Sunday, October 31, 2004


I've spent the last two days fighting with the computer. We got some kind of virus that gradually messed up the computer so bad that I had no alternative but to dump it and start over with the Restore Disk......and then of course reload all the programs, favorites, shortcuts, players etc. Not fun.

Not much knitting happened this past week. I went through several days where I didn't knit at all. Shocking but true! I just didn't feel up to it. I wasn't really sick, unless you count a pounding headache (which usually doesn't stop me). It was more that I was feeling like I was lost in a mental fog zone. I couldn't think straight. That's NOT the condition to be in when knitting Celtic cables. I had no simple projects on the go so I refused to knit at all until I snapped out of it.

The fog lifted today and during my morning coffee I was able to knit about 8 rows on the second sleeve for the Rogue. Man that felt good. I really have missed the knitting. How DO people sit still and watch TV without something in their hands anyway?

Not much sitting still for me today. I bought myself a pedometer yesterday. I think it is about the 3rd or 4th one I have owned. Some of them worked well but broke, others were so inaccurate that I returned them the next day. The one I bought yesterday seems EXCELLENT. On a walk today I counted out 200 steps and looked at the read-out and it said exactly 200 steps. I have never had one that accurate before. I paid a little more to get one that had a good clip (I've had them break before) and a sensitivity adjustment. My goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day. I have exceeded that today, but that is with an hour long walk and a busy day. Past experience has shown me that if I sit on my butt too long I won't make my goal.

I will record my daily steps an incentive. Obviously I won't be able to record each day's steps until the following day when I actually know what the final count was.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


We had perfectly clear skies here last night and got a good view of the lunar eclipse. It was......boring. Haha. If you missed it, don't weep, you'll get another chance in 2007.

This picture was taken 10 to 15 minutes before the eclipse was "complete". If I had waited for it to be complete I wouldn't have had anything to take a picture of now would I? Actually, even when it was complete it was not really all that exciting. The moon often looks just like that through a light cloud cover. For those who missed it and really want to know, it looked a little darker, somewhat "smokey" in appearance.....and....that's it. It stayed that way for a long time, and then a crescent of light grew on the other side. *yawn*

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Quizilla says.....

Knitting Goddess
You appear to be a Knitting Goddess.
You are constantly giving and are unconcerned with
reward, you simply want others to love knitting
as much as you do. If someone wants to knit
miles of novelty yarns, you are there for them.
If someone wants to learn short row shaping,
you can help. There are no taboos in knitting,
only opportunities to grow. Everyone should
have friend like you around if they want to
learn to knit, and there's a good chance that
your passion has rubbed off on a few others.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, October 24, 2004

3 in 1 day

I made three more of the "Timmie Cosies" yesterday. Kristy wanted one, so on the 50 minute drive to her apartment yesterday I made one. I also made another one while there visiting, so she got two. Then, on the trip back home, I made a third one. With the prototype done the previous day, that makes four in all, and I left two of them in the glove-box of our car for future use.

In Rogue News: I am working on the first sleeve. It is going quite well, but with my not so perfect gauge I think I had better block the body so I can get a better idea as to how much alteration will be necessary to the sleeve. I know that if I make them exactly as the pattern states they will come out too short. The Rogue pattern gives the row count for the sleeves, not the measured lengths and my row gauge is off.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Timmie Cosie

Have you ever been handed a steaming hot coffee at your local drive through and found that it was just too hot to hold? Our local "Tim Horton's" doesn't double cup or put a sleeve on their paper coffee cups unless you ask......and we frequently forget to ask. I've decided to crochet a couple of "Timmie Cosies" to throw in the glove box for just such occasions.

I tried at first to knit one, but the cups are tapered and I found the shaping was faster and easier with crochet.

I had an empty Timmie's Cup to check the fit, but of course after I got the prototype done I had to make sure it actually worked. I am happy to report it fit just fine on both the large and extra large coffees and did a wonderful job of preventing burnt fingers.

