Wednesday, December 29, 2004

mz is bummed with a capital B

[ mood meter -- BUMMED ]
[ what i'm listenin' to -- Sabac Red --"Sabacolypse Now" ]

y'all, this is turning into the worst vacation i've had in my little short life. with all the power outages we've had here (due to ice storms, etc), the power supply on my computer has gone bad! all this after i got a brand new flat panel monitor for christmas. i'm so bummed. my honey was working on fixing it earlier, and smoke started spewing out. i pray to god my hard drive isn't entire life is on there. the book i'm writing, my poems and short stories, resume and CV, photos and TONS of music (over 2000 songs!!). i cried for like an hour. he doesn't think the hard drive is damaged, but he's not sure. he's been looking around online for a new motherboard, processor and power supply so he can rebuild my machine...that will run around $500 minimum that i just don't have lying around. especially after christmas.

so for now i'm using his work laptop, but it's not the same as my 'puter!

in other news, yesterday i used my christmas loot to buy yarn to knit my first sweater! i'm planning to make the "bare that belly" sweater from "the yarn girls' guide to simple knits." i have to be honest. i'm SO scared...this is completely new knitting territory for me. this is my 2nd choice sweater...the one i really -wanted- to make called for manos de uruguay yarn...for the amount i would have needed it would have cost me about $135. i wouldn't mind spending that kinda money but since this is my first effort i thought it wise to choose something more
affordable. my LYS didn't have another yarn that would knit at the same gauge so i chose a different sweater. now, the yarn for the 2nd choice sweater would have been at least as expensive as the manos, but luckily they had another yarn that would would work...and i wouldn't have to use 2 strands of it as the pattern calls for! anyway, i'm a bit modest so i intend to make the sweater a little longer so i'm not
baring my belly. that would not be a pretty sight.

oh this is funny now...yesterday i was knitting and BROKE a knitting needle (it was plastic). so i dug around my needle stash and found another pair...and i broke one of those too. so i dug around again and found another pair...this time in aluminum. i betcha i can't break those! i'm bidding on a set of denise interchangeables on ebay. i look forward to getting a set of those because i'm not all that crazy about straight needles unless they're short ones (8-10 inches). any longer than that and they get on my nerves!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

aw man.

[ mood meter -- christmasy ]
[ what i'm listenin' to -- motown christmas CD ]

how pretty is THIS?

mz just might be making one of these. what a bandwagon jumper.

Monday, December 20, 2004

the many faces of mz....

[ what i'm listenin' to -- van hunt "down here in hell (with you)" ]

some of you have wondered what i look like. here i am!

this is me right now. after a long day of work, and an evening of baking. hair is long, naturally curly.

i clean up pretty well, eh? my curls have been straightened with a flat iron then curled a wee bit with a curling iron. about a 3 hour process from start to finish. ah, the price of beauty...and love :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

another project? are you nuts?

a few weeks ago my brother asked me to knit a scarf for a friend of his. all he said was that she wants it in rainbow colors, very long, and with long fringe. well. genius that i am, i forgot all about it. so i started it last night. using size 10 straights. 2 strands of yarn in k1p1 rib. this is what i knitted up last night while watching the legend of earthsea.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

sunday knittin'

finally finished this cloth. it has a few itsy bitsy mistakes in it, but that gives it more "character." that's my story and i'm stickin' with it.

remember the scarf i designed and started knitting for jay? has morphed into this:

i wasn't terribly pleased with the way that other scarf was turning out, so i decided to try this pattern. whaddya think?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

new project!

whoops! when i first posted this picture, i neglected to say anything about it!

this is the beginning of jay's scarf. i've modified a pattern from the "knit scarves!" book. the original is a scarf with 3 wide 6-stitch stockinette panels, and 2 2-stitch purl sections in between them. i wanted something a little fancier, but still plain enough that he would like it. i added a few stitches to allow for a 3-stitch garter border up each side. the middle panel has a 6-stitch right-twist cable, bordered on each side by 3 purl stitches (so essentially it's a 12-stitch section). it may be one of his christmas gifts, but since i've never seen him wear a scarf in all the 4 years i've known him, i thought i'd better show it to him so he could tell me whether he likes it! he does, and he said he definitely would wear it. that, my friends, makes me a happy girl. i did warn him that he may not get this for christmas but that he definitely would get it before the weather turns warm :-)

i plan to write up the pattern sometime -after- the holidays. i love scarves and might make one for me too. when i do, i'll write down the directions (this is my FIRST TIME designing and writing a pattern!) and share!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


[ mood meter -- chillin like a villain ]

i got my reality check this morning when i realized that it is december 1. how in the world am i going to get everything knitted that i want to have knitted by christmas? oh i swear i really should have started on christmas gifts in january like i -said- i was gonna. i wanted to avoid this "knit like a madwoman" syndrome that i'm suffering from now. -sigh- well. not to mention all the baking i plan to do (cookies, bread, pies) for christmas gifts.
so i decided...

today i surrender.

i knit for pleasure...the pleasure of feeling the yarn in my hands...the pleasure of creating something beautiful from simple materials...the pleasure of getting into my zone, and easing the stress and pressure of everyday life...the pleasure of giving hand-knitted items to people i love and who will appreciate them. i am NOT a knitting factory, for heaven's sake. what gets done, gets done. i promise that i will start christmas knitting in january so i can knit at my leisure, and still have time to also make things i want to make for myself (and boy is that a long list!).

and that's all i have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

progressive girls...unite!

[ mood meter -- easy breezy ]
[ what i'm listenin' to -- police scanners in the newsroom. but not because i want to. ]

guess what? mzundercover is a...

Monday, November 22, 2004

look at maia's mittens!

one of my cyber knitting friends helped me figure out how to do a lazy daisy! perfect for upping the cuteness factor on these mittens, wouldn't you say?

