Wednesday, September 29, 2004

First Amendment Rights For Sale

(note: The knitting content is further down in today’s post.)

If you're looking for a little extra money for yarn, maybe I can hook you up with this guy in Utah County who's willing to purchase your First Amendment rights from you (well, only if your speech contravenes his views). By way of background, the student government at Utah Valley State College invited Michael Moore to speak at the school and he accepted, thereby initiating a ridiculous uproar among local residents and donors to the school. Nothing, however, tops the parent who offered to donate $25,000 to the school if it cancelled Moore's appearance. Most amazing is the following statement which the local newspaper attributed to said parent,
"I should not have to send my children to a private university to get a conservative education when I live in a conservative community and have a state college in my back yard that is paid for by conservative taxpayers and donors. A balanced education does not require we teach our children to be so open-minded that their brains fall out."
Excuse me, but maybe if you took your head out of your butt you'd realize that plenty of my money, and the money of other non-conservative Utahns flows into the coffers of the State of Utah. Plus, I am not the least bit afraid that my kids' brains are going to fall out (WTF does that mean anyway?) if they listen to Michael Moore or even Bill O'Reilly.

In any event, I thought I would share this story with you in case you're intereted in selling your First Amendment rights to this guy. Perhaps, if presented with an offer, he'd be willing to purchase your Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights, too.

Knitting Content (but no pictures)

Not much knitting content today, since most of my time has been spent frogging instead of knitting. In addition to frogging the gloves I started for the Glove-Along, I also frogged the Hallowig I started for my daughter. It was clearly going to be too big (OMG, I just realized that maybe her head is small because her brains have fallen out from listening to too many ideas). I'm still determined to make it although it will require re-working the pattern with fewer stitches.

I'm also frantically trying to finish my Making Waves socks before the Six Sox deadline on Thursday. I actually knit a round in the car yesterday on my way home from work. No, the car was not moving at the time although I was sitting in the driver's seat. I promise there'll be pictures of something tomorrow.

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Monday, September 27, 2004

What, Another Shawl?

I finished my Lily Chin shawl on Sunday morning and blocked it that afternoon.

The jury's still out on it. On the plus side, it was easy and required very little thought or concentration. On the other hand, the finished shawl is very long across the top and not so long down the sides so it has a slightly odd shape. It would probably look best on a short person with a large upper body. I fit the "short person" half of that equation, but I can't lay claim to having a large upper body.

Last time I showed a picture of a shawl being blocked, someone asked me about the blocking pins I use. They're made by Clover and they have two tines so they don't leave a "blip" along the edge of the shawl.

I love them. My LYS, The Wool Cabin, carries them and you can order some by calling them at (801) 466-1811.

Not Meant to Be

After I finished the shawl, I started a pair of gloves for the Glove-Along.

I'm using Inca Alpaca from an ill-fated vest that I frogged about a year ago. I'm beginning to think that this yarn is cursed, because I ended up frogging the gloves, too, shortly after I took the photo. They were too big and loosely knit. I'll just restart with the same number of stitches but smaller needles.

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Friday, September 24, 2004

Shawl Questions

A couple of people wrote me or left comments about the new
shawl I’m knitting and the shawls I’m planning to knit. The one I have on the needles now is a very simple triangle-shaped shawl from the Summer 2001 issue of Knitter’s magazine. I think you can see the stitch pattern a little better in this photo.

It’s an extremely easy pattern and I chose it mostly because it can be knit from memory so I don’t need to have the chart in front of me. I haven’t worked on it for very long but I’m up to 121 stitches already so I should finish it by the end of the weekend. I’m planning to do another Flower Basket Shawl within the next month since I think it would make a nice present for my neighbor who recently learned that she has cancer. I’m also planning another Meadow Flowers Shawl with the Helen’s Lace yarn I just bought, but I might wait on that ‘til after the holidays.

