Monday, October 31, 2005

Treats for them, Knitting for me.

We only got one pair of trick-or-treaters :o( Oh well, the rest of the candy will go to the office tomorrow. I'm sure it'll disappear there ;o)

We watched North by Northwest (Yay Netflix!) while we sat in the front room. I could definitely see Jimmy Stewart in the same role as Cary Grant... but that is bias. The kits loved having the door open (screen door closed). They watched moths flutter in the porch light and cars race by on Poplar Street. J even put a little bench by the door so they could sit together.

I made the kittens a knit mouse last night. I had a certain unidentified grey yarn in my stash they kept 'stealing'. I decided if they liked that particular yarn, it wouldn't take much to make a toy for them. The resulting mouse was an instant hit. They fought over it so fervently that I already have another one on my needles!

Today's Finds (early morning excursion in town)
Thrift Store : New/old magazine Fall 1981 BH&G 100s of Needlework and Craft Ideas (lots of sweater patterns!) (donation) Odds&Ends Store: J.P. & Coats 1952 Baby Book of crochet and knitting (4page leaflet, 50 cents).

Plath posted that the new MagKnits was up! Thanks! There are some interesting patterns there. Holly will have to be added to my 'Beyond me' projects.

I have went to Knitpicks and made up my 'order list' about three times - and, each time, deleted it all. I keep saying 'I'm not worthy!' I have my 'much-too-fine' yarn purchase to use still... trying that out on size 8 bamboo needles (my on-the-way splurge from our trip to the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta )

And, overall, I am feeling very grateful for what I have. While I was in the thrift store this morning, I overheard a displaced family (from the hurricanes, maybe?) talking to the storekeeper. She was helping them find clothing, etc, and talking about finding work. The grandfather was keeping their beautiful little girl busy while they talked.

I started thinking how I was here in this store for a knitting magazine. Compared to clothes, food and shelter - a magazine is a luxury. I've heard of some people (even in our town) that weren't grateful of the help they have received. These people were grateful, well-spoken and looking to work and strive to get their lives back.

By choice, J and I do not have a lot of 'possessions'... although we are not complete minimalists, either. Everything we owned, came with us to Tennessee in two pick-up truck beds and a small pull-behind trailer. We still haven't found the need to unpack it all. Not everyone can live like that -- especially if they have kids.

I'm not sure what I can do to help, at least besides my spare change, at that particular shop. I have been looking at Children in Common's socks to knit. That's a reason for wool yarn!

It is such a beautiful fall day!

These are some colours in a batch of oak leaves.
If only I could dye some wool these colours...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Notes for later...

from Unravellling thrift store finds ...
Cotton is the easiest to determine by touch but acrylic can imitate the look and feel of wool so it's sometimes hard to tell those two apart. If you bring a mystery sweater home drop an inch of the yarn into a jar and cover it with bleach. Put it in a very safe spot (like a high cupboard above the stove that kids and animals can't get into) and label the jar BLEACH/POISON. Wool will eventually dissolve in bleach. If the yarn has dissolved after a few hours or overnight then you have a wool sweater, if it looks unchanged then it's acrylic.

How to 'properly' wash a wool garment.
Another article on laundering handmade garments.
A Wool Cape.
How to Gauge your Knitting Stitches.

Cotton sock yarns?...

Daily Observance :
When Willowpede lies stretched out - she is 31 inches tip to tip.

I just happened to have a measuring tape beside me for the ribbed hat when she fell asleep in my lap. She is going to be a BIG cat... : 4:00pm

I'm starting to think about Christmas presents, and I have a dilemma. I'm the only one in my family who likes wool (odd huh?). I don't really want to buy low-quality Wal-Mart yarns for giftmaking, either. Last year I made my mom a long blue wrap out of Simply Soft yarn, but I was thinking socks or something more useful this time around.

I've been looking up some different types of yarn out there -- because my mom insists that wool is too itchy. I used to think so too! I slowly "walked" my way up using Dale of Norway's Baby Ull merino... so soft for wool.

Now I love almost all wool! I guess the supersoft merino convinced my skin wool was good!

I was looking up different kinds of sock yarn. Cotton Colori and/or Sockotta seem to be the best alternatives to wool. I would have to buy them online though.

Sally is quite busy being a resident lapwarmer. When she is not in my lap, she is curled up near one of my ankles. Willow has picked up a strange habit of sleeping in a box by the wall... I'm not sure why. She has her Greta Garbo moments.. or was it Bette Davis? I forget. **it was Greta Garbo**.

What do you keep your knitting needles in? : I saw a post on this at another site. I keep mine in a hot pink wine-bottle cylinder. I bought it at Michaels when I worked there. A lady I talked to about yarn said she had kept hers in one and it was working great. The only hitch I have with it is that the lid doesn't close with 14" needles. I keep my dpns and crochet hooks in an old checkbook box, away from the four-pawed wonders.

Book Wish List : Knitting in the Nordic Tradition... used is still 65-75$!! Our library at Fargo had a copy. I learned how to use DPNs and my sheepfeeding mittens out of this book!

