now that he's been to the vet, I've finally adopted him for real and let him come inside! He seems to be settling in fine. I'm resisting the urge to follow him around constantly. I have to learn to give up some control, and let him explore a little.

But for now, it's been a big day for us both. He's found a nice place for a nap.

I think I'll go join him.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I promised myself I wouldn't post again until . . .

Sunrise Circe was off the needles and blocking. Yahoo!!! Here's hoping it finishes drying quickly so I can get it seamed and wear it to Rhinebeck on Saturday.

I've also been distracted by another little "project" that has nothing to do with knitting. It's almost "done", and I'll tell you all about it in my next post. *wink*

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WIP Wednesday, or WYB Wednesday . . .

which stands for Where've You Been Wednesday!! The past week has been a blur. My aunt and uncle were down from Maine staying with my parents, and I've been on the go with them every day. It was so much fun and I was sad to see them leave, but I think my body is happy to get some rest and go back to bland icky healthy food instead of the crap fattening-but-yummy poor food choices we've been making while eating out.

As you may have guessed, knitting has been scarce the past week as well. I've done a few rows here and there on Sunrise Circle, and hope to have it off the needles and blocking tomorrow. Meanwhile, I thought we'd check in on the Casino Shawl. Last time there wasn't much to look at, but now you can see the Spades starting to line up.

I'm slowly making progress, and I love it!! I'm starting to doubt that I can get it finished in time for our cruise though. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

(Hopefully) a false alarm, and October Knit-List . . .

First I want to thank everyone for the good advice and wonderful sympathy after I freaked out on Sunday. I have a bit more of the stash to go through, but so far things are looking good. Poor Pea was home sick yesterday with that cold, so he helped me closely examine much of my yarn. We haven't found anything to send up a red flag about, and I also see no evidence of moths in any other areas of the house. Of course, I've stuffed lavender scented dryer sheets everywhere as a safe-guard for the future. They are giving me quite a head ache, but it's a small price to pay to protect all that beautiful yarn!!

*Big sigh of relief* On to the knitting. First, let's re-cap September.

  1. Finish either the Cape Cod socks or the Pillars of Atlantis socks. - DONE!! I finished my Cape Cod Socks.
  2. Knit another Amanda's Squatty Sidekick for Holiday Headstart. - DONE!! I'll be posting it next time.
  3. Knit the Casino Shawl - Not even close to being done, but I have been working on it. It still take quite a bit of concentration, but it's very fun to work on.

Not bad work for the month, I'd say. So, what's next?? In the upcoming months, one thing I want to work on is finishing all old projects that have been put into Hibernation. So, here we go . . .

  1. Finish the Casino Shawl.

  2. Dig out and finish Sunrise Circle. (I actually dug this out a few days ago and have been working on it every day! I hope to finish knitting it by Friday and seam it next week!!)

  3. Finish that Market Tote I started in August.

  4. And, because October is Socktober, socks, socks, socks!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

HELP!!!!! Bad Skein or Moth Damage?

I had another FO to post today, but I'm going to put that on hold because I'M FREAKING OUT!!!

*deep breath*

Okay, here's what's going on. I wound up two balls of sock yarn that's been in my stash for a very long time. One ball wound just fine. But the second ball, oh my, the second ball was broken in eight places. EIGHT PLACES!!!!!

So, my question to those of you who are much wiser than me, and to those of you who have dealt with moth damage . . . . how do I know if I have moth problems or if it's just a bum skein? I haven't seen moths around the house. Maybe we saw three in the living room that we killed over the entire Spring season, but never any near the yarn. What do I check the other skeins for? Any good web-sites that can help me identify if I have moth problems? How alarmed should I be?

*sob* my yaaarrrrnnnnn *sob*

Friday, September 28, 2007

My feet are in Cape Cod . . . .

. . . but unfortunately, the rest of me is here.

At least the socks I started on vacation are done.

Cape Cod Socks
Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Cast on: 25 August 2007
Completed: 23 September 2007
Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Landscape - Cape Cod
Needles: Knit Picks US2 (3mm) DPNs

I really enjoyed knitting this pair. Okay, I probably enjoyed knitting the first sock more than the second, because I was on vacation when I knit most of it! In any case, the pattern is wonderful, as are the other patterns I've knit from Sensational Knitted Socks. That book is certainly a great investment if you are a sock knitter.

As I mentioned before, the yarn is discontinued. The first ball was wonderful and made me disappointed to know it was no longer available. The second ball was a bit of a different story. There was one spot where all but one ply was broken, so I had to cut the yarn and restart it again. (Grrr, two more ends to weave.) There were also two small spots where the yarn didn't get dyed. These pictures are a bit blurry, but you should be able to see two different colored stitches near the middle of each picture.

All in all, it's not a huge deal and won't really show unless I point it out to people, but it's still a little disappointing.