Posted in Cooking, Current Projects

Starlight, SG Shawl, New Project, and The Best Thing Ever

This week has flown by. At first it seemed like one of those weeks that was totally dragging, then yesterday it felt like Friday (disappointingly it wasn’t), and now it’s Thursday and I’m wondering where the week went! Every day this week I intended to blog, but something always got in the way and I’m already getting that “I have so much to update on” feeling that makes me not want to blog. Anyhow, I have some progress to show you on two projects, a new one I started, and the most awesome thing ever that arrived in the mail yesterday.

This past weekend I spent as much time as I could working on the Secret Garden Shawl. It paid off because I’m now done with clue 4 and two rows into clue 5. I’m using a 29″ circular for this and now that I’ve increased to 760-some stitches, they’re kind of crowded on there. I don’t have a bigger circular, nor do I want to get one. It’s working well enough, it ‘s just a lot of work to move the stitches around because there’s so many now.

Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 4
Close up of just the portion that is clue 4.

Secret Garden Shawl
The whole shawl.

The shawl has been put aside for now, though. After I did a few rows of clue 5, I set it aside to work on Starlight. This past weekend I got to the point where I was a few rows away from binding off the left front, but I set it aside (can’t remember why). Tuesday I picked it up again and finished the last few rows and now the left front is done.

Starlight: Left Front
Left Front, done!

After that was finished, I cast on for the right front. Figured I’d better get it going right away so I don’t lose momentum! As of last night, I only have a few more cables to do before starting on the 1×1 ribbing.

Starlight: Right Front
Right Front

Starlight: Almost a Sweater
All the pieces together.

Being able to see so much progress has helped to keep me motivated. If I keep working at the pace I have been these last few days, I think this will be done before September is over!

The new project I started this weekend is a pair of iPhone Mitts with last month’s Vesper sock club shipment “Summer Breeze (Makes Me Feel Fine).” Pretty simple pattern and thanks to the bright, fun, stripey colors of the yarn, I don’t really mind all that 2×2 ribbing.

iPhone Mitts
iPhone Mitts

And now… drumroll please… the most awesome thing ever arrived at my house yesterday and it is…

238/365: My Whirley Pop & I

A Whirley Pop!!

Well, I think it’s awesome and if you love popcorn, you will, too! I’ve been having the worst craving ever for popcorn for a long time now. Matt has forbidden microwave popcorn in the house and I can’t really say I blame him. It’s okay, but definitely not my favorite thing. Movie theater popcorn, though, is on my list of “Best Foods Ever” and when he told me about how Dognose on Shack News is always talking about how awesome popcorn is from a Whirley Pop and that it’s the only kind of popcorn he would agree to eating, I had to get one. Dognose was kind enough to put up a Popcorn FAQ. I ordered everything he listed and in 2 days (yesterday) it was on my doorstep.

Whirley Pop, the Whole Thing
Two samples of popcorn, buttery topping, popcorn salt,
Flavacol Brand theater popcorn salt, popping oil, and the Whirley Pop.

After dinner settled, I had to try it out. I followed the instructions in the booklet and started by seasoning the pan. After it cooled and the burner on our electric stove was heated, I put in the oil and popcorn and got to work.

Cooking Popcorn
“Here we go!”

Is it popping yet?
“How’s it looking in there?”

LOOK! The first kernel popped!
“LOOK! The first one popped!”

It’s popping!

(Okay, I give up, I can’t get the video to center!)

Delicious Popcorn
Popcorn is done and all the delicious toppings are on it.

And our thoughts on it?

Om nom nom nom!

It’s just like the stuff you get at the movie theater! Really good stuff. I can’t wait to make more! 🙂

PS You can see more pictures of the Whirly Pop over in the Flickr set.

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

FO’s: Toe-Up Socks & Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves (plus other stuff)

First up I have two FO’s to show you!

