My friend Mary Jane just put a great pattern on her blog. It's Mucklemitts, and she used Motif #172 from her fabulous book, 200 Fair Isle Motifs: A Knitter's Directory. It's a great pattern, it'll bust your stash, and I'm gonna knit a pair! I have ordered Mary Jane's book too; I can't wait to get it. The MucklestoneMitts pattern is a good illustration of what  to do with her book -- use it!

MuckleMittsPhoto from

The vest is coming along well; I've indented the armholes and I have about 6" done on the upper part. That leaves 6 1/2" to go. Then I've got the front and the neckband and armbands to do .... and then sewing it together. Should be fun.


The catnip mice I knit for Nick, Nora and Grace turned out great. This picture is them before they were set loose among the cats:


The have been well played with. I love how my cats love their toys :)


Cats... and Socks

My table was getting to be a mess. There was a little basket in the corner, a fruit basket given to me by Hillary when I was in the hospital in Brewer, which was meant to hold little things like coins, and which was immediately taken over by two of my cats. It was full of stuff which Didn't Have To Be There. Nora didn't mind, she used it anyway:


But then I cleaned the table, ostensibly to give Nicky room to stretch out without knocking over all my stuff, and look where he went:


The big, fluffy cat doesn't really fit in the teeny, tiny basket, but it has become his spot of choice. Go figure.

While I watch Nicky snooze (he doesn't like the cold weather!), I've been busy knitting on my socks that I took to Nova Scotia:


I think they'll be extra-pretty when they're blocked. They have been fun to knit, and they make me think of Nova Scotia when I look at them. And that's chocolate tea, people, CHOCOLATE. In my Bluenose II mug from Lunenburg. It doesn't get much better than this.

Onward and Upward

I finally finished ny Juno Regina scarf/wrap/stole/thing,   only two weeks or so late. But hey, I didn't work on it at all for like three weeks, so there you go: proof that if you do not knit on a project, it will not knit itself! To quote Mr. Spock, "Fascinating." Here is a picture of the unblocked scarf:


I will block it this weekend, and it will be even more beautiful. However, it might have to be for me, as there are a myriad of mistakes in it, littles holes where yarn overs are not supposed to be. It might be pretty, though. We'll see.

In other news, I picked up my Waves scarf again, and it's going right along pretty fast:


It's wonderful how worsted weight yarn goes so much more quickly than the lace weight yarn of the Juno Regina did. The 100% silk yarn is so shiny and gorgeous! It's a little hard to work with because it's so slippery and inelastic, but I do not care. It's pretty.

I started a dead-easy garter stitch scarf to knit and watch TV by, using size 8 needles and 1 skein of Haiku from Alchemy. Cast  on 40 stitches and knit every row, piece of cake:


Nora is at her usual post:




Hi! I'm not done!

The Juno Regina is only half done, and the Indigo Waves scarf is exactly at the same point where you last saw it. I've been reading books and planning my trip to Nova Scotia.


One book I've been reading, The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge, is about brain plasticity. "Plasticity" means being able to be molded, formed, like plastic. "Neuroplasticity" means doing that to a brain. It all makes sense to me, and I thought that the research had been done long before, but it is just beginning. Many of the experiments have been done since the 1990's or even 2000's. First time I've read those dates in a book like this, ever. Of course, there's a whole history behind it, and people who had glimmers of neuroplasticity in their research, but usually they were shunted aside because their research didn't meet the "localization" theories which were accepted. Really, people? Are we still living in 1633 when Galileo was imprisoned in his house for defending heliocentrism? Unbelievable. Thankfully, word has begun to spread, and neuroplasticity is a far more common theory now. My physical therapist is behind it, too. And I threw out what the doctors told me a long time ago, which this book reaffirms. No matter what, you, your brain, your limbs, everything continues to improve forever -- as long as you believe it can. Just don't give up! I don't know how to give up. I really don't. I think I don't have that gene. "Stubborn" now, that's a gene I have, and it's gotten me into trouble in the past, but I think it's okay for this.

