Friday, December 29, 2006

I made it around the heel!

Here's the toe. I started with 10 stitches cast on and increased every row to 60 stitches.

Here's my gusset which is 14 rows where I added 7 stitches on every other row. The heel is a short row where I made 8 on either side.Here's where I'm knitting up the leg.

Ever being the critic, I am very happy with the way the short rows ended up on this one. What I don't like is where I knitted up the heel - or where I did the ssk and p2tog. They just look sloppy to me. I have a second one to practice on.

I just love the colors of the yarn. The photo's don't do it justice.

Another Dishwashing Diva

All three of my folks dishcloths made into a diva on a "bathmat"

FO-Second Nephew Afghan

I didn't use a straight black as one of the strands on this one, so it came out a little more gray than the other one.

It's the one on the bottom. Both boys were very kind with their responses when they received them.

FO-Cigar gloves

This pattern comes from Knitty and I made them for my BIL.

I made them in black Lion's Brand Wool-ease. I'm pretty pleased with the results, but needed to use the tails of the cast on's to make sure the holes around the fingers were sewn together. I feel like it made them somewhat messy in between the fingers, but really, you couldn't tell unless you were a picky person. Aren't we all our own worst critics when it comes to our own knitting? :)

I scored for Christmas!

I hope I don't tick my mom off, but this Christmas was the best one from her in YEARS! Dad and mom went on a cruise around the tip of South America. While there, she brought back a couple of gems. Here's a whole bunch of mystery yarn. It looks like I will be able to try to hand dye it - way cool!

Then she gave me a weaving loom with some weaving thread.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with this, but it's really cool. I'm thinking Red Scarf project.
Then she gave me some really pretty roving. I'll have to break out my drop spindle and spin this up. It's really beautiful stuff!
So mom, thank you for these WONDERFUL gifts. Beats an aroma therapy basket any day!

The other neat thing I got was a couple of knitting calendars - one is the pattern a day, the other is the SnB one.

It was a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My first sock

I don't have photo's but I have finally started knitting my first sock. I initially tried to knit two at one time, but I really had some trouble. I must have started these socks at least ten times only to end up pulling them apart.

I'm using the Cybersocks toe up tutorial for toe up socks. My biggest challenge has been how to shape the toe. I initially increased too slowly and made a really funky looking toe. I eventually just ended up increasing each row until I got to sixty stitches.

I just finished turning the heel. I did short rows for the twinkletoes, but was not very happy with the result. I do not recommend following Lesson five for the round heel. I was TOTALLY lost while reading it. Luckily, one of my knitting yahoo groups mentioned a great tutorial for short rows. I have to agree. I finally get it. Go here for short row help.

Oh, and I'm knitting them in Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Ruby River yarn. I LOVE the colors.

Evil Thought

I stumbled upon a neat geeky site - It has a ton of gadgets with all sorts of geeky goodness.

One caught my eye, though.

As I read the words: Turns off virtually any television I saw in the product description, all I do is think about getting one of these babies and standing in the middle of Fry's or Best Buy to see how many televisions I can turn off at a time.

Bad, bad, me.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Ballerina's are huge in the life of a four year old girl. So, after Knitty came out with the pattern for the Twinkletoes, I had to make them for her. These are the Child size pattern. M wears a size one and these fit her well. I think they'll stretch with her for a while. I also made a pair for GOAM's daughter Toddler sized in purple Lion's Brand Wool-ease (LBWE). I gifted them before I took a photo. I have to admit that I liked knitting with the LBWE better than with the Plymouth Encore. The LBWE might have more wool in it's makeup because it didn't have that strange acrylic feel while knitting it up.

Super fast project by the way. I was able to get two pairs done over the weekend!

I had one skein left over from knitting her an Easter basket that didn't felt so I used that. I made these out of the Joann's brand Sensations Tesoro Yarn in pink (100% wool-which is really wonderful on the hands!). I also used this yarn because I know it's washable. Of course I didn't have enough to finish the pair, so I rushed out last night and got another ball. I lost another project (my first SnB Devil Hat) to the washer recently, so I'm a bit cautious when it comes to hand wash yarns.

I think I need to have an experienced knitter sit down with me and go over picking up the wrap for short rows. My pick ups look very sloppy and I think I'm either not wrapping the yarn correctly or am twisting my pick ups.

