A tea cozy for my friend Monica

This is either the genuine article or a useful prototype for Monica's teapot. I don't have hers so am using a "stunt double" that I believe is a bit more rotund than hers. If she likes it, it's her Christmas gift! If not, I have a stash the size of Montana and plenty of willingness to duplicate the pattern (which is the one she had approved beforehand).

Yes, this yarn is some hand-dyed worsted from Scout's Swag. I love the stuff and want to knit a sweater with something similar!

It may be hard to see but the pattern has a really neat feature. It is mostly garter but the "ribs" are two stitches that are knitted in the wrong order and slipped off the needle together, which has a sort of cable result. I got the pattern some time ago and showed her about four different ones. Finally showed her all the ones I felt I could tackle, and she liked this one. I used the smaller version here, which is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d around my 4-cup teapot, so it should be best for a smaller pot.

I have three scarves in the works, after fetching more wool for each (amazing how 55 yds does not a scarf make!!), and have so little time for knitting left. Vacation ends Tuesday at 6 a.m. when I drag myself out of bed to go to school. Nevermind. I will enjoy the knitting I can get in from now till then.

Rachel revels in her new blanket

This is Rachel, DD1, on Dec. 25, after she found her blanket along with her Christmas stocking. I love the House of Lords wig effect. I think she likes the blanket too. She has it on her bed now, and it fits right in with the general decor.

Ahhhh! Time to knit

I may never have this arrangement again--three teenage daughters all wanting to cook, a MIL visiting who is never happier than when she is demonstrating her culinary strengths, and the gifts all wrapped and nestled under the tree. So what's a woman to do? Knit! Here are three things I've been working on, just because it is so gratifying to create something quickly.

First, what I have OTN right now is a scarf done in that Knit a row, K1P1 for a row, and repeat pattern. I love the name of the mohair--"chocolate almonds," and the variegated nubbly wool is perfect with it.

Then, I have a shortish scarf made with Kidlin in blue and a variegated nubbly crayon colored wool:

And I also have almost finished the Kidlin/Pandora scarf I started several days ago--it just needs its fringe to be ready to wrap.
"May your days be merry and bright, and may all your knitting jobs go right."

DH says it will make a fine fishing net . . .

But I think it makes a striking scarf. He also says it won't keep his DM's neck warm, but I think he is just gunning for a swift kick. (Mixing metaphors, eh?) Anyway, it is the coolest fiber, found at my new LYS Purlescence, a yarn called KidLin, 49% linen, 35% kid mohair, and the rest nylon. It has a nice structure from the linen.

I also made a cellphone holder for DMIL. Here it is:

Well, I am not attached to the outcome, whether she will like these gifties or not. But I did choose a color I think she will like.

More later as I finish other OTN projects.

Knitting Like Madame DaFarge

I have been getting a ton done on projects because I got some free time* and have been using all my at-home hours to knit. DH, on a trip abroad, will be glad to know that no meals are getting made, no trash being taken out, no dishes put into the dishwasher, but I am happily knitting. And the girls forage for themselves (no worries, they are 15 and 17 and entirely capable of making a meal) and the cats make sure I feed them. I DID do the laundry this week!!

*Hardly remember what free time is, but once I get going, I sort of get the hang of it!

So I'm nearly done with that huge project for DD1, of which I had better not put up pictures for now, and yesterday I finished a cool felted tam for my SIL yesterday.

This is the pic of that--made of baby alpaca of several types. The bottom band is thicker and the top portion almost lacey, and it felted nicely! And to boot, it is not itchy as wool can sometimes be, esp. when felted. Shore hope she'll like it!

I think I have TMJ, on the right side, after going in to the doc and finding out that I have NO ear infection but achy pain and a spasming scalp muscle just behind my ear. So it's my jaw that's hurting, not my ear. I guess from reading on the good ole' internet that I can be elated that I'm not having popping and shooting pains and a jaw that won't shut or won't open. Even so, the ache is significant. It is less than fun but the Advil is helping and I am supposed to avoid chewing for a few days. The PA told me that if I'm having steak I should put it in the blender. Now I WASN'T planning to have steak, but the idea definitely turns it into a "no way."

small things

Made a little drawstring cellphone cozy:

It's 2x2 ribbing, which I have found is the best result with Rumors by Paton. The colors somehow pool better than with straight knitting or stockinette.