Another book that I am currently reading is Brain, Heal Thyself: A Caregiver's New Approach to Recovery from Stroke, Aneurysm, And Traumatic Brain Injuries by Madonna Siles. Eve, her housemate, had an aneurism and this is the story of what it was like for Donna, the author, struggling to cope.  It's quite moving, and there is a lot about the side of caregivers. It's very good, and I recommend it to anyone who has the caregiving role. Caregivers are hurt as bad, if not more, than the people they care for. The only way to make it stop is for the hurt people to work to get better, thus lessening the burden a bit. 

Knitting has always been a joy to me, and I'm enjoying reading  Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace by Wendy D. Johnson. I never had time to read knitting books before. I like it! After I read what Wendy has to say, I'm going to knit a few things from her book. It's a great book and there's something for every knitter in there, from beginner lace-knitters to experienced ones. And remarkably, the easy lace is beautiful as much as the harder lace, which is hard to pull off. It's a good book!

Poor Nicky is stuck up a tree; a dog chased him (not the same dog as before, a bigger dog). I have been assured by my husband, the great soother, that Nicky will get down just fine, remember those big hemlock trees he used to go up 50 feet? But I am concerned nonetheless, and I will be glad to see him home safe and sound. I hope he doesn't have a heart attack. It's silly to get so wound up over a cat, isn't it? No, I didn't think so ... he's my little boy :)


Ah, City Life....

Our neighbor's dog, Spike, got out. Spike is a black and white Brittany spaniel (but with that feathery tail, he could be part golden retriever, I'm going on looks alone here) and he's friendly as all get out. He does, however, love to chase cats!

My cats are terrified of him; the two he lives with seem to tolerate him pretty well, but the three *I* live with resort to pure gibberish when he is let loose, which thankfully is not often.

Today he got out and made a beeline for our house. Nora came inside and fled upstairs ... smart girl! Nicky and Grace were on the back deck, and instead of coming inside like sensible kitties, they ran. Nick scampered up the nearest tree, and Grace the Terrified of Dogs ran under the shed, and Spike followed her.

Did I mention kids? One or two kids, the cats can handle. Today the neighbors had friends over. Spike's flight under the shed, where he was now barking loudly, was quickly followed by four kids trying in vain to get him out. Then two men (did I mention Grace doesn't like men?) came over and successfully got Spike to come out via the use of Beggin' Strips, God's relief to cats everywhere. And then they all trotted off after brief introductions and my assurances that it was quite alright, Grace was fine.

Well. Nora came down right away and ran outside to see what happened. After awhile Grace came out from under the shed, quite alright, but very dirty and leaf'covered. I gave her some cream and she gobbled it up, so I figured she was okay. She stayed in, with Nora sniffing her all over. 

Grace couldn't take anymore and went upstairs to get over it in a closet somewhere, or the washing machine. Nicky, after he came down from the tree, came to sit on my computer and be petted and be told what a brave kitty he is; now he's in the living room in the window, watching, not going outside. Nora is running around outside somewhere and soon she'll be up on her perch on the porch, which is where she was when this whole thing started.

Scarf and Hat

I finished my scarf; it's blocking now. I used my own handspun and it is the Twilight scarf from A Fine Fleece by Lisa Lloyd.

Scarf       Scarf2

I started a hat. I'm using one of Pam's Christmas presents, a skein of Good Karma Farm's 60/40 wool and alpaca blend and a pattern that I made up. If it turns out well, I'll put the pattern here.

Wave Hat

Nicky won't be helping me block anymore. He went out Thursday night and never came back. I miss him.

Knitting and Books

First, I've been knitting a little.

Mystery Clue #3 of the Family Jewels socks is done:

Clue3Done     HeelGusset

That's the beginning of the heel gusset on the left. I've never done this heel before; it's called the Fleegle heel, and it's supposed to be easier than the short-row heel, which it is so far. I really don't like short-row heels because a) they're hard to hold together and make gigantic holes on the sides which you have to stitch together after and b) I always get little holes on one side,  I dunno why. Maybe I'm just crabby because it's early in the morning and my coffee is cold and Clue #4 isn't out yet, but I really don't like short-row heels, with the exception of garter stitch short-row heels like Lucy Neatby does. They never show the holes. But then, I've never studied her sock video, so she probably shows how to avoid the holes in stockinette stitch too.