Monday, November 15, 2004


i was so excited when i came home this afternoon and saw a package on my porch from my DRU (DishclothsRUS) unofficial swap partner! she sent two awesome dishcloths in my favorite color, a wonderfully soft and cuddly mobius scarf in a pretty purply color, and a CD of one the Pat Metheny Group, one of her favorite groups. but wait, there's more! she knew that i collect knitting needles and she commissioned a friend of hers to make the cutest elephants to top a pair of bamboo needles....AND a stitch marker to match! you should see me, i'm listening to the CD, wearing the scarf (nevermind that i'm sitting here in a t-shirt and sweatpants!) and about to cast a cloth on to my favorite new knitting needles!

Friday, November 12, 2004


you posted a comment on yesterday's blog entry. i would love your help in adapting that motif to use on a washcloth/dishcloth...but i don't know who you are or how to reach you! feel free to email me at:


Thursday, November 11, 2004

pretty pattern

this pretty pattern is from a top and matching cardigan that my momma wore last week. i like it a lot and was wondering if someone could help me recreate it? i'm thinking it would look very nice in a cloth pattern!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

i need yarn....really.

i want to make my friend a pair of mittens for christmas. i need yarn that's classified as "chunky." i tried my every day, everything stores (wal-mart and meijer), but i plan to go to one of my LYS stores this week or weekend so i'll look for something there. got a lovely pattern and everything, all i need is yarn. -sigh- but if that's all i have to complain about then this will be a pretty good week.

Friday, October 29, 2004

size matters

that mitten i made was too small for the intended recipient! that's what i get for not checking gauge LOL i'm going back to the same pattern i made for my little cousin (stop and go mittens in the the Knit Mittens! book). i think i liked that pattern better anyway. not that i won't try lillemor's mitten pattern again, but i'm kinda in a frenzy, so to speak, to get christmas knitting done before christmas eve so i gotta stick with what works LOL i'll do my best but i ain't a factory, so what gets knit, gets knit. what doesn't, doesn't.

Friday, October 22, 2004

finished first mitten

...but i don't like it. part of the problem, methinks, is that i neglected to check my gauge before i started the pattern. i went ahead and finished but started another one; this time i went up one needle size. gauge is supposed to be 5-1/2 sts/in...i had 5. so i'll use the bigger needle and see. i might have to go up still another size. i think i will go to a bigger size when i get to the mitten tip. anyway, i will post a pic tonight so you can see what i'm talkign about. the little girl who these mittens are for may be visiting with her parents this evening so i'll have her try it on anyway, just to see how it fits. i'll tell her they're for someone else and i need her to try them on...hopefully she won't get suspicious :-)

Monday, October 18, 2004

it's so very true.

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

if i'm sittin, i'm knittin

[ mood meter -- happy ]

i know it looks like i don't have much on my stick these days, but i promise i have been knitting! i made a baby bib (still needs a button...see pattern link below) and washcloth set for the woman who works at the bakery near where i work. i will give it to her next time i see her. she is due on oct. 8 so i assume she is on maternity leave.

i've also been whipping up afghan squares -- good for practicing knitting continental and for using up extra yarn. i like to do easy stuff that i can knit in near darkness when JWJ and i are watching tv. if we have the lights out, it's almost like being at the movies...whaddya expect with a 70" screen? haha i'm also working on a dishcloth for my "sista" from Dishcloths R US (DRU). it's been knitted and frogged about 4 times since yesterday. right now i'm just purling every row. i hate purling so the only reason i'm doing it is for practice practice practice (how else does one get to carnegie hall?). those dang-on regia socks...who knows when i'll get back to them. i see the yarn sitting on the table every morning...looking lonely and sad. but i have more christmas presents to get started and done...time's a-wasting!

speaking of christmas, i have started the newsletter already. didn't do one last year cuz i was completely NOT in the christmas spirit and nearly didn't even put up the tree. i kinda forced myself to do it, and i felt better afterward, but all the drama from last summer really had me down. but enough of that. mzundercover is feeling all warm and fuzzy just thinking about christmas! i will give hand knitted gifts and homemade baked goods this year (cookies, breads, etc). JWJ will get something from his wishlist (probably DVDs or something). he doesn't usually wear hats...maybe i'll make him one of those seamen's scarves. and maybe i'll make it in black red and green to go with that wristband i whipped up for him over the summer. (he doesn't read this so the surprise won't be ruined!)

well, friends, that's it for now. i will write again soon!

Monday, October 04, 2004

my first intarsia attempt

check this out, y'all:

monday musings

[ mood meter -- not quite awake ]

JWJ's birthday party on saturday was a lot of fun. we had about 9 people over (including us). the raspberry cheesecake that i bought from DN make was gooooooood. it got rave reviews from everyone right after they had their first bite. haha i put "trick" candles on the cake, mixed in with regular ones so he had a hard time blowing them all out. what a riot!

i'm learning to knit "continental" -- which makes sense because when i crochet i have the yarn in my left hand. may as well keep it in my left when i knit, too, right? i just learned intarsia too. next is fair isle so i can make JWJ a dale of norway sweater that he likes. it's 6003 kameleon:

i tell him it might be about 2 years before he gets it, but if he wants it, i'll make it :-) i'm a damn good girlfriend LOL

Monday, September 27, 2004

NYC ... here we come!

[ mood meter -- good, considering i didn't sleep well ]
[ what i'm listenin' to -- some construction guys jackhammering the road ]

the Knit Out is happening here this weekend. i was planning to go with NAM and a few others for a whole day of fun playing with yarn, etc. yesterday morning NAM called me and said, "let's drive to new york on sunday to go to their Knit Out instead!" and in true lucy and ethel fashion, i said, "OKAY!" NAM's mom is going with us, so we can split the driving between the three of us. this is one of our last-minute, hare-brained ideas...destined to be a classic! i will take pix with the cell phone camera and post them when we get back!

in knitting news, i finished one of the baby bibs i'm making, and will start another tonight as JWJ and i continue watching season 2 of '24' on dvd. i've also started making 7" afghan squares for charity....a good way to use up yarn!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

finally...a picture!

here's maya's hat and mittens!! i was going to make the hat one of those long pointy stocking caps but changed my mind. i do hope she'll love wearing these as much as i loved making them for her. i'm still working on mittens for the other maia, and she'll have a hat, too, but a different design i think.

sorry i can't write more now, i have to get to kinko's and to the post office. have a -great- saturday!