And I also used two skeins of a neat ribbon yarn, made of wool and nylon, to make a manly sort of scarf:

It's icona from Bertagna Filati. The texture is quite squishy in a nice comforting way. It will be a "scarf" scarf for someone at school. An almost random act of knitting generosity. Sorry about the free advertising. Mr. Gates should pay me.

Hope you are all happily knitting away.


I'm running as fast as I can! and even getting to knit a little. But the blog went a'begging this weekend. I'm almost done with the blanket I've been working on, so will post pix soon. I finished that lovely soft pink scarf with the waffle-weave look. It blocked nicely too. About to start the special present for one of the most challenging recipients ever, my mother-in-law. I hope she will like it! More on that later, and a pic of the yarn. Unique to say the least.

Happy knitting, all!

A cutie's hat and a failure . . .

Here's the success story: I made a small hat with a nice pointy top and a tassel for my niece Leone. I love it and it's so soft. I think I will have to crochet some ties for it, since babies often pull off their hats.

I watched Nenah Galati's video on knitting socks on two circs yesterday and tried to get the hang of it, but alas, even on bigger needles with bigger yarn I just couldn't get it going. I'll try again, but I was discouraged. :^( I'd feel dumber except that this week I've learned I-cord, have been courageous enough to frog an entire hat (too big) so I can re-knit it the right size, and have finished several projects. I just wish it had clicked so I could get going with a pair of socks for a certain recipient for Christmas. Ah well. Patience is a virtue.

Happy knitting!

Thankful for time to knit!

Among other things, I am so enjoying my weekend off, knitting up a storm. Here are the latest, and I am on hiatus from that other project since its recipient is at home until late tonight. Then, watch me go! I'll finish that baby in a day!

OK: Two little purses for my friends in Germany, Luisa and Adele. Guess which is for which??? I am putting small prizes and stickers in them too. Do I know little kids or what? BTW, I embroidered the name somewhat messily to make it look more authentic ;^). If I put half as much time into embroidery as I do into knitting, I guess it would look pretty competent. Note the I-cord handle??? My first successful foray into I-cord, and I am fine with it now.

Then a scarf out of the softest Rowan Baby Soft with a border crocheted in Bouton D'or (camel and wool). It is another gift, but I ain't sayin' any more about it.

Not pictured: I made a hat that has turned out well (at least not sized for a giant) but which was originally intended for DH when he goes camping and snow shoeing in the Sierras. Let's say it's sufficiently smaller that it won't fit a giant, and not sufficiently big that it will fit an adult. But oh well, it will fit one of several young nephews I have in mind!

The last here is another giftie whose recipient I haven't decided. It's Malabrigo (one skein!) in a color they call Molly (which is DD#2's name) and I am making it using a stitch I just love. Knit a row, then K1 P1 across, ending on a K1. Knit another row, etc. And I think both sides are quite attractive, which is always nice for a scarf. I've not used the Malabrigo before but am in love with it. How can it be only wool and still be so soft and not itchy?

Off to shower (finally--it's 2 p.m.--ah, vacation!) and take a kid to a rehearsal. Then to feed the friend's feline, and then home again for more . . . knitting!


Surprise! I sound like I'm from the West!!

Who'da thunk it???

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
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Knitting Knirvana and great yarn shop news

I have had a bit more time this week to seek out Knitting Knirvana, and have finished one whole panel and started the second. (Thank god for CSI Miami and Crossing Jordan reruns on cable!)