Nicky's patiently waiting for Clue #4 to come out too.

SockBeginning     Socks

In the meantime, I started another pair of socks with Toefutsies in pretty Easter colors of lime green, dark purple, robin's egg blue, and pink.


And I did a little work on the random number scarf.

Suddenly I have a lot of books I'm reading. One is The Fiery Cross, the Diana Gabaldon book, but I'm tired of the series a bit, need to take a break.

Then I started Guardians of Ga'hoole: the Capture, by Kathryn Lansky, about talking owls that live in a fantasy world. I haven't got far.

I recently started The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, by Sam Harris, my non-fiction fix. 

And the one I most recently started, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind, which is apparently not available on Amazon anymore, but it was when I bought it.

Now I'm going to watch two more episodes of Lost and then take a nap.



Friday, I had visitors. Susan, Mae and Sally came by to visit and help set up my spinning wheel. It needed a lot of help. When it was moved, somehow the footman got disengaged from the wheel, a not altogether disastrous thing, since it does fold up for traveling, but the problem was, we couldn't get it back in. Susan finally did it! And her mom set out to help me spin. When they left, I felt reasonably sure I could do it. I dug out some hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester in color "Aegean" (Sereknity Yarn & Fiber, good stuff, check 'em out) and set to work. At first I got the big slubs and teeny bits that I got the first time I learned to spin, but then it settled right down, though I'm not the spinner I used to be, not by a long shot. I have the attitude that I'd rather spin badly than not spin at all, and I'm going to work on it. It takes time to pre-draft the fiber so it will spin properly, a lot more time than it used to take. Imagine if you hand to pre-draft with only one hand ... what would you pull against? I take my paralyzed hand, figuring I may as well make it useful, and place it on my thigh, with one end of fiber in between. Then I lean on it with my upper body, and draft with the other. Probably I should get a vise someday. Until the time comes though, this works out well.

Once the fiber is pre-drafted, it is but the work of a moment to spin it up. And then you have to pre-draft again. Perhaps they should call it "pre-drafting" and not "spinning", because that is mostly what I'm doing! Anyway, here are a couple pictures:

Spinng       Spinning2

The Cat's Eye Scarf s coming right along. I'm about a foot over halfway now. Here's some pictures I took yesterday afternoon:

Scarf        ScarfClose

See the little safety pin I attached to the scarf? That's the halfway point. Now instead of endless measuring, which involves battling the tape measure with my teeth (you know those things are spring-loaded, don't you?), I just fold it in half. When it's long enough measured like this, I start the other end and bind off. Easy peasy.


Nora's still hibernating :)

What Fun!

The March Knitting Weekend has come and gone, and it was a big ol' pile of fun!!! It was fabulous and I am very happy about it. I already can't wait til we do it again next year. Fortunately I am doing another knitting weekend in April (see above), so I get to do it again sooner, but just with different people. Four people are already signed up for the March 2011 Knitting Weekend, so that is fabulous. I only have 8 more spaces left! There are still 3 spaces left in April this year! 

We had a blast. Everyone arrived at the knitter's reception at Unique One at 7 p.m., and we had wine and cheese and crackers, and salmon/dill hors d'oeuvres (see recipe below), and shrimp cocktail and chocolate dipped fruit and lots of time to knit and yak about knitting and meet new people. Then we went to the Lord Camden Inn and continued the party until it was time to go to bed!

Saturday started with a beautiful breakfast at the Inn, followed by lots and lots of knitting and talking. Some people went in and out to take naps, go for a scenic drive and look at  the ocean, shop in Camden, or take a walk. It was all very relaxed and unhurried. People went out in two's and three's to grab lunch at the Camden Deli or Camden House of Pizza (Sarah and I brought pizzas back to the Inn so we wouldn't have to stop knitting!) and then in the afternoon we knit some more. There was lots of laughter and lots of learning. I helped Vivian and Jennifer figure out Judy's Magic Cast On for making toe-up socks, after I figured out how to do it myself, heh heh. Jennifer got off to a good start on a pair of toe-up socks; I will have to do that soon. She was doing two socks at a time from the toe up. Seems like such a great idea!

