Wednesday, December 26, 2007

merry belated christmas

hi friends,

here's hoping you had as awesome a christmas eve and christmas as i did! this is truly my favorite time of the year, especially when i'm on vacation :-) i've really been enjoying spending time with my family and friends and sharing all of the joy, love and cheer of the christmas season. settling in for some 2-fisted eating doesn't hurt either!

anyway, i've also been spending time thinking about projects for 2008. in addition to working on some of my UFOs, i'm going to make an effort to actually START the projects that i've already bought the yarn for! i have a baby blanket to make for a friend who is expecting in late 2008, some baby blankets to add to my baby stash even though i'm nowhere near pregnant, a block "O" afghan that i've started making squares for but stopped in august sometime...just a whole long list of stuff. and i've already chosen the theme for momma's dishcloths for next christmas...they will be all white (like this year) but they will be star and snowflake patterns. i think she'll love them. i'm aiming to make her at least six of them. here are links to some that i've chosen already:
i'm really happy that momma looks forward to her knitted and crocheted dishcloths every year. i love making them and she loves using them so it's a perfect combination!

so those are some of my plans for 2008. i hope to be a lot more productive with my knitting and crocheting, and i'd like to try some more challenging projects as well. we'll see how it goes. right now my challenge is to get off my butt and start the laundry!

talk to y'all soon,

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

adding to my stash

Originally uploaded by mzundercover

okay. so last week i went over to elmore-pisgah and bought 5 of their grab bags. these are 1-pound minimum assortments of various yarns...cottons, threads, etc. some are mill ends, some are "first quality" products.

UPS tried to deliver yesterday and today...and instead of waiting for them to try to deliver again, i went ahead and drove the 10 miles to the UPS distribution center to pick it up. yay! i got a bunch of cotton that is destined to be turned into dishcloths, some thread that i'm not sure what it's gonna be yet, and some weird-feeling yarn stuff that i'm not sure what it even IS let alone what it's gonna be. it feels like maybe it's rug yarn or something (it's the 3 skeins in the pic on the right). and there's not enough of it to actually -do- anything with so maybe i'll give it to my neighbor across the hall who is an art student. maybe she can think of something to do with it.

in any case, i'm happy and that's all that counts, right?

that's my story and i'm stickin' with it!


Sunday, December 09, 2007

you got the right one, baby...uh huh!

i dunno if i mentioned this before or not, but one of mz's friends recently found out she is pregnant. of course, as soon as i heard this i started itching to start a baby gift for her. i picked up some yarn at my LYS the other day, and decided that it wasn't quite the right thing, so i went back yesterday. i learned how to use my drop spindle (and that reminds me, i have to practice for at least 15 mins today!), and bought some more baby-appropriate yarn. ever since, i have been looking for patterns, swatching, frogging, and looking for more patterns. i wasn't entirely sure what i was looking for, but i knew i wanted it to be crochet, all one piece (no stitching squares together for me!), easy to memorize, not too difficult and definitely nothing that started from the center and worked outward. should be easy to find something like that, right? as my high school chemistry teacher used to say, "WRONG-O!" but finally this morning i found just the right pattern and started crocheting a swatch:

this is the pound of love hooded baby blanket from lion brand and it is JUST what i was looking for! i will keep the swatch for my knitting journal. i probably won't work on this too much until after christmas but i was determined to find the right pattern so that when i AM ready to work on it, i can just get started.

oh yeah, check out my new bamboo crochet hook. it's fabulous. now i need to get a bunch more ;-)


Saturday, December 08, 2007


the other night while i was exploring ravelry, i saw a post from someone in one of my groups that said one of the local yarn shops was having a holiday open house last night. so, i grabbed up one of my friends after work yesterday and we went. how fun! this is a shop that i haven't been to in a few years and now it's under new ownership. everyone is very nice and helpful. there were a bunch of women sitting in the comfy cozy sitting area knitting and chatting, and best of all, everything in the store was 20% off. so.......i bought a few things! can't take good pix right now because my camera is at canon being fixed (but it should be back to me next week). i will tell you that i bought about $99 worth of goodies...for only $79! most of what i bought is yarn to make some sort of baby gift for a friend who recently found out she is pregnant. not sure exactly what that gift will be yet. shame on me for buying yarn before i had a project in mind!