Pattern: Generic toe-up pattern, 64 stitches around (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 11, 2009
Completed: April 21, 2009
Yarn: Knitterly Things Vesper Sock Yarn in the “Sweet Water” colorway
Needles: US 1 Knit Picks metal DPN’s
Notes: None

111/365: Sweet Water Socks
Mmm… stripey goodness

Pattern: (Not-so) Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 10, 2009
Completed: April 23, 2009
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in various colors
Needles: US 4 Addi DPN’s
Notes: The only change I made to these was to not do the rain. Turns out that I didn’t get a color that was dark enough to be rain. When I started to do the rain, you couldn’t really tell the difference between the sky and the rain, so I decided to just not do it at all.

Rainy Day (wearing)

Rainy Day (buttons)

Rainy Day (inside, with red)
No hiding anything here! Check out the inside. I’m happy with my floats 🙂

This past Saturday I went to the Upper Vally Fiber Festival in Troy, OH with two friends from my knitting group. It wasn’t very big, but I managed to find a few things that I decide I couldn’t live without!

116/365: From Yesterday

The fiber is BFL from Twisted Stitches (I think – the card they put in the bag had 2 shops on it) and the two skeins of sock yarn are from Earthly Hues and are dyed using all natural dyes. The purple is 70% merino/20% bamboo/10%nylon sock yarn in “Gutsy” and the yellow/pink is 70% merino/30% seacell sock yarn in “Sunrise.” Haven’t decided on patterns for either yet, but they’re really pretty and soft!

While we were there we saw these adorable baby goats. They were all tuckered out (probably from the heat, it was about 90 degrees F!) on our way out and I took this shot of all of them napping in the shade.

115/365: Baby Goats

Last week, I got this fantastic package from Laura containing two skeins of Socks That Rock, a skein of Lime & Violet Mermaid Sock, an awesome Cookie A sock pattern and a cute card.

112/365: Prezzies in the MailPrezzies in the mail!!

Thank you Laura!!! 😀
As for projects I’m currently working on… I’m making quite a bit of progress. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting on Decimal and have started the first sleeve after finishing the body.

Decimal, body almost done
This was taken a few rows short of being done with the body.

First sleeve.

Since I finished the stripey socks, I cast on another pair using one of the skeins of Socks That Rock Laura sent. The pattern is Leyburn and it’s working up pretty quickly.


I’m working on a garter stitch scarf and Juno Regina, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of progress to show since I’ve been doing a lot more work on Decimal and socks then either of those. I also cast on for the Swedish Fish Socks, but I only have the sock cuff so far, so no interesting photo to share yet.

Alright, back to knitting with me!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Pescovegetarian Mittens, 2009 Goals, Lakeside Socks, & Toe-Up Socks

This weekend, I decided it was time I knit myself a new pair of mittens. I lost one of them a few weeks ago when we got slammed with snow. I had hoped I would find it, but after a few weeks of looking, I figured it was gone for good and it was time for a new pair. It was really time for a new pair anyway since these were getting pretty worn out. The pair I had were the pair I knit back when I was still pretty new to knitting, so they are at least 3 years old, probably more. They’ve seen quite a few winters and were starting to felt pretty good!

I came across the Pescovegetarian mittens pattern a week ago and knew right away this was the pattern I wanted to use to make my replacement mittens. I had some Patons Classic Wool in my stash for just this purpose. A very pretty purple. I knew I wanted bulky mittens, similar to my last ones, which were also knit with Patons Classic Wool (in bright pink), held double. My plan was to use the Patons Classic Wool held double. Looking at the mittens, they seemed a bit bulky and I was afraid that using US 10’s might make the fabric a bit too loose or be too loose on my hands (I have fairly small hands). So, I decided to make some modifications. The modifications I made ended up turning out great and I love the end result!

