Monday, April 27, 2009

First for 2009

Kathy F, an intrepid Mittn Knitter from the 2008 edition sent me a photo of the nine pairs she has already completed.

I don't know about you, but I am impressed.
Makes me think I'd better drag out my patterns and my needles, and some wooly yarn.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ugly Baby Models Again

The Portuguese Baby Sweater made its first appearance here last month. You're going to need to search for the link--try Google or Ravelry for assistance. It should show up on one or the other or both. It's been quite popular.

The "matching" booties were shown here. Pattern by Elizabeth Zimmerman from The Opinionated Knitter, edited by Meg Swansen.

And now, it's a set! The addition of an earlflap hat from the Patons Astra Cutie Patootie booklet finished it off!

Of course, I wound up adding a yellow i-cord contrast to all 3 pieces. I think that makes it "pop."

This particular flavor of Elann's Sock It To Me! yarn is no longer available. In fact, it seems that (wisely) Elann has dropped the entire "Colori" part of that line.

While the bright colors (red, orange, yellow, shades of blues and greens) "rainbowed" up nicely, the addition of an unfortunate splot of gray dulled it right on down.

I am glad to be all-but-finished with this yarn. I loved knitting it, but the hue left a lot to be desired.

Ugly Baby doesn't seem to mind.

This set will be entered in the Great Allentown Fair in August.

Infant 3-piece-sweater, cap, bootie.

Now on to the other things that need work.

And most of my baby stuff will be gifted or donated to babies as-yet-not-born. In other words: Hypothetical Future Humans.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Walk

Early morning in the 'hood.

There are lots more of these than there used to be, including the ones on our cars. ::sigh::

Edited to add: Because readers are asking, you can read more about the banner here.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Knitterly Things

I've made some nice progress on the Fair Entry Blankie. About half of the length is completed and my calculations show that there will be sufficient yarn ::whew:: to get it Long Enough.

I guess it's time to cast on something new.

This is the only craft-related purchase I made at the Friends of the Library sale last week. It cost 20 cents when published (1945). I paid 50.

Tomorrow is Bag Day. We are going back to help clear out the leftovers.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It Might As Well Be Spring

Since there's no knitting progress to show, I'll dazzle you with my gardening skills.

We've been here 20 years this coming September, and have replaced much of the landscaping.

These azaleas were planted two years ago.

Not my favorite color, but they survived the winters and the cat lying on them, so I guess that they get to stay.

The mountain pinks have migrated, just like coconuts, from one bank to the next.

They are even taking over part of the lawn.

The original owners planted them, probably back in the 70s.

Bulby things are my favorites. I have no idea what these are, but there are lots of them. And lots of daffodils and grape hyacinth already blooming.

Can the tulips be far behind?

I suspect that once the bloom ends this year, I will be digging and spreading a lot of the bulbs. They are getting pretty crowded in some parts of the yard.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Top Of My Desk

I have a new computer! (It wasn't my idea.)

The present I gave the Other Half for Christmas (a turntable that allows him to create CDs from our old vinyl technology) won't work well on his computer (why, yes, we are a multi-computer household) so he wants mine.

And since I use mine way more than he uses his, it seemed to make sense that I would upgrade and he would have mine. Sort of.

Of course, that means clearing off the top of my desk (and my desktop, but that's a whole other story). I did that last weekend, then suddenly swapping computers out fell by the wayside (Masters' on tee-vee) and it took less than no time at all to re-clutter the empty surface.

Hey! I'm a busy fiber-holic! And I hope to be typing on a new keyboard by Monday.

And what, pray tell, are these objects littering the landscape?

First up, a finished hat for Ship Support. Good old Red Heart Classic, patterns from somewhere, cast on of 84.

It will be on its way during the next mailing period.

And yes, hats (and slippers) are needed year round for the wounded troops to wear on their evacuation.

Cool ties are the FO of choice for the troops right now It's warming up (in more ways than one) in the Middle East. My sewing skills are rusty, though.

Fair Entry the first. A throw for my living room.

Start in the middle with 8 stitches, keep knitting until your eyeballs bleed or it's the size you want.

The yarn is Patons Decor Sandcastle available from Smiley's. Though it is no longer as cheap inexpensive as when I bought it, it's still a good deal.

Here's an old picture of a square made this way:

Directions can be found here.

And last but not least, another fair entry. This one's a baby blanket in Red Heart Soft Baby in the Laddie colorway, also from Smiley's.

Just a basic "basketweave" pattern (k5, p5 for 7 rows, then p5, k5 for 7).

I fear that I don't have enough yarn to make it as big as I want. ::sigh:: The story of my life.

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Friday, April 17, 2009


I finished weaving the Plaid Scarf this afternoon.

I'm pretty pleased with the fabric, though (new weavers, say it with me) the selvedges suck.

But for first colorwork, it's not so bad.

And I learned some stuff like starting each new color on the opposite side of the loom so that all the extra thickness is balanced instead of all leaning to one side.

Once it started to warm up, it was hard to keep working on wool. I have some cotton in really pretty colors that I am dying to start. Re-warp, here I come.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mittnz Again! It's Time

It's time to start thinking about Mittnz 2009!

Yay, Mittnz!

This year's challenge goal for Cheyenne River Reservation will be 9 pairs of warm, wooly Mittnz. As always, emphasis is on warmth, so wool, superwash wool and other animal fibers are the fiber of first choice. Blends that are heavily animal are second choice, followed by the mainly synthetic blends (Wool Ease, Decor (on sale right now at Smiley's) and Encore). For those unable to work with animal fibers, all synthetic works, but not cotton. Any color, and size. If you are planning wristers or fingerless mitts, be sure to pair them with a purchased pair of Magic Gloves, because the whole point is WARMTH!

