New hat project

In need of a hat for John (who has outgrown many many newborn hats) I got this far during a nap today. It should be done soon! Hooray for instant gratification!



I was flipping through the paper this weekend and what do I find? An alpaca show!

There were cute animals and some incredible yarn. There was one vendor with a handpainted yarn in a color called Siamese Fighting Fish. It was so beautiful. And she took credit cards. It took every single bit of strength I could muster to stick to my yarn diet. Sigh... My husband, who is not on any sort of diet, got this kumihimo disk and book. He likes making knotted cord type projects. Maybe I can get him to make me drawstrings for some hooded sweatshirt projects in the future.

In Phildar news, Pegase must be French for "knits up really fast" because I'm done with all of the main pieces of the sweater. I almost ran out of yarn, though. That was scary there for a few rows... I'm going to block them before I take pictures, since the all stockinette stitch pieces are curling pretty badly.

Emails have been sent to all of the yarn winners from Free Yarn Friday I. Thanks for everyone's interest! Free Yarn Friday II -- Attack of the Sock Yarn is coming soon!


Yet another new project

I haven't finished anything, but I'm starting a new project. The bite of early fall is in the air and I decided to start a baby sweater. It's the famous Phildar giraffe sweater, which also comes with an elephant option. I'm leaning toward the elephant.

The yarn is 30% wool/70% acrylic and it's really soft. Perfect for a baby!


Free Yarn Friday

Lace weight yarn today! Four lots of merino, to be specific.

To be fair, here are the rules for Free Yarn Friday. I feel so official with rules.
1. If you're interested, email me before Monday morning with something about Free Yarn in the subject line. Tell me which lot(s) of yarn you're interested in. If you want to try for all of them, by all means go for it!
2. I'll choose from the interested emails at random.
3. I'll email you Monday for your address.
4. I'll ship the yarn by Wednesday at the latest.
5. In the comments, some people said they'd pay for shipping. If you want to send me a check for shipping or send me something neat in exchange, go right ahead. You don't have to though, since I really need to get rid of this yarn and I just can't bring myself to dump it at Goodwill like I did with all of the pre-pregnancy clothes I thought would fit again but never ever will.
6. In terms of allergies, we have two cats, but the yarn is smoke free.

On to the yarn!

Grignasco Regina --100% merino -- 4 100g (1250 m) skeins plus most of the fifth skein wound off

Skacel Merino Lace -- 100% merino -- 1/2 of a 100g (1375 yd) skein plus about 1/3 of a skein wound off

Morehouse Merino lace weight -- from their "has some breaks" bin (there are at least two breaks in each skein, and potentially more) -- ~2 oz. each of dark purple and light purple

Morehouse Merino lace weight -- also from their "has some breaks" bin -- ~2 oz. each of dark green and light green

If you're interested, email me with "Free Yarn" as the subject and let me know if you're interested in the tan, ivory, green and/or purple. I hope to hear from some of you!


Pooling Again

Since a progress shot of just plain Pool would have been just plain boring, here's John showing you that he's roughly as long as Pool is -- about two feet.


Not so cozy!

If you ever get stung by a bee, don't think to yourself "I'll just finish this row annd then go do some first aid." That row will have a mistake in it and you may well throw your project aside in disgust, too.

The mistake isn't so bad and I'm sure it will be easily fixed today. Still, any mistake is now a loss of precious knitting time. Sigh...


Back to blogging

We're mostly moved in, but there's still that pesky unpacking to do. I've never really liked moving, but finding chipping lead paint in our old kitchen was a powerful motivator. I've barely knit for a week now snd I'm going through withdrawl. I've been through a little more of my stash, though, and beginning this week there will be a fun new feature on my blog -- Free Yarn Friday! I'm thinking this week I'll do the lace weight yarn, so check back!


