Friday, December 30, 2005

My throne

Every princess (even if she is only such in her own mind) needs her throne. Check mine out.
I recently received some money from my late grandfather. I have a firm belief that money from a lost loved one should not be spent lightly (at least not all of it!) This was my big "in memory" gift. A lovely, cushy glide rocker in which to spend hours and hours knitting and reading. We need to get the Christmas decorations down and move some things around so it's not sitting in the middle of the living room floor. I think it will end up in the corner by the window. I'll be able to look out in spring and see the wisteria planted by my porch (it was planted in memory of my Grannie, Papa's late wife). I imagine it won't take long for the cat's to use it for bird watching too!


This was the other gift I gave myself from Papa.

A yarn swift. Shown here unwinding the KnitPicks Sock Landscape. It is a fabulous addition to my knitting collection. So much easier than trying to drape the yarn over the back of a chair.










Here's what I'll be doing this long holiday weekend.

Yeah baby, Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Glossary came today. I wasn't sure exactly what it would be like. I popped it in the DVD player and it's knitting demonstrations with Elizabeth and Meg! I was so excited to hear EZ teaching. As I've said before, I owe my deepest gratitude to her and her books for encouraging me (and all knitter's) to work through the learning curve and move on to be a successful knitter. I can't wait to watch the whole thing. I also have the Art of Knitting 2 DVD to finish watching. I watched the sock knit-a-long which helped me through the worsted socks very nicely.

And books on my newest fascination, soapmaking. I've been making melt and pour soups for a year now and feel it might be time to learn how to make "real" soap. I had given Chuck's aunt some of my M&P soap for Christmas. She later told me when she saw it, she got this vision of me making soap over a big kettle like some scene out of Little House on the Prairie. We both got a good laugh out of it, but it did get me thinking. I should at least make an attempt to learn how soap is made. This could open up a whole world of possibilities. Just what I need, another hobby! So far, it is very interesting reading, but it's a lot more time and money than I want to invest at the moment. But someday...We'll see.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Just past Christmas

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was very good. Had a long weekend off work which made it even better. Everyone liked their presents. I got lots of really nice stuff. Mom got me a gift certificate to KnitPicks (AWESOME!) which I've already spent on this and this. Also received the Boye Needlemaster set of circular needles (well, used the Christmas money I received from my mother in law to get them. That counts, right?) Haven't had a chance to use them yet do to my new obsession (see below).

And now that they have been given, I can finally post pictures of Christmas present 1 & 2.
First are mittens knit for my sister. They are from KnitPicks Andean Treasure.


I love these mittens. So soft and warm. Unfortunately, they are a bit on the long side. I was afraid of that when I knit them. Even asked on the knit list if the pattern was right. The pattern is from Weekend Knitting (the garter cuff mittens). In hindsight, I will start the top shaping about 1/2 to 3/4 inch sooner next time.








Although a bit blurry, these are mom's mittens. Knit in Bernat Denim Style using a 2 needle mitten pattern from Yankee Knitter. The snowman buttons are a cute touch.



Having bowed to the challenge of the Sockotta socks I decided to try my hand at the worsted weight sock pattern I got a while back from Knitting Pure & Simple.

Here is the first sock, having turned the heel and racing down the foot. This was on Monday. Finished it on Tuesday. I'm a few inches into sock 2 now. I think I've finally found my true sock calling. These are knit with one strand Wool Ease and one strand of Knit Picks Sock Landscape on size US 7 needles. They are very thick and warm. Just fit in my clogs. I made a mistake picking up the gusset (picked up both legs of the stitch rather than just one) so there's a bit of a ridge down the sides. Probably won't be able to wear these with closed shoes. None-the-less, I'm ecstatic at my sock success. I'm already planning my next pair. I got tons of suggestions from the helpful girls at the Socknitters group on other dk and worsted yarns to try. I'll be hitting the internet this weekend to hunt some out for sure! It seems to work pretty well stranding the sock yarn with another yarn (although next time I'll strand with dk weight to reduce the bulk a bit). So all those lovely sock yarns I bought a few months back won't go to waste!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Not so divine

Well, my Divinity left much to be desired. Everyone talks about how hard it is to make Divinity. Since I made it once before with absolutely no trouble, I've pretty much poo-pooed all this talk. Apparently, the Divinity gods did not like my attitude and decided to teach me a lesson. After 45 minutes of waiting for the boiling sugar to come up to temperature, I finally decide my thermometer must be wrong and proceeded with the recipe. Well, lets just say I have a lovely batch of sweetened floor tiles rather than nice fluffy candy.

I more or less redeemed myself with a batch of cocoa fudge. But the thermometer didn't seem to be work properly with that process either. Guess I better pick up a new candy thermometer when I'm out.

We went to dad's Christmas cantata at church last night. The program was called Journey of Promises. It was a great concert. They had a live ensemble to accompany them this year instead of prerecorded music. They really added the extra umph. You just can't beat live instruments at a Christmas concert. The bell choir didn't perform this year, which was a little disappointing, but a wonderful night all the same.

Here is Quinn, enjoying the cat bed I knitted for her last month. As you can see, it's way too small, doesn't really cradle her so much as just gives her a warm pad to lay on. But she seems to love it none the less. I have it sitting on the end of my ironing board so she can watch the birds through the window.

And speaking of the birds... here are a few of the feathered friends we've had the last few days. I figured this would be a good way to practice with my new camera.


The blue jays are HUGE this year. Here's one of them snatching a peanut. Every morning about 7:00 they sit in my pear tree and screech until I put some peanuts out for them.





This little guy is new to my yard this year. I believe it's a chickadee (will have to get a bird book if I'm going to post pictures and sound like I know what I'm talking about!) We have two of them and they are the cutest little things.






Sunday, December 18, 2005

Narnia

My sister in law and I saw The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion , The Witch, & The Wardrobe yesterday while my husband and his mother did his Christmas shopping for me. The movie was stunning. Even better than I had anticipated. The animal characters were so well rendered, it was hard to fathom they weren't actually real. I was impressed with the movie makers for keeping the violent scenes (such as the war) brutal enough to convey the message with out any blood and gore. I had read the series long ago, borrowed from the church library. But going into the theater, I remembered little of the story or it's religious significance. It wasn't until a little later on, when I was trying to explain Aslan's sacrifice to SIL did it hit me full on how this movie reflects Christian values. I was thoroughly blown away by the movie. Highly recommended. I'm going to reread the series as soon as I can get my hands on them!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The day I've been waiting for

Check it out...
