Monday, September 20, 2004

long time no knitting

good morning, cyber friends!

wow it's been weeks it seems, since i picked up my needles. life has been a flurry of hecticness, but i spent lots of yesterday knitting my heart out! i finished a diagonal washcloth, and started another one from my "dishcloths from the heart" booklet (see below for link). got halfway through it and messed up....that's what i get for watching tv and trying to knit in the dark (we were watching the first season of '24' on DVD). i ripped out and started mistakes yet! i will try to remember to post pix soon!

i am looking for a nice pattern for booties or sox for a baby boy...a woman who works at the bakery next door to my job is pregnant with her first child and even though i don't know her, i'd like to make something to mark this wonderful occasion (that, plus i like making baby stuff!). if you know of any easy, but lovely patterns, please do let me know. i prefer knitting on double points but hey, i'm flexible. thanks in advance!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Purled Heart washcloth

and so it begins.

this is the first dish/washcloth i've made from the "dishcloths from the heart" booklet. i like using hand knit cloths for washing myself as opposed to washing dishes, but they are good for that too. i think the first one i made really spoiled me so now i use them almost exclusively. i like garter stitch ones. they feel soooooooo good when i wash my face! sorry the pic is a little on the dark side, but i had to do take the pic in lighting that would allow the subtle design to show up. but most of these cloths that i'm making are destined to become nice christmas gifts. i think a few hand-knit cloths, along with my favorite bar soap would make a nice gift for someone, don't you?

so tonight i plan to do a bit of knitting before i go pick up a couple of mega-millions tickets. (the boyfriend and i have grandiose dreams of what we'll do when we strike it rich!) it's a toss-up between working on a diagonal dishcloth and starting my regia socks again. i was working on the heel when i frogged. i don't quite "get" the sherman heel but that's only because i've never done one. mine didn't look quite like the picture...looked a little...i dunno, crooked or something. but that could be simply because i lost my place in the pattern and kind of "guesstimated" where i was. so, we rip and try again. "just keep knitting, just keep knitting...." ;-)

Saturday, September 04, 2004

my wildflower yarn

isn't it purty?

a girl needs red sox, and i have yarn to make -plenty- :-)

had to rip my regia sox and start over. haven't worked on it in so long, i couldn't figure out where i was in the pattern (i was doing the heel) so i just ripped out so i could start over. no biggie. i was only on the first sock anyway. i decided to make the leg longer. i was going to make a shorter sock but changed my mind.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

quick tuesday round-up

[ mood meter -- cheery ]

hello, my lovelies, please excuse my recent absence! i have been busy moving and unpacking, which hasn't left a whole lot of time for knitting and blogging :-) i'm -still- unpacking (not my favorite chore in the world) but i will have some knitting news and pix for you real soon. promise!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

look at jordi 2 :-)

giiiirrrrrrrrllll, i'm on a roll with these bags! i made another one tonight with the top half of the skirt that i used for jordi 1. it's slouchier than i'd like it to be (probably cuz i didn't use...what's it called?...interfacing). it's a bit bigger than i want too. but if i had cut the sides to make it narrower, the pockets would be gone and i love pockets. granted, these pockets are probably not very functional on the bag, but they're still cool. i wish this skirt had back pockets. but never fear. the khaki skirt that's next to go under the needle has back pockets. i'll have to decide how to handle those. at any rate i think it'd be best to make a purse like jordi 2 out of the skirt or pants of a "skinny minnie." i had more junk in my trunk when this skirt fit :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

this is the square bottomed lined bag, otherwise known as the jordi bag. found the tutorial/pattern and decided i HAD to make this as my first sewing machine project. turned out okay. not bad for someone who hasn't so much as touched a sewing machine in about 16 years. you can see that i've already put my stuff in it so it's ready to go to work with me tomorrow. i used a denim patchwork skirt that was too big, and the lining material i got at wal-mart for like $2/yard. i'm gonna go back sometime soon and check the remnants bin to see what other goodies they have in there.

Friday, August 13, 2004


[ mood meter -- HAPPY ]

that's right, kids, mzundercover is 29 today. i love birthdays, anybody's birthday, but mine especially. i'm blessed and grateful to mark another year and i pray that i, my family, friends and loved ones continue to be safe, prosperous, happy and healthy. amen.

now. some of you may be wondering what JWJ gave me as a present. well wonder no more! i was good and i didn't snoop all around the house while he was gone on business this week :-) once he gave it to me i found out that it was pretty much right under my nose the whole the hall closet! shame on me for not knowing, but i promised i wouldn't look so i had to keep my word. hell, your word is all ya got! okay okay i won't keep you in suspense any longer. look at my new toy:

man oh man. next week i'm off to the fabric dept at wal-mart. i already have a couple of too-big skirts (one denim, one khaki) that i've been wanting to turn into nice tote bags. then there's that needle holder in the stitch n bitch book i wanna make. who knows what's next?

i'm reminded of my great-auntie who's no longer with us. she sewed and crocheted. i actually taught myself to crochet because by the time i figured out i wanted to learn, her eyesight was bad and she couldn't teach me. so now i'm gonna learn to sew in honor of her. take it easy, auntie, love you!

Monday, August 09, 2004

long time no pix

i -have- been knitting, i swear i have. here's pix to prove it!

here's a shot of maya's hat so far. this is to match maya's mittens. i'm planning for this to be one of those long stocking caps, the kind that are kinda shaped like a cone. i will put a nice floofy pompom on the end of it.

check out the progress i'm making on my sox! this is my first time using real, pure-dee sock yarn. i'm using regia ringel. it's self-patterning, which i think is very neat. too bad i didn't think up the idea of self-patterning sock yarn. i'd be a millionairess ;-) anyhoo, i'm using this online class to make these sox. so far so good! can't wait to wear 'em!

Friday, August 06, 2004

yarn dream

[ mood meter -- TGIF ]

so JWJ woke me up at some crazy time this morning.

"baby, what's wrong? you okay?"