I used mistaken rib for the first of the colors, and now I'm doing a great stitch I hadn't noticed before in my stitchionary, called "sand stitch," that reminds me of popcorn or bobble-like patterns that are much harder (and which therefore I haven't tried to tackle). Here's what I have so far in both panels:

And I heard in passing yesterday that my former favorite knitting shop of the 90s, Carolea's Knitche, which had switched out to a quilter's store, has been bought and returned to its knitting focus. I loved Carolea's Knitsche and learned to use the continental style there. Not into quilting. So hallelujah! I'm headed there today!! I hear it has a new name like PurlEssence or something. Anyway, wish me a restrained buying impulse. ;^)

I got the flyer for Stitches West in the mail yesterday. It's not until February but I thought, wow, I should ask for this for Christmas--this being knitting classes you can sign up for over four days on a huge array of topics. I want to take classes in finish work, different cast ons (I only know the kiddie way and the long-tail cast on, which are great, but I want more in my repertoire, such as provisional and cable cast on), fixing mistakes, and the other nutsy boltsy things. And then I want to go shopping in the marketplace!!! No quiviuk for me this year though. :^/

Hoping to finish this second panel this week, and start the third, so that I can give this to Rachie when she's home for Turkey Day. Fall has finally really arriven in Northern Cali, and it's gray and chilly outside. Good weather to find a comfy chair, fire up the good lamp, and work on a knitting project. Happy knitting everyone.

The Promised Picture of Shangri-La

Life in Northern California . . . ah . . . just lovely. I hope that wherever you are if in the northern hemisphere, you are not chilly right now. And if in the southern, I hope your spring is well on its way to a lovely summer.

In blanket news, I got well into the first block of the next strip, in mistaken rib knit, which comes out great on these big needles with super bulky yarn. I'm starting to get really proud of myself. ;^)

Happy knitting!

Ah, finally, the weekend!

OK, last night I watched Pieces of April (I liked it, sweet movie) with my DH, and all the while knitted on the blanket to end all blankets. The mother of all blankets. That is a perfect name for a token of love from a mother (me) to a beloved DD. In chilly Connecticut, she needs something to drag over to her desk and wrap up in while she does her homework or her reading.

Can you sense how soft and cushy this blanket is already??? Lion Thick and Quick is a great compromise between the love of wooly things and the need for washability.

Here are the sections in close up so you can better see the patterns.

This gray is simple garter stitch, and is actually darker like the picture at the top.

See top photo for a better rendering of the dark maroon it really is. This block is in purl ridge, a really simple pattern. Row 1: Knit; Row 2: Purl; Row 3 K1 P1 across; Row 4: Purl.

This first block is in that fisherman's tweed off-white. Just K7 P7 all the way. I don't know if I love it, but it is interesting.

Here is the most recent block I have underway:

It is a checkerboard pattern, quite easy unless I stop paying attention, 56 stitches in K4 P4 for five rows, followed by P4 K4 for five rows, and again. I think I already messed it up but it's so hard to see what I'm doing with black yarn!!

This will end one set of blocks, and then I'll start the second set of four, and if it's big enough, that will be the blanket (sew it together and voila) but if it's still not wide enough, I'll knit the third set and set that together too. It's good when making gifts for teenaged people that if they don't truly LOVE the gift and intend to use it, one can politely offer to relieve them of the albatross, in which case I would have a great blanket all my own. :^) But actually I think she will like it. Let's all cross our fingers and toes.

Please send up a prayer to the knitting gods to make more time for Stacie to get out the needles. It keeps me sane!

Shout-out to Hell's Bells--what's this about "swings and roundabouts"?! Sounds too much like fun. ;^)

More alligators

It's just more and more of the same--eyeballs and alligators. Sigh.

"I will get back to my blog this weekend, as God is my witness, I'll never go without knitting again!" Isn't that what Scarlett said in the fields that day in GWTW?

Envying those of you with quieter (at least right now) lives. ~Stacie

The Blanket

[photo later--technical difficulties]

Here's a photo of autumn in Shangri-La, aka the SF Bay Area. I love living in this place with perfect weather, and the colors of fall are my favorite of the whole year.

On to knitting news: I haven't done anything on the blanket since the weekend really because I am up to my eyeballs in alligators. Grades are due tomorrow a.m. and student comments (what they're doing well, what they are struggling on) are due Friday. So I am a woman with a mission, and unfortunately it ain't a knitting mission. But I am thrilled with the look, the drape, and the cushy-ness of the blanket so far. DH helped me create a good pattern for a 12 "square" blanket, with as much variety and balance as possible. I'm onto the third of four blocks for this strip, and it's straight garter stitch so it will go fast.