Super Exciting Day

We signed our lease this morning and came back to our house to do a little packing. While I was working in the bedroom, I heard a knock on the door. My husband got there first and intercepted the package. But I KNEW it was my Phildar yarn. Moving or not, you cannot let yarn arrive at your house and not look at it at least a little! I ordered A LOT of yarn.

There are a lot of baby sweater yarn packs in there. The best one is this:

Yes, it's a bad picture. But maybe you can recognize it as the giraffe jacket that Alison made that everyone loves so much. And if you order the yarn to knit it from Nathalie at Breiweb (no affliliation, of course) she sends you the pattern, too! Sure, it's in Dutch, but it's very easy to understand the pattern if you've knit a sweater before. The yarn (Pegase) seems to be a brightly colored French version of Wool Ease. Not bad for baby sweaters. I'll be documenting all of these sweater kits, but I'm under strict orders to tape the box back up now and get back to moving!


Yarn Diet

Even after destashing all of my odds and ends, I have a lot of yarn. It may not be so much compared to some of the legendary stashes I've read about, but I think I have way too much. Since ebay is too much of a hassle and I'd have trouble saying goodbye to all of my yarn that way, I'm not going to buy a single thing until there's no yarn in my house. I can only think of one exception, which is the giant skein of TLC acrylic that I bought just for putting fuzzy bear ears on baby hats. That can stay.

I'm planning another destashing (this time for whole skeins!) with free mailing of yarn to those who might want it, but that may have to wait until we've moved. The hardest part about the stash is the lace weight yarn. There are some projects I'd like to make, but I'm finding that even simple lace patterns (like the pooling colors scarf and the cozy stole) need undivided knitting attention. The lace weight yarn may need to be adopted.

We're moving this weekend and there's so much work to do. The last two days have generated two rows of knitting on cozy. Hopefully I'll soon have knitting time again!


Temptation Strikes

Fall Knitty, how could you do this to me? I've already started Cozy and I'm searching for some yarn for Clapotis. Cozy is being made from the Tahki New Tweed I'd originally bought to make Dolman Updated from the Winter 2003 IK. I was only a few months pregnant when I ordered the yarn and foolishly ordered only enough to make the size I was pre-baby. Since I can't knit that sweater in my fun new larger-chested size, this is a great use for the yarn.

Here's Cozy, draped over my leg for some handy contrast.

Things are looking good for us in terms of apartments and we will know tomorrow if we've been approved. Seeing as how we have good credit and no felonies on our records, we should be moving in this weekend! The apartment community has low and moderate income housing, so we have to fill out TONS of paperwork for them about how much we make. I even had to sign something in front of a notary public stating that I'm unemployed and do not intend to become employed in the next twelve months. Ha -- I think I'm quite fully employed, thank you very much, I'm just not paid for the privilege. In any case, I love the apartment that will hopefully soon be ours. Carpeting! Nice kitchen counters! An upstairs! Closets for yarn storage! Hmm, I think that means I need more yarn...


Odds & Ends

We're moving! Woot! Right now we are in an adorable stone house built in the 1930's, with tons of windows and hardwood floors, close to campus and downtown, but all of that doesn't make up for the fact that we need more space. For the same rent, we can get 300-400 more square feet if we move just a little outside of the People's Republic of Boulder.

(Update: The yarn has been taken and is going to a good home. I still like the picture of all the balls of yarn, so I'm keeping this post.)

In preparation, I started going through my stash. I found that most of my stash is odds & ends of old projects, which I was going to use "sometime" in some giant, creative thrifty project. There's also some Wildfoote sock yarn I'm probably never going to use. All of this went into a giant bag, probably headed for Goodwill. The whole point of this post is that if anyone wants the whole thing, I'll ship it to you for free. Other than the sock yarn, which should be more than enough for an adult pair of socks, please be aware that there's not much of any one thing, sometimes less than an ounce. It might work for doll clothes or for a creative person who can mix up all sorts of yarn into a project. Here it all is in the bag

and spread out on the floor.

