Sunday, October 31, 2004

Random Observations:

Proof that you just can’t understand it unless you were born and raised in Massachusetts:

DH (native of Long Island and life-long Mets fan): Oh my gosh, it says here in the newspaper that 88% of all New Englanders who were watching TV during the last 15 minutes of Game 4 were watching the Red Sox/Cardinals game. That's amazing!

Me (grew up outside Boston and descended from a family whose presence in Massachusetts has been traced back to 1690): That is amazing; what the hell were those 12% watching????

Proof that you’ve been in Disneyland too long:

DD (11 years old): Mom, is that a real duck or a fake duck?
Me (43 years old with 20 years of schooling including a post-graduate degree): I’m not sure.

Secret Pal II

My Secret Pal was Michelle! Thanks for being a great Secret Pal; I always loved to read your nice posts after you got my packages. My last package to Michelle included the tan and navy blue socks that I knit from the Mustersocken pattern. Hope they fit you, Michelle!


Thanks to everyone who's entered the contest. There are some great links to some wonderful patterns. I don’t know what I’m going to knit first! I'll announce the winner tomorrow afternoon so there's still time to enter.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Contest Time!

I'm carrying the holiday knitting theme into my contest this month. Here are the rules (hey, there have to be rules, I'm a lawyer):

  1. Between now and midnight on October 31st, leave a comment on my blog.

  2. In your comment, include a link to a free pattern (it must be available on-line) that would make a quick, but nice holiday gift. It's even better if you link to a pattern that you've knit already so you can give a little critique of it.

  3. The pattern must be for a teenager or adult and must require no more than 3 skeins of yarn.

  4. It cannot be a pattern that someone else has already posted. So don't dawdle; the faster you post, the more choices you have available to you.

  5. Please don't e-mail me with your entry. I won't be able to check my messages until the evening of the 31th and it will take too much time for me to sort through them all. Also, I'll use a random number generator to choose the winner and I can't count your entry if you send it in an e-mail. Plus, if you leave the link in the comments, everyone can read all the submissions which makes it more fun.

That's it.

Oh, you want to know what the prize is?

It's a skein of Merino Frappe yarn and a pattern* to make an easy but fabulous scarf from the one skein. I made a couple of these for Christmas gifts last year and they were big hits.

Have a great week.

(*Note to the person who once left a comment fallaciously accusing me of possessing an illegally copied pattern but who failed to leave her name or e-mail address. This is a shop pattern from my LYS. Although it's a photocopy, it's the actual photocopy that was given to me when I purchased the yarn for this contest. So there's no need to get your undies in a bunch again.)

Who's linking here?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

FO and Acquisition

I finished another "quickie" holiday gift this weekend. It's a simple scarf made from one skein of heavy mohair and one skein of Eskimo eyelash yarn.

I used the technique I blogged about a few weeks ago in which I alternated yarns by working the scarf on a circular needle and pushing the stitches to the opposite end every other row. See how it doesn’t look quite like garter stitch. I think it's a nice variation. I also bought some pre-strung beads to sew on the ends of the scarf. I did this for the crop top I made my niece last spring. I bought the beads at Michaels, but someone told me that the Evil Empire* sells them too.

I also received a package on Saturday with the fabulous handspun that I ordered from Amy.

The colors are just amazing. I had originally intended to use this for socks, but now that I see it I'm not sure. It would be too bad to hide those wonderful colors in some shoes. Any suggestions?

Contest Update

I've drafted the rules for the contest that I'm holding
while I'm on vacation. I'll post them Tuesday morning so check back then.

*I unwaveringly refuse to shop at the Evil Empire for any number of reasons, but understand that it may be the only source some of you have for craft items.

Who's linking here?

Friday, October 22, 2004


I just love today's post from Julia.

With all the excitement over the ALCS I neglected to post a photo of my latest finished sock. The pattern is really fun to knit. It's a slip-stitch pattern, not a stranded pattern so it moves very quickly and is somewhat hypnotic. Plus, I've been knitting feverishly while the rest of my family has been watching the games on TV. I've come to the conclusion that my role in life is to jinx the Red Sox. Really. The minute I even venture near the TV, they strike out or give up hits. Is there an independently wealthy Red Sox fan out there who would be willing to fund my week-long vacation to New Zealand?

