But Wait! There's MORE!

A lovely kind friend, Queen of Purple Yarn, donated this handsome wool scarf with lovely mitered pattern to the etsy shop for my fundraiser. Aren't the colors just amazing? Thanks so much, Queen!

Here are some finished and soon-to-be finished items that will also go into the shop today or this weekend:
A loooong scarf in Takhi Bunny (charcoal, purple, and lilac) that will be so soft and comforting on a cold day.

Here's a finally finished project: the kitty/puppy hat. It's for someone 6-12 months old and is made of very soft washable wool, and the fabric gives nicely for a stretchy, snug fit. It's long in the back to keep a little neck warm.

This is the Lemon Chiffon scarf, and it begs to be snuggled around some young woman's neck--the color is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

I've been finishing up some other additions as well, so if you haven't made it over, take a gander today--as well if you HAVE seen it but weren't ready to put your cash on the barrelhead.
And it's all for a great cause--Lymphoma Research Foundation funds the study and development of many significant treatments that have been helping to change the outlook for those with Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins lymphomas. For example:

Someone I love.

Exciting Developments in Stacie's Adventures--and a Bonus!

Exciting times! For the past year and a half, since DH's diagnosis with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in April 2008, I have been plotting to attack cancer in my own stitchy way. I have been knitting for a cure.

Today I officially opened up shop at etsy, and I hope you will come and visit. To raise funds for the Lymphoma Research Foundation, I have listed gazillions of knitted items I've been amassing through the past year or so. All of the proceeds from your purchases go straight to LRF. There is one catch--I am open for business just through Dec. 31, 2009.

In my shop, you may well recognize some of my scarves, hats, and other hand-knitted items, as I was casting on yet again, working on them, moaning over them, and finally finishing them. For long-suffering devotees of my knitting blog, I have a special perk--mention "blogspot" in the comments section as you check out, and I will waive your shipping fee.

Here are just a few of the items for sale: 

Watermelon Cuddle scarf, from freshisle fibers' mohair/merino blend (and it is so incredibly soft, you cannot believe it!)

Yak beanie, made of a yak/merino blend from A Verb for Keeping Warm.

Felted purse (a version of the Sophie purse) from a wide variety of wools, including some mohair/wool blend from Be Sweet that I got at Stitches West three years ago.

Hope you can stop by and visit, and remember the blog visitor's perk--free shipping!

Movies and Knitting = Relaxation

That's what I've been doing when I get home from school and make dinner--the DH and I most nights get a movie going and eat dinner, and then I knit on whatever strikes my fancy (so many UFOs to choose from!). These are my most recent pieces--

Finished: the wine and blue twin rib scarf (could turn into a gift for DD#3's new college roommate from Colorado); Le Perle alpaca (supposedly washable--hmmm).The crayon jumble scarf--Socks That Rock (Jabberwocky colorway)
The seed stitch wrap--Lambs Pride Super Wash Bulky (Japanese Plum)Several washcloths out of Wick and something else.

UFO THIS close to finished:
The Cocoon scarf in 2x2 ribbing. I'm crazy about Cocoon--great stitch definition and somehow a bit of shine. It does make my nose twitch and my eyes a little itchy though . . . but I bore up under the discomforts because it's so very pretty. I've basically just got two rows and the cast off left but, before that, a repair. I muffed a stitch quite a ways down that I'll need to go in and fix when I've got focus and good light. What I worked hard to hide is that I have a lot of finish work to do. ;^)

As for movies, some great, some OK, a few abandoned.

I like Helen Mirren a great deal, so we watched two nights of her Elizabeth I, and then I enjoyed Calendar Girls a second time. It's a little movie, but I like the character Mirren plays.

We've also seen Mrs. Henderson Presents (Dame Judi Dench is so good at everything!--Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont was good too).

A lovely little movie that could have gone way wrong was Lost in Austen, in which 2008 meets Jane Austen's world.

And I loved Priscilla Queen of the Desert (finally! a little late to the party!).

Abandoned: An American Crime. True story, too ghastly and twisted to put ourselves through.

Off to a memorial service for a colleague who died late in September after four years of up and down experiences with cancer. He, his wife and grown daughter, demonstrated a kind of grace about the last weeks that everyone who knows them is in awe of.

Keep knitting, all, and those of you heading into spring, enjoy your warmer weather. We get rain and cooler temps starting next week apparently.

Knitting for Babies

Have been having a great time making booties and a hat that will fit "Baby Bob" for oh, about a week when he debuts in early October. His mom, Danielle, is our admissions director at the MS and liked them when we gifted her at a baby shower last week. Just have to imagine the cap--same yarn of course, 2x2 ribbing. I liked this color combo and thought it works for a boy, born in autumn too. The yarn is one of my favorite yarns for babies (not only, but in my choice-making), Wick by K1C2.