It also fit an A&W drink cup....not that I would use it for that....just wanted to see if it was "universal". ;-)

Friday, October 22, 2004

Rouge Hood

I have the hood of the Rogue done....this time correctly. I haven't blocked it yet so it looks a bit rumpled. This first picture shows detail of the cables.

This second photo shows a little better what it looks like on an actual head. To receive permission to use this photo I had to guarantee the anonymity of the model. ;-)

I am hoping that the puckering at the top of the hood will block out. It is more noticeable in the first picture than it is in the second one. I had read that some previous knitters of this pattern had had the same puckering problem.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


It will be a while before I have pictures of the Rogue hood. *sniffle*

I HAD finished the hood for Rogue....all but the top bit of the left side. As I was packing up my stuff to prepare for bed, I set it out to admire.. Grrrr. Way, WAY back I found a cable that was crossed the wrong way. I tried to drop back just the 4 stitches, but by the time it was dropped down nearly 20 rows, there were far more than 4 stitches involved and with all the crossings it was just too complicated. I had to FROG 20 freakin rows!

It's a good thing that I actually enjoy knitting these intricately woven cables or I might be in more of a snit than I already am.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Small Projects For Children

Knowing that most children would not be too thrilled with knitting "practice squares" I have looked around the internet for simple projects. I found a couple of easy projects like earwarmer/hairbands and simple hats but there really isn't much available at the Brand New Beginner level. The usual "garter stitch scarf" seems too big and time consuming for that very first effort and a child's shorter attention span.

I have been designing a few simple little knitting projects for children. I felt that a simple bookmark could be a good teaching tool for Cast On, Knit, and Cast Off.

A "Mug Mat" or coaster, although much like a practice square, at least would have a purpose for being. It would be a good project for introducing purling and counting stitches.

And a little purse/bag takes a bit more effort and involves learning to decrease and make a button hole. I-cord for a handle is another easy to learn technique. This is a pattern that I adapted from one on the internet.

Maybe after getting a few quick to knit, near instant gratification projects under their belt the children would be ready for a full size scarf for themselves.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Homemade Needles

For over a year I have been wanting to teach children to knit. I am considering going to the neighborhood elementary school to offer my services. Perhaps they could use a lunch time knitting club or something. Anyway, before I dive in too deep I want to get an idea of potential cost. Schools don't have much of a budget these days so I am guessing there would be ZERO funds available and I would have to cover any costs myself.

I have a small number of knitting worsted scraps, but not enough for more than a few kids to get started. I could probably get the most mileage for my $$ by buying one of those economy sized Super Saver acrylics and then re-balling them for multiple children/projects. As for needles, I have managed to make 9 inch 5mm needles for only about 44 cents per pair using dowels and dollar store wooden beads. I think they have turned out rather well.

I rubbed the needle shafts with candle wax then warmed them over a candle flame and rubbed them smooth. They work very well and are extremely light. Of course I have been spoiled by the slick surface of Addi Turbos and find that these drag a little, but I have heard that a little friction is desirable with new knitters......less dropped stitches.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Fun Fur vs Eye Lash

Michelle commented: "I think I can just take a plain sweater pattern and add the fur as trim on the cuffs and hem...possibly manage a different style collar to add the fur there as well."

Michelle, is this the kind of thing you had in mind?

I made this a while back (still no buttons) doing the exact thing you are talking about. I simply knitted "Fun Fur" on the cuffs (no ribbing) and collar of a plain sweater pattern. I think it turned out rather well, but won't really be sure until I see it on an actual child. I just made it because I liked the yarn.

The pink and white baby sweater is being done in the opposite way. The trim is in the smoother pink, and the main portion is knit in "Bernat Eye Lash" yarn. The pattern calls for the body to be knit in stockinette, but I found that all the fluff was more prominent on the purl side so I am doing it in reverse stockinette instead.

I really love this "Bernat Eye Lash" yarn. It is so soft! I wish they had a better color selection locally. (I see now that there is a better selection of colors through their internet site.) There are only about four colors available here and only the white is even remotely acceptable for a baby. The "LionBrand Fun Fur" I used in the yellow sweater comes in many more colors but was not nearly so soft and pleasant to work with.