Most of it's wool. Some of it's cotton. Some blends. Very little straight up acrylic. It's all wound into center pull balls. We have two cats, but the yarn is smoke free. So, if you're interested in taking the whole thing, e-mail me. It will go to the first person who wants it. Otherwise it's off to some unknown fate in the Goodwill sorting room. I won't be knitting or blogging this weekend since we'll be cleaning up the house, so see you on Monday!


The hat of oh so many stitches

My husband loves cross country skiing and cross country ski hats. So when he found this yarn and asked me to knit him a hat, I was so excited that he'd planned a project. But my husband has a huge head. We're talking special ordered hats for high school ROTC. Almost impossible to find a bike helmet. And he wants fleece inside the hat for extra warmth. All of this adds up to a TWENTY-FIVE inch tube at nine stitches per inch. That's 225 stitches in a round. But doesn't it look so cool?


I'm So Trendy

Ooh la la, check out my Paris Loop! Trendy even with a baby and really bad hair! Too bad the way John is dressed gives away the fact that it is nowhere near cold enough to be wearing a long sleeve shirt, let alone a capelet.

Paris Loop
Gedifra Cicco, Red (5844)
Lion Brand straights, 12 mm (US 17)
Denise Interchangeables, 9 mm & 5.5 mm (US 13 & 9)


Meet My Bear!

This is Knitling Jr., the fast to knit bear. My husband named him and decided the bear could live in his office. How sweet...

Bobbi Bear
Blue Sky Alpacas

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby

Pony Pearl dpns, 2.5 mm (US 1.5)


Three fourths of a bear

I really like the Bobbi Bear pattern, as next to no seaming is required. Consequently, a good part of the bear is stuffed before it's complete. All he needs are arms, eyes and a nose!


Bears and Socks

To try to knit down some of my sock yarn, I joined the Six Sox knit along. I know I'm starting late, but hopefully I'll be able to catch up.

I have so many cardigans to start for the fall, but first I started a tiny version of the Bobbi Bear. It knits up so quickly and I think I bought enough yarn to make about a dozen of the tiny size. I think it will make a nice tie-on for baby shower presents. Here's the bear in progress, christened Knitling Jr. by my husband. Knitling was the Best Friend Bear from an old issue of IK, currently residing with my mom.


Mini Yarn Vacation

Today we drove up to Loveland, just to get away from the chaos before the huge CU vs. CSU football game. Here I am outside Interweave Press like some sort of deranged fiber tourist.

We also stopped by Woolen Treasures. The store owner is so incredibly nice! She has so many interesting yarns I'd never seen before, including some handpainted yarns from an artist in Estes Park.

After a ton of browsing, I decided on the Bobbi Bear pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas and some Baby Cashmerino to knit it in an extremely downsized version.

Then this Alchemy Alpaca Pure jumped into my hands. The colorway is Dylan's Blue Depths. It will become a scarf for this winter.

I really wanted the Alchemy silk chenille yarn called Ritual. If you have a store selling Alchemy yarns anywhere near you, go and feel this yarn! Both the subtly changing purple and the earthy mix of browns and greens were so appealing. But with so much recent yarn shopping and the relatively limited usefulness of silk chenille in the life of a stay at home mom, the yarn stayed there. Sigh...

More secret pal questions! Woot!

22. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I love bears, and have a number of toy bears, the kind that look like real bears. I also have a few teddy bears and love knitting stuffed bears. I have bear bookmarks, bear postcards, bear jewelry and even a bear purse.

23. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. It's snowy and cold, there's midnight Mass, so much joy and love everywhere!

24. Is there anything that you collect?
Umm, besides yarn? And bears? :) Not really.


Secret Knitting

No picture today -- I'm knitting for my secret pal! The yarn I'm using is so much fun to work with.

My husband was disappointed that I hadn't mentioned his 100% cocoa chocolate yesterday. Yes, we eat baking chocolate at our house.


