Monday, April 25, 2011


You know what's great? Hiring someone to clean your house. Not only do you not have to actually vacuum, mop or dust, but you also have a really good reason to de-clutter your house. I've been an organizing demon. I bought new shelves for the basement, cleaned off the workbench and organized all the stuff that used to be on it. The cleaning lady isn't going to clean the basement, but it freed up space for other stuff. I cleaned out my bathroom cabinets, and got rid of a bunch of stuff. I cleaned out both of the desks in my computer room and moved some stuff that didn't need to be in there to the basement shelves. I still have some work to do in the closet and put in some shelves to store my quilts, but I've made a lot of progress. It's very refreshing.

When I haven't been shuffling stuff around my house, I've been knitting. I'm caught up on my Mystery Socks:

KnitPicks Stroll Tonal yarn in Golden Glow

I forgot to cross a cable above the last bead and didn't notice it till I'd already done the next cable round and the increase round. I had to drop those stitches down 8 or so rows, cross the cable, add the bead, cross another cable and re-do the increase on them. It was a very scary prospect, let me tell you. BUT, I did it and I can't remember which cable column I had to fix. Success!

I started another KAL (Knit ALong), but I'm behind on that one already. Here's Clue #1.

Madeline Tosh Merino Light, Tart colorway

The pattern is based on the movie Roxanne, but whenever I hear that name, all I think about is Eddie Murphy singing the Police song at the beginning of 48 Hours. It was kind of a problem when I had a sister-in-law named Roxanne.... Anyway, I finished Clue #1 on the start date, and haven't touched it since. Clue #2 came out last Thursday, but I'm still trying to decide if I want to modify Clue #1 like a friend of mine did. I can't decide. I need to look at it closely. I know I did my pfb (purl front and back) stitches wrong, thanks to an online video. If I go back and modify it, I might be able to avoid those crazy stitches. Decisions, decisions.

I finally got back to my Spring Fern Socks and got a few pattern repeats done.

KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Springtime

I've done more on my Christmas socks, too, but I don't have any pictures of them. I kind of think I made them too wide but I really don't want to rip out 1.5 inches on two socks to narrow them down by 4 stitches. They fit, but they aren't very snug. I might put in a decrease when I get past the widest part of my foot, but we'll see.

I got the scarf from my bookmark scarf exchange partner.

All folded up

Cable/lace detail.

I was a little worried when I got it, because while the knitter said it was wool/nylon yarn, it feels like cotton to me (and everyone else who's touched it). It was kind of scrunched when I got, but I soaked it really well and laid it out flat to dry. It blocked better than I expected.

One day last weekend when I got in the shower, I tossed my socks down the laundry chute, like I always do. One of them apparently missed the bin at the bottom and I had the basement door open. When I got out of the bathroom, this was waiting for me outside the door.

That would be a crumpled hand knit sock, retrieved from the basement by my faithful "puppy cat," Blue. He's so sweet. Strange, but sweet.

The middle furry children aren't impressed.

"We don't fetch like dogs. Stupid 'kitten'!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I really should play the lottery

This must be my lucky year. So far, I've won some $$ in two of the three Super Bowl pools I joined, opening night tickets for Shrek, the Musical from and now, a shawl kit from Yarn on the House. The kit is Liz Abinate's Luna's Shawl pattern (named after Luna Lovegood, of course), and enough Miss Babs yarn to make it in the lovely grey Luna Granite colorway. How cool is that??

Of course, my NCAA brackets tanked, but you can't win 'em all.

Oh, and if you're a fan of the show Bones, check out more of Liz's patterns. She has sock patterns called Temperance and Ms. Wick, a Saroyan shawl and a whole collection of Traveling Woman patterns, inspired by Angela Montenegro.

The cats are thrilled.

"Just let us know when you're done with the shawl so we can test it out."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Done and done

So, I finished a couple of things.

I joined a bookmark scarf exchange back in December. The idea is you pick a bookmark pattern that was meant for very thin yarn and tiny needles, and knit it with thicker yarn on bigger needles. I chose the Triple Chevron Bookmark pattern and knit it with a worsted weight cotton/acrylic blend yarn on size 10-1/2 needles. I used the cotton blend yarn because my swap partner lives in Georgia. I kept repeating the pattern till I ran out of yarn on one skein, then did the same thing with a second skein of yarn. When that was done, I grafted the two together to get this:

And folded up:

I sent it off last week, so I can post it now.

I also finally finished my purple socks:

Plain vanilla sock, eye of partridge heel, Koigu KPPM yarn

I was worried that I was going to run out of yarn, but didn't, thankfully. Now I just have to remember that these socks are NOT machine washable.

And since I finished one pair of socks, of course I started another one (because I really need to have 4 pairs of socks on needles at once.)

This is a mystery sock knit along, by Antje Gillingham. It has cables and beads (so far). It will have another 2 two repeats of those last 4 rows - one cable row and a row of beads, with a row of ribbing after each. After that, it's a mystery. :) I'm liking them so far, though.

And this is what happens at my house when you leave your laptop open.

"This thing is warm, Mama!"

In case you're wondering, a cat on a keyboard can press enough keys to keep the bell going for about 5 minutes after he gets shooed off. Ask me how I know.

Monday, April 4, 2011

North Coast Needlers Quilt Show

My guild's bi-annual quilt show was this past weekend. I forgot to bring my camera so I was left with my cell phone. And I didn't get many pictures with that. I did get a picture of my Big Blue quilt.

Or most of it, anyway.

I also entered my Christmas tree skirt.

I didn't get any pictures of the actual quilt show floor (bad blogger!), but I did get pictures of the challenge quilts. The theme of the challenge was "A River Runs Through It". The challenge quilts had to be the same size and use a common fabric as a river. The only other requirement was that the river had to touch both sides of the quilt and be 3" long. This way, they could be hung side by side, with the river edges touching, making a river run through the display. It looked awesome.

The cherry blossoms in the center panel are tiny yo-yo's with pink pearls in the centers.

I didn't make one, but they looked fantastic all put together like that. There was talk about displaying it in other places, at some point. If that happens, I'll post it here.

This was the view on my odometer when I got to work one day last week.

Six years and 106,000 miles. Still going strong.

When I cleaned up my sewing room a few weeks ago, I forgot to share this picture of my helper.

"That light bulb is warm, Mama."

And in other news, the cats still like the new tree.

They climb up the carpeted pole to get to the top.

Next time I'll share my latest finished projects and the new one I'm about to start.