Interesting site links :
Tote based on the French Market Bag
Knitted Bunny!

Current Pet Peeves :
1. People who post acrylic yarn in the wool category at Ebay. Read the label.
2. Sitting in a public library trying to read a cashmere sweater article that is directly opposite of a lingerie ad ON BOTH PAGES. (Real Simple magazine.. what were they thinking?)

ok.. I vented, ;o)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Wool Cravings

We try to live well below our means -- but I am feeling wool cravings! I made a wool shawl last year out of Cascade 220. AtM, it is a cherished object. I felt the yarn was expensive at the time (lys splurge), but it has lived up to every anticipation. J is envious - he says our culture won't let him get away with wearing a wool shawl or cape ;o) He nudged me a bit more on learning how to make him a sweater. I have to master increases first!

Today's Adventures :
I am trying to get a large amount of wool off of ebay - but not trying too hard.

We went to the storage center and pulled out another load of boxes. We were looking for our ceramic mixing bowl, and didn't find it :o(

When I made a set of long curtains for a doorway here in the house, the kittens invented a new game. It consists of attacking any movement behind the curtain, whether it be human foot or kitten tail.

Willowpede channels Confucious:

"Spearing cat accidently on DPN may well be in future..."

Sally keeps jumping into my lap at high speeds while I knit socks... this is worrisome.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Salamander 'AllBall'

For lack of other knitting pictures, I dip into the 'cute kitten' bag again.
J says this sleeping position reminds him of the name Koko the gorilla gave her first kitten -- 'AllBall' AllBall was a Manx.

Whenever one of the kittens is sleeping this way in my lap, J says 'You have an AllBall' ;o)

EEK My yarn came! — What do I DO with it???

My Super Secret Ebay Yarn came today. I am confused!

This yarn is about as thick as embroidery thread - not the fingering weight I am used to! Maybe I will try to go for a shawl on my dpns - I saw someone else's site here that has a beautiful shawl started. I don't want to buy the book it is from though :o(

I'll go through the rest of my knitting books and magazines to see what I can find.

There is a lot of it, and beautiful — but so fine!!!

Cat teeth


Willow takes twice as long as Sally to eat the same amount of food. I looked at their teeth this morning (after some convincing and wrangling). Sally is the one with crooked teeth - Willow's look straight and normal, for cats. It kind of reminded me of all the reading I was doing on the Jacob Sheep's teeth (but cats have long sharp canines of course!)

J had a nice observance on this topic... "Willow chews."


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Online Project List (sitting at the office)

Daily Observance: Metal knitting needles get COLD at 62°
A small list of the patterns I have bookmarked as interesting. (A lot from knitty, of course ;o)

Just Above Me
I need to learn a bit more, but I can do this!

Knitty Kyoto yukata
French Market Bag (felted)
Pithy Hats
Knitty Tychus Hat
Felted Satchel
MagKnits Jaywalkers
1913 Sock in German!*
Knit T-Top in Wool-Ease
A Lacey Triangle Shawl

Beyond Me (so far)
I have a ways to go before I can do this...but I like these.

A Sweater for J - he requested one!
Knitty Bob
Long Coat
Wrap Around Coat

//Still working on the hat.
And... btw, I could just kick myself. I didn't bid on a Jacob fleece (separated too!) on Ebay because I don't have a spinning wheel yet. J said.. 'You should have bid on it anyway!)... :o( Nobody else did and it ended with 0 bids! *kick*

Sitting at the office, painting boards and looking on Ebay for wool yarn to make a kitty pi... Drinking reheated coffee that has been boiled to a soup because I forgot to bring more coffee filters to the office. Kittens played again with the little ones today. Willow is actually being a quite decent big sister. Sally is curled up on J's coat, waiting to go home. She rode balled-up in my lap (on my wool coat) all the way to work this morning. I wish we had a digital camera...

We have the cayenne peppers hanging here in the office. Willow is fascinated by them. She is going to BE SURPRISED if she actually gets ahold of one!

* I took German in high school & college - a translation exercise and a knitting pattern... *wonders if she should try*

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dischloth Daze or Dazzle?

I'm starting to wonder if my knitting style is from another planet... or what.

Conquering Yarn-Over
I finally got the 'yarn over' that was eluding me. It wasn't difficult, but it was different. The book I had was no help at all. The video on KnittingHelp showed me part of what was wrong...

I hold the yarn in front of my needles, and the lady in the video is scooping her yarn from behind the needles. Once I realized THAT was my problem - everything clicked. Pulling the yarn back out in front of my needles from underneath solved it all. That probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me! If the yarn came off the needle entirely when I did this, I knew I had the yarn wrapped in the wrong direction.

The Result
My dishcloth looks just like the pattern picture! I'm partway through a second one and hoping the yarn ball will go that far.

Starting over on the hat! Can't let one failure stop you from trying... thanks!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Green Ribbed Disaster

Well, I guess that's fate. Almost an hour after I posted a progress bar that said 80% for the 'Green Ribbed Hat'... it was time to bind off. I tried the stretchy bind off linked below — but it didn't work. Not only that, but the stitches started coming out on me when I tried to backtrack.