Scarf Pattern

I set up a Web page for the free scarf pattern I wrote this week. It’s difficult to tell from yesterday’s picture, but it’s actually a Seaman’s style scarf, knit from side-to-side by using short rows. Here’s a better picture:

I knit the body of the scarf from just one skein of Noro Silk Garden (I used the second skein for the ruffles). It’s an excellent pattern for using up skeins that are left over from larger projects. In fact, if you’re in the Klaralund knitalong and have a skein of Silk Garden left over, this would be a good pattern. Have fun with it and, as always, if you knit the scarf send me a picture. I’d love to see it.

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Thursday, September 23, 2004

More Yarn!

I promised some pictures of the yarn I got last weekend and here they are. I begin, however, with the vessel in which the yarn arrived.

It's enough to make your heart skip a beat, isn't it.

Instead of saving the best for last, I'm going to show you the best first.

The pattern magazine is written in German, but did my poor foreign language skills prevent me from reading the thing from cover-to-cover? Nope. What a fantastic book and it's filled with amazing sock patterns. Who can I lobby to publish this in English? The needles are metal Addis in size 2.5mm. One set is glove length and now that I've signed on to Johanna's glove-along, they arrived just in time. The point protectors are my absolute favorite kind.

Next are all the amazing yarns:

And, last but not least, a group of yarns to be used for charity projects.

See that skein of Regia?? It can be yours in two months if you knit socks for CIC. Join the Six Sox Knitalong and find out how! Danke vielmals, Kadri!

New Pattern

Remember those skeins of Noro Silk Garden I got from Wendy? Here's the scarf I knit from them:

(The pin is included in the picture for you, Norma.)

I'll post the link to the pattern tomorrow morning. Also, I've received several questions about my new shawl project that will be easier to answer via the blog. Stay tuned.

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Monday, September 20, 2004

True Confessions of A Yarn Pig

Here's a taste of what I've received in the mail over the last few days. First, is a fabulous kit from Canada that I swapped for:

It's 150 fabulous grams of Fleece Artist Mohair and Blue Faced Leicester yarn. The label includes instructions for socks made from a strand of each yarn. Wow, those would be some warm socks! I'm actually inspired to make a scarf from it, but I'm going to let this idea mull for a while. Until I decide, I'll just continue to pet the skein.

I also got another hank of Helen's Lace to make my second Meadow Flowers Shawl.

You may recall that I ordered a hank of this yarn in the Desert Flower colorway because Mary didn't have the Gold Hill colorway. I decided the Desert Flower was really just a bit too pinky for me so I tracked down the Gold Hill. My 14-year-old son opened this package up while I was on the phone with him and he said, "Yup, it's yarn; but it looks like really nice yarn. Hand-dyed, I think." How true! Haven't I trained him well.

Then, I was RAOK'd by Wendy with these two wonderful skeins of Noro Silk Garden.

I won't say yet what I'm using this for, but I've already started it. Thanks, Wendy!

You want to know what was in my fabulous yellow box, though, don't you. Sorry, you'll have to wait 'til tomorrow. I'm still inventorying everything. What does that tell you about the contents!

What's That!

Ooops, how did that picture sneak into my blog? It looks like another shawl project is underway. Details to follow. Oh, and Roberta made a Barbie poncho from my pattern. Check it out!

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Sunday, September 19, 2004

New Sock Pattern Announced

The new sock pattern for the Six Sox Knitalong was revealed last week. Knitting officially begins on October 1st but between now and then there’s a contest for members who use the new pattern to knit socks for Children in Common (CIC). One of the members generously donated a skein of Mountain Colors Weaver’s Wool for the prize. I finished my first CIC pair while DD had her gymnastics lesson on Saturday. (Man, those bleacher seats hurt your butt after two hours!)

I was the test knitter for the women’s medium size and made my first sock during the trip to Sun Valley that we took in July.

I started the second one on Saturday and got the heel flap finished on Sunday night.