That's right, folks. Lisa got herself a REAL, fully functional, lots to learn, non-POC digital camera! Woo-hoo. I will need to spend some time reading the book to figure out all the features and how to get some really great pictures. But these aren't bad for a start. Here's what Chuck & I did tonight whilst it snowed (again!)















Yummy Christmas cookies. We're trying to stick to a lo-fat diet and these are actually no-fat (recipe here). The colored sugar was Chuck's idea, but a darn good one at that. The are delicious, much like macaroons, and very cheery looking. We also attempted some fat-free oatmeal chocolate macaroons, but they didn't turn out, wouldn't hold together. We decided the resulting coated oatmeal would make a yummy, albeit sweet granola. If I can get ahold of my Grannie's divinity recipes, we hope to make a batch this weekend.


Finally, knitting. I finished these oh-so-toasty mittens for me.



















They turned out too big, so I hand felted them in the bathroom sink (my hands are still aching). I didn't want to machine felt them for fear they would shrink too much and I wouldn't be able to get them on. As it turns out, they are now perfect. I have the Port Orford sweater started. Only a few inches knit on the back so nothing much to show yet.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow, again

More snow today. 8 inches worth. This does not bode well when winter is still 2 weeks away! I had planned to take today off from work and get my Christmas Bread made. Turned out to be a great day for baking.

Christmas Bread has been a tradition since I was in middle school. In home-ec class, we learned to make a bread called Swedish Tea Ring. Over the years, it has evolved into Christmas Bread because I make it every year for Christmas. It's really quite simple, but wonderfully delicious. You make a batch of your favorite sweet dough (the bread machine comes in hand for this part). After the first rise, you roll the dough out to a nice size rectangle (you want it about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick). Then brush a little (or a lot) of melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle liberally with sugar and cinnamon (some years I sprinkle on brown sugar too). Next sprinkle on any or all of the following (really, anything goes here): marischino cherries, chocolate chips, diced apples, raisins, chopped nuts. Roll up like you are making cinnamon rolls starting on one of the long sides and pinch the seam closed. Transfer the rolled dough to a cookie sheet, making sure the seamed side is done, and forming the dough into a ring. Pinch the two ends together and kind of squeeze the filling to get it as even as possible. Use a sharp knife to cut slashes around the top of the ring. Don't cut down too far, just enough so the filling shows through (the original recipe had you slice all the way through around the outside of the ring and then turn the slices so the cut side was showing. This works fine if you use just sugar & cinnamon, but with all the goop I put in, it leaks and sticks to the pan!) Bake at 350 for about 1/2 an hour or until done. These freeze really well, so you can make them well before Christmas and just heat them up Christmas morning. We like to make a powdered sugar glaze to put over the top. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's beginning to look...

We had our first snowfall this past weekend. Can't believe it's starting already. I really don't like snow. It's fine for laying on the grass and frosting the trees, but it can just stay the heck off the sidewalks and streets. They are calling for more snow on Friday which means the grocery store will be packed when we go tomorrow. And heaven help us find a loaf of bread!

On the plus side, the snow does make it feel more Christmas-ie. I have finished all my Christmas knitting and nearly all my shopping. Just a few odds and ends to finish up this weekend. I started knitting myself a pair of mittens with KnitPicks Merino in Fog and Shimmer in a blue color (can't remember the name). They are thick and warm and I'm sure will be much needed this winter. I finished the left mitten (except the thumb) and am about half way done with the right. I took a break today and cast on the Orford Port sweater from Oat Couture using some wool/cotton/silk yarn I got off of Ebay. After spending the last month knitting (mostly) for others, it's nice to be knitting for me again.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Goblet of Fire

Saturday was fun. Chuck and I left early and had a chance to walk through the flea market outside of E-town. It was a beautiful morning to walk around, not too cold, but cold enough that it wasn't crowded. I, of course, wore my Gryffindor scarf since we were headed to the movie afterwards. One of the sellers recognized it right away and asked if I had been to the movie. I told her we were going after we finished up there. She had seen it Friday night and said it was great.

I had preordered our tickets, but we still got to the theater early. We were glad we did because it was still hard to find seats. The movie was really good. I would rate it my 2nd favorite HP movie. (Prisoner of Azkaban still reigns as my favorite.) Lovers of the book will be disappointed that they couldn't fit more of the story in. The movie felt rushed with the amount of story they did manage to cram in. The movie was completly Harry-centric. If it didn't deal directly with Harry, it wasn't in the movie. There was very little one on one character interaction. Mostly one action sequence after another. There were plenty of funny moments...Fred & George were a riot (as they are in the book), the bathtub scene with Moaning Myrtle was hilarious. Moody, although in appearence nothing like what I expected, nailed it personality-wise. The special effects were awesome (as they have been in all 3 previous movies). The dragon, scuttling across the roof, outstanding! Voldemort was plenty creepy. The death-eaters were barely given any screen time. Priori-incantatum and what follows were heart wrenching (very well played Daniel Radcliff). Thankfully, Dumbledore was not the blustery, angry wizard the previews showed him as. All in all, 4 out of 5 stars. Probably won't go see it in the theater again, but will get the DVD as soon as it's released. According to HPANA, it's already set for release on April 4. And it is said to include 15 minutes additional footage and (finally!) directors commentary. OOTP is supposed to start filming after the first of the year. They've got their work cut out for them again. Hopefully they do a better job adapting the movie to the screen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Pictures, finally

I was finally able to get pictures to load. So here's just a quick post for show & tell.

First my chulu hat. It's a bit more red in person.













Here's dad's hat. The colors look very true in the picture. See how high the stripes are? I'll tell him it's his halo!
















My current WIP, ready to work the toe. I don't feel like such a sock loser anymore. This is more my speed of socks...chunky yarn...no 10,000 stitches! I better getting cracking on this, it's supposed to be in the 20's the next few nights! Will certainly need warm slippers.



















Finally, the offending Goblet of Fire pages. It's hard to see, but it's there...page 210, page 179! Managed to squeeze in two more chapters before falling asleep last night. I'm off work again Friday and hoping to read all day. Doesn't look promising though, looks like we may be going away. Oh well, it's not like I've never read it (for the record, this is the 3rd time I'm reading it.)




Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I was all set to post pictures of my knitting, but seems I still can't get pictures to post here. I reported the problem to Blogger when it first happened, what was that like 2 weeks ago? Oh well, it's just been one of those days.

I was reading Goblet of Fire at lunch when suddenly it didn't make sense. Took a minute to realize, there's a printing error in my book! It jumps from page 210 to page 179. Pages 211 through 242 are missing. How frustrating! It's bad enough I've got 500 pages to read in 4 days (something tells me this just aint gonna happen), but to have 30 pages missing too...there may just be a curse upon me. I was so happy when I got this copy too. A first edition in unread, pristine condition. Now I wish the person had read it (I refuse to believe the person sold the book knowing thsese pages were missing). Now I've got to locate another good copy to complete my collection. Thankfully mom still had my paperback copies, so I was able to read the missing pages and move on.

Finished dad's hat. I'm a little disappointed with it though. The stripes are too high. If I make the pattern again, I'll work the stripes sooner. I think it will work though. The size came out right and the colors work really well. If I ever get this picture thing working, I'll be sure to put pictures up.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Only 5 days until I get to see Goblet of Fire. I'm afraid to say I'm not nearly as far along in the book as I had hoped to be. I spent all my day off on Friday rearranging my craft room to make room for a filing cabinet (oh but it's so nice and organized now!) Then we were away all day Saturday so I didn't get any reading in then either. Sunday I read quite a bit since I strained my back raking leaves and didn't feel up to doing much.

I got a good bit of knitting done too. Finished my chulu. It turned out somewhat too big, but I ran a seam up the back and it fits well now. Looks great. Chuck thinks it looks goofy, but I love it. Should be cold enough by the end of the week to wear it too!

The yarn I needed for dad's hat didn't come until today, so I knit on my shawl over the weekend. Oh how I love the shawl. I think I'm only working on it in bits so I can enjoy knitting on it longer!

The sock, well, the sock has found a new home. With the addition of the new file cabinet, I now have a discreet location to store my less appealing WIPs. I KNEW that tiny, skinny yarn would get the better of me. I'm about halfway down the heel flap. I'm not giving up, mind you, just taking a break. There are only two items in the drawer of shame. The sock and a stack of log cabin quilt blocks. I need to make about 5 maybe 6 more blocks to have enough for a top. It's been about 3 years since I worked on it. The strips are all cut, just have to do it.

I started working on a pair of slippers in KnitPicks Sierra using this pattern from Crystal Palace Yarns. I won't be putting the fuzzy stuff around the cuff though. Just plain blue and green footies. The yarn is so soft and cushy and warm. And (and this is the best part) it's fast knitting. I've stopped to finish dad's hat since the yarn came today, but I don't expect these slippers to take long at all to finish.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

11 days and counting...

The release of GOF is drawing nearer. I've watched every clip I could find online. This film looks like it will be AWESOME! I was able to preorder our tickets already so we are guaranteed to get in. We'll still be at the theater early so we can get good seats. And this time, I even have my Gryffindor scarf to wear (wasn't able to finish it in time for POA). As I am undoubtedly the most HP obsessed person in the group I'm going with, I hope to not embarrass them too much by showing my colors!

I started reading the book again on Sunday. Even at my abysmally slow pace, I should have it finished before the 19th. I thought about just listening to the book on tape again, but there's something more real when you read the book. JK Rowling is by far and away one of my favorite storytellers. She knows how to paint a picture in your mind. Thankfully, the movies haven't strayed far from her vision.

On the knitting front, I've run out of yarn for dad's hat. Darn. Had to place another order with KnitPicks. At least they still had free shipping. I should have cast on my slippers since my feet are cold again, but instead I cast on a chulu (one of those pointy hats with earflaps like the sherpas wear). I'm using the pattern in the new Knitscene magazine. The pattern in the magazine gives a general pattern that you can use any gauge yarn. I'm knitting with that Encore DK that I didn't like for P2 and a strand of Twinkletoes sock yarn held together (yeah, I've started letting go of the idea of me becoming a sock knitter). It's turning out fantastic. I've had some issues with needles since both hats are using the same size needle and I only have one 16" US 5 circular needle. I've been transfering the two hats between needles as the chulu progresses.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pictures from my oh so thrilling vacation

Well, much to my surprise, the smokey little trick-r-treaters didn't egg my house last night. Not so much of a surprise, Blogger's photo thing still isn't working. I'm going to try an alternate method, see if I can give you a couple more photos.

One finished hot water bottle cover. 'course, now the weather has turned warm again and I don't need it. But it's time will come. Vague directions for those who care...I just knit two rectangles roughly the size of the water bottle, garter stitch for the first and last 4 rows and keeping the first and last 4 stitches of each row in garter, the rest was knit in stockinette. Then I seamed up the two long sides and the bottom and put the bottle in. I seamed one side of the top shut and laced the other side with a ribbon so I can take the bottle out and wash the cover if necessary.

Dad's hat as of Sunday.


As of today, it's a ball of yarn again. There's no way this thing is going to fit on an adult's head although the instructions say it will. Well, it might, but it would be stretched to the dickens. Will be casting on again tonight using what I hope will be a more adequate number of stitches.

Here are some of my purchases for vacation. New knitting mags (also picked up Knit It which isn't pictured here.) A very awesome soap making book (finally found one for melt & pour soaps!) And a stack of patterns from the Yarn Gallery in Reading.


The on in the upper right is the Port Orford pullover from Oat Couture. This is the most likely canidate for my next "big" project once I finish my Christmas knitting. The other patterns are for DK & worsted weight socks. Don't tell Sock (or the umpteen balls of sock yarn now residing in my stash), but I'm thinking that tiny, skinny little yarn may be too much commitment for me. I do vow to finish Sock before giving up and moving on to heavier yarns.

And finally, my oh-so-cool Goth-Icky Journal where I keep all my knitting records. It's still in it's infancy, but I'm faithfully recording all my knit projects in this little treasure.

Each page has all the details about the pattern and yarn, any changes I made, dates started and finished and a scrap of yarn. There will be pictures too, once I get them developed.

