Friday, April 30, 2010

What Did I Knit To - This Week

First off, I knit to spring with a bit of winter sprinkled in. In fact, today, the last day of the month, is bringing snowflakes and chilly air to start the weekend. It is official, Mother Nature does not own a calendar!

While I was knitting on the secret project I managed to watch LOST (it was a rerun - WTH?) and the following movies: Old Dogs, Crazy Heart, The Prince and Me 4: The Elephant Adventure and Georgia O'Keefe with Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons.

This knit lends itself to movie watching because it is lots of rows of garter stitch. That may be why I am making such good progress on it.

I hope everyone is warm and fully entertained~!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Challenge: Spoiler Ahead

Mom, if you are looking at this blog post, put it down, walk away from the blog. Don't Look, Ethel!!

Now, that the warning is clear, I can share the secret project I am working on for my mother. I came back from Spring Fling with a shawl stuck in my head. How did I get on the plane in that condition you ask, well, it was not easy.

I fell in love with the Mara shawl pattern by Madelinetosh. I saw at least three while I was there and all of them were lovely. Theivery crossed my mind briefly but then I came to my senses and realized I was in a room with lots of people who carry sharp pointy objects with them everywhere.

So I found the pattern online, for free even, and looked through my stash for something to use. I opted for light worsted in a washable yarn so it can be worn more often with less worry. I will not divulge the color here but will tell you that it will go with anything.

I challenged myself to having this done by Mother's Day - egads only 11 days from when I cast it on. So I added it to my project page at Ravelry and will be updating my progress every morning with the inches count. So far it is going pretty fast, however I realize that will slow down as it gets bigger.

I will post pictures soon. I hope everyone is enjoying their latest inspiration~!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Messages from Camp Mouse - Spring 2010

When I travel for more than an overnight, Pedro gets to go to Camp Mouse and stay with his second favorite people, the Grups (my folks). They have a larger house in the woods and he has lots of room to run and windows to watch for a wide variety of critters, from deer to chipmunks to birds to the occasional fox or coyote or bear.

His usual activity line up is something like this: Pester Mrs. Grup until she runs the water in the kitchen sink so he can have a drink, open the thermal curtains so he can lay on the large windowsill and watch for his outdoor peeps, follow one or both of the Grups up and down the long hallway to check on their every move, and have lots of spa time because he gets brushed twice a day.

And my mom aka Mrs. Grup sends me an e-card each evening with a version of the day's events from his perspective. You can't get any better boarding service than that. Here is the collection from his stay during my trip to Spring Fling:

Day One: Hi from Camp Mouse. So far things are going fine. My only problem is the Grups don't go to bed when they are told. But I will try to whip them into shape, I hope they're not too old to learn. you know the old saying that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. But maybe they are not beyond all hope. See you Sunday, be safe. Love, Pedro

Day Two: Mom, not as many birds at camp. I'm told that it's too cold, but it looked good and this afternoon I got a large open area in the sun to sit in and I enjoyed it until almost dark. I guess I was a good boy last night, I made the camp look like the K Mart blue light special. If I could dance I'll bet those blue lights would really look great. Well, it's almost bedtime. I'll write more later. Love, Pedro

Day Three: Hi Mom from Camp Mouse. Since I wrote last the Grups finally went to bed but didn't settle down so I was on guard duty for a while. I even tried getting on the bed with them but it didn't help much. Well, today I had some very large eared things that the Grups call the girls (deer) look in the window at me. Then, at my other vantage point, there were some things that look like my squirrel at home but smaller, about the size of mice. It's been a long day and I need a nap if I'm going to stay up until they go to bed. Miss you. Love, Pedro

Day Four: Well, here I am again and would you believe that the Grups left me alone all day and didn't even kiss me goodbye. So the day was boring what with no extra brushing or anything. It was dark when they got home and there had been thunder and lightning. You know how much I like that. The Grups brought my Dream Curl to me, so nice and it smelled like home. But I wonder, are you moving me in a piece at a time? Well, it's time to go to bed. Love you, have a safe trip, Pedro

Day Five: Hi, today was real good and the Grups stayed here all day. Didn't even leave to go get the mail. I am finding all the dirt to play in so I'll need a bath when you get home but I do get brushed a lot, purrrrr. What are you going to bring me? Please, please. Love, Pedro PS: I hope you are dancing.