Unfortunately, just after that I cut my index finger in such a way that I could not get it to stop bleeding. So, I had to wrap it up tight in gauze and tape and that was the end of my knitting for the weekend. Bummer. I do have another FO to show you later this week, though. And I got one of those infamous yellow boxes in the mail on Saturday afternoon so I’ll have plenty of pictures too!

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Friday, September 17, 2004

Flower Basket Shawl

As promised, I'm going to reveal how I altered the Flower Basket Shawl pattern.

First, here's a close up of my Flower Basket Shawl:

(If you click on the picture, it will open up a new window with a larger picture.)

And here's a close-up of Margene's wonderful, perfectly-knit Flower Basket Shawl (upside down):

Can you tell the difference?

Margene followed the pattern which instructs you to work the double decreases as follows: slip 1, k2tog, psso
This results in a decrease that slants visibly to the left as you knit it. Therefore, the decreases slant into the center of the shawl on one side but away from the center on the other side. Call me anal retentive (I bet I get a lot of Google hits for that phrase), but I wanted my shawl to be symetrical. So I used a centered double decrease that doesn't slant in either direction. To work the decrease, slip two stitches at the same time as if to knit (in other words, insert the tip of the right-hand needle behind the second stitch on the left-hand needle and move both stitches to the right-hand needle), knit 1, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over the stitch you knit.

Barbie Poncho Redux

Hey, someone actually knit one of my patterns! Beth made a poncho for her Cher doll. The poncho looks great, but Cher looks like she could use a little more plastic surgery. Great job, Beth; thanks for sharing.

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Yet Another FO

I bet you thought I was kidding when I said that I’d finished the Flower Basket Shawl in three days. That's 4 FOs in less than a week (see below if you missed the other 3).
Well, I really wasn’t kidding and here’s the proof:

Before Blocking:

After Blocking:

At first I was afraid it was going to be much too small, but the finished measurements are approximately 52" across and 24" from the top to the center point. That's only about 2" in each direction smaller than the pattern indicates. I've decided that this is my shawl for Leandra’s Shawl-Along. Oh, I haven't forgotten that I promised to post how I altered the pattern. But that will be in tomorrow's post since I'd like to get a close-up picture so you can see what I'm talking about. So check back tomorrow.

The yarn is Glimmer from Americas Alpaca. Like most alpaca, it’s luscious and soft. Even my son couldn’t stop himself from touching it as I was knitting. It also has tiny specks of irridescent fiber spun into the yarn. Very pretty. I bought the yarn on Saturday when I went to my favorite LYS that recently relocated a few miles. I think the front of the building is cute.

I bumped into Margene so here's a photo op with her, Cathy, and Marge (who works at the shop).

And, although I loved the old location (which was a smaller, older house), this one is much more spacious and bright. Also, it's now within walking distance of my office and across the street from an excellent bakery/lunch place. Only time will tell whether the move turns out to be a blessing or a curse for me. All I’ll say at this point, is that I've been there two more times since Saturday. You be the judge.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

New Sock Pattern

My new sock pattern is now available for purchase. There's a picture on the sidebar. Just click here and you'll be transferred to the page with all the information you could need or want.

I Love You, Secret Pal!

I have the best Secret Pal. Look what she sent me yesterday!

A wonderful, luscious skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in the colorway Martha's Vineyard. The color is just perfect and this is my absolute favorite sock yarn but no shops in Salt Lake City carry it so this is a really special treat. Oh, and speaking of treats, these were in the package, too:

Yum! I had a fleeting thought that I might share some of these edible goodies with my boss who has a special affinity for maple flavored items but that foolish thought passed quickly. I did share a couple of kernels of the popcorn with my kids last night, but I made them beg first. Thanks, Secret Pal. You're great!