"yeah, what are you talking about?"

he starts laughing. "you were whimpering and twitching in your sleep." he proceeds to imitate me.

i start laughing too because i remember the dream i was having.

to give you a bit of background, we planted some vegetables in the garden. spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes and corn. last week we discovered that every single ear of corn was *poof* gone. luckily, we had picked and eaten one a few days before this disturbing discovery. at first we thought it was animals, but he's convinced that it was a person. there was not a single ear, or husk or anything left. the vandal didn't touch anything else, just the corn, which was very good and sweet. damn the thief!

anyway, i dreamed that for some reason, my 53-gallon bin of yarn was outside near the garden. one night, i was leaning out of the kitchen window and saw a silhouette of a man pawing through my stash. so i yelled at him to get out of there. he ran off, but came back later, and i yelled at him again, this time threatening to "blow his brains out" if i catch him in my yard again. JWJ and i cracked up at this crazy dream and promptly went back to sleep.

spare a ball of sock yarn, ma'am?

please, if you can help me out, that would be SO cool. i'll pay shipping and/or send you a ball of something neat from my stash! [note to self: this is also what you get for getting stuff from the clearance bins -- who knew that i couldn't make a complete pair of sox with only one ball of yarn?! oh well, live & learn.]

specifically, what i'm looking for is:
  • 1 ball of regia jacquard [color 5294 -- this has white, gray, tan, pink, light blue and yellow.]
  • 1 ball of lane cervinia forever jacquard [color 20 -- this has red, black, gray and white. this would make nice pair of sox for an OSU Buckeyes fan!]

    thanks much!

    birthday countdown: 7 days

    JWJ and i were talking and he says, "did i tell you i got your birthday gift?"

    "yeah. what is it?"

    "i told you i'm not telling."

    now at this point i'm thinking to myself, "then why'd you bring it up?" but instead i asked...

    "give me one clue."

    he thinks for a second and says, "it was damn expensive."

    oh yeah, that narrows it down.

    "was it on my amazon wish list?

    "i'm not saying anything else."

    "is it in the house somewhere?"

    he says nothing.

    "well, i'll look for it next week while you're gone."

    "i'm gonna lock in it my car and take the keys."

    oh....well....alrighty then.

    guess i'll be waiting until next friday!
  • Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    necessary evil of working with yarn

    [ mood meter -- hungry ]

    your comments, please!

    yo. i've mentioned this before. yesterday. i hate swatching. i'm doing it though and i'm trying to like it, but it's hard. i really want to get my sox started! i know. i'm SO impatient.

    i looked up "swatching" in google and came up with this list of tips that's helping me through this crucial step.

    but now i have questions so i hope y'all will weigh in with your experiences:

  • what do you do with your swatch when you've finished it? (do you wash and dry it as you would the finished garment, and then calculate your gauge? or do you figure out your gauge, then rip it out and start knitting the "real thing"?)

  • do you buy an extra ball/hank/skein of yarn so you have enough for swatching?

  • do you make a single swatch using different needles so that you can compare just one fabric as opposed to 2 or more? the basic ribbed sock class i'm following suggests swatching for 2-3" with the size needles recommended for your yarn (in this case i'm using dpns so i'm knitting every row to get st st). then i'm supposed to do something called a "poke test." if my fabric fails i'm to purl a row then knit another 2-3" with bigger or smaller needles and continue in this manner until my fabric "passes" the poke test (should i grade on a curve? haha)

  • read more about the joys of swatching!

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    like ice cube said...

    [ mood meter -- wound up ]
    [ what i'm listenin' to -- amel larrieux "bravebird" ]

    today was a good day. not sure why, exactly. i was operating on only about 3 hours' sleep. work was slow. but i had a dance lesson this evening that i was looking forward to all day. that was so much fun!

    9 days until my birthday!

    i made dinner reservations at the melting pot for next saturday night, even though my 29th birthday is next friday (yes, friday the 13th). the lady i made the reservations with asked if we were celebrating anything special and i told her we're celebrating my birthday. she's like, "well you shouldn't be making your own dinner reservation!" then she said to tell my boyfriend that if he wants to plan anything special as a surprise to give the restaurant a call. so i called him to let him know and he says, "well i already got your present."

    "what is it?"

    "i'm not telling you."

    "c'mon, give me a clue!"




    sigh. "okayfine."

    maybe i'll "find" it next week when he's out of town for work :-) i'm not nosy, just curious. that's my story and i'm stickin' with it!

    on the needles

    i discovered this online class for basic ribbed socks and i'm trying it out. i'm swatching now. i'm using regia sock yarn and size 2 needles. i don't care for swatching (my usual method is to cast on and wing it) but there's a formula to follow and to do it correctly, you need to know your gauge. so i'm swatching away. i wonder if i'll have to go up in needle size. usually i end up going 1 or 2 sizes bigger. we'll see how it goes.

    the sorting hat says...

    Want to Get Sorted?
    I'm a Gryffindor!

    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    new favorite yarn store

    [ mood meter -- tired]
    [ what i'm listenin' to -- jimmy reid "india"]

    i just got hip to a new-to-me yarn store yesterday. it's called the yarn shop and it's in columbus, ohio. actually i went there once before but it was years ago and i was in a hurry so i didn't spend more than about1.5 minutes in there. anyway, one of my best friends and i went there yesterday and had a -great- time. we are both fairly new to knitting (been doing it less than a year) and needed help finding appropriate yarn for patterns. the ladies there were very friendly and helpful. they had so many different yarns, books, patterns, even knitted/crocheted items for sale! we were like kids in a candy store! turns out that i didn't even buy yarn for a sweater i want to make; i raided the binsin the clearance section instead :-) i got about 5 balls of regia sock yarn (can i make a pair of socks from one ball of this stuff?) and about 6 balls of some lovely soft pink yarn called solero. got this for $2/ball. now you see why i LOVE clearance bins! i think i'll use this to make some pretty pink socks for my nieces. and maybe a pair for me!