Pescovegetarian Mittens 2

Pescovegetarian Mittens 1

43/365: Mittens

Pattern: Pescovegetarian mittens
Started: February 14, 2009
Completed: February 16, 2009
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool, Royal Purple (used 1/2 of each of 2 skeins, about 1 full skein total used)
Needles: US 8 & 9 bamboo DPN’s
Notes: There are a number of notes for this one! I did change some things to make them fit my hands better – that’s the best part about knitting, right? Totally customizable! I used smaller needles (US 8 & 9 instead of US 9 & 10) size needles and followed most of the directions. Here’s my mods:

  • After knitting the two rounds after the 2nd increase round, do another increase round like this: at the beginning of the second needle, k1, m1, k6, m1, knit to end of round.
  • After the increase round, work 8 rounds (or until you get to the base of your thumb).
  • I chose to kitchner/graft the top of my mitten because I couldn’t get the yarn tight enough to make no gap. I ended up liking the way this looks better.
  • For the thumb, work as indicated, picking up the 6 stitches above and around the thumb hole. The very first round, decrease those 6 stitches to 4 so you have a total of 12 stitches.
  • Work as many rows as needed to get to the tip of your thumb then work two decrease rounds as follows: 1st round, ssk, k2, k2tog, ssk, k2, k2tog, k2. 2nd round, ssk, k2tog, ssk, k2tog, k1. 5 stitches remain, pull yarn through the 5 stitches and pull tight to close up. I liked the way this looked better than decreasing them all at once.

I really love how these turned out. They fit great! I got to try them out this morning since it was about 25 degrees out! Kept my hands nice and toasty just like the old ones did.


I thought I’d give a brief update on how I’m doing with the goals I gave myself this year.

In this post, I outlined what my goals were for this year:

  • Read at least 12 books this year
  • Take one photo per day (Plurk Craft 365)
  • Blog more (personal and here)
  • Do more colorwork knitting
  • Knit something that requires steeking
  • Knit more sweaters and lace
  • Wear socks that I’ve knit
  • Try one new recipe per week using the crockpot

So far I have:

  • Read 1 book for the month of January (Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel) and I’m a good way through my second book for February (Enchantment by Orson Scott Card). I’m also reading Getting Things Done by David Allen, but it’s taking me a while to get through it.
  • I have kept up with the one photo per day goal.
  • I think I’ve done a good job blogging (though I’d like to be more “regular” here still).
  • I knit a swatch for a sweater, but decided it looked to much like Christmas colors. There’s a new KAL coming up for colorwork, though, so I have plenty of time to get that in (after all, it is only February).
  • Haven’t done steeking yet.
  • Haven’t knit a sweater or lace yet.
  • Haven’t worn my handknit socks yet.
  • Did 3 meals in the crockpot, but ended up scratching this goal.

The reason I bring any of this up is that last one there. The crockpotting. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the crockpot. Matt wasn’t really wrong when he said I was trying to go too far with it, too exotic for a crockpot (with things like lasagna that ended up really greasy and not very good). He’s right. There’s plenty of things I could make that I already know that I like and maybe expand a bit from there. Perhaps I was approaching it totally wrong. It’s okay, though. My crockpot hasn’t been banished from the kitchen, but I have a much better idea what I’d like to do with it. Soups, stews, chili, roasts, whole chickens… that sort of thing. Haven’t done it yet, but soon!


I’ve been moving right along on the Lakeside socks. Nothing really to note about them. I’m following the pattern pretty much exactly (except for the mix up about using needles 1 & 4 and I used needles 1 & 2). I’m working on the gusset now. Here’s some progress shots:




I started a pair of socks for the Knitting Purls Toe-Up KAL that started today. I decided to use the Knitterly Things Vesper Sock Yarn in the “Love Stinks (Yeah Yeah)” colorway. I like how it’s going so far. I started with 24 stitches (12 each side) and knit the first row, increased every row for 6 rows, and now I’m working on increasing every other row until I get the number of stitches I want (haven’t determined that yet). Kinda making it up as I go along!

48/365: New Socks, Toe-up

That’s all I’m working on right now. Juno Regina is still on the needles, but taking a bit of a vacation for now! I did a colorwork swatch that I’ll share when I can figure out what colors I’ll be doing instead. And, no, Matt, I will not be doing the 80’s colors you suggested… Knit Picks doesn’t make the colors I need :oP

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Shedir Hat, Cigar Gloves, Lakeside Socks, New Pattern, & a Lost Mitten

I have two finished projects to share today!