In other Knitting Knews, I've started a seed stitch scarf with a skein of mink that I bought last spring from Great Northern Yarns. This yarn is like buttah, only fuzzy. 8^) Downside to black yarn, as you know, is that unless I knit in bright light, I don't see what I'm doing. So I'm going to rip back several rows where I stopped "seeding" and started "1x1 ribbing."

Still working on several other scarves though, in various patterns. I pick up one and work on it awhile and then go with another. The one I'm doing in mohair blend watermelon colorway from Freshisle Fibers has to wait for cooler weather though, as I cannot knit with anything THAT thick and fuzzy until we get through this heat wave we're having, which threatens to warm up to the triple digits next week.

Now that I'm knee-deep in school again and have taken on yet another role as grade level coordinator for "Students of Concern," I see some knitting but alas not much blogging in my immediate future. Thanks to anyone who sticks with me through RSS feeds etc.

Happy knitting, all!

**Does** Stacie Adventure?

Admittedly, my knitting posts have slowed down as I've been focused on the Writing Wizards blog more this summer.

But of course I've been knitting. Let me show you.

This is a twin rib scarf from two balls of La Perle Alpaca (washable!) that I got at Green Planet Yarns in their sale bin. Those of you who've seen my knitting in past years will notice that I love this color combo.

This is a men's scarf in Jo Sharp Ultra (colorway is called Nero). I need to weave in ends, but it's essentially done. It's chunky. Also a twin rib pattern.And I took the Lorna's Laces worsted I'd gotten on Bainbridge Island in June and started this 2x2 ribbing scarf. The colors are so wonderfully autumnal--the shade is called "Tuscany." My MIL had purchased this same yarn in January to knit some socks for herself, and that was when I fell in love with the colorway.

Got started with the Katrina shell again:
I'm also more than halfway done with the knitted backing for the blanket I'm making of Swedish-themed printed cotton. It's done in garter ridge stitch. Hard to get the color right in the photograph--a little more red and a little less purple in real life.Don't know what to do with the Moderne Log Cabin baby blanket--I've cut out polar fleece to back it, but I'm not a seamstress, and using blanket edging is not really feasible with such a thick garter stitch. Any advice?
You might have noticed that some of my knitting is adorned with cat hair. Here is one reason:
My mother, a knitter and crocheter herself, always says the cat hairs come at no extra charge. 8^) Kermit is my other sweet boy (Percy being the one most evident on my blog). Doesn't he match the upholstery nicely? Kerm is a big love. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. Can't say that about Perce. ;^)

In Non-Knitting News . . .

The DDs were all just together in Mexico for ten days, visiting DD#1's future in-laws who live in Zinacantan, Chiapas state. Rural Mexico, in the southern regions, is much more lush and green than my visions of what one would find in Mexico. They visited many wild and jungle-ish places, including the remains of a Mayan settlement called Tenam Puente.This is the central part of Tenam Puente. In Mexico, the term "ruins" is not used for old abandoned and crumbling structures, as it sounds derogatory.

These are the three DDs all looking related. 8^)

This is a view of the town of Comitan, which is below Tenam Puente.

Here is DD#1 singing with her prometido (fiance) Paco.

DD#2 won big points by finding her mama a skein of handspun, hand-dyed wool in a market in Chiapas.Don't know the yardage or colorfastness, but it is lovely single-ply. I'll probably make something I can felt. DH and I are jealous that the girls got to go and we missed all this, but he's training heavily for the first of two marathons, one of which is Labor Day weekend. Not a time to go on vacation . . .

Speaking of DH, he and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary tonight with a dinner out at our favorite special event place, Amber, in Santana Row.
The day we were married--what you can't see is that we both still had braces on our teeth at the time. Do you think we were too young? ;^)


Here it is: the improved striped beanie. I like it much better, and I'm thrilled that the Cashsoft Aran is washable! Adding it to the pile of FOs that I'm hoping to sell at the holidays to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Working on the blanket backing for the surprise Christmas present blanket, and I've also been working on a twin rib scarf with one half light blue and the other deep wine--can you detect a theme? I love this combo!

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the hardest work I've done in my entire life. Rachel is celebrating her birthday in Chiapas, Mexico, with her fiance and his family.

I'm Not Biased

But I do love this Bias Blanket that I made for a friend's new baby, born Friday. The pattern seems to have an error at the end of the purl rows that I gradually figured out, but I just kept going since it was hardly noticeable. It's Lion Organic Cotton, nice and stretchy for wrapping a newborn in, as well as cool for summer and September (we usually have our hottest weather then). And of course cotton because it's washable, which has finally sunk in for me after several years of knitting things that require hand-washing, which is ridonculous for a baby.