It's a little difficult to see the stitch pattern and this close-up isn't much better:

It's the first pattern in the Mustersocken knitalong and the listmoms have translated it into English so if you're inclined to join, no mastery of the German language is required.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I Love It!

OK, I admit it; I'm dragging today. The emotional rollercoaster is too much for me at this age. Plus, I was completely unable to get to sleep last night. Who knew there were so many sports programs on TV after 10:00 p.m. Here's the best part of all, though--this morning someone got to my blog via Google by searching for "yankee choke pictures." Oh, I'm in heaven.

Holiday Gifts Part II

If you read yesterday's post you may be wondering who won't be getting a hand-knit gift from me this year. At the top of the list is a family friend for whom I knit a felted bag last year. Although I may have tendancy to overestimate my abilitites as a knitter, I thought the bag was beautiful. In any event, I worked really hard on it for quite a long time and was really excited to give it to her. She opened the package, removed the bag, scrutinized it for a few seconds and said, "Oh, did you make this." Believe me, the statement was not made with admiration, but more with disdain. She'll be getting a store-bought gift this year.

As for the bag I posted about yesterday, the pattern is in the Winter 2003 Knitter's Magazine. I didn’t write down the changes I made but they were made to the strap and the closure tab. If you follow the instructions as written, the strap is skinny (and it is sewn onto the bag instead of knit into it). I made the strap on the maroon bag similar to the one on my One-World, One Purse pattern. Here's how the maroon one looks with the pin.

Cute, huh.

All of this talk of holiday gifts has put a contest idea in my head. I'm headed to the Happiest Place on Earth next week (not this Happiest Place, this one) so I won't be blogging. But, I have an idea for fun contest to keep you occupied in my absence. Stay tuned.

To My Secret Pal

Hi, Secret Pal! Thanks for leaving a comment for me. Just wanted to let you know that I started a sock from the pink/grey/black marled yarn you sent me. The picture is crappy, but the sock is fabulous.


Who's linking here?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Holiday Gifts

After surfing a few blogs this week, I can see that the holiday gift-knitting frenzy has begun. Although I have more cause to be frantic than many of you since Hanukkah begins on December 7th, I refuse to stress about holiday knitting this year. First, I've decided that the only people who I will knit for are those who have expressed happiness at receiving hand-knit gifts in the past. That would include my next-door neighbor for whom I made a Constant Companion felted bag last year. She called me on Christmas morning, literally weeping with happiness. This call was particularly complimentary since this women is an exceptional knitter who has won more than her fair share of blue ribbons at the Utah State Fair. Her daughter later told me that she carries the bag everywhere and makes a special point of telling everyone that I knit it for her. You know she'll be getting something special this year; maybe a Flower Basket Shawl. Then there's my mail carrier, Marty, who puts smiley faces on the boxes of yarn I receive from Germany and who regularly urges me to go to the Taos Wool Festival by stuffing my mailbox with fliers. I made him a pair of fingerless gloves last year and he wears them all the time; making a point to give me an exaggerated wave every time I pass him in my car so that I can see he has them on. He'll get something special, too; maybe some nice wool boot socks. There are a few others on my short list, too, but for the most part their gifts have already been knit (you didn't really think that I could possibly keep all this stuff that I knit, did you). I will, though, make some "quickie" gifts for my daughter's friends and other "lesser" recipients. Here's the first of those quickie gifts:

The pattern is from a Knitter's Magazine that was published last year. Maybe the fall or maybe the winter edition; I don't remember. Of course, I altered it some (you knew I was going to say that) and like "my" version better. After I took the photo, I added a magnetic clasp to the front tab and will probably comb Claire's for some cheap cute, tween-friendly pin to attach to the tab.

Oh, and yes, that is my cat. Just because I don't blog about her doesn't mean I don't love her.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I've Been RAOK'd

I got the most amazing RAOK in the mail yesterday. It was sent to me by Colette in NYC and was filled with all my favorite things.