And now that it's November, the countdown starts to Goblet of Fire! The current plan is to go on the 20th with my mom sister and sister-in-law and hopefully miss some of the opening day crowds. Will be pre-ordering tickets as soon as the come available, just to be sure.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or treat

Having no kids of my own, I get a kick out of seeing all the kids dressed up for Halloween. I love to dress up and hand out candy. (For the record, I was a hippy this year. Peace out man). Some of these parents come up with such creative and original costumes for their little ones. This year we went through all of our candy in an hour and ten minutes! A new record. Over 200 kids, most of which aren't even from this neighborhood. We live in a fairly small town. Parents from the smaller neighborhoods on the outskirts drive their kids in to trick or treat. Most kids are accompanied by their parents (which I think is a good thing). The down side is the teenagers. I've got nothing against the older kids trick or treating if they at least make an effort (you know, wear a costume, be polite). It's all about having fun, right? But tonight, we had a group of 15-16 year olds, no costumes and smoking cigarettes come to the door. At the risk of getting egg-ed I told them that trick or treating and cigarettes don't mix, maybe they were getting too old to be doing this. They just looked at me like they had no clue what I was talking about. I gave them each a piece of candy (though it griped me to do it) and shut the door. They hung out on my porch for several minutes before moving on. I'm sure they were memorizing my address so they know where to throw the eggs. Maybe I'll just skip it altogether next year.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Well, tomorrow it's back to work. At least with turning the clocks back last night we gained an extra hour of vacation time. Although I didn't manage to finish the charm quilt, I did get a lot of knitting done this week. I had hoped to post some pictures, but Blogger's picture upload isn't working.

Mom and I had a good time in Lancaster yesterday. The Old Country Store's quilt museum is now free and we enjoyed looking at the quilts on display. This year's display is all recent quilts, but the majority were still of traditional patterns. As usual when I see a bunch of lovely quilts, I was inspired to sew again and purchased a pile of fabric. We ended up at 3 different fabric shops (this area of Lancaster is LOADED with fabric buying opportunities!) Most being amish or mennonite, no websites to post.

Off to get some rest. Hopefully pictures tomorrow.

Friday, October 28, 2005

My week so far

Vacation has been quite enjoyable. Total relaxation. Knitting up a storm.

Here's Kitty Pi all finished...
Turned out smaller than I hoped. I used leftover Malabrigo rather than the bulky Kureon called for in the pattern. Should have increased my rounds to make up for the difference. The cats seem very interested in it. I put it on Quinn's favorite chair (my sewing room chair) and she curled right up on it. Yeah, ON it. It's too small to get IN it. She didn't seem to mind though.


Very little progress on the sock... Still working on the heel flap. Very slow going. Looks like me and sock have a long road ahead of us. I'm using heel stitch and find I have to watch my hands or I drop stitches. I lose interest in this very fast. So I started this...






The fact that it is so flipping cold already has forced me to dig out the hot water bottle to keep my feet warm. I'm knitting a cover out of Takhi Bunny which is so soft and cuddly. Making up the pattern as I go.





Here's a picture of the afghan I was telling you about.

See how obvious the seam lines are? Not sure what I'm going to do with it. At the very least, I should undo the seams and redo them. But that sounds way too much like work to me.






The charm quilt on Tuesday when I finally got around to working on it. I got about 4 more rows tied. As you can see, there's a long way to go. It's now neatly folded in the corner with my sewing box, waiting for another day. I'm having to work on the floor and my knees and back aren't liking that at all. I can tie one row, then have to stop for awhile. Hope to get some more tied tomorrow and Sunday.


Tomorrow mom and I are going to Lancaster county to the quilt shops. We are deeply disappointed that our favorite candle shop, Old Candle Shed, is closed while they relocate. We make a pilgrimage there every year to stock up on candles for winter. Guess we'll just have to look somewhere else.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Cue the GoGos

That's right, baby, I'm on VACATION! Nine (yes I count the weekends at either end) whole, glorious days away from the office. Hubby and I are notoriously low-key and hate to travel. My plans mostly consist of watching piles of movies and knitting and quilting until my arms fall off. So far we are off to a great start. Friday night we braved the rain and went to Green Dragon (a local flea market). It's a bit of a drive, but we try to get there once a year or so. Many of the vendors were closed so we didn't find much to buy. I bought some scents for making soap, but that's about it. Saturday we hit a local antique mall, there aren't many left around here any more. I scored a couple of sets of knitting needles for $.50 a set! I wasn't able to find the needles I need for dad's hat so I placed an order with Knitting Warehouse. Should have them by weeks end.

Yesterday and today I spent knitting an afghan on my knitting machine. Managed to break a needle in the process but was able to replace it with one from the end. I'm not thrilled with the afghan. It's made of TLC Essentials in ivory and dark green. It felt horrid while knitting, but softened up nicely after washing. It's a bit thing though. I even went down 2 keyplate sizes from the recommended size and it's still thin. I think I may line it if I find fabric I like.

I'm back to hand knitting now. I'm working diligently on the cat bad since the temperature has really dropped. They are calling for lows in the 30's later this week. Tomorrow's high is only supposed to be upper 40's.

Tomorrow I'm getting a perm (always schedule some pampering on vacation!) I intend to spend the rest of the day finishing my "Grannie's Charm Quilt". This is a quilt I started some years ago in memory of my Grannie Kleibrink who died in 2000. Each square is a different fabric (hence a charm quilt). I had originally intended to hand quilt it, but it proved to daunting a task. I started tieing it last year, but had to put it away after only finishing a few rows and haven't gotten back to it since. I'm going to get it finished this week. After that, I'm really hoping my needles come so I can work on the hat. I swatched the Merino Style the other day and can not wait to get knitting with it. Another winner from Knit Picks.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Back in the swing of things

Life feels like it's almost getting back to normal after the last month's turmoil. The only hurdle left is finishing up the big computer project at work. It has been fraught with delay after delay but finally got underway on Thursday. Hopefully it will be wrapped up by Wednesday so I can have my vacation without that hanging over my head. Keep your fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I finished the sewing up on Dark Earth yesterday. I wasted no time getting it on and wore it to the movies today. It is so snuggly soft. It's unfathomable to me that it can actually be 100% wool. I grew up believing I couldn't wear wool. Turns out I just never found the RIGHT wool. Malabrigo is my hero. Happy dance, happy dance. I'm using the leftovers to knit Kitty Pi for the cats. Quinn kept curling up on the sweater while I was seaming it and wouldn't leave my lap today while I had it on. They'll love the bed I'm sure.