I'll have to post it later today because the camera needs fresh batteries. :^(

Happy knitting, those of you who are lucky enough to have some time today.

Feeling Halloweeny?

Here is my latest time-waster and it's totally addicting fun. Make sure your volume is on so you can appreciate the sound effects. I'm fully aware that you may not come back to my blog, but [sigh] it's all in the name of making the world a more enjoyable place. OK, click here.

Now, as for moi and the little knitting penchant I've been feeding, I made a 2x2 rib scarf from that orphan ball of green stretchy mystery yarn I got last summer (turned out to be GGH Solitaire). It is not flawless [hysterical laughter here] but will be a lovely ribby thing to wrap around a neck on a chilly fall afternoon at school.

I also started Rachel's college blanket. I have been lurking on Knitting Novices, reading about baby blankets and other throws, and I decided what I will do. I'm using Lion Thick and Quick and cast on the fisherman beige for the first section, in multiples of seven, for a total of 56 stitches.

Then I just did K7 P7 until I ran out of that skein, and on a knit row I started the next block, I switched to the burgundy skein and am doing my favorite purl ridge stitch. It's in four row sets, first a row of K, then a row of P, then a K1 P1 row, and finish with a P row. I've done several things in this stitch and as you might guess I like it! My next skein will be in black, and I am not sure what pattern I'll use but am thinking of something plain since it will be black--reverse stockinette or garter perhaps.

What then? you ask. Good question to ask Stacie Newman since I have a proven tendency to make it up as I go along. Well, I'll see how long it is and perhaps add one more skein to the end of it, and then I'll do another whole set just like it and sew or crochet them together. If it's not wide enough, I'll do another whole set and add it on. :^)

Now back to knitting since it's what I'm doing to avoid paper grading (again). Then I'll probably have to buckle under and actually do my real work. Knitting is so much more fun.

Ennnhhhhhh--Not what I was hoping for

[Big sigh.] Well, I have felted my monster knitting three times now, first with the twine, then with yarn, and then (after cutting the three pouches apart) with an edging seam in what I thought was feltable yarn.

Here they are in all their misshapen ugliness. Yes, I washed them the last time with other stuff (um, I KNOW not to do that) so now I get to trim off the white fuzzies along with the other excess fuzz.

I want to give up! But then I realize that I probably keep learning good information while I flail away. So here is my next plan. I'll remove the edging seam and redo it using truly feltable yarn, and then I'll wash them again. And I will stretch and shape them very carefully for evenness before drying them. BTW, I really have created a monster because the seams in some cases are my way of felting into integrity gaping holes that cutting them apart created along many spots on the edges.

Too ambitious? You be the judge

Today we find Stacie having improvised and fudged and now feeling generally, well, desperate.

I knitted with the most fetching yarns--Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky in a dark grayish purple alternated with Manos del Uruguay's Multibramble.

I knitted in the round, thinking it would be good to felt something like a tote.

I ran out of said yarns.

I hadn't gotten very far in length, but boy had I gotten width . . . it was, shall we say, . . . expansive. So I used the two needle bind off (woo-hoo! I can do it! anyone with a smidge of knitting experience and three needles approx the same size can do it!) and a nice coordinating yarn (I truly had run out of the other two--what was I thinking??).

Then I consulted a book I'm quite taken with at present, Fabulous Felted Hand-Knits. I got some nylon twine from DH and stitched a vertical baste one third of the way across and then two thirds of the way across this behemoth of a knitted "bag," so that I could felt it and hopefully create felted seams at these bastes. I don't know why that seemed better than using the yarn to seam with, and then having more wool in that spot for felting. I may still have to go this route.

Then I felted it in the washer in a zipper pillow case with my jeans. The two yarns felted differently (really, I meant that to happen!) and I got great stitch definition for the purple Debbie Bliss, while the Multibramble, true to form, melded together in a most pleasing melange of colors.