later today i'm going back to that same yarn shop for a "spin in" event. it's been ages since i've spun any yarn and i have completely forgotten how to use my spindles (one top whorl, one bottom whorl). so i'm going to go re-learn. and maybe buy some more stuff, who knows. i also have to do a bit more christmas shopping, run some errands (pharmacy & hardware store) then it's all about sitting at home and working on finishing some knitting projects.

hope y'all have a great saturday, too!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

pics ... just like i promised

so ya wanna see pictures of my most recent projects, do ya? well, here they are!

first up, the knitted log cabin blanket that i finished a couple of weeks ago. isn't it a beauty? it's all washed and folded and stored away in my "stash" of baby stuff :-)


next, the log cabin blanket that i'm crocheting.

this is a close-up of the center square. it's about 7 inches square and i've stitched on 3 flowers that i crocheted.

and this is the most recent picture of the whole blanket. it's a little bit bigger now, though. i hope that this will be between 36" and 48" square when it's all finished. i was thinking i would crochet more flowers to stitch randomly on the blanket. but we'll see how it goes.

that's it for now, friends. it's way past dinner time so i better get a move-on.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

thinking about winter ... already?!

good grief, i know it's only early september, but i'm already thinking about winter knitting/crocheting. besides the half-ton of baby stuff that i'm going to work on (including log cabin blanket #2), i think i will FINALLY make myself a hot water bottle cozy. i first got hip to using hot water bottles to warm the bed when i spent a semester in london back in the dark ages (okay well it was only 1996). it was fall semester and i was there from early september thru late december, right before christmas. dude, those england winters are COLD...makes ohio seem almost balmy! anyway, i soon figured out that a hot water bottle filled with hot hot hot water and wrapped in a towel really helps keep a girl warm all thru the night, and even allowed me to keep sleeping in my birthday suit (okay maybe that was an overshare!). seems like every year around this time, i get a little "london-sick" and nostalgic about the awesome time i had there. a hot water bottle cozy is a lot sexier than a towel so i think i'll make it my business to make one. i thought i'd share some of the knit and crochet patterns available on the web:

BAWK hot water bottle cozy

Felted hot water bottle cover

Hot Water!

Hot Water Bottle Cover (craftbits)

Hot Water Bottle Cozy (blue sky alpacas)

Tartan hot water bottle cover (Panda Yarns)

Toasty Cosy

well, then, now i should get back to watching the sound of music (which is one of my very favorite movies!) good night, friends, and happy knitting!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

log cabin fever

you know how in my last post i said i wasn't going to do another log cabin blanket? i lied. big time. i started another one last night, only it's crocheted. it's turning out sooo well so far. i started with a 7" afghan square, and i made 3 cute flowers that i stitched on to it. then i just started picking up stitches and crocheting a 7-row block, turned and crocheted another 7-row block, and on and on. it's turning out great so far. i don't have any pix yet but as soon as i get a little further along i'll post some. it's going into my pile of baby stuff, and it's definitely "girly." i'm nowhere near pregnant yet but whenever it happens i will be ready :-)

maybe i'll go crochet a little more on it while i watch judge judy. i'd love to go outside and pull weeds but it's like 90 degrees with 60% humidity. so i'm planting myself on the couch until the sun goes down!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

log cabin baby blanket -- DONE!

last night i finally finished the log cabin baby blanket that i started in january!!!! woo hoo!!! i ended up not making it as big as i wanted to, but it's still a generous size for a baby ... i think it's at least 2.5 feet square. AND i have plenty of pastels and other baby-appropriate yarn left over so i can start making another blanket ... but NOT a log cabin :-) i tossed it in the laundry as soon as i bound off the last stitch and it smells so fresh and cuddly. almost makes me wanna go get pregnant right now. almost.

but for now, i have some work to do, then maybe a quick run to the grocery. i'm SO SAD that my research leave is over this week. it's almost time to get back to reality, and I'M NOT READY!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

my first afghan square design!

dude, i am SO excited about this. i've been wanting to design this square for quite some time now and just got around to doing it last night. making the chart was easy, and i'm really happy that the actual crocheted square looks just like it's supposed to :-) i feel like a proud mama!

i am planning to whip up a ton of these in scarlet and gray and stitch them together into an afghan. i will keep the first one for myself (or maybe as a gift) and then make others to sell/donate to charity/give as gifts, etc. with all the OSU fans around here, that should be easy to do. GO BUCKEYES!!!

but for now, back to reading. break is over!


