Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We had snow today

We weren't planning on snow today. Last weather report I heard we were supposed to get some rain. I kind of wondered at that when I saw how long the frost on the grass was hanging on. Then I was knitting on the couch and through the curtains noticed some white stuff going by. So went to check it out. Sure enough big fat fluffy flakes were falling and because the ground was already cold, immediately set about sticking and accumulating. So here's the progression:

Normally the tables/chairs/BBQ are not out there. We won't talk about why they still are out. ;-)

The boys decided that today would be a great day to go snowboarding and had left before it started snowing here. They left the mountain at 5:30pm and I got a text message saying they were back at Luke's house at 10:30pm. A long day for them, but they're still young. ;-)

We haven't received the rain that was supposed to come in at 8pm to clear things up. Our mystery will be what we find in the morning. Is it going to stay cold enough that we'll wake up to the snow still here? Melted over night? If there's snow, most likely my spinning will be canceled for the day. We'll just have to wait and see. Hope all your loved ones are safe at home!

Received hand knit - extra special

I can't remember if I mentioned that I received a pair of glittens from my grandmother or not. I did. ;-) She's 86 years old and she confided in me that she knitted a dozen pairs of these. I think she said that a friend had come back from South America with a pair and she liked the idea so she decided to make some. Only problem she had, she couldn't find a pattern for the mitten flip top, so she had to make it up herself. *She made it up herself!* Okay, it basically is a toe idea but still.

Three of the fingers are all the same height with the forefinger longer. Kind of makes my hands feel small, but she has longer fingers. ;-) They fit nicely though.

Here they are:

I think they may be out of a Berroco yarn - it has the look of the Pure but I can't find a matching color (aubergine is close). Maybe the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (010)?

I know that these will be in my coat pockets for the rest of the winter to keep my hands toasty and I'll remember that they're extra special because grandma hand knit them!  On my side of the family all of my blood related grandparents are dead. Grandma Eileen is truly my sister Tanya's grandparent. I was raised with her as Grandma Eileen though, so she'll always be one of my grandparents.

(Aunt Mary & Grandma Eileen)
Kind of like Aunt Mary, Grandma Eileen's daughter, I was able to show her all about Ravelry. She seemed excited by it. She wanted to know where I had gotten the patterns for the ornaments I gave them. I thought it would be easier to show her Ravelry instead. ;-) She really loved her Razor Shell Scarf I gave her. Linda, stepmother number two, was floored by the Burnside Winter Twilight Mitts I made her. I don't think she's tried much colorwork in her years of knitting. She definitely knits sweaters though! Jeanne, stepmother number one, also loved her NMH #12 mittens and immediately saw the Norwegian influence. Sister Jennifer now suspects that it will take seven years before she has a weeks worth of hand knitted socks. ;-) It really is awesome to have the hand knits appreciated by the recipients!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Got them done

I knew they were going to be a quick knit and if the whole socializing with family not seen in a year and having to take my turn driving, I might have been able to get these leg warmers done for Kaisha in time for them to be wrapped and under the tree. Instead, all gifts were unwrapped, breakfast eaten and I was busy knitting up until the late lunch/early dinner. They are a perfect fit and the right length. I think they would have done well with pom poms but I haven't invested in one of those makers and wasn't going to dig through the boxes for one a lid to make one out of. So I knotted the end of the i-cord and called them good.

Kaisha's leg warmers:

My stepmother up north is a knitter and I guess she was hoping to help encourage my knitting because she gave me this HUGE basket filled with yarns, a set of needles, a couple of crochet hooks and lots of free patterns from Berroco and Lion Brand. The range of yarns are a couple of nice grey wool yarn from Pengouin, a couple of Noro called Ginrei-A - 58% mohair, 21% wool, 11% nylon and 10% polyester in blues, purples, and pinks, a total of 175 yards that I'm not sure what to do with. There are three or four balls of cottons that will be nice for making up some dish cloths or hand towels. Then there are the balls of unknown yarn, strongly suspect they are some type of Lion Brand Wool-Ease but no identifiers. It helps to realize that the colors are pretty generic that I can knit gifts for people that are untrustworthy for hand-wash items. There's the three balls of orange-yellow mohair that I'm not sure what to do with, but I'll give it a whirl at some point. The big old dark purple Homespun will need to find a new home. The basket:

Then there was the bonus to find out that Judy shopped my wish list at Knit Picks and just bought the whole list - totally blessed! I have a few pairs of circulars, blocking wires (Michele - if you didn't get them as a gift, they are nice!), some handpainted sock yarn as well as black sock yarn and enough fingering weight yarn to make a sweater for myself! I had also asked for the Craftsman Afghan, not because I particularly like the colors but because I wanted another knitted blanket for the couch, maybe this one can be for the dogs and I can keep the Lizard Ridge from their bodies. ;-)

I tried taking photos of the yarns, but the flash was washing them out and not enough good light, so I'll have to take photos of the yarns and redo things on Sunday.

For now, I'm off to bed early to catch up on some missing sleep, then one more family visit tomorrow.

Merry Christmas! Anyone not get enough sweets? Come visit - have plenty of cookies, fudge, and candies. Still need to make those Muddy Buddys too. (I will *not* gain weight this season!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hitting the road

I need to finish getting ready for the trip up to Snohomish to see my sister's family and the stepfamily I was raised with. We'll drive back down later this evening, sleep, get up early again and go over to Judy's for the Hawes family get together. We'll spend the afternoon there and be home again. Saturday afternoon we're scheduled to be down in Salem for my dad's side of the family get together. I have hopes of seeing Cole for the first time, but not holding my breath.

Judy's French Press Slippers were finished in the late hours last night. I left them drying overnight with the black puff paint on the bottom. I think if I do these again I'm going to try to do them with a wider sole. I have wide feet and these don't feel like they fit my foot. Since its not my foot they have to fit, not terribly concerned. I'll take a better picture of them on Judy's feet - with her permission of course!  Until then, here they are:

I hope your holidays are safe and happy! 

ETA: Judy's feet had the same problem with the sides being low as I did with them. Over felting? Not high enough sides? I'm going to next try the House Slippers pattern out of the Knit 2 Together book. I can use up some leftover Cascade 220 and still do some cute stuff to make them special. If you're on Ravelry and still want to do the French Press Felted Slippers, there is a person in there that has adapted the pattern to be picked up, so no seaming.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I have hats!

The Thorpe hat was a learning experience. I've done top down hats before, but its been awhile since I've worked with chunky yarn. The first one I did with worsted doubled so that I could get the chunky. It came out fine, a little heavy feeling. I then tried to do the hat with just the strand of worsted yarn and thought I needed to really increase the size to have it come out. For some reason I didn't check until the very end. The hat ended up HUGE. It was loose on Brandon's big head - hey he says its big, so its okay for me to say it is. ;-) So I switched and did the next hat in the series and did the stranded hat, it worked out better being doubled. Then it was back to trying to get the hats to work as worsted. I kept to the size US 9 rather than trying the US 7 and things worked.

The hats:

Some fudge has been made and a batch of the peanut butter cup candy. Along with the cookies, set with the sweet stuff I think. There are a couple of cake type recipes that I'd like to do, but they may be for New Year's.

I'm testing out the French Press Felted Slippers pattern. Rachel tried to get them to come out and had something that resembled a baked potato for her efforts. I'm definitely not as fast as the Yarn Harlot in making them, or her friend that claimed to be able to do them in 90 minutes. I'm not saying how long they took me to knit up. I have all the pieces knitted and tried to seam up one and ended up with something looking odd, so need to re-evaluate the project - when I don't have a migraine. Yes, one of those evil things showed up Monday night and has yet to vacate the premises. If I can get them to work, I'll buy my own copy and then hopefully the pattern for children that she has planned.

I knitted the large size, because I'm not sure if Judy wears an 8 or 9 and figured better to have a little room than not enough. Well and Rachel had said she knitted the 8 and it looked really small. I have a front loader machine so it will be fun trying to get them to felt.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Let's not count the days......