    Friday, July 30, 2004

    round-up time

    [ mood meter chill ]
    [ what i'm listenin' to miles davis (Album - Birth of The Cool) ]

    i got an FO!

    let's see. i finished Maya's mittens last night. then i cast on to make her a matching hat. TDS says she loves knitted hats, so that's exactly what she'll get! i'm going to make it like a stocking cap. maybe with a pom-pom or something on the end. i'm still working the ribbing, now but i'll do some more of it tonight.

    cloverleaf sox

    i started and frogged the cloverleaf sox about 4 times yesterday. i was home sick from work. (long story short, i was dealing with some "girl issues." y'all know the kind i'm talking about.) anyway, i started with the required 60 stitches but by the end of the first pattern repeat, i had less than what i started with. i dunno how the hell that happens but it did. tomorrow when NAM are hanging out, we plan to hit about 3 yarn shops in town so i'm gonna pick up some sock yarn. maybe that will help. i was using some baby weight yarn for those sox. i need to get started on the making waves sox too.

    a new hobby

    yeah. like i need one of those. but i want to start sewing. i don't really want to spend a bunch of money on a new sewing machine. i've been checking ebay, of course, but i recently got hip to
    freecycle. i signed up, and put out a message for a sewing machine. someone near newark said he had a bunch of sewing machines and would check to make sure there was one in working order. best part of this is that it's FREE. for real. go to the website and see for yourself. cheap is good, but free is, well, better.

    about that cardigan...

    i was happily swatching away for that accordion cardigan and stopped by the LYS that i got that yarn from to pick up some more and wouldn't ya know they don't have any more? i'm not surprised, really, but i was hoping they woud have some. when i go there tomorrow, i will take the pattern along with me and choose an appropriate yarn. wish me luck!

    Monday, July 26, 2004


    [ mood meter frustrated ]

    i'm tired of fiddlin' with this knit tracker thing!  i've downloaded the images to my own server but i can't get the code right so that it points to the images.  it's giving me a headache so i'll sleep on it.  maybe something will "click" in my brain tonight.
    OKC: i'm making nice progress on my 2nd mitten.  hope to finish in the next few days so i can work on that accordion cardigan, a pair of baby socks and whatever else i feel like working on.
    meantime, it's hella late so i'm gonna go cut JWJ's hair then go to bed.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2004

    first mitten

     Posted by Hello

    isn't she lovely?

    wednesday roundup

    [ mood meter happy ]

    one mitten, coming right up!
    all that's left is to knit the thumb and mitten #1 is done!  methinks mitten #2 should go much quicker now that i have a pretty good idea of what to do.  i had NAM's daughter try it on for fit...and it was perfect.  my little cousin will love it!  i think i'll make her a hat out of the same yarn. 

    (special thanks to knitlisters marina, catherine, judi, marie, sue, karin, dorothea, karen and judy for being so incredibly helpful!)
    the stashbuster afghan is no more!
    in other news,  i decided to abandon the stashbuster afghan.  i know, i  just started the thing.  but i honestly didn't want to knit an afghan.  at least not a plain ol' garter stitch one.  so...i raided my yarn stash, putting aside all the stuff i was sure i wouldn't use.  boxed it up and...gave it away to NAM.  i was tired of looking at it, and anyway, isn't gluttony a sin?  plus....i want to upgrade my stash a bit.  nice wool, cashmere, mohair.  not that there's anything wrong with the lovely acrylics i have!  oh, what's that you say?  i'm becoming a YARN SNOB?  well, maybe a little...but in a -good- way!
    swatches...not just for telling time!
    (surely i'm not the only one who remembers SWATCH watches...and had more than one!  my first one came with a mini swiss army knife...) 
    anyway, i started a swatch for the accordion sweater.  my office gets so dang-on cold (i generally don't like air conditioning) that i decided to make a sweater to keep at work.  now, realistically, it could very well be winter before the thing is finished, but hey, sweaters are always good to have in winter!  i have about 1-1/2 skeins of a lovely yarn i'd like to use.  i'm hoping my LYS has more of it.  the problem with this LYS, though, is that it's more like a warehouse or something.  they don't have labels on the yarn.  everything is sold in bulk and you pay by the ounce.  so for acrylics and cottons, which is most of what they have, it can end up being a great deal. this is the same dark gray yarn that i used to make the cabled mini bag (pictures coming eventually). looks like it will make a lovely cozy sweater.
    so while we're talking about do you do yours?  my gauge for this sweater should be: 18 sts/ 28 rows=4" in stockinette.  i'm making my swatch probably about 5"x5" (maybe a little bigger) with a garter stitch border.  i figure this will help the swatch lie nice and flat when i measure (and plus it will look nice whenever i get around to assembling a nice knitting journal).  is this appropriate?  or should i just do 18 stitches and 28 rows and see if it measures to 4"? 

    Monday, July 19, 2004

    another FO

    [ mood meter happy happy joy joy ]

    stick a fork in it baby cuz the cabled mini bag is DONE!

    this is only the beginning...

     Posted by Hello
    ...of my stashbuster afghan.  you may be able to tell that i started with 2 different shades of red before going to the rainbow multi yarn.  we'll just see how this works out.  like i've said, it's easy, just plain knitting.  i have no idea how many stitches i cast on, so i have no idea how big the thing will be.  i'm not sure what i'll do when/if i run out of rainbow colored yarn.  we'll just keep knitting and see what happens.  it will be functional, even if it's not gorgeous.  but it's the means to and end so i try to keep that in mind. i think this would definitely qualify as bad ass knitting :-)

    Sunday, July 18, 2004

    stash buster

    i decided to try to use up a lot of the yarn in my stash by making an afghan.  i'm making it in rainbow colors.  i cast on a bunch of stitches onto size 13, 29" circs and i'm just knitting knitting knitting.  this will be good to work on when i'm watching tv or just don't want to think too hard.  i'm starting with red and i'll work that until i'm tired of it then change to orange, and keep going like that.  i want to be able to justify buying some new yarn so i figure i need to use up a lot of what i have first.  plus,  none of my yarn is particularly exciting.   mostly acrylic stuff that i got off ebay.  which will be fine for some of the stuff i'm planning to make for christmas gifts (mittens, hats, etc) but i want to upgrade the stash a bit.  get some pretty wools, cottons, neat sock yarns, etc. 
    i'm almost finished with my mini cabled bag.  it's blocked and i'm just whipping up the i-cord strap.  i'm pretty excited that i figured out how to make i-cord (thanks to my handy dandy stitch n bitch book!).  i still have to find a neat button to use for a closure, but aside from that i plan to finish the strap and attach it sometime today!