I re-wrote the Compass and Anchors hat pattern for my sister, Rachel, to suit her particular gauge. I think it will come out nicely. I also helped her figure out how to change the baby cables fingerless mitts pattern to suit her gauge. Lots of people started the baby cable fingerless mittens, especially since I had the pattern and the yarn in their goodie bags. I finished the second mitten on Saturday morning, and they are pretty nice, if I must say so myself. 

The rest of the weekend I worked on the modular scarf that was originally being designed and knit for the modular knitting class that got cancelled, so now it is a knitting pattern for the knitting cruise. It turns out that I needed 7 squares, and it only takes 45 minutes to an hour per square, so the whole scarf takes me only about 8 hours all together to knit. I finished the scarf on Sunday night (last night) and I would have brought it in to take pictures of it this morning, but Nora decided that it was hers. She was sleeping on it this morning and just refused to move. I guess she likes it a lot. It is quite nice.

Speaking of pictures, I didn't really get any. Apparently I was too busy knitting! However I think Conny got a few that she might share with me  :)

So now I am down to 4 projects, the easy socks from Frolicking Feet in color Cherry Pits; the off white baby blanket; spinning my BFL, and the Hard Alee Aran pullover I am making for the knitting cruise. I also got spinning again on my Quebec wheel, which I am madly in love with now that I know how to adjust the tension and put the drive band on correctly, and I am finishing up spinning some blue fluff I got at SPA in around 2008. I only have a little more to spin, and 2 bobbins to Navajo ply, and then I will have about 4 skeins of lovely 3-ply worsted-ish weight yarn to do something with. I'm making progress. 

Salmon & Dill Hors D'Oeuvres:

Cut smoked salmon into pieces that will fit on crackers. Spread rice crackers (or your favorite kind of crackers) with Kraft garlic & herb mayo, OR tartar sauce. Place salmon on cracker, and top with a sprig of fresh dill. Yummy! And so easy to prepare!

An End, and a Beginning: Baby Cables for Spring

As a writer, I always like to start with the end. That way, I know where I am heading :) 

This morning my Corduroy Pullover came to a happy end. I am in love with it. I knit the last 3 rows on the cuff, finished it off, wove in the ends and washed it. The yarn I made it out of (Peace Fleece sport weight, 6 skeins) had sat in my stash for at least ten years and it was decidedly dusty. Also, as I was weaving in ends, I noticed rather a lot of cat hair mixed into it.... Nora cat hair. Now, she will just tell you that HER cat hair is more beautiful and therefore more visible, but there is lots of other cats' hair in there too, and I guess we will let her go with that. There was also a good amount of little twigs and burdock burrs mashed into one side, so I guess I know where Mr. Nicky has been sleeping lately. Anyway, it is done now, it is clean, it fits me perfectly, it smells wonderful and like pink grapefruit, since I washed it in Eucalan, and here it is, drying:


I hope Nick and Nora and Grace don't see this picture, because of the Pet Meds box in the background.... yes, it is the dreaded flea medication! Yikes!

It took me 10 weeks to knit Corduroy from cast on to bind off, but really I only knit on it for 8 weeks, because I took 2 weeks off for the Knitting Olympics. It was a lot of fun to knit, and I would like to make it again someday, using my own handspun yarn. I'll get right on that....

Yesterday I also had a beginning. I started a small cable project. Cables are so cute when they're babies, but then they grow up to be Aran patterns with multiple pattern charts, all with horrifically different numbers of rows that are not multiples of each other.... and well. You know how they are. 