Day Six: Hi again. It's been a great day. The Grups have been here all day (I grounded them after their last stunt of leaving me all day alone) and it has been snowing. Last night Mrs. Grup went to bed early and I joined her on the bed. She was working on a book but I played real cute and she stopped and petted me for the longest time until I am almost furless. I went to my guard post when they turned out the lights for the night. Love, Pedro.

Day Seven: (e-card is one with a virtual hug and this simple message): I have hugs for you. I'm just waiting for you to collect them. Love, Pedro

Day Seven (second card): Hi, well it has been a good day. The Grups were here all day. This afternoon I talked Mrs. Grup into a short nap. There was nobody to watch outside because of all the white stuff. Last night when we went to bed and the lights were out I got to take a short nap on the bed but they wiggle around too much. I hope what I am told is true. Are you coming home tomorrow? Really, really, I hope so. But don't get me wrong, I enjoy Camp Mouse a lot but I miss you. Love, Pedro.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Random Moments from Fling

Just a couple random things from my travels, these really have nothing to do with the Fling, they are just things that caught my eye.

Have you ever seen rocking chairs in an airport?

And here is an armadillo for Mom. I could only find one indoors, probably because it was raining so much they were hiding because they would look funny in water wings.

And I got to sample fried raviolis, a St. Louis specialty, and it was yummy.

Winging My Way Home or The Weekend Wrap-Up

Just some final notes about my adventure, I got to the airport in plenty of time to knit. When I got to Denver there was a fresh mantle of snow on the mountains and it covered the ground from Denver to Monument for the drive home.

I had the opportunity to briefly chat with a local celebrity, Margie Lawson, who sat next to me on the flight home. She is a workshop leader on editing your writing and works with the Romance Writers of America membership as well as Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She was headed home from a weekend event in St. Louis.

I got home to a very happy pussycat who had been delivered home by the Grups from Camp Mouse. He was doing his inspection of the house to make sure nothing was out of place. I love travelling and enjoy coming home. I hope everyone had a great weekend~!

Oh, the Things We Can Learn - Lessons from the Fling

I learned some fun new things to do with leftover sock yarn from Wendy Johnson of WendyKnits. The mitered squares were lots of fun and easy. I also managed to get a curlique earring made and came up with an idea to do tiny mitered squares for earrings as well. Now I have to finish a pair so I can wear them.

I also learned a new colorwork technique - intarsia in the round - that will take more time to master. I brought my messy sample home and plan to hang it on the wall with a note -"Something to do when I am older".

I got a few goodies between my shopping trip to Loopy and swap items and the goody bag we got at registration. In the mix are two skeins of, what I have learned is stalk-worthy, Wollmeise - they are the ones on the bottom left in brown and the maroon and red mix that was specially dyed for Spring Fling. It is yummy.

While I was there I managed to finish a pair of mini hand mitts out of sock yarn. They will be nice for the cooler office this summer that is created by AC.

All in all, it was fun-filled, entertaining, and lovely to meet so many like-minded folks. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope to make next year a repeat adventure.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day Two of the Fling

Today I had a free morning to visit, blog, knit and get ready for our trip to Loopy Ewe this afternoon. It is good thing that this was an indoor event because it has done nothing but rain and blow since I got here. It has been great to see the shawls on parade though which might not have happened if the weather had been warmer.

Our trip to Loopy was wonderful. The shop is fabulous and I have added some pics here.

We got back to the hotel to hear the news that St. Louis was under a tornado warning and that the sirens had sounded. We never saw anything to worry about but it was a blustery day.

The evening's entertainment was the infamous Loopy song, this year done to the tune of It's A Small World. The performance should be available on YouTube soon. It was hysterical. Then there were door prizes. I won the coolest prize, it is an Iris, the Gourmet Monster kit from Dangercrafts with Lorna Lace's Revelation yarn. She is going to be a big monster and I have plans to knit her duckfoot booties so she will fit right in to my duck pond group that live on my couch. Watch for the pictures soon.

And, afterwards, we were treated to cake balls. If you have never had them you are missing out. We knit and giggled until we were too tired and went off to pack for the trip the home in the morning. Time has gone too quickly.