The first one is a hat I was commissioned to make for a friend. I had kept it rather hush-hush here on the blog because she said I could use whatever pattern and yarn I wanted, so I wanted it to be a surprise. Well, she received it in the mail yesterday and took a fantastically fun picture for me today! (The picture and the hat totally suit her!)

Pattern: Shedir from Knitty’s Fall 2004 Surprise
Started: January 16, 2009
Completed: January 28, 2009
Yarn: Cascade Heritage in red
Needles: US 3 bamboo circular and DPN’s
Notes: I did one more repeat of the main cable portion then I typically do and I think it worked out well. Other than that, no changes! I really do love how this hat comes out and no matter how many times I’ve knit it (this would be the 4th if you’re counting), it’s still enjoyable.

Anaya's Hat
Also, in this photo, she’s wearing a scarf she knit! She just started knitting not too long ago and she’s already addicted. Another knitter added to the fold! :o)

Pattern: Cigar, modified to have full fingers/thumbs
Started: January 18, 2009
Completed: February 3, 2009
Yarn: Berroco Comfort DK in black
Needles: US 3 bamboo DPN’s
Notes: The only big change that I made is to make the thumb and fingers closed instead of open (full fingers/thumbs). On the second glove, I decided to pick up more stitches on the cast on edges of the fingers/thumb and then decrease them the very next round. This helped close up the gaps much better and if I ever do gloves again, I will do it this way. Doing it like that made for less holes I needed to close up when weaving in the ends. This was my first time making gloves. I have to say it was a bit fiddly to do all the fingers and thumbs, but wasn’t too bad (and went quickly!). There were a lot of ends to weave in!

Ta da!

One thing I did learn in making these is how to weave in ends “properly.” I’m sure however I’ve been doing it works just as well, too, but I never really did know how to weave in ends “the right way” or the best way, so I did the “fake it til you make it” method up until this point. Being curious about it when face with so many ends to weave in, I Googled it and found this very helpful Knitty article. I guess I had just never really put that much thought into it before now. I think it looks a lot neater this way and I’m glad I bothered to look it up.

Since I finished up the gloves last night, I cast on the pair of Lakeside socks I’ve promised to the same friend pictured above with the hat!

35/365: Beginning of a sock

Today, I was checking my Google Reader and saw a post by Grumperina showing a beautiful scarf. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to knit it. As I read more, I saw that this is a new pattern from her. The pattern is Mother of Pearl and it’s a free pattern from Crystal Palace Yarns. Very pretty! I have just the yarn for it already sitting in my stash.

This morning, as I was leaving the house, I realized one of my mittens were missing. I searched around the kitchen table where I would have left it and couldn’t find it. Searched a few other places in the house and I still couldn’t find it. I didn’t think much of it, just figured I’d left it in the car, but when I got to the car, it wasn’t there either! I’ll look again when I get home tonight. I’m pretty sure I’ve somehow lost it between getting out of my car and going into the house last night. Thankfully I was already planning on making myself new mittens and have the yarn for them. I just wasn’t planning on having to make them so soon. I was more planning on making them by next winter, but I may need to move that date up if we keep getting snow like we have been!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Harry Potter Scarf, Yarn, and Gloves

I was finally able to give my sister her scarf about a week ago now. Forgot to blog about it! Here she is modeling it:


I think it ended up a good length for her. I also think it will keep her quite warm! Especially with all the icy death from the sky we’ve had lately.

Yesterday was Happy Mail Day for me! I got Zombie yarn from The Yarn Bearer (Sock Club), Sweet Water from Vesper, and Happy Housewife Cupcake Club goodies.

33/365: Happy Mail Day
The Zombie yarn is on the left (under the top yarn), Vesper on the right (top yarn), and Cupcake Club goodies are at the middle bottom.

I’ve been busily working on gloves for Matt. I’m hoping to finish the second glove today! I’m half done with the pinky finger and then just have the thumb to go.