As usual I'm juggling the items that I'll have completed for Christmas. I had planned to do several items, but they've been changed to other things. I've also postponed receipt for a couple people until January. I may get them done in time, but I don't need the pressure. 

I did complete both of the reindeer socks for my BIL:

I was finally able to get over to JoAnn's to look through their button selection. Found some shell buttons in a pack that work perfectly. They are a mother of pearl, but I put the outer shell out. Sewed them onto Cole's Cardigan:

Last Friday it took a couple of attempts but I was successful in making a batch of Divinity before the humidity came back to our area. Divinity fails this time of the year usually, so this was a first attempt in twenty years. I forgot to tell William though that he couldn't just eat all he wanted so I have half of what I hoped to have for dividing up for family. ;-)

(sorry about the flash, but the only way to get the picture to come out.)

I've started the Thorpe hat series. Keefe's is done and I've started Garrett's, his will be the stranded version. I'll do ones for Adam and Logan that will be the 'plain' version - possible stripes like Keefe's. I also have yarn for one for William's friend Luke. He may have to wait until after Christmas to get his though. ;-)
Keefe's minus the braids:

Last week we the really cold weather and Friday morning I was able to get a rare picture of Norbert and Nessa sleeping close together. They sleep on the same couch, on the same bed, but rarely next to each other without a body part of mine between. 
(The hair on Norbert's left ear is slowly growing back out, but makes him look lopsided.)

More hats in my future for the next couple days, cookie baking at Judy's on Saturday. How is your race for the holidays coming along? Have you negotiated mentally gifts to be given? Putting in late hours to get the ones planned done? Are we all insane? ;-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The consensus of the votes were for pom-poms. Rachel even brought her pom-pom maker with her to spinning Wednesday. After spinning I got a couple made before picking up Brandon from work. We popped over to visit his grandfather (his health is failing and we don't expect that we'll have him this time next year) and do some computer work. So I entertained him with the pom-pom maker. By the time I arrived at Knit Night at Haggen's, I had four little pom-poms and could return the maker to Rachel. A few minutes work to sew them on to the ties and we have:

Can you see the frost on the table?

Here's an idea of how cold its been this last week, the pond:

I've been working on socks for my brother-in-law John. He has a family history of getting fun items at Christmas so I know he'll appreciate the humor behind the socks. He's also had wool socks on his wish list for as long as I've known him. So here's a good portion of one of the socks in progress:

At spinning I finished up the purple Spinner's Hill - Corriedale-Finn-Ramboulliet. After weighing them I didn't evenly divide so will have to balance it out with the plying. I went ahead and jumped into the Portland Punch. Its lovely to spin with. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

To pom or not to pom

I have the i-cords done on the Bodacious Leg Warmers for Bailey, but I'm not a huge pom-pom person. Don't do fringe either. So do the ends of the i-cord ties need to have little pom-poms? If you say yes, you have to loan me a small pom-pom maker. ;-)

They really are the same size, though the picture makes it look like one is shorter than the other.

Thought I'd also show off the wine rack that Brandon made for his dad:

Can't remember the cross beam's wood but the part that the bottles rest on is Jatoba (commonly called a Brazilian Cherry wood, but not related to cherry at all).

Cole was born Saturday the 5th 12:28 am 6 pounds 10 ounces and 20 inches long. He ended up being born via c-section. I haven't seen any pictures yet.  I think they're pretty exhausted and they aren't too technical on that part of the family so posting pics on the internet probably hasn't been a thought.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Today there were a couple of hours of spinning at the Spinnerati meeting and having great conversations about spinning. The whole woolen spinning and worsted that we all tend towards (or do I have that backwards in my head?). The fun of blending things with the drum carder.