One More Thing

My LYS moved to a new location and I went to the grand opening on Saturday. I got some amazing alpaca yarn that I couldn't pass up at 10% off. I cast on for a Flower Basket Shawl on Sunday afternoon and I finished it last night. I just need to bind off tonight. So either tomorrow or Friday there will be pics and a little discussion of how I changed the pattern.

Knit on!

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Laurie's Having A Contest

I don't have time for a proper post today but I wanted to make sure everyone knows that Laurie is having a contest on her blog. So head over there and maybe you can win some Noro Kureyon. While you're on her blog, check out the free hat pattern she's written. You can make an awesome hat from just 2 skeins of Stahl Big Mexiko yarn.
Hey, now that I think of it, I might have some of that yarn in my stash.

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Sunday, September 12, 2004

FO x Two

I've got two FOs to report (Yippee!). The first are the mittens I was making from the pattern in Folk Knitting in Estonia.

They look much nicer now that they're blocked, although I messed up a little on the second thumb and I swear one is slightly bigger than the other. What do you think? I clearly eased up a little on the second one; the floats are not so tight. I have the most problem changing colovers after moving from one needle to the next. I'm going to work on this, although I'm not convinced that stranded socks would be nearly as stretchy as I would like them.

My second FO is the second sock made from my new pattern.

It will be for sale later this week, so check back if you'd like to purchase the pattern.


I was RAOK'd on Friday by Nannette. She sent me a copy of the the pattern to make the Los Lobe Hose mini sock earrings and an extra packet of ear wires. My LYS carried this pattern for a while and I always meant to buy it but somehow it never ended up in my bag. So this was a great surprise. Of course, I had to try it out--right? Here's the result:

How cute are those! For some reason, my daughter is under the impression that they belong to her. I don't think so. When my son (the flippant 14-year-old) saw them he said, "You'll make anything out of yarn, won't you." Hmmmm . . . ain't that the truth. And just to show you how right he is, I have written up the pattern for the seamless Barbie Poncho that I blogged about last week. Scroll down the sidebar 'til you get to the heading "Free Patterns" and you'll see the link. If you make one, send me the picture and I'll post it on my blog. Wouldn't it look cute with a little Fun Fur trim or something? Have fun with it.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Fiber Festival

On Saturday, Laurie, Emily, Shannon, Margene, Karen, and I headed up to the Back of the Wasatch Fiber Festival.

This year it was held in conjunction with the Soldier Hollow Sheep Dog Championship Trials. When we arrived in late morning the weather was beautiful. I had been up the canyon with my family the previous weekend and we saw very little color in the mountains. But look what a week of cool nighttime temperatures will do!

The booths were loaded with alpaca and alpaca blend yarns and I bought my share (well, of yarn, not alpaca).

I also bought some wonderful hand-dyed merino yarn. There are 400 yards in one, 50g skein so I'd call it cobweb weight. (Ooops, I got this wrong. I just checked the label and see that it's a 1 ounce skein and it has 300 yards. ) I couldn't help but cast on for a lacy scarf.

I worked on it Tuesday night at Stitch and Bitch so it's a little longer now than when I took the pictures. It's slow going but easy and almost mindless.

I sent out two RAOKs on Wednesday so, if you're a member of the ring, watch your mailbox. Maybe one is on its way to you.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004


There was a package waiting for me when I returned home from work yesterday.

The package was from Debbi, a fellow fiber snob who I met on an online knitting group. It's two skeins of the most fabulous sock yarn called "Socks that Rock" from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. It's hand-dyed, 100% superwash merino wool and the colorway Debbi sent is called Sapphire. Oh, my, it is so soft and beautiful. It could be the softest merino yarn I've ever had the pleasure of holding. And the color is just devine. It really can't be appreciated by looking at it on a computer monitor. I know I'll be ordering more of this!
But, that's not all she sent. She also included a package of needles that have a hook on one end and a point on the other. She says they're great for picking up gusset stitches and I can see at a glance that she's right. I'm not giving mine up, but if you want your own set you can order them here.
What a wonderful, thoughtful package. Thanks so much, Debbi!