I started a child's hat with leftovers from skeins of CashSoft Aran, but I may rip it back and do alternating stripes all the way up because I am out of the blue, and it will just look weird if I finish up in the purple.

I have several projects underway right now, and regularly start new ones, but this is what I'm working on these past few days.

Other things keep me distracted, such as this lovely visitor--

and my writing blog (for my tutoring students). The hummer photos are much easier to take now that DH has built me a little "automatic" camera which requires me only to use a bulb to activate the button and take pictures from a distance. The camera is mounted on the tripod, I sit away from the window but close enough to see when a hummer arrives for a drink, and I generate gazillions of new hummer photos. Here's a slide show of such an arrival.

Off to the mattress store--DH has suddenly realized that I really don't like our 25 year old mattress (I've been saying this for some time . . .) and that perhaps we could replace it. Woo-hoo!

Twilight Time

Finished my Twilight scarf! This was yarn I purchased from Yarn Lust a while back, superwash wool, and it made a lovely neck wrap.

I finished Bonnie and Clyde some time ago but forgot to post it--one half is Bonnie and the other Clyde (Louet, same colorway--"Sleepy Hollow"), and the combo works nicely. I adorned DD#3's "womakin" with DD#1's pea coat so the blazer could show off the scarf.

(DD#1 used to call mannequins "womakins" if they were in the women's dept.)

And here is the blanket I've begun as the backing of a blanket, a washable lap blanket for ?? that I'm going to back with a fabric that is SO COOL but it's a secret for now. (Thanks, Kathy, for encouraging me to try a larger needle size--instead of 8 it was 9 that I needed. It's going great!)

And I'm getting stuff together to back the Baby Moderne Log Cabin in brown polar fleece, when I have time!

From the Cellar Came an Unearthly Howl . . .

Well, OK it was coming from my study . . . and actually it wasn't totally unearthly since I knew it was emanating from one of the feline fluffbutts at our house, Cleo. Seems my yarn stash is bringing out the primal instincts in her. Every night after most or all of us have gone to bed, she apparently heads for my yarn cubbies and chooses something tasty, howling as if she's in heat, and then drags the skein out into the hallway, sometimes farther. And leaves it there. I guess I can be glad she doesn't chew it or pull it apart and tangle it!

I've been doing finish work on several projects that were essentially done but now are actually completed. That means two scarves, a hat, and potentially the lining for a purse I made a while ago, if I don't lose my enthusiasm for finishing up things.

I'm also taking a go at a new "The Same, But Different," the shell from Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics, a pattern I started two years ago and messed up so much that I abandoned it for a looooong time. But so far so good! I only wonder if the Katrina will turn out to be too heavy--the problems before weren't in that vicinity but it does seem dense to me now. But if all goes well, I'll be able to wear it to school in the fall, and someone will ask me the question I can finally answer YES to--"Did you knit that yourself?"

I've also begun a child's blanket to be backed with some gorgeous fabric I found on eBay but that will have to be top secret for now. Or visit me on ravelry for more pictures.

Decompression Nearly Complete

After the past month, even with the road trip and the beginning of my tutoring schedule, I have finally reached the point of ahhhhhhhh. Summer is an odd mix of relaxing and getting organized for next fall. And "getting organized" is usually not much of an academic/school endeavor, more a life/routines thing. But I'm getting there. I tutor 8 students, some twice a week, and that is going swimmingly. Great kids with the willingness to do what I ask even if they would rather be off playing on their Sony Playstation or Wii.

I've been watching a series of lectures on the history of London, quite interesting, which has led me to Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year. Written from a fictional point of view but with a great deal of material that he heard from those who lived through it (he himself was only 5 at the time). So much is what I would expect today if something similar happened.

Facebook has become a time sink that I'm weaning myself away from except for a short while once or twice a day. One starts to notice who has a life and who's living through others' lives. ;^)

And I am knitting, even in the hottest weather (it's the A/C that makes that possible). Finished the Percy scarf and just need to tuck in the loose threads.

I'm this close to being done with the Baby Moderne Log Cabin (after which it will be backed and edged), but I'm not feeling it and will probably only try another one if I can get the same yarn--it wasn't a great success with Bazic, probably not because of that yarn itself but because it wasn't quite the same weight.

I have finished a short scarf in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, chambray-ish blue. I love this one, and the pattern, which is becoming a standard for me, a sort of mistaken rib.

I started another scarf in Blue Moon Fibers heavyweight superwash sock wool, in a great colorway ("Jabberwocky") that looks quite autumnal.