I decided (pretty insanely) on Monday that I wanted to offer a pretty little cabled fingerless mitten pattern to my Knitting Weekenders on Friday, so I am madly writing the pattern and knitting at least one mitten for a model. It's fun and it's also dead simple, so I should be done in time. It's a great theoretically quick spring project, and just in time for Easter. Here is the birth:


I'm using 2 skeins of USDK from Knit One, Crochet Too, because it comes in such pretty colors. I hope to have the pattern available to hand out for free to my Knitting Weekend participants, and to offer for sale in the shop, and maybe also as a pdf download on Ravelry. I am working my way up to getting more of my patterns available for sale on both Ravelry and on Etsy. 

Happy Spring, everyone! and happy knitting too :)

Bitten and knittin'

What a beautiful weekend! Saturday, especially, was a great day. It was around 70 degrees and sunny and positively hot. I saw my first flower in the yard:


I killed my first bunch of mosquitoes and find today that my whole body is covered in mosquito bites: 

Biteone      Bite2
I lightened the bite on my hand, since I have so many other spots on my hands, heh heh. I know pictures of my mosquito bites are not that interesting usually, but considering it is MARCH and I am getting mosquito bitten, I am documenting it!  

The cats loved being outside, too... Grace spent some time playing and rolling around on her rock:

...and then sleeping after all that exertion:

Nicky played under my feet and then did manage to get tricked into actually looking up at the camera (he is really good at avoiding looking at the camera):

His sister, Nora, is much better at it; she is so good that she stayed completely out of sight, so I didn't get any pictures of her. She was out having fun elsewhere. I heard a few squirrels swearing loudly in the trees out back, so I guess they knew where she was :) 

On Friday I finished a pretty wool crewneck for a customer:

and a couple of basic cotton hats for another customer:

I also knit the front and the back and the buttonbands on a windjammer sweater, but have no picture of it yet. Right now it is still just little crumpled pieces of knitting, but you can see what the finished product will resemble HERE  and read the description of it on this page if you want to get one made for you as well :) I am making it in a dark blue/green color called "Scotia"; it's very oceany.      

This weekend I worked on my Corduroy pullover, but I still have 10 more decreases and the cuff on the second sleeve. I could have finished the sweater over the weekend but a) I napped in my chair more than I should have and b) I spent a good amount of time cleaning winter accumulative crap out of my house and then spinning on my Quebec production wheel in all the resulting breathing room and c) I hung around outside playing with the cats a good bit on Saturday because of the freakishly summerlike weather. Oh well :) I will have the sweater done in a couple more nights of knitting. I will wear it to the upcoming Knitting Weekend! This coming weekend! So much fun! I am looking forward to it a lot. I still have 2 more spaces available, climb in a car and get here if you can!

If you're coming to the knitting weekend, I look forward to seeing you in a few days! And if you're not coming to the knitting weekend, happy knitting :)

St. Patrick's Day! Irish Spring!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I am wearing green, and what is even better, today is the first day this year that I am wearing a t-shirt instead of a turtleneck. It is so warm and sunny here! 

Yesterday I took down the snowman flag and put up a spring flag:

When I was walking up to the Camden Deli to get coffee, I noticed a cool thing. You know how, in the spring, the leaves on trees all open on the same day? Well this morning, all the doors to all the shops and restaurants were propped wide open! It was like a summer day! Because today is fabulously warm and sunny and very springlike. So I opened early and propped my door open too, and played Let's-Pretend-It's-Summer right along with the rest of them:

I noticed that last year's paint job on the front of the store is already flaking off. I do believe that this building is paint repellent.  

It looks like spring is arriving early inside Unique One, too: 

The sweater stock is building up.

And yarn is busting out all over! Ya gotta love all the color in a  shop:

Yarn2      Yarn1

Yarn3      Yarn4

Yarn5      Yarn6
Yarn7      Yarn8

Nicky was soaking up the sunshine while I hung out my laundry this morning:


He is pretty laid back. Maybe he's Irish :) 

Now go knit an Aran sweater! 


Carding Wool and Getting Good Karma

I've been resting today, trying to fight off a cold (which I think I have succeeded in doing, yay!), but I did manage to card the wool for my Knitting Olympics project. 