I also had to do a provisional cast on for this. Initially I tried doing it with a scrap yarn piece, but that just didn't work out well. So I went over to my handy dandy Knitting Help dot com to see if there was a better way - there is. I used a circular needle. It worked out great because I used the same size needle as what was called for in the pattern so when I was knitting in the round. Very handy. I will always provisionally cast on for this. The only thing I figured out was that when you cast on this way, your loops will be twisted so I had to adjust knitting across them when I went to knitting in the round. In other words, I had to alternate knitting regularly versus knitting through the back. You more experienced knitters probably understand what I'm talking about. As C, my neighborly knitting guru preaches, pay attention to how the loops are while you're knitting.

I barely used any yarn (I was on the second heel when I ran out, damn it!) with the second ball so I'll use it to knit her a replacement Sphery. Mel ate her other one early this year and she's wanted a replacement (in pink) ever since. That's all she really wants from me for Christmas (GLEE!!).

Oh, and did I tell you how much I LOVE knitting backwards for purl rows? For a left handed yarn holder, it's a really terrific method and saves the wear and tear on my hands.


M and I went around to all the teachers and gave them our dishcloths. They were very much appreciated. Here's the final wrapped pile.


Now I have to work on end of the year gifts! Egads!

Monday, December 18, 2006


We went to a party yesterday way out in BFE Texas. It was SO much fun! A good friend made some yummy homemade egg nog. J even liked it and he HATES egg nog. Another friend made some of the best baby back ribs I've ever eaten - and I love baby back ribs. These were GOOD.

The best part of the party, though, was having other families with kids show up. The kids were a perfect age for M to play with and they all got on famously. The place had a ton of golf carts and we let M steer. Now that was special - she was SO happy. Later on I took her on a four wheel ride. What a great memory. I will all ways remember her sitting in front holding on to my arms. "That was like the log ride!" she'd giggle while we went through creeks. "That took my tummy away!" she yell after we went particularly fast.

The gift exchange was lots of fun. No real turkey gifts this year. I got a neat wind chime and a sun with a tea light candle in the back. I'm happy!

Next time we go we're going to stay overnight. It's really a lovely place and R has done a great job fixing up the property.

Well, it's almost 3. I have another check up. I'm hoping to get out of here soon.

Gettin' Shots

After I had a phone conversation with one of my clients, she mentioned that she noticed that I was stuffed up and that "you sure are sick a lot." You know, she was right and it's all allergy related.

So a couple of weeks ago I went in and got tested - sure enough, I'm allergic to everything in the world (except Hackberry, Elms, and Buffalo grass).

Today I'm sitting in my doctor's office doing a "Rush" treatment for shots. I've had fourteen shots today - gack! It's not been really that bad, just uncomfortable. I had a bit of a scare not too long ago as my blood pressure looked like it dropped below 100 - but it was a faulty reading. It's a good thing that the nurse re-did the test as the doctor was talking about giving me some epinephrine. Crisis averted.

I am dirt board, though. There's a television with a DVD player here, but I just don't want to watch TV. I did watch the latest Torchwood - it actually made me cry! I'm hoping it is the medication I'm reacting to as I hate it when I cry over cheesy television.

I, of course, brought my knitting, but I ran out of yarn to finish my daughter's Twinkletoes shoes. I finished another pair over the weekend for GOAM's daughter (I didn't get a photo - I'll have to get a photo later - they're pretty cute). Since I ran out of yarn, I have pulled out the Garterlac bathmat, but it's just too hard for me to knit with right now because I have an IV needle sticking out of my hand. The small project was easy to knit with, but it's just too hard with the three strand double worsted yarn.

Friday, December 15, 2006


One of the things I like about the 'net is how you can get shows from the BBC.

I think I wrote about The IT Crowd before. It's going to be picked up and American-ized by NBC. The only show where this has been successful is with The Office - and even the American version has a very different feel from the BBC version. Hope they don't screw it up ala Coupling and Men Behaving Badly. Granted, I never liked either version of Coupling, but the BBC version of Men Behaving Badly is terrifically funny.

My latest interest has been with Torchwood. I found out about it from a good friend and had J download it for me. It's been really fun to watch. It's also been interesting to see some of the parallels from the current Doctor Who to this series (they're by the same folks). The actor, John Barrowman, is dreamy. I think he may be gay, but he's still great eye candy!

Free Pattern - Cherries Dishcloth

I wrote this up a while ago and have never been able to test this one out. Thought I'd still post it, though.