And I've been knitting a 3x3 rib scarf in Yarn Lust's washable wool, worsted weight. Notice how the second and fifth ribs are much more variegated than the others? I think that sort of thing is so cool about this type of yarn--the way it tends to pool.

I'm thinking of some sort of fund raising method that will help me sell my knitted items and give the proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (with which DH's Team in Training is affiliated). Don't know if it's worth it to set up on etsy or find a holiday craft fair in the area, or ?? Accepting all ideas about ways to make it work, given that I have to charge at least for the cost of the yarn for each item. But I have now made about 15 items that are selling-quality, and which I think could raise enough to make it worthwhile to try.

I'm also working on a second blog this summer that my tutoring students use. If you're interested, it's here.


Have I been out of commission or what? After school ended and I road-tripped with my two oldest daughters, I am now home and ready to spend the summer tutoring, relaxing, and knitting.

But first, here's a delectable salad I made for lunch to share with DD#1 today:

1 small head green or red leaf lettuce, washed and spin-dried
3 beets, scrubbed, peeled, diced, and boiled until soft (cool them, or run cold water over)
1-2 tbsp. toasted almonds or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Into a small jar with a tight fitting lid, put 1-1/2 tbsp. soft goat cheese (chevre), 3 tsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. red wine vinegar, a dash of Worcestershire sauce (soy will do), and a pinch of tarragon. Shake well to blend, and taste it. If needed, add 1/4 tsp. salt.

Make a bed of torn lettuce, add beets, and sprinkle with almonds. Drizzle dressing over and serve.

A Plug for My DH

As some of you know, DH was diagnosed with cancer just over a year ago, a period of time that in retrospect has passed in a blur, but which for him has been travail, journey, ordeal, and odyssey. He joined Team in Training and began running with them last summer (while in the midst of chemo!) with "honoree" status, and has become more avid with every passing month.

Team in Training raises money for research funded by the American Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and as a runner, he has decided to go for the brass ring and train to run in two marathons this fall. Fundraising is required for admission as an official runner, so he is now in the process of raising the $$ that will help him reach his goals, both in terms of donations and his running endeavors.

If you have a few minutes and would like to know more about Keith and his plans for these two marathons, you can read about him on his TNT pledge page.

After I give him a high five, it's back to the Moderne Baby Blanket, which I may finish this weekend!

No Slacking Here

What would I do without knitting? I have so much going on at work and barely any functioning gray matter at the end of the day. All last week I spent evenings getting back to myself, and I have finished the Smoothie scarf and made major progress on the Baby Moderne Log Cabin.

And here is the Percy scarf, almost 2/3 done.And this--well, this is Nico adorning his blanket. Ain't he sweet?

And I Thought the Bird of Paradise Was Impressive

Here's how it looked a few days after that photo I took--things just keep unfurling from its blossoms. Amazing. Now if only I could get that silly song from the 70s out of my head: "May the bird of paradise fly up your nose / May an elephant smash you with his toes / May your wife be plagued with runners in her hose / etc."

Yes, I continue to knit on the Smoothie scarf, the Percy scarf, and the Moderne Baby Log Cabin, all of which are coming along. Pictures later this week. Happy knitting, all!

Happy Easter and a bit of naughtiness

(Thanks for steering that bit of chucklery my way, Tom and Bill.)

Ahem! Back to our regularly scheduled sedate knitting blog:

Started something else! [All together now: What a surprise!] It's the same sort of scarf as the Percy (and I am continuing to work on it too), but I got some Sara Superwash through DBNY that was just begging to be knitted up into a scarf. (The close-up swatch color is much more accurate.) I love the yarn and how every once in a while there is a fleck of--blue!--from out of nowhere.

In news unrelated to knitting:
DH planted a Bird of Paradise bush last year (or even two years ago?), and it has slowly grown and slowly become a promising bit of foliage in the yard. Imagine my surprise when I went 'round the side yard the other day and saw its first bloom almost ready to burst open. I pointed it out to DH, and we both marveled. But it kept niggling at me, so the next day as I came home from school, I vowed to bring that bloom inside. I reasoned (unreasonably?) that if I cut the first bloom the plant could put out more blooms. Here it is, now opened, in all its unfathomable beauty.

And here it is, gracing some porcelain busts that my DMIL made in the past few years and which she gave to DH recently.

Which reminds me, I saw some photos of Australian daisies on a blog last fall and was stunned by their beauty and otherworldliness. If any of you has such a flower in your own yard (wrong time of year?), I would love to see more of these. Don't know if one can even get the seeds Stateside, but I think they outdo our tame little white daisies by a mile!

Happy knitting (and gardening!) y'all.