And everywhere around us was Spring in the Midwest. I hope everyone has a fun-filled weekend going on~!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Meet Me In St. Louis

That song ran through my head all day yesterday as I winged my way to this midwest city to join the group for Spring Fling with the Loopy Ewe. Fortunately for me, the volcanic ash cloud is wafting eastward from Iceland so the US airways are in the clear. Not so good for some of the gals who were planning to join us from "over the Pond".

My first class was with Wendy Johnson and we learned some fun things to do with leftover sock yarn. We learned how to make mitered squares to make into a lovely blanket. And I managed to make a curlique earring that works.

Then I learned some colorwork techniques from Gryphon (aka maker of Bugga Bugga yarn). The intarsia in the round will be something that I will put aside for when I am older. The piece I finished is modeled here by Loopy.

The photo class Sheri's husband Paul was very interesting and gave me some new ideas to try so I can get better pictures for my blog and Etsy shop.

All in all this has been a great day of new ideas, lots of knitspotting, and new things learned, plus lots of fun folks to share it with.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Knitting Loves to Travel

I chose simple patterns to work on while I traveled this week to and from St. Louis. I have a couple of reasons for that: one, it is easier for people-watching at the airports and for visiting with others; and two, it is easy to put it down at any time.

I arrived at the Denver airport this morning in a downpour. I thought I would have to take a rowboat to the terminal, so I sat in the car to eat my picnic lunch and waited for the worst to subside before going to the shuttle. As you may realize I allow enough time to be a leisurely traveller.

I got through check in and security with no delays then sat at the gate and watched the ground crews work. It is amazing to see and realize that it one baggage cart is out of order my bag could end up somewhere else on their roster of flights for the day.

While I waited I cast on and started knitting Mini Handwarmers by "Missa" Hills of kpixie. I wanted to see how far I could get before we boarded the plane. We left Denver about 10 minutes late and I knit through the flight to St. Louis while humming Meet Me in St. Louis from the movie of the same name sung by Judy Garland.

Lambert Field St. Louis International Airport is an old airport with limited acreage to expand so the newish East Terminal is away from the main one and I accessed it by shuttle. I rode over to Main to meet the hotel shuttle and thought about the movie Up In The Air, which many scenes were filmed in Concourse D of the main terminal.

I arrived at the Sheraton Westport Plaza in time to check in, pick up my registration packet and my wonderful cupcakes and get ready for dinner at Casa Gallado, good food and fun. Met several new folks (The gals from Iowa are a saucy bunch) and got in some knitting.

Went back and visited at the Knitting Lounge where Sheri introduced her team including her parents, husband and son aka the infamous WebGuy and made us all feel very welcome. After some fabulous dessert I called it an early night because my schedule says that I have two classes back to back tomorrow and a 9 p.m. photo class.

Best get some sleep so I can keep it all in my head.

NOTE: Aisle seats on Southwest do not offer fullsize under the seat storage, you are better off sitting in a middle seat.

Comfort Knitting - Need Some For The "Fling"

To me comfort knitting is about a pattern that does not require I look at it each and every minute I make a stitch, get something done and can have a relaxed knitting experience. And it is the kind that travels well. I go through a lot of thought to prepare to take the knitting through security and to the plane.

My comfort knitting for this event is going to be small items that do not have any fancy, must look at the pattern or chart to accomplish. This will help during the Fling for knitter gatherings as well.

I have mine all picked out now and ready to travel tomorrow. I hope everyone has fun adventures on their horizons~!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lesson Learned

Back in the early days of my sock knitting adventure I was not as well-versed in the yardages needed to make a pair to fit an adult person, so I have a couple skeins of sock yarn that are singles in about 200 yards. They are Knit One, Crochet Too Soxx Appeal.

I decided that I would make an abbreviated pair of pedicure socks from a pattern put out by Patons for their Kroy Stretch Sock yarn. No matter how much elastic is in the yarn it still was not enough for even this pair of socks.

So I took what was left and went out to find a bit of something to finish the second sock that would look like I planned it that way. I found some Panda with silk and used that. I will be adding it to the other skein for another pair of pedi-socks later.