Here is the BFL (pink) and nylon (orange) that I started with:

It's 4 ounces of wool and 1 ounce of nylon. I dyed the fibers a couple days ago.

The first thing I did was to divide both fibers into 16 separate but equal pieces:

See the striped toes on the left? Nora had to help.


Then I divided each 1/16th of wool and 1/16th of nylon into quarters:


My pieces are getting itty bitty. 

Each 1/16th got attenuated and layered:


I think the secret to successful carding is to make the wool wispy, very very very wispy, and to turn the drum s-l-o-w-l-y...


You have to build the fiber up, a quarter of a sixteenth at a time.... and then you have to take it off the carder and card it again, a quarter at a time. I could have carded it a couple more times but I wanted to keep the orange nylon a little bit visible, not entirely blended in.

Then I had a lovely teeny batt of fiber:


So pretty. Here's a close-up:


Then I rolled it up like a little sausage, and it is ready to spin: 


Lather, rinse, repeat, and after fifteen more times, here is my wool for my Olympic Knitting event:


It was all I could do not to start spinning them immediately, but I refrained. I really really really want to spin them now. Even though they do look like pink insulation.

 Oh, and at the store? Yesterday I met Jim from Good Karma Farm in Belfast, Maine, who stopped by to show me some of his yarn. I bought all he had on him, about 23 skeins, and he promises to make more soon. I love that Good Karma Farm uses fiber from local animals, spins the yarn on their own farm, and dyes it there too. This yarn is 60% Secret Island Sheep fiber and 40% Good Karma alpaca fiber from their own farm. And yes, the sheep are on one of the Maine islands, and it is a secret where. So just knit, and never mind :) 

Here is what I got:


I wish you could feel how yummy this feels. I would say it is between a worsted and a bulky weight, a chunky weight along the lines of Classic Elite's Montera. I have not yet swatched with it to find out. Each skein has 200 yards and retails for $16.00.

I plucked out two skeins to use for a modular knit scarf I am thinking of designing for my Modular Knitting class later this spring:


I can't wait to start knitting with this stuff :)


Up To No Good

Sigh. I haven't really been doing much lately, sorry, but that's one reason why I haven't posted about my knitting on my blog for a while.

 I finished the red cashmere scarf, but I haven't blocked it or taken a picture of it finished yet. Here is a picture of it the last time I snapped a shot:


I knit the Narragansett Cap from A Fine Fleece in black Hempwol, but it was such a quick knit that I didn't even have time to get a picture. I am going to donate the hat to the Ships Project when I go to the SPA coming up February 26-28. 

I also finished a light blue garter stitch boucle scarf that I started either on a knitting weekend or on a knitting cruise a long time ago. I could barely even remember it when I discovered it half done in my stash around Christmas. I knit most of the rest of it on Christmas Day and finished it pretty quickly. 

I started spinning the last of my 2009 SPA purchases, the BFL fiber in the color "Galaxy". I am going to spin it on a spindle as a lace weight, a 2 play lace weight, which will be a challenge for me. Here it is on either my moosie or my mammoth tusk spindle (I forget right now which one it is):


I haven't gotten very far, but it's a start. I have fallen off the 10-minutes-a-day spinning wagon, pretty badly, but I will try to get back on soon. 

I have a Learn to Knit Lace Class (it's a 2-part class) on March 6 and 20. I finished knitting the model scarf that we will be knitting in the class. Pictures of it while it was blocking:

LaceLeavesScarf         Laceleavescarf2
This is a very fun, very easy lace project, perfect for the lace beginner! The pattern also includes a somewhat larger, more time consuming lace scarf that one could knit after mastering the easy lace scarf that we will be doing in the class. The lace class is $65 for 2 days of classes, and each day includes lunch. The pattern is also included! I think it is going to be a lot of fun, so I people sign up. I am looking forward to this class quite a bit. 