Sunday, August 05, 2007

i'm in vegas, baby!

hi friends!

i'm in las vegas for a conference of natural resources librarians ... yay! this is a really good meeting; it's small so it's a good place to give presentations, etc. matter of fact, i gave my first professional presentation yesterday afternoon!!

having a great time this year, like last year. my best friend flew up to meet me for the weekend and we're having fun. a little gambling, a little shopping. i'm wondering if i should make tracks for a LYS sometime before i leave on Tuesday evening. i really don't need to add to my stash but it couldn't hurt to pick up a little fiber souvenir or memento.....

tonight we're meeting up with some of my friend's friends for dinner at harrah's buffet, flavors. yummmmm! last year we stuffed ourselves with crab legs, among other things so i'm looking forward to an evening of gluttony and oblivion!!

but now, i gotta run and learn some neat stuff about web 2.0 technologies. ciao for now...


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

2 weeknights with warrick -- done!

this was a quick, fun knit! between the 2 hr drive to elyria, the train ride to chicago, and various trips on the commuter train between downtown and the chicago suburbs, this pretty scarf was finished in no time! i thought about using another skein to make this scarf longer (y'all know i love super long scarves) but since i think this will be a gift, i'll keep it a reasonable length.

i'm not sure what i'll cast on for next. i have a baby sweater on the needles, as well as that never-ending log cabin blanket. i am having a july 4th party tomorrow so what i'd better do is a little straightening up around the house before i go food shopping. i'm expecting around 30 or so people but luckily everyone is brining something so i won't get stuck with a huge food bill and all the cooking! i'd really rather take a nap but the house won't clean itself. i'm glad i have been mostly keeping up with the chores daily and weekly so there really isn't a whole lot to do.

enjoy your independence day celebrations. be safe, and have fun!


Saturday, June 16, 2007

look, ma, another bookmark

YAAAAY! check out the pics i just took with my lovely new-to-me digital camera! these are SO much better than what the cell phone camera takes, see?

this bookmark is called "lacy columns" and i got it from the monthly bookmarks knitalong group that i belong to. you'll have to join up to get the pattern; i haven't been able to find it anywhere else. there are a few mistakes, but hey, not even i am perfect. i've already started another one using this same pattern, but i'm using some kind of pink/white variegated cotton thread. it's turning out pretty okay, i think. not sure the variegation is really good for showing the lace pattern but i'mma leave it alone and just keep knitting, just keep knitting (yeah, i've been seen "nemo" waaaaaaaay too many times).

back to your regularly scheduled saturday afternoon. i better get my butt in the kitchen and make my dad some father's day cookies. he'll love 'em!

later, taters.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

dude, i got a sweet tooth!

my closest friends know how much i LOVE cupcakes. i request them every year for my birthday, and i always want the same thing. funfetti cupcakes with white frosting and sprinkles. put some birthday cake flavored ice cream on the side and i'm good to go.

but my current weight loss efforts (as half-assed as they may be) prevent me from indulging my sweet tooth as often as i'd like. so i found a calorie-free alternative!

check out all of these cupcake patterns:

Amigurumi Cupcake
How to make a Cupcake Pincushion (Good Housekeeping)
Cupcake Pincushion (Priscilla Hewitt)
Cupcake Pincusion (Craftster)
Free Cupcake Crochet Pattern (Etsy)
Crocheted cupcake (Canadian Living)
Crocheted cupcake gift box
Strawberry swirl cupcake
Knitted cupcake
Quick cupcake

Sunday, June 03, 2007

well i'll be damned.