    Thursday, July 15, 2004

    what's next?

    [ mood meter excited about the blackberry cobbler i just made ]

    so my task for the next few months is to try to use up a decent amount of the yarn that's in my stash. until i do this, i simply cannot justify buying any new yarn.  earlier today i was pawing through my big huge 53-gallon storage bin where i keep my yarn (mostly organized by color in big plastic bags), and found a few skeins of yarn that has a stitch gauge of 2.5 stitches per inch on size 15 US needles.  i have 4 full and 2 partial skeins of this yarn, which is classic elite weekend cotton.  the 4 full skeins are about 100 grams/51 yards.  so i'm wondering...what the heezy can i make out of this?  it's really pretty...variegated...colors range from medium blue to light green (some might call this celery or celadon or something along those lines).  
    i'm halfway thinking about trying to make a shawl out of it.  i'd make it like i was making one of those tried and true dishcloths:
    *  Cast on 4 stitches 
    *  Knit 4 stitches 
    *  Knit 2 sts, yarnover, knit to end
    *  Repeat Row 3 until it's as big as I want it ... then cast off. 
    maybe i'll try using bigger needles -- size 19 or 20 maybe? -- to make it lacier.  that would be a nice experiment.  i'll work on it -after- i eat some cobbler.  num num :-)

    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    knitting in the news, take 2

    but this time it doesn't sound like an entirely positive thing.

    a woman restaurant owner in Delaware, Ohio thought briefly about retiring a few years ago, but changed her mind. she said, "What am I going to do . . . sit at home and knit?"

    my answer: "HELL ,YEAH!!!"

    knitting in the newspaper

    [ mood meter | content ]

    this brief article was in today's columbus dispatch:

    Purl from the past returns

    A new generation can honor the past as the American Red Cross brings back its ‘‘Knit Your Bit’’ kit.

    The kit, which features the tools to knit a pair of soft socks, was launched during World War I and became an even more visible sign of aid and comfort to U.S. troops during World War II. The homemade socks also served a practical purpose, as many American textile mills and manufacturers were tapped to produce military goods.

    The 2004 version comes in a collectible tin that includes an insert with original-era poster artwork along with needles, yarn and instructions.

    ‘‘With the growing popularity in knitting, especially among young adults, we saw this as an opportunity to share an interesting bit of Red Cross history with a younger generation,’’ said Darren Irby of the Red Cross.

    Irby noted that the knitting section of the Red Cross Web site has seen a boom in traffic during the past few years, with knitters seeking historic patterns.

    The Knit Your Bit kit sells for $25, with proceeds supporting the organization.

    On the Internet: www.redcross

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    this is what you call taking stuff too far

     Posted by Hello

     Posted by Hello

    what you see above, gentle reader, is only a fraction of my stash of knitting needles. this, clearly, does not include my dpns or circs. this is straights only. but truth be told, it's only part of the straights that i own. i have several huge pairs, ranging in size from 13 to 20. they wouldn't fit in the vase. yes, i planned to cut a huge bunch of daisies today and put them in here, but i decided it would make a better home for my needles.

    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    questions: i can never ask just one

    so this evening i was working away on my mitten. for those of you just tuning in, i'm making a pair of mittens for my 5-year-old cousin. i'm using the book "knit mittens!" by robin hansen and i'm working on the stop-and-go mittens (first pattern in the book).

    i decided to measure my progress so far to see how much more i had to go before decreasing for the top of the mitten. the book says that the finished mitten length is supposed to be 7-1/2". what the...? is it me, or does that seem obscenely long for a 5-year-old's hand? heck, MY hand (from the heel of my hand to tip of middle finger) is 7-1/2" long. could this be a typo, ya think? or am i measuring totally wrong?

    i'm not sure whether i ought to keep going until i reach the finished length as stated in the book, or just wing it and see what happens. this is just the "rough draft" mitten. luckily one of my "best good friends" has a 6 year old daughter who i could try the mitten on to see how it fits. i may see her tomorrow so maybe i'll try being patient until then :-)

    in the meantime, if y'all have any more words of advice for a novice mitten knitter, please do le me know!

    making thumb holes -- advice from other knitters

    someone suggested posting the advice i received on thumb holes onto the knitlist. i've decided to put them here, so as not to fill folks' in-boxes with what could end up being a pretty lengthy message. my original question is posted below (waste yarn and other stuff i don't get). read on to see what some knitters suggested. i hope they help you, too!

    ANSWER #1:

    OK, you knit the first 2 stitches of the round. Very carefully take
    them off of the needle by threading a length of yarn through them. I
    usually use cotton yarn in a bright color that does not match
    whatever yarn I'm knitting with. It makes it easier for me to see.


    For a twisted M1, you lift the yarn between the stitch you've just
    knit and the stitch that is next to be knit, place it on the left
    needle, and knit into the back leg of it. Most of the knitting
    magazines or basic knit books have pictures of this. I don't
    understand why they have you doing it here, though. If you've just
    put the first 2 stitches on a piece of waste yarn, doing a twisted M1
    increase is going to make those 2 stitches pull in way too much.

    > cast on 4 sts over the thumb hole.

    You will have a much easier time with this if you just use a simple
    backwards loop cast on for these 4 stitches. Trust me on this one,
    I've tried other methods & this one seems to be simplest, and the
    results look great.


    I'm assuming that you started off with probably 31 stitches? If you
    put 2 of those stitches on waste yarn, you would then have 29
    stitches. Casting on 4 stitches for the top of the thumb hole would
    then give you 33 stitches.

    > working in striped pattern, knit until mitten is finished length,
    less 6 rounds.

    Or, knit until the mitten part above the ribbing is about the length
    from the base of the palm to the tip of your little finger. You'll
    then probably be reducing stitches for the next 6 rounds.

