Wednesday, January 28, 2009


My husband and I work at a state university with a primarily residential campus. Inclement weather is not usually a reason to cancel classes or close the campus. But today the University is closed, and we have a Snow Day. This was going to be a very busy day for me and I am quite relieved to have lots of extra time.

Had a great time at Knit Night at the LYS Monday night, lots of people there working on their technique afghans. I finished the final square for Rylee's blanket and started putting the side boarders on each of them. I'm going to go spend some of this wintry, wintry morning working on Pat's Polar Knit Hat.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Yesterday I went shopping with my mom and brought home a sweet little set of drawers to be the new home to part of my yarn stash. This was a belated Christmas present.

Previously this part of the living room held an end table with an overflowing basket under it, and surrounded by various plastic bags full of yarn and oddments. The rest of my stash lives in an old trunk that's in our sunroom. The basket-drawers of the new cabinet are a little rough on the inside and could snag some of the finer yarns, so I will be lining them with fabric. But I couldn't wait for that project, so yesterday afternoon I hauled out my ENTIRE stash, spread it across the the living room floor, and organized it. I sorted all the yarn by type and whether I have any projects planned for it; I threw out all the extra bags and shnibbles of things that accummulate, and I wound all the tangles into nice center-pull balls. The yarn that doesn't have any immediately upcoming projects got put away neatly in the trunk in the sunroom (it's a three season room that we keep closed when the furnace is on... I miss the sunroom in the wintertime). The yarn for current and near future projects got sorted into the new drawers. All my needles, stitch holders, bobbins, point protectors, scissors, etc. are now stored in the basket you see on top. Also in that basket is the Polar Knit hat I'm working on - a small project that will not easily get tangled with all the needles. Also on top is my sewing basket and my Yarn Harlot page-a-day calendar. The basket next to the drawers holds the bit of yarn for a current project that wouldn't fit anywhere else, my tin of patterns and pictures, and some of my cross stitch stuff. The brown bag in the foreground is my current purse/knitting bag.

I'm SO excited to have everything organized now! It just makes me want to dive right in and get to work with all of it. Had I been thinking and/or had a smidge more time, I could have logged all my stash in my Ravelry account as I sorted yesterday. But I did need to finish it before the husband got home. He works on Saturdays, and I was keen to present a clean, newly-organized corner of the living room instead of a mound of yarn and mess. He's quite happy I knit, because (1) it makes me so happy, and (2) it means we don't have to buy as many Christmas and birthday presents. But there's no need to test the limits of this tolerance. New yarn-focused piece of furniture = happy wife AND cleaner living room. This is the association we want to form.

With all this organizing, not much knitting got done yesterday, but I only have 3-and-a-little-bit squares left to go for Rylee's blanket.

A big hooray for my friend Keith, for loaning me his digital camera. I took this during one of yesterday's brief spots of sunshine. Other pictures of my WIPs from yesterday are over on Ravelry.

Now, to dive in!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

O Glorious Day

Winter weather prevented us from driving to see my grandmother over the weekend, which meant I didn't get the car knitting time I was expecting. I did, however do some serious accomplishing around my house. Laundry, dishes, baking cookies, baking bread, making applesauce, balancing the checkbook, going shopping twice, putting away the final vestiges of Christmas, cleaning & organizing the TV/video area; I think all weekends should have three days.

The lack of car knitting was partially balanced by the seven hours of football knitting on Sunday. With so much uninterrupted knitting it was easy to calculate that it takes me about one hour and a half to knit a square of Rylee's blanket. I have nine squares left to go. Perhaps I could even finish this blanket by mid-February, giving me two whole months to knit the next one.

I have not been completely monogamous with the knitting this weekend though. Last night I went to a Polar Knits Hat class at the LYS. It was the first time I'd used Polar Knits, and I have to say I really like it. Very linty, but that reportedly goes away after the first wash. I think the main thing I love is how quickly it knits up; last night was also my first time using bulky-weight yarn - I may be converted. I knit one complete ball in the two hours of class, and it looks like that will be nearly half the hat. My husband bought a knit hat recently under the belief that if he asked me to knit one for him he might get it by the time it starts getting cold for next winter. We can't have purchasing of mass-produced knitwear going on! I think bulky yarn will be the answer. I might make one for my brother, too.

Off the topic of knitting, I have to say that today I am proud to be an American. I don't make such declarations lightly, and this is a new feeling for me. I've always felt very fortunate to be an American, but today I am also proud. I am also energized and ready to join in the hard work ahead of us.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blanket Progress

I have finished the first half of the squares for the Nephew Rylee blanket, and am on the third square of the second pattern. My friend Keith has kindly loaned me his digital camera, so new pictures will be coming soon. But (1) I never seem to be home in daylight and (2) I don't yet have a way to get the pictures off the camera. So no pictures yet, but soon. Hopefully before the pile of squares takes over my end table. We'll be driving to see my grandma this weekend, so 10 hours of car knitting should grow the pile pretty rapidly.