i finished a blue bookmark today. cast on 20 (fingering weight yarn on US2 needles), knit for like 6 inches or so then decrease as you would if you were making one of those diagonal dishcloths ( bind off, add a tassel and ta-da! a quick, easy bookmark.

only problem: i forgot to take a pic of it before i gave it away. and i got a new (to me) digital camera today. DUH!!

the good thing is that i have another one on the needles, in a lovely lacy pattern. so as soon as i 1) get some more knitted so you can actually see the pattern and 2) learn how to download pics from the camera to my 'puter, i'll be posting a picture of the lacy loveliness.

happy sunday, er, monday, or whatever day it is.

that is CLEARLY my clue to go to bed.

g'night, sleep tight!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

today's adventure

hmm. today's adventure involved me moving a couch from my livingroom to my second bedroom. upstairs. by myself. don't ask me how the hell i did it, but i did it. i'm sure your next question will be "why'd you do that?" my only answer is "cuz i wanted to." and also because my mom is getting rid of one of her couches (which is verrrry comfy) and i want it so it's going into my livingroom.

bottom line is, i'm happy. but my back and legs and arms will probably not be so happy in the morning.

i need ice cream.

today's knitting adventure was beginning a knitted bookmark. i -finally- found a good use for that huge box of palette yarn i bought from knitpicks last year for my birthday. it's fingering weight, and just PERFECT so i started this pattern. i'd post a pic but the knitting is downstairs in my purse and i'm cozied up on that couch that i moved to my lovely new upstairs sitting room and it's waaaaay past my bedtime so the pic will have to wait. but i'm sure i'll get to it over the nice long weekend.

it's late. i'm gonna stop writing and go to bed already. you can hang around and read as much as you like. but some of us have to get up and go to work in the morning!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

i'm alive! really!

oh my goodness!! has it really been 3 months since my last post? hardly seems true but i guess it is. i have been knitting in my absence, though, and to prove it here are some pictures!

this is my first baby sweater!!!!!! the pattern i used (more or less) is from yarntootin. i decided to make it a pullover though, so after after dividing for the fronts, sleeves and back, i just started knitting in the round instead of back and forth to make it a cardigan. pretty clever, eh? here's a close up:

over all i'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

and since i seem to be obsessed with baby stuff i recently whipped up another sweater:

the cool thing about this one is that the button bands are crocheted on after the sweater is knitted! i was a little skeptical that i could do it at first but i trusted myself and voila! i think the body may be a little long (i have to figure out baby proportions and all that) but i'm happy with it too. the pattern came from bev's country cottage. check out the closeup of the button bands (oh yeah i still need to find buttons to sew on!):

so yeah, that's what i've been up to pretty much. still knitting away on the never-ending log cabin blanket but it's only about half the size i want it to be. i guess there's really no reason why a baby blanket has to be 5 ft wide, except that babies GROW! all this baby knitting is for the babies that i don't have yet...everything is going to be stashed away, waiting for the day that i will finally become a mommy. sorry if i sound sappy and sentimental...that's just part of my charm.

and for now, that's all. i promise i won't stay away so long again. happy knitting!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

my motto (well, one of them, anyway)

"never deny someone the opportunity to do something nice for you."

i read that years ago in some email forward and have tried hard to live by it. it's hard sometimes, cuz i can be a real proud lion (i'm a leo, ya know). but when one of my exes asked me for my work address so he could send me something for valentine's day, i obliged. first of all because i wanted to continue to uphold my motto and secondly because i'm a sucker for a gift or surprise (as long as it's good).

so in talking with this particular ex on tuesday afternoon, he let me know to expect a delivery at my office on v-day. i'm like, "well, um, i doubt i'll be at work tomorrow because of weather and all that." we got off the phone and he called me back later saying i should expect a delivery at home on v-day. okaaaaay. yesterday afternoon there was a knock at the door and a beautiful bouquet of flowers was handed to me. see?

it was a sweet gesture, and like i told him, "it's about damn time!" yeah i know it sounds mean but there's some history behind that. it's a long story.

turns out that he couldn't stop the original delivery that he set up to come to my office, or hell, maybe he chose not to, i don't know. but today i got these (please overlook my messy office):

i love flowers. and this year, not having a valentine was okay after all. especially since i think some chocolate covered strawberries may be en route to me too. ;-)

thank you. you know who you are.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy early Valentine's Day

mz is feeling particularly lovey-dovey this Valentine's week, so i thought i'd share this original pattern design with you. a little late, perhaps, to knit it up in time for the big day, but i suppose if you knit fast, or knit it with big needles and chunky yarn, you'll whip it up in no time. in any case, enjoy it!