On the edible front, there was some Godiva dark chocolate (yum yum) and orange-flavored tea. There's nothing better than the combination of dark chocolate and orange. On the knitting front, there was some Regia sock yarn with a bit of orange in it (I love orange), a spiral note pad, and a zippered plastic project bag. I just love those project bags and usually stock up when I'm in Ketchum, Idaho.

I confess that I tried but I couldn't keep my hands off the sock yarn. I like to make my socks so they match perfectly (bet you're surprised to hear that, huh) which usually involves the thankless and time-consuming task of pulling yarn from the beginning of one skein then the other until reaching the point where they match up. The two skeins Colette sent me, however, were almost identical! I only had to pull out about 2 yards from one skein until I got to the point where they matched. So, I have a good feeling about the socks that I'll make from this yarn.

Somebody Save Me

If they can't manage to win in my lifetime, they'll kill me first from the stress. That's all I'll say on this subject today.

Who's linking here?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Dancing Stars French Market Bag

Wow, many of you sent me emails asking about the French Market Bag I won at the silent auction last week. My friend simply took a chart from a pattern written for a hat and inserted it into the FMB pattern. I remember she mentioned that she had to alter it slightly, but I'm not sure how she did it. Anyway, you can buy the Dancing Stars Hat Pattern from my LYS. It's "The Black Sheep Wool Co." in Salt Lake City and the telephone # is (801) 487-9378. The owner's name is Vonnie and you can ask for her (we were talking about the bag last Friday). Or, if she's not there, anyone else in the store can help you. Just ask for Anne's Dancing Stars hat pattern.

Who's linking here?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Band Heel

Janine left a comment asking if the heel I posted about last week
(“Beate’s Heel”) was a Band heel. Actually, it's just the opposite of a Band heel. Beate's Heel creates a very rounded, horseshoe shaped edge under the foot. In contrast, a Band heel creates a long, narrow strip under the foot. Here's a picture of a sock I knit a few months ago that has a Dutch heel (which looks very similar to a Band heel):

If you compare that with the picture on Beate's blog, you'll see the difference. Also, there is no gusset shaping with a Band heel but there is gusset shaping with Beate’s Heel. Personally, I don't like the feel of the Dutch/Band heel on my foot.

Nancy Bush’s book, Folk Socks, has a wonderful section at the beginning that describes many different types of heels, including the Dutch heel and the Band heel. The book is inexpensive and a great investment if you knit a lot of socks.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Heel Instructions

I just heard back from the knitter who posted the heel instructions to the Six Sox Knitalong and she agreed to allow me to post them here (the picture of my heel/sock is in yesterday's post). But, before I do that, I want you to check out her blog. It's fabulous. If you want the English translation, click here.
Go ahead, read it, I'll wait . . . . .

OK, here are the instructions in her words. Although she's German, her English is perfect!:

"You start with a heel flap, knitting as many rows as you have heel stitches. For an example I describe how to work it on a 60-stitches sock, but it works for all numbers.
So when you have 60 stitches, there are 30 heel stitches, the heel flap should be 30 rows (more, if you have a high foot, less, if you have a low foot).

Then you start with short rows
1. Row (RS) knit 19 stitches (half of the heel stitches + 4), wrap and turn
2. Row (WS) slip wrapped stitch, purl 8 stitches, wrap and turn
3. Row: slip wrapped stitch, knit 9 stitches, wrap and turn
4. Row: slip wrapped stitch, purl 10 stitches, wrap and turn
Continue Row 3 + 4 until you knit half of the heel stitches (or one more, if necessary to get an even number) - with 30 heel stitches there should be 16 stitches, ending on WS
Next Row: knit 15 stitches, skpsso, turn
Next Row: slip first stitch purlwise (the one that was skpsso in the row before), purl 14, p2tog, turn
Next Row: slip first stitch knitwise (the one that was p2tog in the row before), knit 14, skpsso, turn
Repeat the last two rows until all stitches are "eaten up", ending with 16 stitches.

Finish heel by picking up gusset stitches and decreasing them in every other round."

Thank you, Beate, for taking the time to write this out and for agreeing to share it!!


I got the most hilarious fortune cookie at lunch today:
"You will overcome the attacks of jealous associates."
Beware jealous associates, I'm on to you!