Next, I took quart size zipper bags and inserted them in each section, blowing them up and creating a bit of "puff" so the bags will have shape. This is where I stand at present. I have run my fingers inside the divisions along the "seams" I tried to create and found--yes, holes. So when it dries fully and I remove the twine, I think I will give it a second go with yarn and see if it felts "fully." (I meant to say that too. Love a good pun, don't you?)

OK, OK, photos. Here we go.

So what is my nefarious plan here? I have one! I am trying to create three pouches that can be cut apart and that I can then make handles for. Anyone with more knowledge, please feel free to stop me. As it is I won't get anywhere with it today, as work beckons me on a Sunday (I really have to go in to school all day for a fundraiser--good thing I find it enjoyable).

OT: If you're into puns, I have one more: my daughter has a CD by a band called "Piebald" (not the pun) and this one is titled, "If it weren't for venetian blinds, it'd be curtains for us all." Yuk yuk. No idea if the music is good or not.

Can you say "schwaaaaaaaggggg"?

'Waaaaaay back in the summer, when I had time to actually knit AND blog about knitting, I entered crazycatladymel's birthday contest by donating yarn to Interim House in Philly. Well, as a donor, I was also entered in her "little" contest and when her birthday arrove, Aug. 8, mine was the name she chose out of a random, perfectly scientific drawing. Me! I won!

Kathy from Interim House sent me a boffo hooded sweatshirt from Interim House, which I wear every day since, esp. since the house has been getting chilly late at night and early in the a.m., and today, the box of gifties from Melissa arrived. Wow! I had vaguely remembered her saying she "gives good gift." Was she right! It was colorful, sweetly packed, and so much fun to explore.

Here is the resulting schwaaaaaggggg, or perhaps I should say "loot."

Not to gloat, but OMG. I have won so many cool things! Lighted knitting needles, a handmade needle case (I love it! It's so nice!), handmade envelopes (Melissa is so crafty she puts even my stepsister Bia, Miss Craftiness Personified, to shame), an ice cube tray from Ikea, a pincushion, a little lamb finger puppet, samples of Eucalan and handcream, two cool knitting buttons ("Just one more row," and "I'd rather be knitting"), a Chibi, a "bouquet" of button-blossom flowers (those are so neat, Mel!), some crafting stickers and gift tags, instructions for her best washcloth and scrubby, and as if that weren't already a total . . . the "cat-de-grace," some kitty treats for Percy (who has been willing to share so far)--catnip, chicken yummies, and the coolest little poofball made of mylar. It is eminently chase-worthy.(Percy's sister Pippi thinks this is the cat's meow.) Now, how it relates, and what it really promises, I don't know, but Mel has gifted me with a DVD of Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins (Blue Lagoon?) in [trumpet call] The Pirate Movie! Frankly, I'm frightened. I was probably busy having babies right about when this came out, but it promises to be an 80s remake (no kidding! just look at the hair!!) of Pirates of Penzance. Well, all I can say is thanks, Melissa, you are the ultimate gifter.

Tomorrow, I will take some of these items with me on my four day weekend in beautiful . . .Eastern Washington! I took a personal day so I'd have a looooong weekend (we get Columbus Day off, weird) with my sister and her family in Okanogan, Washington. So early early I fly off to meet her at lunchtime :^) in Wenatchee, for the lovely drive up the highway to their home. Yes, I'm taking my knitting with me, and yes, I'm taking stuff to grade too. But I will actually enjoy the grading (they're not essays) and can stop whenever I want to, so I can knit again. That's a vacation! Happy knitting, all.

On the needles

Just so you know I am not neglecting my knitting (well, OK, I am mostly neglecting it right now--drowning at work!) I wanted to describe what's on the needles now.

First, I'm almost done with a hat made from Rumors and it's a looker! I just love the yarn.

Also working on a striped stocking cap for Max, which I started once and frogged completely. It will be just the ticket when it's done but I hate Microspun! It should be called Microsplit. AAAggghh. I have to use sharp needles to keep from splitting it, but also have to watch incredibly carefully when I am knitting to be sure the needle goes in at the right spot, so it's slow going.