Cotton yarn – red
Size 7 (US) = 4.5 mm needles

B5 = border (P1, K1, P1, K1, P1)

Cast on 39 stitches

Row 01: p1 k1 across row
Row 02: p1 k1 across row
Row 03: p1 k1 across row
Row 04: p1 k1 across row
Row 05: p1 k1 across row
Row 06: B5 k29 B5
Row 07: B5 p29 B5
Row 08: B5 k29 B5
Row 09: B5 p29 B5
Row 10: B5 k29 B5
Row 11: B5 p29 B5
Row 12: B5 k29 B5
Row 13: B5 p29 B5
Row 14: B5 k29 B5
Row 15: B5 k17 p7 k5 B5
Row 16: B5 k29 B5
Row 17: B5 K3 P9 K3 P11 K3 B5
Row 18: B5 k29 B5
Row 19: B5 K1 P12 K1 P12 K 3 B5
Row 20: B5 k29 B5
Row 21: B5 K1 P12 K5 P1 K1 P4 K5 B5
Row 22: B5 k29 B5
Row 23: B5 K4 P2 K1 P1 K1 P1 K6 P1 K12 B5
Row 24: B5 k29 B5
Row 25: B5 K8 P1 K6 P1 K13 B5
Row 26: B5 k29 B5
Row 27: B5 K9 P1 K4 P1 K14 B5
Row 28: B5 k29 B5
Row 29: B5 K11 P1 K2 P1 K6 P7 K1 B5
Row 30: B5 k29 B5
Row 31: B5 K13 P2 K3 P9 K2 B5
Row 32: B5 k29 B5
Row 33: B5 K15 P1 K1 P7 K5 B5
Row 34: B5 k29 B5
Row 35: B5 K17 P1 K11 B5
Row 36: B5 k29 B5
Row 37: B5 k29 B5
Row 38: B5 p29 B5
Row 39: B5 k29 B5
Row 40: B5 p29 B5
Row 41: B5 k29 B5
Row 42: B5 p29 B5
Row 43: B5 k29 B5
Row 44: B5 p29 B5
Row 45: B5 k29 B5
Row 46: p1 k1 across row
Row 47: p1 k1 across row
Row 48: p1 k1 across row
Row 49: p1 k1 across row
Row 50: p1 k1 across row

Bind off

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Meme - Help a grad student out!

So, this guy has an experiment to see how fast a meme gets 'round the innernet.Read about it here, blog about it on your blog, and then ping Technorati by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I'm finally done with the teacher dishcloths. Here's another lacy round. I like how it looks with the Christmas colorway (PnC)

I also whipped up a Grandmother's Favorite for my folks (Black Lion's Brand Cotton)

Now on to finishing up the Garterlac bathmat for my sister and another Speed Stix Afghan for one of my nephews.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


While browsing through Crooks and Liars today, I came across a quick story about how a right wing columnist attributes being gay to the rise of soy formula and other soy products (i.e., soy makes you gay).

It reminded me of a conversation J and I had a couple of weeks ago regarding Tico, the squirrel in Dora the Explorer. I mentioned to J that I was surprised the right-wingers haven't started to bash Tico. Here's a picture of him

Okay. So I'm going to list all the reasons why a right-winger would hate Tico the squirrel:

  1. He's purple. (So is Tinky-winky, the so-called gay Teletubby.)
  2. He wears a rainbow vest.
  3. He's an immigrant
  4. He refuses to speak English.
  5. He drives a YELLOW car. (okay, I really don't know why this would out someone as being gay. It just sounded like something a right-winger would say)

So, Tico is a gay Mexican immigrant who refuses to learn 'merican and drives a girly colored car.

Whoo, hoo!

FO-Lacy Round Dishcloth

This is from the Lacy Round dishcloth pattern. I like the pattern because it's interesting to knit and easy to remember. I also love the Buttercreme colorway of this SnC yarn:

I'm still struggling with my finishing techniques. Here's a close up of the seam. I wish I knew how to make it invisible.


I'm done! Here's the front:A close up of the crochet flower:

Here's the back:

And a close up of the picot edging on the neck and arms.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I completely forgot yesterday that I have a holiday dinner with my knitting guild scheduled for today. My workout buddy reminded me. The thing is, we have to bring a knitted ornament.