I gave up on the Encore DK for Present #2. But I found some Bernat DenimStyle left in my stash from a shrug/bed jacket I made this summer and it's just the ticket. I'm better than half way done and looking good. I ordered the yarn for P3 (dad's hat). Ended up going with KnitPicks Merino Style and this pattern. Should arrive by vacation.

Saw Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit today with the family. For those unfamiliar with W&G movies, they are claymation movies based on the lives of Wallace, a middle aged British man with an inclination to design bizarre inventions to do everyday tasks and his long suffering canine companion Gromit (who invariably saves the day when Wallace's plans go awry). This is the first feature length W&G movie, preceded by 3 shorts (Grand Day Out, Wrong Pants & A Close Shave). The films are charming and funny and this one is no exception. Oh yeah, and Gromit knits! There's a scene where Gromit is waiting in the truck for Wallace to return. After a few moments of waiting, as any bored knitter would do, he pulls out his knitting and starts clicking away. Go see it. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Still Christmas knitting

I've been doing some heavy duty knitting of late. Christmas Present #1 is finished and FABULOUS! I don't know how I'm going to give that one away. Guess I'll have to knit one for myself. Rented a bunch of movies over the weekend and did little else than watch movies and knit. Finished the second sleeve on the Dark Earth sweater. Hope to have it seamed up in the next day or two. I started work on Present #2 out of the Encore Dk yarn. After several hours of knitting, I decided I hated the way it was turning out and frogged it. The yarn is a slightly different gauge than the pattern I'm working and I my adjustments resulted in the thing being too big. Plus I'm just not that crazy about the yarn. It's an acrylic/wool blend and feels pretty soft in the ball. But knit up, it's feeling sort of scratchy. I think all this merino and alpaca I've been knitting lately has spoiled me. I'm in the process of getting together another KnitPicks order to get more Andean Treasure (and a bunch of other yarn, of course!) Not sure what will become of the Encore. Maybe I'll knit up a swatch and wash it, see if that helps.

As of right now, I only have 3 WIPS. Hard to believe, I know. There's the sock, the shawl and the afghan (which hasn't seen the light of day since last winter!) Which one will be the winner until the KnitPicks yarn arrives? Or maybe I'll take a break and try to catch up on my reading. Decisions, decisions!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Complete at last

With the addition of this...








I finally have the a complete Harry Potter Library.









When I first got hooked on Harry, I had gotten the paperback
set. Then I discovered that these books are most definitely keepers and needed to be in the nicest editions I could find. Sorcerer's Stone was the hardest to come by at a decent price. I really lucked out on this one. I'm thinking I should re-read Goblet of Fire before the movie comes out next month. But first, I must finish Yarn Harlot (a riot! Buy it, read it, love it.)

Poor Dark Earth sweater still awaits it's last arm...






I've really gotten into knitting Christmas presents of late, so it's not getting much attention. I am such a slow knitter, I labor under the assumption I won't be able to finish all the holiday knitting I want to do by Christmas (that and my short attention span for sticking to projects, which has me more worried!) However, Present #1 is progressing very nicely and will be finished by tomorrow with any luck. I'm sorry it's finished though because I simply ADORE the Andean Treasure yarn. I must get more and think of something to do with it.

Here are my current stash acquisitions:









That's the Sock Landscapes from Knit Picks and some Encore DK for Christmas Present #2. My sweetie and I were at the yarn shop on Saturday. I fondled the lovely local merino, handpainted sock yarn, but made myself walk away. No more sock yarn until I finish at least one sock! Nothing has been knit on poor sock in a week or so. It waits patiently for me, in it's little bag beside my knitting chair. Since the Christmas knitting is going so well, maybe I'll take a break before starting #2 and at least try to make it to the heel on sock.

I still need yarn for Present #3. It's a watch cap for dad (remember he doesn't do the whole blog thing, safe to talk about this one.) I'm thinking of going with this yarn in Navy or Forest. Anyone tried it? I've shopped with Webs before but have never tried their Valley yarns. Merino/alpaca blend sounds scrumptious and nice and warm for a hat. I might order some of the bulky Berkshire to make these slippers for me. Suggestions welcome.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another good-bye

The good news regarding my grandfather was short lived. Early this morning, he passed away. At 89, he lived a long full life. Now he's home with grannie (who had passed some 5 years ago). Being so far away in Texas, I don't have as many memories of my papa as I had of my grandma Miller who recently passed on. But here are some of the memories I do have.

When my sister and I were little, my parents would take us to Texas each year to visit my grandparents. We usually drove (a 3 day drive) and stayed for at least a week (often longer). Grannie & papa lived on a ranch. He raised cattle. He always wore bib-overalls. He would sometimes take my sister and I (and any of the cousins who were there at the time too) out to feed the cattle. I remember the hay barns stacked high with bales of hay. Climbing half way up before realizing the rafters were filled with spiders the size of my hand (I'm not shitting you, Texas has some knarely spiders). To this day I am PETRIFIED of ANY spider thanks to those mutant, humungo Texas spiders. I remember once there was a tarantula, big and black and hairy, in the yard where us kids were playing. We all ran in screaming our heads off. Papa casually strolled out, stomped it, and (this still gives me chills) picked it up and threw it in the neighboring corn field. It was at least 5 or 6 inches across. The man should have a medal of bravery for facing down that monster. Apart from the spiders, the ranch was the coolest place to spend time when I was a kid. We got to ride in the tractors, swim in a creek that ran right through the property. Papa would give us big tractor tire innertubes to float around on. I just remembered a time there was a scorpion in the kitchen. It's amazing how something so small can elicit so much fear. He rescued us from that monster too. He used to let us ride in the back of the pick-up truck, down an old dirt road we kids affectionately dubbed "roller-coaster alley" that led to a hay field. Now we all know how dangerous riding in the back of open pickup trucks is, but back then, it was a blast to have your teeth rattled loose down that bumpy road. He never let us leave without spending money for the Stuckey's on the trip home. (You all know about Stuckey's right? Home of the Pecan Log, Mexican Jumping beans, some of the worlds best milkshakes and every imaginable souvenir? If you've never been to one, stop in one when you have the chance.) He was kind and gentle. I can't really remember him ever being angry (although I'm sure he was). He was always interested in what you had to tell him. I only wish we had lived closer so I could have known him better.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Rain at last

It's finally raining. After something like 2 months without measurable rain, it's a welcome sight. It's nice and cool too. Perfect knitting weather. I finished the first sleeve on my sweater and am past the ribbing on the second.

