2

Friday Fill-In #96 and a Big Thank You!

 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday Fill-In #96
(get yours here)

1. My favorite food seasoning is garlic (does that count?).
2. R. Darling’s voice is music to my ears (yes, I know that’s sappy!).
3. Lucky is a good name for a pet.
4. The golden rule is something I take very seriously.
5. Many people don’t realize I’m extremely shy.
6. Halloween cupcakes to take to work was the last thing I bought at the store.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to knitting!, tomorrow my plans include sleeping in and spending some much needed time with R. Darling and Sunday, I want to knit even more!

 

Happy Howl-o-ween bloggy peeps!!

 

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I also wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you to both Octopus Knits & Rubyringz for awarding me this lovely I Love Your Blog award.  Thank you ladies!!  You both completely made my day and I am touched and honored that you would think of me when giving out your awards :)  People like you, and the rest of you wonderful bloggy peeps who stop by to visit, are truly what keeps me in the blogging business and I am grateful for your blograderie every single day!  Thanks so much!!  Right back at ya ladies!  As I received this award a few weeks ago from Rubys N Purls (bloggy post here) I won’t be passing it on this time around.  Except to say, I love all my bloggy pals’ blogs and it would be just too hard to choose between the next four to pass it on to!  I know it’s a cop out, but it’s so true ;)  Thanks so much again ladies – I am truly honored!

10

Something Scarfish This Way Comes

What is it about WIP’s?  Why do I feel I must keep them secret until they are full fledged FO’s?  Maybe it’s because I am too dang lazy to take in-progress photos.  I mean, how exactly do I pose a half inch of knitting?  Would it even look different to you?  Maybe I like to feel I am cultivating an aura of mystery by keeping you guessing what I am working on (nah.).  More likely it is the feeling that if I admit that I have started something, you, thoughtful bloggy peeps that you are, will ask me how it’s going.  And all I’ll be able to say is – wha?

So I can wager that most of you didn’t know I was working on a scarf for R. Darling for our 4th anniversary (which was September 26th).  Though I have had the yarn and pattern for this scarf for freakin’ ages, and though R. Darling picked the pattern out himself, I still managed to make it a surprise by not telling him that I had decided to make this for him (finally).  I started it in August over several weekends where he was running marathons or kayaking or some such.  Then I dragged it with me to Orgeon and worked on it for the entire train trip down south (about 6 hours or so), and for an entire day inside our tent at the Nehalem Camp Ground near Manzanita, OR where we were staying during his kayak building class.  I knit.  And I knit.  And I knit some more.  And the damn thing never grew, I swear.  Next time I decide to double knit a 6 foot long scarf, restrain me.  Do whatever it takes to keep me from repeating this folly!  Just as I was getting bo-red with this tiresome thing, I realized it was only about 2 weeks until our anniversary and I had better get that fire under my ass lit or I was not going to have a gifty to give him on our big day.  Feverishly, I knit all my lunch hours away at work (when we were slow enough to get an hour), and on September 25 I finished the last few rows and resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to wrap R. Darling’s scarf up with the yarn still attached.  As crappy as that felt, it was wonderfully worth it when he opened up his gift and his eyes lit up.  Double knitting torture? For my man?  Bring it on!

 

Notice how Mr. Wonderful is completely unafraid of wearing 2 hand knits at once!

 

Pattern: Recycled Scarf by Mary-Heather Cogar from Greetings From Knit Cafe (pattern on Ravelry here)

Yarn: MC #1- Knit One Crochet Too 2nd Time Cotton in Irish Linen (approximately 1.5 skeins); MC #2 – Knit One Crochet Too 2nd Time Cotton in Glacier (approximately 1.5 skeins); CC – Knit One Crochet Too 2nd Time Cotton in Istanbul (approximately 0.5 skeins);

Needles: Size 8 addi turbos

Mods: Zip. Zero. Nada.

New Techniques: My first time double-knitting an item.