Yeah, I still have that cable scarf on the needles. Haven't touched it. I should either frog it or finish it. It's not that big a deal. But when it comes to time to knit, I just don't want to work on that. :^(

Future projects: I have the sock knitting DVD that one of you recommended to me, the one on two circulars, and I hope to watch it over Thanksgiving vacay, so that I can try my hand at socks. Like a guru knitter, I own sock yarn already but haven't learned enough to put it to use. I also want to knit a throw for my college age DD1 for Christmas. And I have two balls of sweet, soft white cashmere that is begging to be made into baby booties or ???

For anyone who stuck with me to the end of this post, here is a photo of the ghastly tote I made a month or so ago.
I hate the colors. The size was great and that was good information. But I will choose colors with much more care from now on. It is destined to be a kitty bed. And that handle! Not a good idea, braiding the yarn and then felting. Sigh. Live and learn.

What kind of fool am I? um, I mean KNITTER!

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.http://marniemaclean.com
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On the needles

I haven't been neglecting my knitting! Just my blog. DH has the camera on a trip to WA state, so I am awaiting backup or his return for photos of my recently finished striped felted tote. It wasn't a TOTE-al failure, yuk yuk, but it didn't satisfy me at all. Then Pippi pulled it off the door knob where I had hung it, chewed on the tasty wool handle a bit, and lay down on the tote to take a nap. So I may cut it apart and make it a kitty bed. It was supposed to be my "fruit salad" bag, but I can't find good colors the likes of which I see in my mind's eye, and so it really disappointed me. Now I have to post pics since everyone will be wondering just how hideous it can be!

Also knitting . . .

A striped stocking cap for my little friend Max, a kindergartner who ran across the idea of sleeping in a cap in one of his storybooks. His mama mentioned it to me and voila, a new project. I'm winging it (bravely) on the pattern, but so far so good. I'm using orange and turquoise Microspun, which I hate because it splits, but it's just right for a little sleeper, not itchy and not too thick.

A hat in Rumors (I know I said only last month that I'd never knit with it again, but the colorway was too compelling--stained glass-like).

The cable scarf that sits languishing since early August. I just came to hate it and don't know when I'll have the character to finish what I started.

Just off the needles, the lovely "scarf" above, done in Skacel Riviera Multi (not a fuzzy type scarf, more an embellishment to a spiffy outfit). I did it on bigger needles and made it just 2-1/2 inches wide, so it will be accentish. The fiber is cotton, linen, and rayon, so it has a great sheen and texture. It's also a great group of colors--Navy, yellow into light green, and green. I'm really happy with it and am back in my "scarfing" mode, where I anonymously gift my coworkers. I have a few new ones this year, so I'm off and running! (Thanks, Sophi, for helping me with the photo!)

Happy knitting!

The Kitschy Apron

Here it is, the one and only Kitschy Apron. I made it for DD3, Sophi, whose birthday was yesterday. It's a modified version of the apron featured in Knitty in 2004. I made the skirt shorter and gathered, and did a different stitch for the bib. I found this great microfiber fuzz from Fur Real called peacock, and it was perfect--fluffy, incredibly soft, sort of like a feather boa attached to the straps and edges. Sophi likes it a lot, and that is gratifying.

So why knit an apron, and why knit one for a 15-year-old? Well, she is quite the cook these days and is working on her vegan repertoire, as this summer, she had to omit dairy (lactose intolerance). And she is channeling the happy spirits of a couple of dingy 50s housewives who were never able to be who they really were, so she wears the pearls and heels and 50s dresses found at turnaround shops and Goodwill. She even likes red lipstick! Yikes! I have half jokingly referred to her as a cross between June Cleaver, Betty Crocker, and Courtney Love. The zany Courtney, not the crazed, out of control one.

Anyway, it was fun to knit, exhausting to knit, dreadful to knit (cotton is not fun), and wonderful to finish. And I feel that I learned about six important things from this project.

Secret Pal showers recipient with gorgeous gifts!

I have been remiss! Since school started, I suddenly have a life, but the result is that I have not kept current with my knitting blog.