In Rogue News: I am on row 38 (of 82 rows) of the hood. I have to print another copy of the hood graphs. I realized last night that I have the right and left sides of Chart C printed on opposite sides of the same piece of paper. That doesn't work so well when you are keeping track of your rows with a magnetic board! I won't bother posting a photo until the hood is done.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Crawling Up the Hood

I am making my way up the hood of the Rogue. It is interesting to knit as every row is a little different and I never know quite what is going to happen next. Pictures in a day or two.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Starting the Hood

I decided to rip out the shoulder error even though it was only one extra stitch. I knew leaving the error was going to bug me and it didn't take much time to correct. That's done now and I also finished up the front pieces last night.

I've done a few little things along the way that were not included in the Rogue pattern. I think the changes will make the finishing neater. After the short rows for the shoulder shaping I left those stitches "live" rather than casting them off. I then used a three needle bind off to join the front and back shoulders. I also left the back neck stitches "live", rather than bind them off, and when it came to the directions to "pick up stitches along back neck" I simply slid them off the stitch holder and back onto the needles (decreasing in three places). Ta-da! No back neck seam.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Note to Michelle - Problem with Rogue Cardigan

Michelle, for the life of me I can't remember your KnitReview ID name. I was going to leave you a private message there. Anyway, here will do:

I ran into a problem today with the cardiganizing of the Rogue. It is not a big problem.......if you know ahead of time. I didn't. *sigh*

In step # 6 where it says "bind off central 23 (23, 25, 25) sts of body back" DON'T FORGET THAT with the cardigan YOU HAVE ONE EXTRA STITCH! For the cardiganized Rogue it should read 24 (24, 26, 26). Dang! I have knit the whole upper back with one extra stitch on the left side. No where in the pattern does it give a further stitch count so I didn't even notice. Just suddenly, while working the fronts a little birdie whispered "where did that extra stitch on the back go.....hmmm?"

I think I am going to leave it, but for YOUR benefit I thought I would mention my boo boo.

Baby Fluff

When my daughter came over for Thanksgiving on Sunday she brought her numerous knitting projects along. One of them was a cute baby sweater she is making for her friend. Just looking at and touching the tiny, pastel thing made me want to rush right out and buy yarn for a baby outfit.

And so I did.

This fluffy pink and white confection is not quite as innocent as it looks. It is a seductress, taking me temporarily away from knitting the Rogue. (Which by the way, I have nearly completed the back of).

I think I'll two-time today. I'll knit a little of them both.

Monday, October 11, 2004


My daughter Kristy, and her fiance Jeramey, bought these beautiful flowers as a thank you for helping them move a couple of weeks ago. Aren't they lovely? (the kids and the flowers!)

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Felted Hat

Ta Da! The finished felted hat. I think it turned out rather well.

Now I am off to prepare The Big Thanksgiving Dinner. I have already spent a day baking buns, pumpkin pies and.......a birthday cake. My eldest daughter, Lisa, was born the day after thanksgiving. This year we are combining her birthday "party" (just family) and the big dinner all in one. I mean, a cook just has to have a break right?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

How's the fit?

The felted hat is finished.

A tad big you say? This is pre-felting. It fits perfectly now, post-felting, but what a procedure! I tried to felt it by hand using detergent and very hot water. 45 minutes into that nonsense (without a significant change in size) I decided to throw it in the washer. Unfortunately I have a gentle front load washer and it took more than two full cycles to get it down to the right size. Now it is a perfect fit.

Before I began the felting process I searched in vain for a bowl that would be approximately the size of my head to use as a form. Nope. Not a one. I attempted to pad an existing bowl to add additional circumference, but in the end I used the most logical item....the one that assure a perfect, custom fit. I used my HEAD. That's right, for nearly two hours I shaped and formed the hat while it was on my head, finally crawling into bed at one in the morning. I left the hat resting on a wig form and was relieved this morning to find that it still fit.