In sock news, I have finished the last of my Fiber Frolic purchases... I got some fabulous cashmere blend blue/turquoise/purple fingering weight yarn at Fiber Frolic that I originally planned to knit as a lace scarf, and I started one, but the yarn was a little thicker than I liked for a lace scarf. Plus I had just finished a lace scarf in red cashmere, and besides, I don't wear scarves that much anymore anyway. So I just made the yarn into plain socks, and I will wear them all the time, because cashmere socks feel so yummy! This yarn from String Theory also has nylon in it, so I think they will wear well:


And here are the socks I am knitting now:


This is Frolicking Feet sock yarn from Done Roving Farm, and I think the color is called Cherry Pits. I am using 72 sts on size 1 needles, and it is good, relaxing knitting, and the color just absolutely rocks. 

I have a few other projects kind of going on too, but this post is already too long. 

Here is what Nick and Nora are doing this winter: 

NickyInSnow    SleepyNora

I wish I were a cat. :) 

Happy knitting! 




Pictures as Promised

Okay, I got the camera and the computer together in the same room finally. 

Here is the Sea Wool Scarf, made from Colinette "Tao" 100% silk, in color "Lapis". The pattern is from Yarn Forward magazine, issue 11. It's shaped like a shawl, but it's small like a scarf:


Here is how you wear it (unfortunately it doesn't make me young and blonde when I wear it.):


Here are the yellow mittens I just made out of Peace Fleece:


Here are the black socks I am working on now. Just plain black socks. I actually already have finished the first sock and am part way up the ribbing on the second sock, since I took this picture yesterday. I am using Lang Jawolle:


And finally, here is the finished Hanne Falkenberg! 



And here is Nicky snoozing:



Mystery Sock short row heel .... and cats, of course

I finished the Mystery Sock Clue #4 on Saturday night, and it was fun. I don't usually do short row heels, but that is the type of heel this Mystery Sock requires, so I did it, and it was actually kind of fun. This Mystery Sock is good for me; I don't usually knit socks from the toe up, and I don't usually knit socks with beads, either, but this is a fun sock to knit!


I found a great series of 3 videos on that shows the exact same short row heel that I just knit. If you would like to try a short row heel, you can check it out:

Short Row Heel with YO's, Part 1

You know me. Once I get on YouTube, I can't stop. So I found this knitting video by a person with unbelievable fingernails. I mean, how does she do anything, really? Let along knit? Here it is:

And then of course, I can't leave YouTube without a few cat & yarn videos:

Not the Sock Yarn!  (this cat must be related to Nora)

Kitty Stealing Yarn (I knew it! Little thieves...)

Cute Japanese Kitten Yarn song (Warning: this video contains potentially life-threatening cuteness. Watch with caution, as you may be overcome with cutekittenitis.) The song is about kittens and yarn, but I had to take their word for it, as it was in Japanese. There are, however, subtitles...... in Japanese.... )

GeekTool for Mac

On Monday I got a little geeky, and while I had fun geeking out, I didn't get done a lot of stuff I was supposed to do. Like wash the dishes. Or cleaning my knitting machine and knit something on it. 

However, it was nice to rediscover my ability to delve into computer guts with abandon. I discovered a cool little preference pane called GeekTool which allows you to mod your desktop. You can use it to monitor activity on your computer and display that information, like CPU activity and memory usage; you can use it to display the output of shell commands (and even have any of this stuff float on top of all your other app windows, if you want), or display images from any url on the net (think weather maps, here). It is awesome and very fun to play with! I even wrote an applescript that sends the current iTunes song title, artist, and album to my desktop; I set the refresh rate to 3 seconds, so I can start iTunes, close the window entirely, and still keep track of what song is playing. I love it very much! 

Here is a picture of my newly-modded desktop from Monday:

I have chosen to display the time, the date, the day of the week, a month calender, current temperature and weather conditions, and my iTunes current track, if I am playing anything. 

You can choose where to put the information GeekTool displays, and I put it in the upper left corner for now. That way it doesn't interfere with my icons on the right (if I had any; I am quite icons-on-the-desktop phobic, though), and with this particular background image, it sits well in that upper left corner. It is really easy to move things around, however, so when I change my desktop image, I can move things to suit. 