Time Lapse:  August 9, 2008 – October 13, 2008

Comments: I was really intimidated by the idea of double-knitting at first, so that’s probably why it took me so long to sit down and just start the thing already.  But after the first couple of repeats I didn’t need the instructions anymore to know where I was in the pattern.  I developed a few little mental tricks to help me figure out where I was and that helped a lot.  That being said, you really do have to pay attention to what you’re doing even if it is only stockinette.  There were a couple times where I started the first stitch slipping the color the wrong way, or knitting/purling the wrong color and as a result, there are about 3 small mistakes on the edge of the scarf.  It was only 1 stitch each time and the two main colors are close enough that it’s not overtly obvious.  I wasn’t too keen on going back and ripping my double-knitting, especially as it was taking for-freaking-ever and I was on a deadline.  So the mistakes stayed.  R. Darling knows they’re there only because I told him so, he can’t really see them :)  The other issue I had was with the stitches on the side “seams” being too loose on certain rows of the pattern.  I tried everything I could to fix this, but I was never able to figure out how.  To me, this looked terrible, but once blocked things evened out a little and it’s not so obvious anymore.  I feel this is probably the most amateur-ish looking thing I’ve ever knit, but R. Darling adores it and wears it voluntarily (no coaxing!), so that’s good enough for me.  He’s worth all the time and sweat I put into this thing!

 

Mr. Wonderful hates having his photo taken!

 

 

I love this big smile!!

7

Friday Fill-In #95

 Mmmmmmalabrigo……

Yarn for a secrety squirrel test knit by Chris, to be revealed in November! 

 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday Fill-In #95
(get yours here)

1. Right now, I’m feeling a lot better than I was on Wednesday!
2. Somewheres tropical is where I want to be.
3. How does one find the time to do everything they want (or need) to do?
4. A list keeps me on track.
5. Please don’t ask me to remember anything important.  Lately I seem to be forgetting everything!
6. Knitting fills me with joy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to swatching for Baby Cables & Big Ones Too as well as working on Dad’s Dashing mitts, tomorrow my plans include helping Troy with his Spin-In and Sunday, I want to lay around and knit some more!

 

Have a happy, sparkly weekend bloggy peeps!

4

Warm Woolies Wednesday (The First In A Long Time!)…..

It’s a beautiful October evening out; fiery foliage, crisp air, golden twilight.  Anything could happen on a day like today.  The hush of evening finds me curled up inside the nest of my house and I love that there’s no pressure to be outside watering the garden, weeding, or doing anything other than what I’m doing right now.  How I love autumn!  I’m just finding it hard to believe that October is coming to a close in just one short week.  Where does the time go?  And where can I get more of it?

Speaking of disappearing time, I took a look back and it seems that my last Warm Woolies update was before my trip to Oregon in early September.  Yikes!  That seems so long ago!  And I guess it really is.  Things have happened, things haven’t happened.  But one thing remains the same:  I’m still knitting for Warm Woolies whether I’ve been talking about it or not. 

 

My first Warm Woolies Oddball Baby Blanket - "Lemon Zinger"

"Lemon Zinger"

 
A while ago I joined a Ravelry group called Warm Woolies Baby Oddball Blankets, in which members each knit a portion of a baby blanket that is then sent on to Warm Woolies.  It sounded like lots of fun and a great way to use up the random acrylic that I have floating around the house.  Just before I left on my Oregon trip I received my first blankie called “Lemon Zinger”.  Dutifully, I brought it with me on my trip and completed my 6″ portion the first two days I was away.  Even though I’m not knitting these blankies all by myself, I am still contributing to a finished item so I’m counting them in my total :)  I’ve got another one waiting in the wings for me right now and guess what?  It’s called “Pretty In Pink”!  Can’t wait to start that one!  Surprise, surprise.

A couple weeks ago I mailed off another package to Warm Woolies containing 11 items (2 vests, 5 hats & 4 pairs of socks).  Usually they are pretty prompt about sending a postcard to let you know that they’ve received your items, but I haven’t gotten one yet and I’m starting to worry a little.  So I’m going to have to dig out the receipt with the confirmation info and see if I can track it down.  I have another box waiting to go that has 14 pairs of socks in it right now, bringing my total for the year up to 60 items.  Not very near my goal of 100 but I’m feeling, at this point, that if I reach 80 by the end of the year that that will be pretty darn good.  I feel bad crapping out like that, but even though I won’t likely reach 100 I will still be knitting until the end no matter what.  Hopefully an “A” for effort counts for something in the good karma bank!