Start date (on your marks) is Wednesday, April 15. End date is (on or about) September 15 so that mailing can take place the last week in September.

This is a BLITZ, folks.

There will be prizes for the 9 lucky knitters and/or crocheters.

Here are the simple Roolz:

1) Make. Knit, crochet, sew (yes, fleece counts!) and buy.

2) Document. Send me photos of the ones you hand make that I can post to this blog to inspire us all ( email to If I see pictures from you of at least 9 pairs, you will be entered into the prize draw for one of 9 fabulous prizes.

3) Mail. Mittnz are to be mailed to Cheyenne River Reservation (CRYP P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625) during the last week in September so that the Youth Project (the YP in the address) is blitzed with hand covers the first week in October when the weather starts its evil descent into winter.

Last year, during the blitz we managed to make and buy 1003 pairs that were sent to South Dakota to warm hands there. I would dearly love to see 1000 pairs of hands warmed again in 2009!

Interpretation of the Roolz: Handcovers need to be warm. And since little kids tend to prefer brighter colors, the small ones can be less conservative than the big ones. They need to fit human hands! Any size. Any color. Mittens, gloves, wristers, fingerless, thumbless. Beyond that, let's not "overthink" this project.

I will post all photos that are sent to me. Please wait until you have completed the challenge (9 pairs). Or give me a link to your photo.

Send photos! They inspire us all.

History: It started as a Personal Challenge to me to knit X pairs of mittens because I HATED (still do) the fiddly nature of them. Those thumbs! and there are TWO of them, for lord's sake.

Once I announced that I was challenging myself, other members of NAS ::coff:: Mariella ::coff:: Anami ::coff:: one or more of the Debbies ::coff:: jumped on the bandwagon.I think there was one prize that first year. Last year, there were 8!

This year, I will provide a total of 9 prizes. This project is THAT IMPORTANT to me.

So, are you in? Little kids right here in the Good Ol' U S of A are cold!


Friday, April 10, 2009

I Knat With Pinque

As promised. Here's the finished toddler dress. I would have called it finished yesterday, but I (know-it-all) followed my very wrong instincts instead of the pattern and then decided that I needed to redo the last 14 rounds.
The pattern is Little Sister's Dress and there's a link here. It calls for fingering weight yarn, which I suppose would be all sweet and babyish, but I had this pink worsted weight stuff that cost a fortune (see 4/8/09 entry) and I really wanted needed to use it up.

[I try to avoid having that particular color in my stash in any great quantity--4 balls being a great quantity in my book. So, you might wonder, why did I buy it in the first place? Did you see the price?--See reference to cost above.]

I went through nearly my entire button stash and decided that these little scallop shells echoed the yoke and hem pattern just enough.

I tried and rejected the ones with the fairies. They're cute, but they are clear and just didn't show up at all. Also rejected: plain solid, flower shaped, and ones with balloons (purple).

My first choice had hot pink dinosaurs. Those were really cute, but I think these are dainty and ladylike.

This dress will go to Cheyenne River after the fair. I might look for a little turtle neck onesie and some tights to make it into an outfit.

Yet another Princess Dress.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stretching a Buck

Several weeks ago, I stopped by the local Goodwill store. (After that awful lunch at the same strip mall, I deserved a treat.)

I went there specifically to laugh at the assortment of tee-shirts (always a good chuckle, though I had no plans to buy) and to see if by chance, there was any yarn.

Well, if you've read previous posts, you already know that I found a bit of yarn and bought every last scrap including a bag of 4 balls for the unbelievable price of (say it with me) 97 cents (plus tax).

Here's what that Quarter A Ball stuff looks like.

Friends, acquaintances, family all know that I Am Not Fond Of Pink. Truly not. This color is called "coral." That makes it All Better. (Truthfully, it was the price, pure and simple!)

It's a little heavier than standard worsted weight, so the first time I cast on (for a baby dress), I got 2 balls in and realized This Isn't Working and I frogged it.

Then I started another baby dress, and though I'm still not super crazy about the fabric, it's better than the first attempt.

And now, 3 balls in, I think it's here to stay.

Glamor[?] shot of the WIP, nearing completion. Just 4 more rounds and a stretchy (EZ sewn) bind off to go.

Watch for the real glamor shot tomorrow or on the weekend. It'll be worth the wait, I promise.

And in other news: It freakin' snowed today. Hey, Mother Nature, get yourself a good calendar!

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Don't Believe Everything You Read!

Your rainbow is strongly shaded yellow.

What is says about you: You are a joyful person. You appreciate optimism. You're good at getting people to like you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Friday, April 03, 2009

Nearly Ready

All of the pieces of my Short Sleeve Crop Cardigan In Cotton are finished. I hope to have them blocked and seamed (and not necessarily in that order) in time to wear on Monday.

Don't hold your breath, but stay tuned for updates. There will be photos, and maybe coffee and cookies.

And on a sadder note, someone with whom I once was close had a birthday on Tuesday. I didn't send a card this year, though I have never not in the past. I have sent gifts and cards at appropriate times, and yet, have heard nothing in more than 2 years.

Time to stop dropping things into a Black Hole and move on.

Equally sad, this friend/relative has a kid a little older than Older Son. They lived for a couple of years in the same city, working for the same huge conglomerate, and the one person who could have connected those dots for them never did. Now that is very sad. Am I bitter. Hell yes! And I believe Older Son may be as well. As well he should.

We don't get to choose our families.

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