    ANSWER #2:

    > next round: K2, place on a piece of waste yarn
    > (this is the first thing i don't get)

    or put on a holder. putting it on a piece of scarp
    yarn is less intrusive. use a yarn needle and pick up
    those stitches and let them swing free!

    > with twisted M1, cast on 4 sts over the thumb hole.
    > you will have 33 stitches. (HUH?)

    I'm going to assume you have 29 sts around?

    an M1 is like a pick up. Um. You know, I would use
    either a cable or half-hitch pick up for this. the
    point being that you are creating a hole for the thumb
    to go thru. basically you need four new stitches not
    attached to the knitting below.

    ANSWER #3:

    Though I'm not familiar with your specific pattern, I've made a lot
    of mittens and they're all basically the same. You wrote:

    "... next round: K2, place on a piece of waste yarn (this is the
    first thing i don't get) with twisted M1, cast on 4 sts over the
    thumb hole. you will have 33 stitches ..."

    When you're making a thumb, you first have to 'park' some stitches
    on a piece of waste yarn while you continue knitting the rest of the
    mitten. Later you'll return to these stitches, place them on some
    needles, pick up a few more stitches around the circle which is the
    thumb hole and knit the thumb separately.

    So, your pattern says to K 2, leaving these on your right-hand
    needle. Then you'll need to thread the next X-number of stitches
    (your snip doesn't say, it's probably about ? 10 ? sts which you
    created by increasing, usually including and between the two M1
    stitches) onto a piece of waste yarn - I use a yarn needle - and
    remove them from your left-hand needle. Leave these dangling all on
    their own until you're ready to knit the thumb later. Then, pulling
    on your working yarn a bit to tighten the gap created by the parked
    stitches, cast on 4 sts onto the right-hand needle. On your needles
    you should now have 33 sts. Keep on knitting the remainder of your
    mitten according to your pattern.

    When it's time to knit the thumb, you'll thread the parked stitches
    onto some needles and pick up probably about ? 4 ? stitches around
    the thumb hole to complete the circle which will be the thumb.
    There's inevitably a bit of a gap somewhere here so afterwards I use
    the thumb's yarn ends to darn this area and make it stronger.

    ANSWER #4:

    I think what this pattern is trying to get you to do is what we call a folk thumb - where you put aside a few live stitches on a big safety pin or 12" length of string or yarn (not the yarn you are knitting with), then cast on the same number (or a one or two less) at the same spot on the next round, then close the hole. If your mitt is about 33 st around, that might mean putting aside 6-10 stitches on the bottom of the thumb hole, and on the next round, casting on about that many stitches across the top of the thumb hole.

    You have to make this hole fit the base of your 5-year-old's thumb, and I routinely find patterns too tight in there. To tell the truth, you are going to do better to abandon the pattern at this point, try something out, try it on the little girls hand, see if it fits, and redo it bigger or smaller if it doesn't. Go biggish for best fit, and then when you pick up the stitches for the thumb and work it up, you can knit two together every once in a while to snug it to the thumb as you go up. This leaves some ease at the base of the thumb, which allows for comfort.

    When you cast on the stitches over the top of the thumb hole, the pattern recommends a M1 cast on. Its just a bunch of backward e's. You don't want it to unravel while you knit to the top of the hand. Any cast on will do. You can use for M1 cast-on and probably find directions on the Web. Whatever you did to cast on the cuff works too.

    Saturday, July 10, 2004

    well, whaddya know?

    [ mood meter | groggy ]

    okay. so after requesting help from the wise ones on the knitlist, this whole thing about how in the world to make thumb holes in mittens became crystal clear. when i got home this evening, i couldn't wait to jump right in. but i played a few games of tonk and spades with JWJ and his parents (and sipped on a jack daniels downhome punch) before getting cozy on the couch with my needles. i just did what the directions said and ended up with a lovely mitten hole!

    thanks to everyone who emailed me about how to do this, especially: starr, dolma, robin and catherine.

    i like the striped pattern, but i'm going to use this mitten as "rough draft" LOL the rest of the mitten will be done with the plain purple yarn. i'm tired of changing colors every 2 or 3 rows! that would make for an awful lot of ends to weave in at the end! for the "real" mittens maybe i'll use the variegated or something to make it interesting.

    and speaking of stripes...does anyone have a better way of joining yarn? all i've been doing is tying on the new yarn to the old and knitting away. i don't like that method very much but i don't know any alternatives. holla if you can help!

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    waste yarn and other stuff i don't get

    [ mood meter | sleeeeeepy ]
    [ what i'm listenin' to | back in the day (puff) -- erykah badu ]

    i started making my first pair of mittens (christmas gift for a young cousin who's about 5-ish), and i've gotten to a part that i don't quite understand how to do. i've gotten past the cuff and thumb gore, now it's time to make the thumb hole.

    the directions for the thumb hole:

    - next round: K1, place on a piece of waste yarn (this is the first thing i don't get)
    - with twisted M1 (i get how to do that), cast on 4 sts over the thumb hole. you will have 33 stitches. (HUH?)
    - working in striped pattern, knit until mitten is finished length, less 6 rounds.
    (how the heezy do i know?!)

    what the feezy does all this mean? anyone? anyone? if you can help me make sense of this...PLEASE do!

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    what? no knitting?