I’ve also had 2 lovely Warm Woolies related packages over the last couple months.  I returned home from Oregon to find my prize package from Warm Woolies in my held mail.  It was so exciting to open it up and see what they’d sent me!  Though I don’t knit to receive anything in return, it was still fun to have a little treat arrive from them :)  I guess since I knit them so many socks they figured out that I like socks and sent me tons of sock yarn (6 hanks!).  I have no idea what I’ll make with any of it, but it’s fun to add to the stash!  Take a peek……

Lots-n-lotsa sock yarn!

Lots-n-lotsa sock yarn!

 
The yellow stuff is about 1600 yds of pale yellow laceweight wool (generically labeled).  Anyone have any ideas about what to make out of it?  I don’t do shawls, but I would consider a stole I guess if it was pretty enough.

My second package came just a few days ago from my blogfree (but soon to be Ravelite?) friend Kathy.  What a lovely box filled with piles of yarn for Warm Woolies from her stash (time to clean up I guess ;)  and a few interesting books as well as a lovely ball of sock yarn for my birthday.  Thanks so much Kathy!!  I will be sure to post pics of my WW items as soon as I have the chance to dive into it, and I appreciate so much your thoughtfulness and generosity!

Had enough?  Whew!  I think I have :)  Hopefully the next update will be a little more brief so you, and I, can spend a little less time reading and a little more time curled up in our respective cozy nests knitting!

 

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P.S. ~ WordPress is being a little b-hotch tonight so I’m afraid the formatting in my post looks funny and is going to stay that way.  It’s bugging the crap out of me but I’m too tired to keep fighting with it.  Better luck next time!

3

Prize-tastic!

So today is the day!  With the help of this nifty random number generator, we have a winner for my bloggyversary contest!  It appears that I will be continuing the creepy trend towards double consonants again this time.  I swear it’s all on the up and up, but it’s freaking me out the tiniest bit that this keeps happening.

Anyhoo, RNG picked the number 12 (my fave, by the way!) and my 12th commenter was Betty C. of Binding Off!  She knits some great sweaters so stop by and check them out.  Congratulations Betty!!  I’ll be getting in touch with you to find out what your hand knit preferences are :)

Thanks so much to all of you who stopped by to comment & say “hello” on my bloggyversary!  It means so much to me to hear from all of you!  Hope your week is off to a great start :)

8

Addled, I Tell You!

Clockwise from left:
Sheepfeet in Lilac, RYC Silk Wool DK in Brownstone, ShibuiKnits Silk Cloud #229 

 

Oh Fiddleheads!  What have you done to me?  I’m addled and rattled!  Smitten and bitten!  I love you and I don’t even know you!

Dammit if these aren’t going to be the.most.expensive. mittens on planet earth.  Would you pay $82 for a pair of mittens?  I thought not.  Unlike me, you are sane.  You are wise with your money, frugal perhaps.  You don’t let the good sense leak out of your noggin faster than you can whip out that gift card burning its way through your wallet.  Oh no.  Because you are not me, you wouldn’t spend $82 on a pair of mittens.  You would shop wisely; pet, yet refrain from temptation.  All I can say is, if you’re going to freak out on yarn fumes it’s a good idea to do it when you have a get out of jail free card (gift card) handy!  Though these are worth $82, they only really cost me about $40 ;)

I surprised myself today.  These are NOT my colors, NOT my price range, NOT well-thought out purchases.  But what the hell.  It’s a bright shiny day, I was amped up on coffee and good company (Hey Troy!) and everyone deserves a little spoilage now and then.

So why the Fiddlehead Fandago?  My bloggy friend over at Knit One Blog Too and I have started a Ravelry KAL to make a pair of these lovelies.  We’ll be starting November 1st and knitting until December 31st.  Adrian at HelloYarn will be knitting with us too so it’s a great opportunity to have some input from an expert.  Come join us!!  We’d love to have some company :)

 

P.S.  Stay away from that RYC Silk Wool DK and Sheepfeet if you know what’s good for you!