I started a poncho this weekend. However, the acryl-yuck yarn leaves much to be desired, so I frogged it. The yarn was originally purchased to make an afghan on my knitting machine and I really feel that should remain it's destiny.

I received my KnitPicks order (placed before the catalog came, so no MaryJane cardigan). Some lovely Sock Landscape in Redwood Forest (yeah I know, there will be absolutely no more purchasing of sock yarn until I finish sock #1!) and this to die for Andean Treasure in Embers. I've already got the Andean Treasure on the needles for a Christmas gift. It is delightful to knit with. Soft as butter and the color is gorgeous! I will most definitely be ordering more of this stuff.

Finally, good news about my grandfather. Just received an email from mom that he has been moved out of ICU to a regular room. She said he's doing much better and they hope to move him to rehab before long. It's terrific news. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Catalogs galore

Again, it's been awhile since I posted so I'll catch you up. My grandfather's condition worsened so mom & dad flew to Texas. He remains in the hospital after undergoing triple bi-pass surgery. He's still not out of the woods and we continue to pray for his comfort and speedy recovery. Thankfully they aren't in a part of Texas that is supposed to be hard hit by Rita. Although my uncle & aunt from Houston have evacuated because their home could be hit. Again, we watch and wait and pray for everyone's safety.

Work has been insane. We are short staffed due to the other computer operator being on her honeymoon (in Jamaica no less, I'm so jealous!) and my mother (who also happens to be the office manager where I work) being away too. Normally I cover for either of them when they are out and it's not bad. Both out together gets a little more difficult. However, the benefit to working in a small office is that everyone helps each other out when times get tough. The other girls in the office with me have been such a support. Still, I've been too tired at night to blog.

I've knit a little, but not much. The heat continues. Although it seems to be cooling a bit this evening. Maybe the cold front is actually coming through (please, please let it rain!). I'm 3/4 done with the first sleeve for the Malabrigo sweater and my calculations seem to have worked to produce a decent looking sleeve. I should have plenty of time to knit this weekend so should easily finish this sleeve and get under way on the other one. The sock...well let's just say it's going to take a while and leave it at that.

The mailman left all sorts of temptation in the box today. There's the new Halcyon Yarn catalog, the new Knit Picks catalog (this link will get you free shipping, but I don't know for how long), and the new Wool Connection catalog. I'm in love with the Sweet Mary Jane Cardigan on the Knit Picks cover. But it's done in lace weight yarn. I'm pushing my patience with the fingering weight sock yarn. I can't imagine a whole sweater in lace weight. Still...it's really tempting. Wouldn't hurt to buy the pattern...maybe even the yarn...just in case...you never know...

Darned my slow reading, I still haven't finished Angels & Demons. I'm only about 20 pages from the end. Fell asleep in the book trying to finish it last night. Will definitely finish tonight. Then, Yarn Harlot here I come. I laughed out loud reading her last book. Hope this one is as good. How am I kidding, of course it will be. Wish I could have made it to Stitches this weekend. Stephanie is going to be signing books. Well, that and all the yarn. Maybe next year.

Bye for now.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Too hot, again!

When, oh when will fall arrive? It's the middle of September, school has started, the leaves are starting to turn and fall...yet still it's 90 degrees today. I'm so into finishing the Dark Earth Malibrigo sweater. See how helpless it looks without arms?
Since it was too hot to knit anyway, I spent the better part of this evening working out the sleeve. Thus, the sun is going down as we speak, so further thus, bad light for the POC camera. You get the idea though.

I tried to cheer the poor neglected sweater up with this...
It's the yarn harlot's new bookbookbook2! The sweater was very impressed and happy. I, on the other hand, am monogomas when it comes to books. So I must finish Angels & Demons before I start on this one. I'm tiding myself over by reading her daily blog posts (that doesn't count as cheating on the book, does it?)



Here's the progress on my sock. I can actually stand to knit on this a little, even in the heat. The colors are just gorgeous. The cotton feels just a little stiff. But cotton always does to me and I'm knitting at a pretty tight gauge. Everyone seems to suggest knitting at a tighter gauge for longer wear. The swatch felt softer after being washed so I'm sure these will feel fine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Catching up

It's been a while since my last post. Turns out my life may be less blog worthy than I had originally hoped! But for those who are interested, here's what's been going on...

I've finally passed the ribbing on my sock and am about an inch into the leg. I'm just doing a plain jane stockinette stitch for the body of the sock. The Sockotta yarn is patterning really nicely. Thanks MG for the heel advice. I'm still undecided which I will use. The short row heel sounds so complicated in the directions. But often knitting makes more sense in the doing than in the directions.

I started up the Malabrigo sweater again. Finished the front last night and have bound off the shoulders. I try to always do a 3 needle bind off for shoulders. It looks nice and it eliminates the need to seam. I love the way this sweater is turning out. It puts me in mind of the softest sweatshirt. I can see myself living in this thing all winter. I'm thinking of adjusting the sleeves a bit. It's a drop shoulder design, much like the MA sweater. The sleeves on that one are a bit deep. I'm thinking of making them just a little less wide. Since it's a drop shoulder sweater, I don't need to worry about fitting an armhole on the body of the sweater. Should be easy enough.

The weekend was busy. Our local library held their annual Book & Bake sale. My mom is on the library board so our whole family ends up helping out. We help man the bake sale and also help pack up leftover books at the end of the day. It's usually a fun day for a good cause and we always end up with lots of books to bring home (paperbacks are only $.25 and most hardbacks range from $1 - $3). I'm currently reading the copy of Dan Brown's Angels & Demons I picked up. I was quite disappointed when it started out as almost a carbon copy of DaVinci Code plot wise. But it's gone it's own direction now and is a pretty good read.