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

FO, WooHoo

I finished the second pair of socks I started from the October
Mustersocken knitalong pattern.

I did make a few alterations this time, though. The original pattern had a 10-stitch repeat and was written for sock-weight yarn. I wanted to use some worsted-weight alpaca/wool blend yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago, but 40 stitches would be too few and 50, too many. So I worked the pattern over 8 stitches instead of 10.

I also used a two-color braid cast on that Nancy Bush used for one of the socks in Knitting on the Road.

Finally, I used a new heel-turning technique that was posted to the Six Sox Knitalong list. Basically, it combines the wrap-and-turn technique with SSK and p2tog.

It makes a wider, more rounded heel that is actually shaped like the heel of a foot.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Perfect Weather

The weather in Salt Lake was absolutely gorgeous last week and looks like it will continue for the rest of this week, too. Although most of the leaves have already fallen from the trees in the high mountains, there's still some color lower down. On Sunday, DD and I hiked up Desolation Trail in Millcreek Canyon. This canyon is amazing and it's only a five minute car ride from my house. Back when I was in better shape, I used to ride my bike up the canyon road every Saturday morning to the point where a gate separates the lower canyon from the upper canyon. (I know Laurie and Margene will laugh when they read this, but it's true.) Here are some pictures we took on our way up to the top of the trail. (If you click on the picture, a new window opens up with a larger view):

This is the view looking to the North:

This is also looking to the North but we're higher up now, probably about 7,300 feet:

And this is looking toward the South-East from 7,300 feet:

I had the day off work yesterday but didn't get much knitting done. The kids were at school so I took the opportunity to purge their respective rooms of their favorite, too-small clothes. In the evening, I did finish a scarf I've been working on out of Whisper yarn. Gosh, that yarn is difficult to work with. After I'd cast off, I held up the scarf and discovered that I'd dropped a stitch about half-way through. Damn! Of course I frogged it down to the hole, so I'll be working on finishing it for the second time tonight at SnB.

Who's linking here?

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Looky What I Got

The Legal Aid fundraiser was a blast; definitely not your typical silent auction. The entertainment was provided by a local three-person, comic-singing act called the Saliva Sisters. They're completely hilarious. A former co-worker of mine ran the live auction portion of the event and managed to sell a $100.00 pair of tickets to a Utah-BYU football game for $750.00. Yipee! He also sold two other items for nearly double their "retail value."

Two of my friends and I have formed a group we call "Women Lawyers Knitting Underground" and every year we each donate something. I'm happy to report that, despite being located in a far corner of the room, the shawl I donated sold for a very respectable $140.00. One friend made a gorgeous French Market bag and a matching hat and guess who went home with it? Yup, ME! Check it out (if you click on the picture, a new window opens up with a larger view):

Isn't it fabulous. Its made from Lamb’s Pride worsted yarn and is based on a hat pattern written by a local knitter/spinner/weaver and sold at my LYS. Here's a close-up of the pattern:

I won’t disclose what I paid for it, but I got a great deal and so did Legal Aid.


Several people have written and asked if I wore the Hallowig. I'll leave that for you to figure out.

Who's linking here?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Charity Knitting

If you're part of the Six Sox Knitalong, the CIC sock contest ends on Monday. You have until Monday evening to post pictures of the socks you've knit for CIC from the October/November Fluted Bannister pattern. I'll announce the winner of the contest on Wednesday. First prize is a skein of Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool and second prize is a sock pattern from The

If you're looking for other charity knitting projects, Bliss has a wonderful post summarizing some worthy causes. In line with that, here's a link to a fabulous sock pattern written by Lisa Lloyd. They're called Pink Ribbons Socks and Lisa has made the pattern available on her Web site. Please consider making a pair for someone who's been diagnosed with breast cancer.

I'm off to the Utah Legal Aid dinner in a couple of hours. Here's hoping that someone pays a decent amount for the hand-knit shawl I donated.

Have a great holiday weekend and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada. I'll have some pictures of my latest sock to show you on Monday.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

My Sky

I've been inspired by Margene's scenic pictures of Salt Lake City and Donna's post requesting sky pictures, to take a couple of pictures of "my sky." If you click on the pictures, a new window with a larger (and better) view will pop up.