With such good progress, I'm starting to plan for the socks I want to make myself this spring/summer. I am seriously coveting some Maui Yarn. Hand-dyed by someone who used to work at my LYS. I'm leaning toward a tidepool or black sand beach colorway.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sweater Pictures

For your viewing pleasure, a few pictures of the sweater I made for my mom for Christmas. This was my first grown-up sized sweater. Marjorie pattern from Knitty.

And a close up of the cabled parts:

This sweater turned out so well. I managed to completely surprise my mom, which is very unusual. She and I started an exercise program last year that has you record your measurements, so that weight loss isn't the only only way to see progress. So I took her measurements from that and double-checked them against a sweater that fits her well, and is of a similar style.

I love the Frog Tree 100% alpaca yarn I used for this. A small yarn miracle occurred during this project. I bought the yarn back in about May when my LYS was having a big sale. There was a lot of math and probably a little too much estimation used to determine how many balls to buy. So in November I was about to run out with about 1/3 of a sleeve and the collar left to go. I was at a Knit Night at the LYS when it finally became clear that there was no way I had enough, and one of the employees found another ball not only of the same color, but from the same dye lot! A definite little yarn miracle for this sweater. I'll be more careful next time I buy yarn for a big project, that's for sure!

This sweater came out SO well and was a thoroughly encouraging project. I'm looking forward to getting through this spring's baby knitting so I can start on next Christmas' sweater.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


The Rylee Blanket is coming along at about the rate of one square a day. Which is about the rate I need to maintain. I figure that I have just under 100 days in which to complete both blankets, meaning I have to knit 2% of a blanket every day, which is about one square of the Tell Me A Story pattern. And with 14 squares already complete, I feel like I'm in pretty good shape.

So the camera possibility I had didn't pan out at all, but I managed to take a few pictures with my friend Matt's camera phone. Not the best picture, but I'll get better ones eventually. Also, a great big hurray for Matt helping me fix the html a bit!

Tonight spontaneously turned into an evening of dinner and cards with our good friends. Which is giving me another excuse to not take the Christmas decorations down yet. I know it's time, and they'll be coming down tomorrow, but that's just the least fun part of the season. More often than not my mom ends up painting a room in mid-January to counteract the bareness when the decorations come down.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Feasts of Ste. Genevieve

The Tell Me a Story blanket for Nephew Rylee is coming along nicely. I went on a shopping excursion today with Dad and Step-mom and had some quality knitting time in the car and waiting in the motorcycle shop. This blanket is constructed by knitting many squares - 42 of them - then stitching them together and edging the whole thing. I used this pattern once before for Nephew Shane in a different color.

Along with getting a way to take and post pictures, one of my next goals for the blog is to figure out how to put those percentage-done progress bars along the side.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Knitting Blog

Welcome to my new blog. I'm not a very techie person (e.g. I do not own and do not want to own a cell phone) but I'd like to be more involved in the wonderful and expansive online community of knitters, and I figured a blog is a good way to start. I have also just asked for a Ravelry invitation and am excited to start organizing my stash and projects with that reportedly great resource.

About me:
I've been knitting for almost five years now. I live in small town Ohio with my husband and cats. Through divorces and marriages I have 23 brothers and sisters, and they are starting to supply me with lots of nieces and nephews for whom to knit.

Recent projects:
**The 2008 Christmas knitting included my first grown-up sweater (I've done quite a few baby layette sweaters). This sweater was Marjorie from the Spring '08 issue of Knitty. It was done in a lovely blue shade of Frog Tree Alpaca and was for my mother. I was able to completely surprise her, which is quite an accomplishment when giving things to my mom. (I was able to get the measurements right by taking them from a sweater I knew fit her well)
**Also for this Christmas was Doddy, from the Winter '07 issue of Knitty, for Nephew Vinson. I made this rainbow colored and really enjoyed the seamless three-dimensional knitting.
**I also made several cotton washcloths, I think it was only nine this year. These were all Ballband or Nine Patch patterns from Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Upcoming Projects:
I try to make blankets for the nephews and nieces for their first birthdays and Nephew Rylee and Niece Sofia will have blankets due this spring. Then I'll have layette sets to do for the two forthcoming nieces. After that I hope to make myself some socks, maybe finish my clapotis, and do another grown-up sweater for next Christmas.

So that's a quick introduction to me and my knitting. I don't have a digital camera yet, but I'll do my best to get access to one soon so I can put pictures on the blog.
Happy New Year!