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

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Monday, September 06, 2004

Poncho, Poncho, Who Has the Poncho?

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.

The Poncho-Along has begun and it got me thinking about something I made last year. My friend and I knit several Barbie outfits and donated them to the Utah Legal Aid fundraiser. They sold for $150.00 which I thought was a pretty good amount of money. Here’s one of the outfits I made:

I also made a cute poncho from leftover Opal Mexiko yarn. I never wrote the pattern down and haven’t had the occasion to make another. But I dug out a ball of leftover Opal Tiger yarn last night and put on my thinking cap. Here’s the result:

This time I did write down the pattern and I’ll create a Web page for it later this week. Just to whet your appetite, though, it’s knit all in one piece. Absolutely no seaming involved. Elizabeth Zimmerman would be so proud of me!

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Saturday, September 04, 2004

We Have A Winner!

OK, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The winner of the contest is: Leslie. Leslie’s tip was, "To keep track of the beginning of a round when knitting on DPNs, put a point protector on the end of the first needle (beginning of the round)."

Congrats, Leslie. Your prize is a copy of the Picasso Socks pattern and the yarn to make them.

But, folks, there's more. There were so many great tips I've decided to give away two more copies of the pattern. The winners, also chosen at random, are Trish and Barbara Brewer. Trish's tip was a link that explains how to do a Russian Join. It's a great technique to know if you knit socks from leftovers. Barbara's tip was "Before beginning your sock project, give some thought to the pattern. If it's plain and simple, self-patterned yarn is OK. But if it's a pattern with cables, lace, etc--anything that you'd like to showcase--stick to plain-colored yarn. Otherwise, the complexity of the pattern, and all your hard work, will most likely be lost in the color changes."

If you're one of the winners, you can contact me or I'll just email you tomorrow.

If you haven’t had a chance to read all the tips, it really is worth the time. In my opinion, the best tip was to "read all the other tips" (left by Kadri) and the funniest tip was "If your knitting becomes too tight instead of going up a needle size drink a glass of wine. It's fun, you get a buzz, and loosen your gauge all at the same time!" (left by Jessica). Thanks so much to everyone who left a comment,
especially my soul sister Beth who left four!

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend.

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Quick Post

I only have time for a quick post today. The kids are off school and are chomping at the bit to get out of the house and do something. I did, however, want to post a picture of the mitten I made yesterday.

The pattern is from Nancy Bush's book, Folk Knitting in Estonia. I did the cuff a different way and used different colors and yarns, but otherwise it's the same as the pattern. ;-)

It's my first attempt at stranded knitting in the round and I'm quickly learning that this is not one of my strong suits. I'm hoping some of the wonkiness is remedied by blocking.

If you haven't entered my contest yet, there's still time. I'm cutting entries off at 3:00 p.m. today and I'll announce the winner tomorrow. It will probably be in the afternoon, since I'm going to the Back of the Wasatch Fiber Art and Wool Festival in the morning with the gals from Stitch and Bitch.
Good luck, and thanks to everyone for leaving such wonderful knitting tips!

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Wow, everyone is leaving amazing tips! Thanks for participating in my little contest. If I have some spare time this weekend, I'll try and create a separate page and put all the tips on that. The contest doesn't end until Friday, so scroll down to yesterday's post and leave a comment to enter!

Just to prove that I've been reading the posts and knitting, here's a scarf I made this week.

The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk. Oh, my, it is so schöööön! There's only one yarn shop in town that carries it and when I returned yesterday to buy up the rest of their stock it was gone. Yikes! The owner was very nice, though, and promised to order some more. Unfortunately, I can't justify purchasing the 16 skeins it would take to make this amazing sweater. That's fine, though, as I'm happy to make more single-skein scarves that I'm donating to a local charity. The charity gets the scarves, and I get the pleasure of knitting with this fabulous yarn.

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.