Here's the view to the East that I have every morning when I drop DS off at his school on my way to work:

And here are two views that DD has while she's playing outside at recess. The first is the same mountain from the picture above, but taken behind the school:

This is the view from the same spot in the playground looking to the West.

Prime real estate, isn't it!

Yes, There is Knitting Content Today

Don't ask me how, but I got roped into making three cell phone covers last night. The first two were cheats, 'cause I crocheted them. DD, of course, was not happy with a pedestrian cell phone cover and had to have something a little more lively. And, she insisted, it had to be knit. So I made a deal with her. For as long as it took me to knit the cover, she had to sit beside me and read. Deal done! Here's the finished product:

And here's how I made it.

I would caution against using anything but Fizz. Fun Fur would definitely be too bulky. And, if your phone is wider than DD's, you'd have to cast on more than 28 stitches, although the stretch in the Fixation would help. Also, the wrong side of the cover is much fluffier than the right side so you might want to turn it inside-out.

Alleged Joke

Here's the punch line to the joke I posted yesterday:

Q: What can you get at Yankee Stadium that you can't get at Fenway Park?
A: A hot dog in October

(ha, ha)
Of course, the Sox won again last night so don't choke on that hot dog yet.

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Is It Too Early to Get My Hopes Up?

Red Sox win , Yankees lose. If I didn't feel so sick from the foul lunch I ate today, I'd be jumping up and down right now.

This happy news reminds me of a cruel joke someone told me a couple of weeks ago.
"What can you get at Yankee Stadium that you can't get at Fenway Park?"
Check tomorrow for the punch line, unless you already know it (which would out you as a Yankees fan--boo, hiss).

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


I work in a Federal Building downtown that has very limited parking. The boss has his own "special" parking space (according to the sign erected over the space by the U.S. Marshals Service you shouldn't even think about parking there) which leaves two spaces to be split among 3 permanent employees, myself included. We've developed a rotating system to share the 2 spaces and this is my year to park off the facility. I’ve been parking in a lot across the street from the building and paying the "enormous" sum of $45.00 per month. Anyway, I bought my monthly hang tag yesterday and just have to comment on the woman who works for the parking service. This woman is so unbelievably friendly that it’s almost criminal. And she’s not friendly in a smarmy, sappy way, either; she's infectiously bright and chipper. And she always addresses me by name after she runs my credit card. After having a crap-fest of a day, she actually lifted my spirts. Thanks, unidentified parking lot attendant!

Hallowig Update

The Utah Legal Aid Society fundraiser is Friday night. My friend, Stephanie, has pledged to donate $100 if I wear the Hallowig and carry on as if nothing is unusual. Hmmm . . . as much as Legal Aid needs that $100 I’m not sure I can sign on to that challenge. Now, maybe if she offered $1,000 I’d seriously consider it. Am I being unreasonable??

New Socks

I actually have two socks-in-progress but I only have a picture of one:

This is knit from the October pattern from the Mustersocken knitalong. It’s a slip stitch pattern that looks very similar to Domino knitting. I was so curious to see how it would work up that I couldn’t put it down last night. After DD saw the colors this morning, she’s begun to refer to them as my "Slytherin Socks."

Knitting with the Wildfoote has made me remember why I hate this yarn. The splitting and twisting is even more obnoxious when you're working with two colors. The thought of using this yarn for a stranded pattern is enough to run a chill up my spine.

Who's linking here?

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Hallowig is Finished

I had house guests this weekend so I didn't get much knitting accomplished. I did, however, finish my Hallowig on Sunday morning.

(Yes, that is a sofa in my back yard. Don't ask.)

The wig's cute, huh? True to form, I didn’t follow the pattern as it was written. It was written for an adult size and I had to adapt it to fit DD's relatively small head. The original pattern is here. This is how I changed it:

From then on I just followed the pattern as it was written. For the bind off, I would recommend during the wig inside out before you transfer the stitches to double points. It's really easy to drop the stitches on the ends of the needles.

DD loves the wig and choose red yarn because she intends to dress up as Raggedy Anne on Halloween.

Who's linking here?

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