    [ mood meter | hungry ]

    i didn't bring any knitting to work today. i feel so...naked LOL even if i don't get a chance to -do- any knitting during my workday, i at least like to have some with me. i will start those baby socks tonight...after JWJ and i clean the house in preparation of his parents' visit. shouldn't take long if we just hunker down and get it finished. that oughtta leave plenty of time for knitting. or maybe i'l -finally- put that hutch together for my desk so i can clear my desk of junk.


    turns out that those cable-stitch socks i thought were for babies really aren't. guess they were baby-cables (ie small cables) as opposed to baby-size socks with a cable pattern. anyway. i found a perfectly appropriate baby sock to use instead. but now i'm thinking....hey it's july....i need to get going on whatever i'm making for christmas!

    but now i gotta get going and get ready for work.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    gotta love grateful recipients

    [ mood meter | eh... ]

    so for the past several days there has been a thread on knitlist about grateful and ungrateful recipients. personally, i've never encountered ungrateful ones, but many people have. it's sad, really. but then again maybe most people don't understand -why- people knit stuff when they can just get stuff from the store. but i'll save that for another post.

    anyway, i was so excited to finally finish the baby booties i made for my co-worker tracy's new baby girl, alexandra. tracy was not at her desk when i got to work so i left them for her (we work for the same company, but on different floors). she called me later this afternoon, saying she was nearly in tears because the booties are so beautiful, and that she didn't want to even put them on alexandra. ha! that nearly made -me- cry! but then, and this is the best part if you ask me, she asked me to teach her how to knit. she even offered to pay me! but for me, sharing the art of the craft is payment enough.

    and because i'm so thrilled that she loved the booties, i just started on a pair of cabled socks for the baby. baby stuff is so much fun to make, i swear. little alexandra is going to turn into my baby-stuff guinea pig...since i don't have any babies of my own :-)

    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    bootie 2 -- not done...

    [mood meter | irritated ]

    okay so i haven't gotten the 2nd bootie finished yet. i'll try to finish tonight. i wanted to get it done yesterday but spent the whole day with mi familia, and got into a game of trivial much for knitting! this is my first day back to work after slightly more than a week-long vacation. i'm SO not ready for this, but here goes!


    i finished the bootie...YAY!

    Saturday, July 03, 2004

    bootie 1 -- done!

     Posted by Hello

    whew! i -finally- got the first baby bootie finished. i'll cast on for its mate today and get it done by monday. you see i crocheted a cute shell-stitch edging around the cuff...makes it much girlier :-) even JWJ said it was cute and that's a word that hardly EVER comes out of his mouth haha

    Friday, July 02, 2004

    she's baaaaaaack!

    i get bored easily, what can i say? is very cool, but i think since i've been there, blogger has gone way up on the cool meter. so.....i'm back!

    i've been fooling with this thing for the better part of the afternoon, trying to get it all set up. which means that i have NOT been knitting. so i'm gonna get back to it. i want those booties finished by monday!

    ugh...starting over

    so i cast on stitches to redo that bootie i screwed up so horribly. i'm thinking...the original pattern calls for 24 rounds of k1p1 for the cuff. i think when i finish the booties i'll crochet a pretty little shell-stitch edging around the cuffs. whaddya think?

    oh yeah i learned the long-tail cast on the other day. i like it so much better than my old standby, the knit on cast on. so i'mma stick with it. until i learn another one, that is.

    kvetching about kitchener

    i am so sad about this. i was working on baby booties for a coworker. about 4am i was nearly finished with the first one. decided (against my better judgment) to kitchener the seam to make a nice invisible sole (these were worked in the round from the cuff to the sole). i even printed off color, step-by-step directions and STILL messed it up!! tried to undo it and only succeeded in making a tangled mess so now...i have to start my cute little booties all over. :-(

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    new project on the sticks

    i -finally- started a pair of booties for a work friend's new baby girl. i don't have pix yet but the pattern is "one strand booties" and you can get it here. i'm using red heart soft baby yarn (it's a 3-ply sport weight yarn). the color is called pastel fruits. i'd like to get at least the first bootie finished tonight but we'll see. i'm feeling all hormonal so i might just chalk up the knitting tonight and take my moody ass to sleep :-)

    Monday, June 21, 2004

    i can do cables!

     Posted by Hello

    i decided i wanted to learn how to knit cables. so...i picked up my sticks, surfed over to this neat-o site and got busy! it's SO much easier than i thought it would be. this example is made with pink red heart super saver yarn (100% virgin acrylic) on size 10 needles. it's a six-stitch left-slanting cable, done over 14 stitches. i am just so impressed with myself right now. next thing i'll learn is how to do cables without cable needles!

    my newest FO

    JWJ requested a red, black & green wristband a while back and i whipped one up for him last night. i need to improve on the design, but i think it turned out great. i should probably make another one that's a bit bigger or that has more stretch on each edge to make it easier to get on and off. i would have bound off in the ribbing pattern but he thought that would look too "ruffly." silly man. so i picked up the stitches along the cast-on edge and then bound off so that both edges are nice and firm. but i guess i did *too* good a job.


    aw shucks. gotta whip up another's too small for him to get over his hands...but it fits a bottle of beer just right! :-)

     Posted by Hello

    Monday, May 31, 2004

    i got a sock!

    Posted by Hello

    here it is, just before finishing the toe. i looked around like a madwoman for a yarn needle but couldn't find one (i left my regular knitting bag at work on friday...DUH!) so believe it or not, i managed to do the kitchener stitch with my hands. it was a little tough because i had never done it before and had to rely on pictures in one of my knitting books, but i finally finshed it. i cast on the mate this evening as well...don't want the first one to end up an orphan!

    Sunday, May 30, 2004

    yes, i'm still working on the first sock!

    so, um, i finally figured out how to turn the heel and pick up and knit stitches on each side of the heel flap. got that done and am now working on the "foot" part. a few more inches and i can decrease for the toe then i'm done...well, then i have to do it again on the next sock and hope for the best LOL my nana will love them, i'm sure.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2004

    long time, no beanie

     Posted by Hello

    almost done with my brother's first london beanie. i've been taking these pix with the camera in my cell phone...they're not the best but they get the point across. this one is black with 2 gray stripes and 1 white stripe. i hope to finish this tonight and start another one in brown with tan and eggshell stripes.

    then i will whip up a red, black and green wristband for my honeybear. not sure why he wants it but he does so i'll make it for him. and i really will start a sweater for my nephew this week too. GOT to get started on those christmas presents :-)

    and about that sock...

    i've had to rip out the heel flap several times. aaarrrrgggghhh. that's what i get for trying to work on it while watching tv or doing whatever else. as soon as i finish the pair (yes i'm still on the FIRST ONE!) i'm going to give them to my grandmother. her feet get cold at night, and these socks are thick and warm so they should keep her feet toasty! i hope she doesn't mind the psychedelic rainbow colors :-)

    ... this has been a QuietStorm production, dahling ...