34/365: Almost Gloves

I don’t know if I mentioned it previously, but I’m doing a modified version of the Cigar Gloves from Knitty. I was going to make the first finger and thumb on the right glove as written in the pattern then maybe make little caps for the finger/thumb, but Matt decided last night that doing them as full fingers would be fine.

Soon as these are done, I’ll be casting on a pair of socks for a friend. I’m looking forward to knitting socks again. Feels like it’s been a while since I had a pair on the needles!

Posted in Current Projects

What I’ve been doing…

I had every intention about blogging this last night, but I was pretty sleepy. I actually thought I posted more progress of the 9 to 5 sock I was working on, but I guess I only intended to do it and didn’t actually get it done! I’m batting a thousand today, aren’t I?

So, I’m here now and I have knitting to show and talk about and also some life stuff to mention. I’ll go with the life stuff first, then on to the knitting content.

Life has been keeping me on my toes. I’ve had some changes to adjust to recently that have made things interesting. Been working with my doctor with some health things and trying to get the insurance company to pay for my medication. It’s been FUN! Okay, maybe I’m lying about that just a little.

Anyhow, there is some good news that came my way Wednesday! I applied for a job some time ago and I hadn’t heard back from them. Mind you, I really wasn’t looking for a job, Nick happened to see the posting for it and practically begged me to apply (it’s a government job, great benefits and pay), so I did thinking that I wouldn’t get it. When I didn’t hear back about it, I figured the position had been filled. I wasn’t worried about it. Then, like 2 months after I applied, they called for an interview! I was shocked. I went to the interview, thought I did well, but still didn’t think they’d hire me. A week later, they let me know I made it to phase two and asked me to fill out some paperwork. That happened last Wednesday and then Wednesday of this week they called and made me the job offer!! I was shocked! I could barely contain my excitement about it. This job is a blessing for me – it will be better hours, pay and benefits and my commute will only be slightly longer (we’re talking maybe 5 to 10 mins at the most). The stress will less, too, which will be fantastic for me health wise. I gave my notice soon after I found out and my last day will be next Friday. Honestly, I’m sad to go because I do like a lot of the people I work with here, but I know it’s the best move for me.

Now for the knitting content.

About a month ago I discovered that my mittens were nowhere to be found. I figured they’d turn up before the weather got real cold, but I haven’t found them after looking high and low. I have accepted that they are gone (or just really well hidden). My hands have been FREEZING with this cold weather and I finally gave in and started a new pair.

When Elliphantom posted the pattern for the Herringbone Mittens, I wanted a pair pretty badly. I bought some worsted weight Patons two weeks ago and attempted the pattern on smaller needles because I have really small hands. I figured going down a few needle sizes would probably remedy this, so I gave it a go. Well… after knitting the cuff of the mitten, I realized that I could fit BOTH hands through it with room to spare. I put it down and thought it over for a week, then got out some sport yarn I had in my stash in pink and purple. I like the colors together and I estimated I’d have enough to make a pair of mittens from the yarn. I pulled out sets US 1 and US 2 DPN’s and got to work over this past weekend. They fit my small hands perfectly now! I love these mittens! It took a while to get the chart down, but now I can pretty much work on it without looking at the chart constantly and they seem to be flowing well (I can figure out what comes next by looking at it).

Right now I’ve already put the thumb stitches on a holder, but this picture was taken just before I did that:



I’ve also been working on my Nine to Five sock. I’m about half way down the foot of the sock right now, though I haven’t worked on it much this week as my knitting time was taken over by the above mitten.


These are the projects I’ve been working on the most. There are lots of other projects on the needles and I hope to have at least one of them off fairly soon, but I just don’t have the motivation to work on some of the bigger projects right now.  Little things make me happy :o)

Posted in Completed Projects

Where I talk about lots of FO’s!