Chocolate Addendum

To my wonderful commenters:

Okay, so I'm going to give into a little chocolate. But I do know that my baby boy is milk protein sensitive, so I'm going to make it dark chocolate. My husband's a dark chocolate fiend and I'm off to raid his stash. He is such a dark chocolate fan that he refers to chocolate by its cocoa percentage -- "This eighty-seven is so good, a little better than that seventy-five."

Paris Loop

Finally a daytime shot of Paris Loop. Whenever I took pictures at night, the loopy knitted fabric ended up looking a lot like red blood cells under a microscope. Not exactly something I'd want to wear. But in the daylight it looks much better.

I'm going to be such a trendy young thing this fall, if you can still be one while pushing a stroller, that is. :)

I also found yet another cardigan to add to the list for this fall: Fibonacci.


SP III Questions

Lists like these are so much fun! I've really enjoyed reading other lists so I'll add to the pile.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
Yes, I'm yarn snob. But I also have a baby who enjoys creating laundry. He only gets a limited amount of yarn snob projects. Most of what I've knit for him is Cotton Ease and Encore. I don't like that old school harsh Red Heart, but some of the newer store brands like TLC and Lion Brand make great baby clothes.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I know how to spin on both a drop spindle and a wheel. I have several spindles but no wheel, so spinning isn't something I'm actively pursuing right now. I have a lot of roving and really don't see myself using it all in the next decade. I crochet some and I'm thinking about a few of the projects in the new Interweave magazine.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Apologies to any smokers, but the scent of cigarette smoke really gets to me. Other than that it's all good.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Since I was six, so just shy of twenty years.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Lime! I know that's kind of an odd one, so anything citrusy.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes, but it's on a long vacation while I'm nursing. No candy, no ice cream,no chocolate. Sigh...

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
When I get really sick in the winter I cross stitch. Otherwise I'm too impatient for it. I sometimess sew clothes.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if you want to make her a CD)
I listen to a lot of classical with the baby, my favorite composers are Gustav Mahler and Richard Wagner. My favorite current band is They Might Be Giants, my favorite past band is the Beatles, my favorite cover band is Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. A lot of my popular music CD collection could be classified as 1990's college rock. I have a weakness for a good pop hook -- my last two iTunes buys were Tropicalia (Beck) and This Love (Maroon 5).

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
In general I go for cooler colors -- blues, greens and grays. Recently I'm really into red, though.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married, I had our first baby in July and we have two cats.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Okay, sappiness warning! I want to be a good mother to my kids and have them grow up to be happy people. I hope to visit Rome someday. I'd like to see the major historical cathedrals and shrines in Europe.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Rowan Calmer! My workhorse yarns are Brown Sheep Nature Spun and Cascade 220.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'm not really into mohair.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Phildar for babies (they have such great patterns for boys) and Rowan for adults. On the practical side, I'm making cardigans for myself for easier nursing access in the winter.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I really like knitting hats. I have more than I could ever wear and do a charity purge every winter. I've recently come around to knitting sweaters. Learning to seam properly made a huge difference in enjoying larger projects.

17. What are you knitting right now?
Spey Valley Socks from Knitting on the Road
Paris Loop from Magknits
Arla from Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Noro Book One
Pooling Colors from the Fall 2004 Interweave Knits

18. What do you think about ponchos? (this is really a curiousity question for us)
I knit the Union Square Shawl/Poncho from Weekend Knitting. I like it. I don't like the ponchos I'm seeing in stores now.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circular! I love my Denise Interchangeables. I have Addi Turbos in the smaller sizes. If I had way too much money I'd buy every single size of Addi Turbos, some bamboo needles and take my Denise set with me only for vacation knitting.

20. How did you learn to knit?
My mom taught me. Her grandma taught her. We all knit continental style. I learned to knit English style four years ago so I could knit fair isle and Norwegian patterns two-handed.

21. How old is your oldest UFO?
Somewhere at my mom's house I'm pretty sure there's a hood/scarf from a vintage pattern book still sitting on a pair of long aluminum needles I started my junior year of high school. That would be about ten years old.