I had picked up Sara and Cindy for the ride down. While at the meeting I passed on a free 15 inch LCD monitor to Arianne, but still had Michele's in my car. Michele, due to other commitments wasn't going to make it to the meeting, but got her address and with Sara's iphone help navigated there to deliver. Since we were so close, we couldn't resist a stop in to visit Twisted. So many lovely yarns and patterns to tempt a knitter. I kept my wallet in my pocket and just fondled various yarns.  It was cool seeing Michele's hat in person, as well as her patterns for sale.

What was really cool was stumbling across something that I had knitted being used as a sample display:

It's the Dundee Boheme that I had knitted to show off Susan's sock yarn as something other than socks.

Afterward we were blown home by the east winds - burrrr! I dropped off library books I picked up (since it was our carpool meeting place) and turned around to head over to Brandon's aunt and uncle's house to visit with his visiting father. Saved some holiday postage by also delivering his dad and step-mom's gifts to them. Yea! His step-mom wasn't up, she's a real estate agent in the Bay area and had showings to do. In this economy, you have to take all your money earning opportunities you can!

I've been working on the second leg warmer. Yesterday we were at Judy's house to help her decorate and put up her tree along with a dinner. So less knitting time between the various weekend events. I should be able to finish it before bed since I'm on the last 12 rows.I held the finished one up next to Kaisha's leg and it was a little long for her. That's why that tie is going to be handy if that's also the case for Bailey.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's a leg warmer!

As mentioned previously, I had hoped to use the Mosey leg warmer pattern for Bailey's set. They are HUGE compared to a little girl's spindly legs. Come on, they're supposed to be somewhat spindly. ;-)  I had hope to do some cabling, I like the idea of it folding over at the top. I also liked the idea that Mosey had of having an eyelet round so that a tie could be placed at the knee.

The pattern that I did find that was targeted at little girls folded over at the top - check, had a little flirty ruffle with the fold over - check. Then going through the different patterns on ravelry, I saw one pair that kind of draped over the top of the shoes. Cool! Wasn't really finding anything that excited me though, so I switched over to the arm warmer patterns. Lots more to choose from!

I found a lacy one that was also designed for worsted weight yarn and had about the same kind of stitch count as the leg warmer pattern. It also as a bonus had the same k1, p1 ribbing, so easier to blend the two together. Then I found an arm warmer pattern that had the ruffled flounce at the wrist - score! Even better it also used a k1, p1 ribbing before starting the flare. Looking promising!

Then I figured out that instead of just following the folded top from the existing pattern I had to cast on double the amount of stitches, do a few rows and then work the decreases - the other pattern worked from the bottom up and I was going top down. Plus I was adding in the eyelet row and I don't know how Mosey did it, but I figured out how to do mine without going out of ribbing pattern.

The main patterned portion of the arm warmer pattern did some increases I didn't do and so that meant that I had to adjust that pattern too. Why not, I'm doing it to the other two? The first row I didn't go back and adjust but then, you'd have to know what to look for to know what might be incorrect about it. ;-)

Here's what I ended up with, using my forearm as a model - I figure its about the right length for an eight year old:

There was news early this morning that Robyn was in labor and on the way to the hospital. I talked to my dad around 5:30 pm and he and my stepmom were on the way up to OHSU. They had reports that things looked like they were progressing faster. I figure I haven't had an update since then because it took a few more hours and they think its too late to call. Hopefully news in the AM on Cole's arrival. Wonder how he knew his cardi was done and waiting for him?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kind of done

I finished up the sleeve this afternoon, then wove in all the sleeve ends and any other ends that needed it. Then took pictures:

Then I promptly put it in a nice hot water bath to balance things out. Switching from knitting flat for everything but the end sleeves, I noticed I knit tighter, evener in the round. No matter how consistent I tried to stay with the purl rows.

It's still cute and I may pull out the bear to put the complete outfit on. I'll need to take a trip to JoAnn's for a button or buttons. I'm leaning towards brown buttons, because I know the mom likes brown. Regular buttons or cutesy ones?

The cardi and a scarf that I had washed and pinned out are drying in the den. Why redo the scarf? Cause I didn't have blocking wires and was wimpy about it earlier in the year.  I was a little more aggressive with the blocking after a second soak this morning. I'll possibly post new pics tomorrow.