Oh, the lessons we learn along the way~!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What Have I Knit To This Week

Squeakquel - what a riot that was. The music, the dance, the screaming one chipmunk name, just what I needed for giggle purposes. The Twilight Saga: New Moon, I am still trying to figure out why this is so popular, I like the scenery, just can't get into the story. The Cat from Outer Space, an old Disney favorite of mine. Coco Before Chanel - in French with subtitles. It was very well done. Did You Hear About the Morgans - fun film with a moment of knitspotting; Sarah Jessica Parker is seen knitting on a sock using the Magic Loop method. It was very exciting.

While all this was going on I was finishing the handwarmer test knit for the pattern I will be adding to Ravelry hopefully this week. And working on a really cute mini handwarmer done in sock yarn for warmer days in a cool office.

Pedro has been reveling in his bird watching. The robins are here in full force and he has a bird that likes to perch under our patio roof on the windchime at night. Then it starts chirping before daybreak. He responds by patting at the window shade and m'rping. It does not make for peaceful sleeping for me but he is having a great time.

I hope everyone is finding fun things to do during this first full month of Spring~!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pattern Coming Soon!

I have completed my first protoype of my first pattern that I am offering at

The pattern in questions is a basic fingerless handwarmer for light worsted weight yarns and has a myriad of possibilities for making each pair a one-of-a-kind item to match your personality.

My goal is to have the pattern available at Ravelry next month. Watch for the announcement here. In the meantime, Happy Knitting~!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Love Pirates Arriving Soon

My Etsy shop will soon be boarded by Love Pirates. They are willing to protect your knitting from marauding lost stitches and snaggle-off fiends in your knitting bag. This group will allow no walking of the plank so your stitches are safe on the double points and you won't have to say Aargh! as much.

Watch for the announcement about their arrival on the left of the blog.

Happy knitting to all~!

They have arrived! Check the thumbnail pics on the left.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Aftermath: A Bit of Spring Cleaning

The downside of living in a small apartment is lack of space. I adore my walk in closet, however, every six months I have to change out my wardrobe to reflect colder or warmer weather.

It takes about five Rubbermaid buckets to hold the extra clothing items and those stay in my outside closet. So, every six months I bring the buckets in the house, empty them and refill them with what was in the house to store for the next seasonal change.

That is the project I finished up along with some spring cleaning yesterday. Pedro helped, of course, in between his bird and squirrel watching. He normally naps from the time I leave in the AM to when I get home. He did not get that opportunity for a nap until late in the afternoon and it showed because he did not even blink when I took out the camera to get this nappish picture.

I hope everyone had a very productive day~!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Latest Creation

This week I have been knitting wildly to finish a twisted rib beret and matching handwarmers. The handwarmers are the first pattern that I will be offering at Ravelry for free. I think they are fabulous and take very little time and yarn to make a great pair that has interest and warmth.

This set is made out of Cascade 220. To do the set it takes two skeins of the main color and one of the contrasting color. There will be enough leftover to make a second pair of handwarmers.

This is my second knit of the beret and I used Hiya Hiya size 9 US in a 16 inch circular. It knit up like a charm. I blocked it using a dinner plate and it offers wonderful warmth without the hair mushing effect.

I hope everyone is finding great things to do~!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What I Knit To

I have one flip flop sock completed and the other one ready to start the heel. The Sockhead Hat is about 8 inches long, five more to go and the Harlot Cardi is 15 rows away from binding off the body part. I am knitting a row every ten minutes so one more movie and I should have the body part finished. Then it is on to the front band and sleeves. I may get this sweater done in time for Fling.

While I was knitting away I watched The Time Traveller's Wife - the book was infinitely better - my opinion. And I watched Persuasion, plus other Brit films from my shelf - An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, Four Weddings and A Funeral and I went to see How To Train Your Dragon and The Bounty Hunter at the movie theater this weekend. Lots of fun.

The weather was blustery and warm most of the weekend which brought out the squirrels for Pedro's pleasure. And he got to spend some time relaxing on the porch.

All in all it was a productive and enjoyable time. I hope everyone has great things going on in their world~!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter! or How Many Easter Bunnies Have You Seen Today?

I hope everyone is enjoying this "Hoppy" day. I am spending it with friends, family pets, my own best boy, Pedro and my knitting. All is well here with lovely weather gracing this fair day. Happy Easter to all~!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy April!

I hope everyone is excited for a new season full of surprises, joy and whimsical treats. I am reviewing my patterns and yarns, looking for some lightweight knitting for the next couple of months.