Chained Hearts Scarf
(a mzundercover original)

Yarn: Plymouth Galway 100% Worsted Weight Wool

Gauge: US 8 = 5 sts/in (but it's a scarf so gauge isn't critical)

Finished measurements:

60” long, 4” wide


Cast on 21 stitches.

Work 4 rows of seed stitch: k1, p1 to end of row

Row 1: (k1, p1) twice, place marker, k1, yo, k2tog, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, sl1, k1, psso, yo, k1, place marker, (p1, k1) twice.

Row 2 (and all even numbered rows): (k1, p1) twice, purl across to marker, (p1, k1) twice.

Row 3: (k1, p1) twice, k2, *yo, k2tog twice, pass first stitch over the second, yo, k3*. Repeat between *s across row and END LAST REPEAT: k2 (instead of k3), (p1, k1) twice.

Row 5: (k1, p1) twice, k2, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k2, (p1, k1) twice.

Row 7: (k1, p1) twice, k1, k2tog, yo, k7, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k1, (p1, k1) twice.

Row 9: (k1, p1) twice, k2tog, yo, k9, yo, sl1, k1, psso, (p1, k1) twice.

Row 10: (k1, p1) twice, purl across to marker, (p1, k1) twice.

Repeat these rows until scarf is 60” or desired length. Work 4 rows of seed stitch. Bind off in pattern.

Block to size.

Keep in mind that this is stockinette, and the scarf may have a tendency to curl in half (lengthwise) for some reason, probably due to the nature of the lace pattern. I suggest blocking the hell out of it, or maybe trying it in garter stitch, which I've been meaning to test forEVER, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Feel free to be the guinea pig, and let me know how yours turns out.

[The pattern stitch used in this scarf is based on "Valentine" from Adventures in Knitting: More than 100 Patterns, from Easy to Intricate by Barbara Aytes (1968)]

Thursday, February 08, 2007

mz explains why she can't go a year without buying yarn

okay so i went to wal-mart last night to pick up a few odds and ends that i needed...freezer bags, the plastic shrink-wrap for my drafty windows, batteries...just random stuff. of course i couldn't resist the urge to swing past the craft area to look at yarn and a few super saver skeins of red heart jumped into my cart. no problem really because they were all colors that would complement other projects that are either in progress or on deck for this year. so i went merrily on my way.

as i was wandering around some section of the store (can't remember now), i passed an endcap with big, huge, gigantic skeins of mainstay yarn (which i thought WM had discontinued). there were a few colors including lavender, black, blue, yellow and this weird white that really looked like an extremely pale gray. they were on sale for $3.96 each. i checked the yardage and it was over EIGHT HUNDRED YARDS (891.75, to be precise). i kid you not. 5 of these jumped in my cart too. i mean, how could i leave 'em in the store?! that's almost 4,500 yard of yarn. enough, as my momma would say, to sink a battleship. here's proof:

moral of the story: if you just -happen- to be at your local walmart, and you just -happen- to see this yarn on clearance, and some of it just -happens- to jump into your cart, it doesn't count as S-E-X. it counts as yarn rescue, which, in my book, is an act of charity. i hereby declare myself the founder of the YArn Rescue Network (YARN). knit on.

in other news, get a look at my adorable baby nephew in his new hat:

i am SO happy that it FITS!!! i was all worried that it would be way too big, but see? there was nothing to worry about after all. YAY! auntie is gooooooooooood. i deserve a pat on the back :-)

Monday, February 05, 2007

another FO...i'm on a roll!