14

Who Doesn’t Love Number Two?

My super knitty pal Troy dropped this birthday gifty by work for me today!
Thanks so much!!  I love love love it :)

 

Bloggyversary Number Two that is! 

I simply cannot fathom the fact that I’ve been blogging for 2 years straight as of today.  It’s astonishing to me that I actually had that much crap to talk about!  Seriously?  But most of all, I’m amazed, honored, and touched, by each and every one of you that takes the time to stop by and visit.  All your comments mean so much to me, more than you’ll probably ever know, and without all of you I wouldn’t be here celebrating two years of blogtasticness. 

So a huge thank you shout out goes to all of you supa bloggy peeps you!  And to celebrate you and all that you do for me, I’m going to have a little contest.  Leave me a comment telling me what you love about blogging and/or reading others’ blogs by midnight Pacific Time Sunday, October 19, 2008.  On or about October 20 I’ll choose one name and the prize will be a handknit gifty from me :)  Not that that’s anything so fantastic, but I promise it will be knit with much love!  Oh and if your name is Jen, Jenny, Jennifer, or some permutation of those letters, you had better enter because the winners of my last three (and only) contests have all been named Jen!  

So thank you again, to all of you, from the bottom of my heart!  I really and truly wouldn’t be here without you!  You are what makes my blog meaningful to me :)  

9

Stuff From All Over

My computer is angry.  I’ve used up all my expletives and it still persists in taking its sweet ass time doing whatever it is that I’m trying to get it to do.  More often than not it just gives up and crashes.  Needless to say, blogging has been painful.  Don’t tell my computer, but I think we’re going to break up soon.  I can’t stand all this drama.  I need someone more sensible and reliable and it would help if he was handy with photo software too.  Maybe he’d even like traveling.  Can any of you hook me up?  I’m a cheap date and I’ve been known to play strip poker after only a couple drinks.

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So, last weekend was R. Darling’s seventh (and final!) marathon of the year in Portland, OR. We took the train down to Vancouver, WA and stayed with his sister and her boyfriend for the weekend.  The train ride, as always, was gloriously full of knitting.  Nothing too exciting though, just Warm Woolies socks since I am still bound and determined to work towards my goal despite the fact that I’m climbing uphill the whole way towards 100.

Saturday morning dawned dark and cold at 5 AM.  It had rained most of the night and the rain had kept me up with its burbling and pinging in the gutter, not to mention the strain of sleeping in an unknown bed.  Not a particularly auspicious beginning to race day.  But I got up anyway, feeling it was the right thing to do to cheer The Mister on for his final race of the year.  When that alarm went off though, I had to seriously think twice about actually getting out of bed. 

 

 

 

We got to the race, later than we had hoped, parked & made our way to the start line.  It was still dark as R. Darling made his way towards the first wave of runners lining up.  After I lost sight of him I walked around a bit and discovered that there were areas downtown where you could see the runners come past you on the course.  So I quickly made my way to several of the stops.  But as I didn’t know which wave he’d left in, I never caught him at any of those spots. By then I was cold and hungry so I tried to find a coffee shop that wasn’t jammed with runner friendlies and got something to eat.  Because it was so early in the morning there weren’t a whole lot of places open and the places that were open didn’t have much seating.  So I took myself to Portland’s “Living Room”, a big open brick courtyard, found a seat and knitted until a creepy guy sat on a bench behind me and I decided it was time to leave.

At this point I still had 3 hours left until R. Darling would be finishing.  So I walked around some more, it had started to rain by now and I was feeling cold, and finally found the stretch of street where the runners would be finishing up.  Not wanting to lose my spot, I perched on a brick wall and took out my knitting.  Now, my friend Troy told me before my last trip on the train to be prepared to have people ask about my knitting when I knit in public.  I’m guessing he gets asked a lot because he’s a male knitter.  But me, I’ve been asked about my knitting a grand total of 4 times, and at least one of those times was when I was with Troy so I’m sure the interest wasn’t really in my knitting.  So imagine my surprise when this sweet little 4 or 5 year old boy drug his grandma over to watch me as I knit my Warm Woolies sock.  He made sure that he sat as close to me as possible and kept asking me questions and telling me how cool my sock was.  Apparently, my sock was so freakin’ cool that the risk of wetting his pants was nothing in comparison to missing a nanosecond of the knitting process.  It was really very cute.