Yes, I am still in love with the Santorini cats. I picked this image not only because I liked it, but also because the cat in the image is a dead ringer for my cat, Grace. Perhaps a thinner and a little scruffier version of Grace, but very like her, nonetheless. See for yourself:

I love my geektool :) and Grace too :) 

Flowers and Socks and Cat, Oh My! and Fashion Show recap

I have this little stone circle planter thing in my yard, and back when I used to be normal I liked to garden and usually planted tulips or daffodils or some other spring bulbs in it in the fall, so that in the spring I could be greeted each morning with pretty flowers to look at as I dashed off to work and as I trudged in after work. It brightened my day. On my days off, I would spend a few leisurely morning moments with a cup of coffee, looking at how beautiful my flowers were. 

Now, however, I never take the time in the fall to plant anything, and I do always regret it in the spring, but then it is too late. However, a few hardy bulbs from years past are still producing spring flowers. This year I at least cleaned out the last 3 years of weeds and dead leaves so the little persistent flowers could get through, and I discovered one crocus:


and these little blue flowers. I do not know what they are. My friend Nancy gave me these bulbs many years ago when she was moving, and said they would come up every spring and spread, and they have indeed. I like them but I don't know what they are called.... I just call them Little Blue Flowers. If you know what they are, please tell me:

In knitting progress, I must report another FO! The black socks are done; I finished them last night. I took a picture of them yesterday afternoon just after I had started the toe decreases. When I downloaded my pictures, I found I had another picture of the socks when they were half done, so here are both pictures: 

While I was taking pictures outside, Nora was helping me. She looks cute, but don't let that fool you. Look at the sharp teeth and claws, and be afraid.

Nora on a stick:

Love that tongue action. 

Nora gnawing:

Oh and one more thing.... Susan and I went to the WRFR Fashion Show on Saturday night. It was really fun! The Unique One sweaters looked fabulous :) I also had a little display in the Gallery where the intermission was held: 


We actually got to have the whole table instead of half, so the display looked even better, but I was too forgetful to take a picture of it, and too lazy to go back and take a picture later. But it looked gooooood. The fashion show was very fun and I would love to do it again next year! 

The Last Of It

Last night I finished the very last bit of my Walking on the Sun fiber. I loved that fiber and color, it was very fun to spin. Now the last bit is all plied and I can put it away for some future fun project. :) Here is a picture:


I liked using that wooden spindle; I am not sure where or when I got it. I thought it was a Bosworth spindle, but I noticed the hook is different from my other Bosworths, so apparently it isn't. Hummmmm. If anyone out there knows where I got this spindle, please let me know, because I liked it enough to get another one in a different wood. 

Interestingly enough, I dropped the wooden spindle like 10 times while I was spinning this. I got the hook all bent up a couple times and even got the whorl itself a bit off-kilter and had to straighten it. I only dropped my glass spindle twice, I think. Maybe I was just more careful with the glass one, I dunno. This last ounce of the fiber, I just couldn't seem to spin as well, but the resulting yarn is still just as beautiful. 

The picture also shows that I have picked up the gusset stitches on my black sock #1 and am ready to zoom down the foot. 

By the way, the picture on my computer desktop is of a cat lounging on a porch in Santorini island:
I got it from Flickr, I discovered I could download the large file and used it for my desktop. If you want to get this picture too, you can go to this page

If you type "Santorini cats" into the search box on Flickr, you will get 1,642 results. I got pretty far into them all, and let me tell you, there are a LOT of cats on Santorini. 

I should send Nora there. 

Daily Dose of Knitted Oddity

In the interest of a quick blog post, here are some of the weirder knitting things I have run across in my surfing lately: 

2. Knitted Poop. (Well, it does kind of go with #1. Although I made it, appropriately, #2.)

3. Knitted News that you can wear. 

4. Dr. Who Fan in Knitted Puppet Row (who can resist a headline like that??)

and not knitting related but.....

5. Kittenwar! May the cutest kitten win!

Yes I am pathetic. But I did knit today :) 

You keep knitting too, so you can avoid pathetically crawling the internet for knitting stuff like me!