Luckily, I had already decided early on what I wanted to knit, so I had the pattern saved. It whipped up really quickly (I'd say about an hour). I did the bottom a little differently than what the pattern called for. It called for a simple bind off. I did a two stitch i-cord bind off to thicken up the flare of the bell.

Inside I put a jingle bell.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I was trying to do a good deed

For some reason, I got motivated today to give blood for my birthday. I haven't given blood in quite some time and I usually get hounded this time of year because my blood is good for the itty-bitty babies.

I go in and during the interviewing process they ask if I had ever lived in Germany, Italy, or Turkey more than 6 months from 1980 to 1996. I'm an Air Force Brat and had lived in all those places.

I was promptly booted to the street. They won't take my blood. After visiting the FDA site, it seems that I could be a carrier of some type of virus. The chances are very low, but they have decided to not chance it.

Well, crap.

All this time I've had great guilt over not donating and as of 2001, they would not have taken my blood anyway.

So I now have something in common with Denny Crane: I have the Mad Cow Disease. :)

(not really as the Mad Cow Disease is like rabies and is fast acting. It's just fun to say.)

Pinafore Progress

I'm finished with one of the sides and am about 1/3 finished with the other side.

I must admit, I don't like how the decreases look and I'm doing it by pattern. The k2tog look good, it's the k2tog from the back that look wonky. I'm experimenting with ssk but I can't see an appreciable difference.

Anyone have any suggestions? Or am I making too much of it?

I'm turning 40 today

Yep, today is my birthday and I've hit the big 4-0. I remember my mom turning 40 when I was 18.


All in all, though. I feel okay about it. I'd rather be forty than sixteen. I got an aroma therapy basket from my folks and a nice television set with a great stand from my husband (okay, we gave each other that gift).

M was cute this morning. She came in and woke me up by singing Happy Birthday. While I was getting dressed, she insisted that I put on my fanciest party dress. As I'm not a dress person, I told her that I wanted to wear comfy clothes. She then picked out my shirt - it's pink with some silver threads - i.e. sparkly. Then SHE had to wear a party dress, "Because it's your birthday, Mama!" She has art today, so I didn't want her to wear one of her fancy dresses. She then put on her red boots - because they're sparkly.

See a trend here? I guess sparkly is very important in the world of a four year old.

But I digress. Happy birthday to me.

Product placement

While I was in Nashville in our hotel room, I ended up watching CSI NY. The story was some guy had been killed by a hand saw. They showed how the person was killed using the saw.

Of course, during the commercial break, we saw an ad for the very same saw. You can buy it at Sears.


Let me get this straight. Sears made a product placement for an item that was used TO KILL SOME ONE.

"Sears. Your one-stop shopping place for all your killing needs. . ."

Not such a good way to place your products if you ask me. I'm just surprised I haven't heard anything from the talking heads on this.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Despite the name of this blog, I really don't do a lot of bitching. I will, however, do so today.

I am self employed and pay way too much for health care. It's my #1 largest expense in my company. And it's not all that good. Sure I have co-pays, but at $25 a pop they can add up in a hurry. I also have a deductible of $2000 for me, $2000 for J, and $2000 for M. Also, just like car insurance, if you use it, the next year you're going to get a huge raise. This year ours went up over 20% and it's been doing that consistently for the past couple of years.

Oh, and did you know that as soon as you have a birthday that ends with a 0 or a 5 they'll "adjust" your rate? J turned 40 and I will too, soon. His adjusted up by $63 a month and mine went down a whopping $5.

While in Nashville, I visited a local yarn store (Threaded Bliss) and this subject came up while I was sitting, chatting, and knitting there. I am not alone in my frustration at the high cost of health care.

The worst thing about going to Nashville, though, was listening to my in-laws talk about how the US has the best health care system around and that universal health care would be the death of it. (I'm paraphrasing here: "Just look at Canada and England. If you really want good health care, you will still need to buy supplemental health insurance.")

Meanwhile, my FIL has a hip that has been bothering him for over 5 years. He can't sleep lying down and travels with a reclining chair for hotel rooms. He is waiting until he turns 65 and qualifies for Medicare to get the hip replacement.

So, the folks who don't support universal health care for everyone have endured 5 years of pain in order to have the government fix it.

I just don't get it.


I subscribe to a blog that posts interesting kids toys they find for sale on-line. Today they were showing this as being cute:
For the record, they are not cute they are creepy and remind me of Furries. Are they baby Furries?