We didn't spend much time at the sale this year because the memorial service for my grandmother was held on Saturday as well. The service was low-key, a simple graveside service presided over by the chaplin from the home where she lived the last few months of her life at. It was a beautiful sunny day. Everyone joined in singing In The Garden (this family is blessed with many great voices and it was such a comforting, uplifting experience). My uncle spoke about how his dad (my grandfather who died some 14 years ago) always loved hawks & eagles so much and that there was a red tail hawk flying over us that very morning. His spirit was there to greet my grandma and accompany her to heaven. I still get teary eyed thinking of it. Most everyone went back to my parents house for lunch afterwards. It was so wonderful seeing family I haven't seen in years. Everyone stayed and visited most of the day.

Lastly, my papa (sounds like pap-paw) is very seriously ill. This is my mother's father. He is in the hospital after suffering 2 heart attacks. Thoughts and prayers for him and the family are appreciated.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Slow go socks

Not much to blog about. I ripped the sock out shortly after my last post. It looked awfully small, so I slipped it over my foot on the needles. It was really tight. I took the needles out, just to make sure they weren't the problem, and sure enough, too small. So I frogged the whole thing and started over, using stitches to match the actual diameter of my foot (rather than 1" less as suggested in the Knitty pattern). Since I have finished reading Simple Socks, I now have two options for turning the heel. Her method of short-row heels, or the method in the Knitty pattern using a heel flap thingy. I've never done either one so I have no clue which is better (please comment if you have an opinion). Guess we'll see what kind of mood I'm in when I reach the heel. At this rate, that should be somewhere around Thanksgiving. The Angel of Slow Knitting rests upon my hands. At this small gauge (9 stitches per inch!) I seem to be going even slower. Part of the problem is I'm ribbing now, so I have to look at what I'm doing more and the constant moving the yarn front and back. Maybe the stockinette part will go faster.

Monday, September 05, 2005

More finished objects

Yeah! I finished the Mad Aunts of Elingham!! Vivian from The Knutty Knitter was kind enough to send me the extra ball I needed. Here are some pictures of the finished sweater.











I love the way the cables grow out of the ribbing and continue onto the neck. It is so soft and cuddly. But, it's surprisingly heavy. The weight really stretches the neck out (the picture on the pattern shows the neck standing up more.) The machine sewn seams are a bit bulky. Now that I have plenty of yarn, I may redo the seams at some point. I'll have to see how it wears. I think, because of the weight, the machine seams may provide better support than hand sewn seams.


I also finished the Manos Del Uruguay mittens. They just barely fit me, so I felted them ever so slightly to fit my sister-in-law's smaller hands. They should be nice and toasty this winter.



I cast on the Sockotta socks and have about an inch of ribbing done. I'm using the instructions from Knitty's Sock 101. I'm reading through Simple Socks and will probably try her techniques on my next pair.

I've been in a mood to get stuff finished lately. I've only got 4 projects going at the moment (hard to believe, I know.) The socks, the shawl, the Malabrigo sweater and an afghan. The sweater and afghan have been packed away since winter. I'll probably get the sweater out later this week. Finishing MA has me inspired to finish that one too. It's got to get ALOT cooler before the afghan comes out. Whatever possessed me to knit an afghan is beyond me. I can see that project dragging on for years since I only want to work on it when it's really cold and it's a TON of knitting.

Now I'm off to do laundry and enjoy the last few hours of this long weekend before having to go back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Mini-Weasley!

I finished the little mini Weasley sweater. As promised, good pictures!








I took the picture with the sweater on some alysum to show the scale. The H is a little wonky on the bottom right side. I tried stranding the yarn back & forth rather than using two strands and it's pulled a little too tight at the bottom. Otherwise, it looks super. I've learned a few things I'll do different next time...use separate strands of yarn for the opposite sides of the letter (or maybe try duplicate stitch), leave the neck stitches live rather than binding off.

Here's a picture where it is going to reside...
The Harry Potter corner of my bookshelf. I'm working on collecting the "special" editions of all 6 books. All but POA and GOF have American (Scholastic) collectors editions. I have Chamber of Secrets, Order of the Phoenix and Half Blood Prince. I purchased the British special edition Prisoner of Azkaban, but I don't like it as much as the American editions. I was disappointed that there were no illustrations. I just ordered a first edition, hardback of Goblet of Fire (non-collectors). I'm still working on the special edition Sorcerer's Stone, but it's got to come down in price a bit.

Well, it's an absolutely gorgeous day out and it's a crime to be sitting inside at the computer. Think I'll head outside and try to get some serious mitten knitting in.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

O.R.

The other day, I was chatting with dad. We were talking about a particularly grumpy person we know. Dad says "“Maybe he's suffering from Ocular Rectalitis."
"“What'’s that?" I ask, knowing full well it's GOT to be a good one.
"“Shitty outlook on life."
Yep. That'’s a good one. I lost it. I laughed for a good minute. Told him I'’d remember that one and told mom that one was getting blogged (dad doesn'’t “do” computers...yet...but mom understands the blog thing).
Today, I'm the one with Ocular Rectalitis. So I decided it was as good a time as any to blog it. Here'’s to you dad. Thanks for giving me something to laugh at, especially on the bad days.

Here are other things that are working to brighten my spirits...

The mini-Weasley is soaring along. I stayed up late the other night to finish the H. I'’m so very pleased with it. Picking up the neck stitches was harder than I thought it would be. Hopefully the little sleeves will be easier. I promise better pictures once it'’s finished.








This whole sock thing is getting the better of me. I just bought this...











And this...










Still working my way through The Principles of Knitting. I would have to agree with the masses. It is a fantastic knitting guide. June Hemmons-Hiatt explains everything in great detail and offers advice on which method is best for which situation. She'’s conversational in her writing, not quite as much so as Elizabeth Zimmermann (knitting goddess), but it still feels like a friend walking you through each technique step by step. The illustrations are some of the best I'’ve seen. If/when they re-release POK, I would definitely add it to my library. I would not, however, pay $200 or whatever ridiculous price people are trying to get for it now. It's good, not that good.


For anyone who'’s wondering, the icky gray background on many of my pictures in my sewing/craft table. It'’s the only place in my house with enough light for the POC camera to get a half decent picture.

Monday, August 29, 2005

So close

I've got about 12 rows left to finish the last sleeve of the Mad Aunts sweater...
and I'm out of yarn. How iritating is that?! Worse, is I can't seem to find any online stores that carry it. I did find one, Woodland Woolworks. I've shopped with them before and they have great service, but they are closed for inventory so it wouldn't ship till next week. I really was hoping to finish it this weekend. Mom suggested I try calling the store I bought the yarn from originally and seeing if they'd be willing to mail me a ball. They are closed until the middle of the week. If I don't find any by then, I'll try calling.