I am debating now whether or not I should add some decorative detail with needle felting. I am undecided. If I leave it "as is", it looks fine, and can be coordinated with nearly anything. If I add additional color (likely just black and white) it will cut down the number of things I could wear it with, but would jazz it up some.

Decisions, decisions!

Friday, October 08, 2004


This is a picture of a butterfly that I took when I first got my digital camera.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


We apologize for the interruption of this blog due to an earlier than expected delivery of Gjestal Naturgarn no.1 from Elann.

We will return to the regulary sheduled WIPs and blogging when the knitting of "The Wool Pak Felt Hat" is complete.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Classy Lady

Sometimes a lady doesn't need to wear anything but a fluffy accessory to keep her nose warm.

After modeling the beautiful scarf made by my daughter, Lisa, as a gift for her friend, Shelby fell asleep wrapped in it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Hem Personalization

I have the hem of the Rogue picked up, knitted (with date and intitials) and sewn in place. The hem is a finer weight, lighter grey tweed that was laying in my stash after being rejected as a possibility for the Rogue. It coordinates nicely with the main yarn and I am happy with the way it makes the hem personalization more of a "feature". It doesn't show on the right side. It is more of a secret "inner smile" for my own benefit, a bit of a haute couture touch.

Monday, October 04, 2004

My First Felted Project

I worked up a test sample last night to see if I could get my initials and the year to read correctly in intarsia. I want to put the date and my initials into the inside hem of the Rogue. I have also never tried felting before so I thought this little swatch would be "victim" of my first effort. No sense wasting that knitting time, and I think it will make a great bookmark for one of my knitting books.

Looking at it now, I realize that the WHITE is a superwash wool so it didn't felt. The grey was the wool I originally swatched with for the Rogue. The yarn was a bit fine for the Rogue so I ended up selecting something else. It DOES work for the hem of the Rogue though as I WANT that to be a finer weight yarn for two reasons. One, it will lay to the inside without bunching up, and two, it will create less bulk than a hem made of the full weight of the main yarn.

Crocheted, Recycled Shopping Bags

The was some interest at KR in the possiblity of knitting using recycled shopping bags cut into strips. I crocheted this bag, but the same principles could be used for knittng.

I used my rotary cutter and quilter's ruler and the method presented here to cut my bags in preparation for crocheting. The actual design of the bag is totally free-form. I first crocheted an oval the size I wanted the bottom of the bag to be, then I continued straight up the sides without further increases. The handles were made during a regular round by simply crocheting a chain, skipping an appropriate # of stitches and then continuing on in rounds again. It made a nice, comfortable and strong handle.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Rogue Progress

I've reached the point on the Rogue where I have reattached the kangaroo pocket to the main body piece. This was a bit troublesome due to the front split of the "cardiganizing". I found I had to attach the pocket at Row 53 instead of Row 54 to make everything flow smoothly. I also found that the "sssk" at the beginning and end of the pockets required a little tweaking to get it to lie right.

My gauge is a little off but the cardigan still seems to fit quite nicely around my body with room to spare so I won't reknit. I will add one extra cable repeat to the body to make it long enough instead.

In the picture you can see both the Celtic cable on the left, and the edge of the pocket on the right. My knitting isn't nearly as uneven as it appears in the photo. Taking the picture without the flash (to enhance the definition in the cable) seems to have highlighted all the slubs and slight imperfections present in the rather rustic yarn.

The bottom edge is curling because I have not yet added the hem facing. I will pick up and knit that downward, probably with finer yarn and needles.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Four Hour Snow Storm

I made this really long scarf last night. It only took about four hours.
I named it "Snow Storm" because it is snowy white, fluffy and has a wee bit of sparkle to it.

It took three 50g balls of Bernat "Ping Pong" and two 50g balls of Bernat "Eye Lash".

Holding both strands together, I cast on 12 stitches on 8mm needles and knit all rows until the yarn ran out.