After that, I spent the rest of the morning freezing my ass off in the rain cheering for strangers.  But it was all worth it for the moment when Mr. Man came around the corner in his obscene yellow Marathon Maniacs jersey, caught sight of me, and ran over to high five me.  I couldn’t have been more proud of him at that moment!

 

 

After the race, we drove back to my SIL’s and took a long nap. And then, Sunday night, I finally got to meet Chris (hey girl!) and her husband!  We had dinner with them in Woodland, WA and got to chat about knitting and all sorts of other good stuff.  It was really cool to get to meet her after corresponding for so long and working on SKC stuff together as well as test knitting for her.  I went home with more secrety squirrel projects which I’ll tell you about just as soon as I can :)

 

 

Try to ignore the crazy eyes.  As I said, my computer’s being cranky so I wasn’t about to ask it to fix that for me.

Monday after the race we spent the morning visiting with my SIL which was great since we don’t see her very often.  She’s a knitter too, though she mostly sticks to scarves and hats.  I taught her the basics of knitting in the round while we were hanging out, since she’s been knitting her hats flat and then seaming up the back and confessed to hating that.  Having never knit a hat that way I can’t imagine why anyone would want to when knitting in the round is so easy.  I think she was excited at the prospect of knitting her boyfriend and herself bunches o’ beanies.

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So that brings you up to speed on some of the crap I’ve been up to.  I still haven’t told you about my Oregon trip in early September and I’ve got some knitting news to share too, but I figure today’s post was enough of my blabbage for one day :)  If you made it to here – whew! you’re a trooper! or just a torture junkie! – thanks for reading!  Hope everypeep had a great weekend and back with more soon! 

12

Fall Is For Firebrick

I’m all kerbobbled today. 

We’ve been gone all weekend for R. Darling’s last marathon in Portland and we didn’t get back until late last night so that means no groceries in the house, tons of laundry to do, dishes in the dishwasher, and it looks as if someone set off a hillbilly bomb in our living room.  I feel all buzzy and out of sorts when things aren’t in their proper order or place.  Makes it hard to think.  Not that I recommend doing that often.  There’s so many things to tell you (for once!) but not enough time in which to do everything else, so I guess all the news that isn’t will have to wait until later this week or weekend.  But I’m alive.  And best of all – I’m knitting :)  Hope you are too!

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And because I can’t just let things be, I am bound and determined to post a (previously) secrety squirrel FO for your knitty pleasure!  Mostly because it’s autumn now and the perfect weather for these little beauties…….

Da-da-duh!!!  Say hello to Firebrick! 

 

 

 

Pattern: Firebrick Mittens by Chris Church at Pursuit of Fiber (on Ravelry here & on her site here)

Yarn: MC- Mountain Colors 4/8’s Wool in Ruby River (approximately 1/2 skein); CC – Lang Yarns Bebe in Black (less than 1/2 skein?)

Needles: Size 2 bamboo dpn’s 

Mods: Zip. Zero. Nada.  This was a test knit so that is a big no-no.

New Techniques: My first pair of mittens ever!  Also my first time using the tubular cast-on and my first time reading such extensive charts.

Time Lapse:  April 26, 2008 – June 16, 2008

Comments: LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern!!  This is most definitely one of my favoritest ever FO’s.  These mittens only look complicated.  The pattern was extremely well written and I had no trouble figuring out the new cast on or the stitch pattern with her instructions. Amaze and astonish your friends and only you will know how simple they were! I highly recommend this pattern for its ease of use, glorious design, and the fact that you only need a very small amount of yarn to make them.  You could easily use leftovers from any worsted weight project for the MC.  Score!  It was really hard to keep this secret from you guys until the pattern was published in early September (here’s a previous WIP post about it if you missed it) but I am so excited to be able to share now!  If mittens are your thang, you should totally check these out.  I can’t say enough how kick ass these are!

 

 

Looks like a heart, no?

 

And, as always, an outtake!