Meanwhile, I knit a swatch with the Sockotta (needed car knitting over the weekend)
See how pretty the colors are? The picture is a little washed out, but the colors are really soft and subtle like that. I'll be casting on my socks this weekend for sure.

Since I can't finish MA, I figured there was no harm in starting the mini Weasley awhile. I only got the cast on done, so nothing to show yet. I'm hoping to get a few rows knit tonight. This should be pretty quick knitting.

More soon.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Tribute

My grandma Miller died this week. She was my father's mother. She lived to be 94, would have been 95 next month. She died peacefully, in her sleep. She lived a long, full life, though over the last year Alzheimer's had claimed her mind. I have decide to list some of my favorite memories of her here (most are from when I was pretty young).

15 Things about Grandma
1. She had Christmas Elves that sat over her fireplace every Christmas. When I found a pair in an antique store, I snatched them up and now I have Christmas Elves too.

2. She babysat my sister and I when we were little.

3. She would make popcorn on the stove and take the lid off the pot to let the kernels fly all over.

4. She always had copies of old movie-star photo magazines around (I wish I could remember their names...)

5. She used to sunbathe all the time...and later had to deal with skin cancer spots as a result.

6. I remember her pulling a shotgun out of the kitchen coat closet on the farm to shoot the groundhogs in the field.

7. She made the absolute BEST pork roast ever. EVER!

8. Actually, all of her cooking was good. Sandtarts, ham, fried cornmeal mush (yeah, sounds bad. Is bad when I make it. Hers? Perfect.)

9. When I was little, she lived on a farm with my grandpa. The farm had an orchard, a stand of pine trees (which were magical to play under), an awesome barn (which we probably weren't supposed to be playing in), and a huge field around it. It wasn't a "working" farm then. But a wonderful place to spend time at as a kid.

10. She always had lovely scented glycerin soaps in the bath. This was probably the seed that sprouted into my current soap fixation.

11. There was a water pump outside the kitchen door on the farm with an enameled basin and icky lifeboy type soap. We always had to wash up out there after playing.

12. She had (I believe) 10 children. Three died in childhood. 4 still live here in Pennsylvania, 2 in Virginia and 1 in Florida.

13. She used to do beautiful embroidery work.

14. She kept a garden and had a cellar stocked with home-canned veggies.

15. She had a spinning wheel. I had asked my aunts about it recently, but they don't think she used it.

I have, of course, hundreds more memories of this woman and the times spent with her. There are just some of the best. I'm glad to have known her and will miss her.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Not knitting

I'm having to lay off knitting for a few days due to pain in my left hand. It happens every few months, my hand aches for a few days until I finally put a brace on and give it the rest it's demanding. Tried knitting with the brace, not working. Stupid left hand. Doesn't it know I want to finish MA so I can start the Mini-Weasleys? And the socks? And that the situation has just gotten worse since these just arrived in the mail?The mitten book came yesterday (which greatly improved my mood). I'm so inspired. I'm thinking Christmas gives galore. Wait a minute...any family members who read my blog, just ignore that. In reality, though, I've never been a huge fan of multi-color (as in multi strand) knitting. So I'll probablly lose interest within 3 inches of the first mitten. Will keep you posted. (Note to self, one must challenge themselves to grow as a knitter. Get over fear of fair-isle.)

The yarn is dreamy Cherry Tree Hill Supersock merino in a colorway called Earth (dark blues and burgundys). So soft and cuddley. I got it for an absolute steal off Ebay (I thi
nk it may be a discontinued colorway since it's not on the CTH website.) I hope this isn't the start of a bad pattern, acquiring tons of sock yarn before even casting on my first sock.

I finally got my hands on a copy of The Principles of Knitting. This book seems to be held in
the highest esteem by any knitter that's had the pleasure of reading it. Talk has been rampent on the KnitList about it lately. I checked the local library system and sure enough, they had a copy. I'm anxious to see what all the talk is about. And since I can't knit right now, might as well spend my time reading about knitting. I'm kind of hoping I don't like it though. Seeing how it sells for upwards of $200 now! But then, maybe the rumours are true and there will be a rerelease soon.


Thanks for all the nice compliments on the project pictures yesterday. It's nice to get opinions from fellow knitters since I don't know any in the "real world".

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pictures

Work sucked today. So to cheer myself up, I borrowed a digital camera and got some pictures to dress this place up.

First, Quinn and Stuart in the window, (Quinn's pretty hard to see, she's the black spot on the left) wondering why the heck mommy dragged all her knitting out into the yard. (light's much better out there and it is a GORGEOUS day!)




Here is the lovely Sunset Malabrigo purse along with the felted
eyeglasses case I made over the weekend (thats done in Cascade 220).

The purse has been pilling pretty badly, the nature of the beast with such soft spun merino. No worries, a minute or two with the sweater shaver and it's good as new.



Since there's been so much talk about Malabrigo on the KnitList the last few days, here's a picture of my other Malabrigo project, a sweater in a color called Dark Earth. The picture is pretty washed out, the colors are green, brown and purple. I did not follow the rule of alternating balls of yarn every few rows, and you can probably see the pretty obvious color differences between balls. Doesn't bother me, but some might prefer a more homogeneous mix and want to switch between balls as they knit.

Here's the mitten from last week.

I've been working diligently on MA, so there's only a few rows on the needle of mitten 2. Pretty yarn though, isn't it? It's Manos. Everyone compares Manos and Malabrigo. For me, there's no comparison. Malabrigo is the hands down winner. Manos is nice, but it's not evenly spun and a bit scratchy (ever so slightly). Plus Malabrigo is so affordable!

No pictures of Mad Aunts. It looks like a blob now so pictures must wait until it's finished. I will leave you with one final picture. My glorious shawl...

I love this project beyond words. I can't seem to get a decent picture (even with a good camera) but it is lovely. So soft, a pretty lime green (Knit Picks Elegance in Grass). Now that it's finally cooling off, I'm excited to get back to work on it. Maybe this weekend.

Hope you enjoyed the photoshow. I'll try to get pictures up here on a more regular basis.