Off to cast on Bailey's leggings. I'm going to have to do some modifications of the intended pattern - Mosey from the Spring 2008 Knitty. She's an eight year old and as such doesn't have a calf like an adult.

Oh! For those who are curious. Norbert is doing MUCH better. The hair is growing back nicely on his ear so he doesn't look so lopsided. He's perky, pulling out toys from the toy basket and leaving them all over the place after playing with them for a few minutes, soliciting ball throwing and actively interested in food. Since the squirrel incident, he's checking every morning and periodic checks during the day for the stupid critter to put toes in his yard again.

Brandon says he showed this to me eight months ago, a friend has it on her blog and I thought it shows Portland nicely, for those who aren't local:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I failed to finish the cardi as I had hoped today. Sigh. Of course spending the morning/afternoon spinning didn't help with that goal. ;-) I took Gail's hand carders with me and that new Finn and tried getting the grass and hay out of it. I think I worked with a bunch for about an hour. I got sore arms and 95% of the vm out of it. I gave it the old 'college try'. ;-)

I decided that I'm going to rent the drum carder from Susan again in January. A bunch of us will go in on it again. I have the llama, Icelandic, the Finn. I want to blend the llama with silk so the drum carder will be busy for a day.

Came home and got things ready to take for knitting at Haggen's, then went to pick up Brandon from work. Ended up not making dinner so after dropping off and picking up at the library, opted for a chicken cesaer salad and that for some reason took longer to eat than it should. I think I got a half an inch of cardigan sleeve knitted. Then Duffy was ready to go so had to get her free monitor out of the car, so brought Angela's in. The next part is all her fault. ;-)

Angela was over by Sharon's bins looking at the yarns. I started finding in the roving bin all these balls of roving that had come unwound. So started winding them back up. This caused me to find the two balls of Portland Punch Superwash Merino - 8 ounces. So a two for one deal. This stuff is so soft! I couldn't resist, though I had told her earlier I wasn't buying yarn when she tempted me with Nigel - pretty dyepot brown sock yarn. Gorgeous stuff! So I failed to not buy something as intended.

ETA: Forgot a tiny little detail last night - Sharon had both bins 50% off. Such temptations!!! I did get back at Angela for helping me fall, by helping her buy two, or was it three skeins of pretty DK yarn?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Squirrel, Progress, New Stuff

This morning one of the local grey squirrel's decided to risk life and limb by going through our yard. If its the same squirrel, it should *know* that there are dogs in this yard. Norbert in his enthusiasm to get out there knocked over a full water bowl. I needed to mop the floor anyway - right?

Can you see where its perched? With all the barking both dogs were doing, it was chewing them out just as loudly. Good thing we don't speak squirrel, I'm sure there were a number of four letter words being thrown down at the dogs. Nessa was out there, she was even trying to get closer by standing on the bench and barking.

Cole's baby cardigan is currently at the point of the body is done and so is the right sleeve. I've picked up the sleeves of the left sleeve and started it. Due to the time, won't be done until tomorrow. This is what the body looked like earlier today while the sun was still shining:

I didn't do button holes, but I'm thinking I'll find a cute button for the top and do a crochet loop for the button. Do babies need more than one button?

Remember I traded that Jacob with Brenda for some of her llama? It wasn't quite the 3/4 of pound that she sent me and she was embarrassed by that mistake. She sent me a note last week that she was sending out a package with the llama and a surprise. She sent me about the same amount of llama, so I now have a pound of it. The surprise? A little over two ounces of some 'washed' Finn. Okay, the Finn *is* washed, just still full of vm. Thankfully, I have Gail's hand carders on loan, so I can practice with this stuff too. It really was nice of her to send this along. It will be fun to see how it spins up compared to the nice commercial stuff I bought from Klaus. The Finn:

A couple of the pretty jars of Cranberry Chutney, with air bubbles even!

That's sunlight shining on them, not flash.