not too long ago my SIL asked me to knit a hat for my baby nephew, and of course i said "okay!" and of course, i had to go out and buy some yarn, which i happily did. i picked up 2 skeins of bernat softee chunky ... one red and one gray. because you already know, of course, that the baby nephew is an ohio state fan (GO BUCKEYES!). okay so i got my cushy new yarn, and my dpns and set out to design a hat for him. this is what i came up with:

and here's what the top looks like (boy i always love the way crown decreases look!):

and of course, i've already cast on for another one in a bigger size. like i said, remind me to figure out the pattern and write it down so i can share it with y'all!

stash knitting 2007

some of my online knitting friends have gone crazy, i mean, have decided to NOT BUY YARN for the whole year. i'm not jumping on that bandwagon, but i really am trying to make an effort to knit from stash as much as possible. last night i spent some time dividing my yarn up into projects. i have a bag full of rainbow yarns so i can make a "tesselating fish" afghan. if you don't already have the pattern, i found it here: print it before it's gone again! i love the pattern but i already know that i'll hate stitching all those little fish together. this is likely going into my "baby stash" so we'll just call it a big ol' labor of love.

there is also a blanket pattern in a book called "adorable crochet for babies and toddlers" that i want to make. it is made of squares with a heart motif in the middle (check out the table of contents: the picture is small but you'll get the general's called "cross your heart"). i put yarns into a big bag for this project too. i'm using a blue variegated, some purple, some lavender, a bit of turquoise and some white. i -may- have to go buy some yarn for this if i run out but we'll cross that bridge when it comes. i also put the book into the bag so that i can remember which project that yarn is for :-) again, baby stash. now if i can only find a husband and get pregnant...

i'm nearly finished with a hat for my 4-month-old baby nephew. it's red with a gray brim (he's an ohio state fan, even though he doesn't know it yet), and done in garter stitch in the round. i'm in the middle of doing the decreases for the crown. i kinda think it'll be too big but the good thing about babies is that they GROW! anyway, i completely made up this pattern and started knitting it on friday night. i'm not even sure i could replicate it again LOL if i can, though, maybe i'll whip up another one for my other baby nephew (who's about 3-ish months older than the baby baby nephew hahahaha). that one will be gray with a red brim. and, once i figure out the pattern, i think i'll post it here. remind me in case i forget. y'all know i got swiss cheese for brains, sometimes.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

first FO of 2007

i am so happy that i've finished the besotted scarf for my baby brother!!!! i've been working on it since about august. isn't it beautiful?

Monday, January 29, 2007

finally started my "baby" stash

okay so y'all know that for the longest time i've been talking about starting a stash of baby items for the baby(ies) that i don't have yet. well i have FINALLY started! on saturday night/early sunday morning i started a log cabin blanket out of pastel-colored yarns from my stash. see?

my grandmother went to the ER yesterday due to some stomach pain/nausea, as well as lack of appetite, etc. i went with my mom to take her and boy am i glad i took my knitting with me! we were there for nearly 12 hours. yes, you read that right TWELVE hours. waiting. talking to doctors. waiting some more. getting tests done. waiting for results. talking to nurses. waiting for another doctor. it was maddening. when we got there though i only had the first 3 sections complete (the middle square, the purple "log" and the blue "log"). 12 hours later (not knitting nonstop, of course), i've gotten this far. even one of the nurses commented on how pretty it is! i'm excited. i'm way far from having children but i'll just keep this in my "baby stash" until the time comes. or maybe i'll end up giving it to someone who needs it more than i do. in any case, it's a great stash-buster project and i'm really excited about it! any ideas on how big to make it? my mom says 5 ft. square. i say 3 or 4 should be sufficient. what do you think? maybe i should just knit until i run out of yarn :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

10 great reasons to get in bed and cuddle with yarn

1. yarn doesn't "poke" me
2. yarn doesn't snore
3. yarn doesn't talk back
4. yarn doesn't say "no" when i want S.E.X.
5. yarn doesn't stay up all night
6. yarn doesn't fart in bed...and then laugh
7. yarn doesn't fall asleep and leave the tv on
8. yarn doesn't steal covers
9. yarn doesn't make a "wet spot" ;-)
10. yarn doesn't talk in its sleep!!!

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