First, Rhonda has revealed herself as my very kind and color-savvy secret pal from the One Skein project this summer. I am way too fortunate! These are the gifts she sent me this week. First she made the felted purse from the book (now how did she know I would love that shade of teal???). See that totally cool clasp? It's a silver button, the likes of which I've never seen but am really curious about, and a short string of seed beads that loops around the flower to close the clutch. I can't wait to use this purse.

But WAIT! THERE'S MORE! She sent me a skein of my beloved Karaoke, in shades of blues and teals, that knocks my socks off. See how I have already started a project with it (in the time I don't actually have). I am making a soft, stretchy hat. Don't know if I'll be able to part with it! :^)

Rhonda also sent me a sweet card with a really cool knitting basket sticker; this goes with me to school tomorrow so I can adorn my desk bulletin board. Anyway, thanks, Pal! In a minute, I'm going to check out her blog to see what SHE likes to knit.

Almost done with the secret project that is now actually a LATE project. I will have the recipient model it when I give it to her later today. Again, I am knitting with time I don't actually have. But it has been so much fun, and I have made enough mistakes that I feel especially prepared now to deal with the unexpected. I have also watched a shocking number of episodes of Law and Order. Why is all this so much more attractive than grading student exams??

Well, cheerio! Happy knitting. See you soon.

Can you keep a secret?

Well, I'm working away on a variation on the Knitty apron featured in the Spring '04 issue, "Party Apron," by Jordana Paige. I'm making it for DD3 who turns 15 on 9/3, and who is a strange combination of Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, and Courtney Love. And it's a GOOD combination.

I'm using solid aqua Plymouth Fantasy Naturale, and for the frou-frou trim I chose Fur Real in peacock. I intend to use the trim for embroidering along the vertical lines of the lower apron, as well as on the straps that tie at tie neck. I may also put it along the edges of the bib portion. I want it to be really over the top, as that captures Sophi's personality perfectly. Will post finished pix, but right now I have the pedal to the metal for the opening of school, and am only knitting when I can get away with it because I have to be at a meeting or presentation. But that works for me!

PS I got a great t-shirt from Stitch Divas that has a spoof of the iPod ad campaign, with a woman holding up her knitting needles and yarn, in silhouette, and the words "iKnit" and "Modern Yarn" on the edges. I love it!

Finito! Sweater and a hat

And for something completely different, I also had this on the needles:

The black is very soft--I think it was Rowan, but it was bought some time ago. The stripes are done with my Noro Iro from the Tahoe trip, and the color change over time was quite interesting. Note I am backing off my previous refusal to do anything like fringe, pompoms or tassels. What next? Never say never!

Lastly, I started something last night that is making my hands ache because it's cotton. It's really true what they say. So I do as many rows as I can stand and then take a break, but then I start up again because it's coming together and it's cool. What is it, you ask? Can't tell. Top secret. Wait a few weeks and I'll have one of the DDs model it. :)

The Luisa Sweater is comin' togethuh

Here it is, the sweater I have worked and reworked, frogged and reknit, despaired over and kept trying with, The Luisa Sweater! I had to make changes in my original freeform pattern (seriously, what IS a novice knitter doing making up a pattern??), changes I fully "got" only after completing the body. So after trying to talk myself into half-assing it, I frogged it and started all again.

Now, I've blocked it and it is going together this afternoon!

Did I mention that this yarn (Patons Rumor) is about 85% acrylic and 15% alpaca? Well, that alpaca was going to be its saving grace, but having knitted with it and frogged it for about a week now, I may never get all the alpaca fuzz out of my nose and off my clothes. Not to mention that frogging something that "sticky" is sometimes a real trial. But I did it, and I am really glad. Finished sweater pics tomorrow.

In other news . . . I refelted one of the two bowls I made earlier this week, so that it would have a flatter base and be more compact. I like it better now. Going to embellish it a bit too with some buttons.

There's a sale on at my LYS, Full Thread Ahead! Time to start courting my fellow drivers to take me up there, since I can't drive with this foot until the end of the month.

Happy Knitting!