Alright, here’s a bunch of photos from Christmas FO’s that I wasn’t able to post when they were done (they were all wrapped up and I didn’t want people to know what they were getting should they happen upon this here blog!):

My mom got a pair of Mrs. Beeton’s:

Both my sisters got pairs of Fuzzyfeet:

And Nick’s mom got Branching Out (made with Soy Silk! Sorry, no photo of her with it, but there is one of me from when I finished it in the car on the ride down to Florida!):


And since I’m posting photos of finished things….. I finished a modified (two cables instead of three) Irish Hiking Scarf yesterday made out of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk yarn! Finished length is 60 inches and I completed it in 4 days. Florida is great and all, but there’s not a lot to do sometimes except knit (of course!).

The Shetland Triangle has also seen some love since we’ve been in Florida:

I’m on the second ball of yarn and it’s progressing well.


I don’t know if I mentioned it, but Nick’s mom taught me to paint! Here’s the bag I painted:

Nick’s mom is a One Stroke instructor and she gave me a little lesson and I panted this bag. I love how it came out and I think I did pretty good for my first try! This coming Saturday we’re going to a watercolor class together and I’m pretty excited about it :o)


Since we ARE in Florida, we’re going to Disney World tomorrow. I’m pretty excited about it since I’ve never been. Me, being the knitter that I am, know that there will be lines to wait in and I will be bringing a small portable project: a sock! I’ve been dying to work with this fall yarn I bought a long while ago and decided that Monkey would be the perfect pattern for it. Just enough pattern to keep me from being bored and not so much that it won’t do the hand dyed yarn justice. Good choice, eh?


Happy New Year everyone!

PS. I know I haven’t been blogging too much lately (limited net access here), but I’m doing my best to keep up with everyone!

Posted in Completed Projects

DNA Cable Arm Warmers

I made these for the October 2006 Birthday Month Swap. I made up the pattern for the arm warmers and added in the DNA cable pattern from the DNA scarf. They took me about two weeks of “light” knitting (I worked on them on breaks and down time at work mostly and hardly at home). I completed these the first weekend of November.

Posted in Completed Projects

Mrs Beeton

I completed my Mrs Beetons today when I did the bind off on the second one.

I used Rowan Kidsilk Haze in color 580 and Rowan Cashsoft DK in color 506. I didn’t use as many beads as called for because I did the cast on differently and didn’t do the cast on bead thing every other stitch, but ever 3rd stitch (I read the intructions wrong). But I like the way the turned out anyhow! I think the beads I used were a bit big, so it worked out just fine :o)

They are SO soft! I really love them! My only issue, were I to do these over, is to do some extra decreases after joining the two bells to make them more snug on my small wrists.

Posted in Completed Projects

Slippers, a scarf, and mittens

I made slippers for my mom for Christmas from Knitty’s Fuzzyfeet pattern. I think they turned out pretty good and I hope (pray) they fit her. I used Patton’s Classic in Denim Marl 7716 – one skein made the pair with plenty left over. They are supposed to be about womans US size 8 (about 10″ in length). I sewed on suede bottoms which cost more than the yarn I knit them with!



One more Christmas present done is my friend Tammie’s scarf. I love the yarn I used – it was a wool silk blend which drapes wonderfully. Peru Chunky Luxury, color 103. I used the MagKnits Short Row Rib Scarf pattern. The pattern is easy and can keep my attention well enough to finish the scarf. This is the first scarf I’ve ever made! I’ll be making one to match the mittens I made below once all my Christmas knitting is done.

Here’s a close up of it on me that shows the true color of the yarn:

Here’s a close up of the actual stitch pattern:

I finally finished my mittens after completing the scarf because my hands have been suffering in the cold, cold weather. They match my jacket perfectly! I used the KnitPixie mitten pattern. I used Patton’s Classic, double stranded, in That’s Pink 77732 colorway. When my friend saw me wearing them, I said “Look! I finished my mittens!!” She said “You made those?!! They look store bought!” :o)

I also made mittens for my sister, Kaylee, out of a verigated Red Heart yarn (I don’t recall the colorway, but it was crazy bright – perfect for her!). I didn’t get to photograph them before the were mailed of, though.