I guess I'll frog the 'saved' part and try again. It just needed to be a little longer. However, in size 4 dpns and k1p1 ribbing that takes a while. Someone at work said 'I hate pulling out stitches -- I hope you don't have to do that.' I don't want to, but I have to. I don't think I can catch them all back onto my dpns. Maybe I'll cheat and crochet the extra length on... or not.

Anyway - better news, my book 'The Good Life' by Helen Nearing came in the mail today! I looked through the bit about how to keep an almanac about your farm, and to do it every night with the finances. Since no Netflix came in the mail, I'm glad this did! There are also three more curtains to sew.

The girls were left home again today. I gave them some of my chicken when I had dinner tonight. I was worried they were going to freeze in the house all day, but it didn't get as cold as I thought. We left the heater on 50° this morning, but it was 64° when I came home. J is still on his trip. I worry about him when he is gone. He says he worries about me when he's gone too.

I gave the tiny kittens some extra kitten food out at the office. By the time they were done, the little orange guy had a ROUND tummy. I picked him up and it was like picking up a pool ball. (He PURRRRRRRED at me too!) I've already got two! I needed that reminder... ;o)

So... read the book, dissect the hat, or try the dishcloth? So many choices... but then, I have all night, and I am a knit-owl!

Kitty Pi beds

My kits definitely need one of these! Pattern here. I would need to make it big enough for both of them though. They are sisters (littermates), so they still like to curl up together when Willow isn't in her 'I need to be alone' mood.

I have some red and black Lopi that could go towards this... but I'll need to scrounge up some more.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Monks Move In... (sort of)


I got through all the decreasing on the hat and it looked good! However, it didn't fit! It was stretchy, but not long enough. That pattern I looked at was right when it said at least 10.5 inches. I cast back on to the bottom of the hat with dpns to 'save' it -- and it looks like it is going to work. Now I have to find a stretchy bind-off method that will work for me.

The two bookcases got put up, and filled up, last night.
We have a 'mild to moderate' case of book collection.
It will take at least four more of the large bookshelves, and probably two of the shorter ones before all of our books are unpacked. Finding the stuff that ended up WITH the books has been the real progress.

I washed some blankets and sweaters from one of the boxes and our 62 degree house now feels liveable! The cats however, disagree. They were curled together into a tight ball this morning when we woke up. It was actually really sweet.

They also met their tiny brothers and sister today... Sally decided the kittens were prey. She had to be scolded many times. Willow thought these creatures were acceptable, as long as they didn't sniff her feet. But of course they were kittens and they did.

Right now Sally is curled up on the blanket I put on the table. Willow, however, is curled up UNDERNEATH the blanket that is on my chair. I am sitting on the front edge of the chair and she is behind me.

I have some sewing to do tonight, and J is leaving for a daytrip tomorrow. I hope to start on the dishcloth pattern and 'yarn over' as soon as this hat is finished. I apologize for the lack of knitting photographs! We borrowed our boss' digital camera to take the kitten pictures but I haven't developed knitting pictures onto a CD yet. Will try to make that a priority soon and post a big update.

Until then - my amateur doodles will have to do.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Rescue of the Size 6 Needle
and other circular adventures

I feel like being silly today.
Mom's slippers are DONE!

I am going project hunting. There is a dishcloth pattern I want to try here. Now I have to learn the yarn over stitch... which has been eluding me. I went through all of my needles and couldn't find a single pair of size 6 OR size 7! Then, I remembered I had broken my size 7 plastic needles on the capelet-that-never-was...

But, luck still shone! After some disappointing ebay-browsing, the light bulb went on. Then, I was in the bottom of the closet, pulling out hangers, boxes of unpacked junk and other miscellaneous. Found! An old slipper project on a pair of plastic 6's! Then I began the 'rescue'. By 3 in the morning I had the old slipper project done and the pair of 6's were mine! *insert evil laugh*

So, Monday or Tuesday I will start struggling with yarn over.

I also dug out my size 6, 16" circular needle and cast on a ribbed hat. So far, taking most of the stitches onto stitch holders and trying it on, it fits. Just a little more and I can transfer it to dpns and start decreasing. I made it in the same 'So Soft' green yarn as my biking headband. We'll see if it all works.

I went to KnittingHelp and watched the videos on knitting and purling in different styles. I am not an English knitter. I am not a Continental Knitter... entirely. I am not a 'Combined Knitter'... entirely. Whatever lightning-strike form of knitting I am doing, does not exist as a declared style ;o)

So... the tale goes on, will I learn yarn over? Or will I be brought to my knees by my own misbegotten style of knitting?

Tune in next week... same blog, whatever time.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Slipper pattern and a stubborn cat

I'm trying hard to finish Mom's slipper-socks. Does it take everyone a week to make a pair of socks? I feel like such a slowpoke. This is even in worsted weight yarn, that should be quicker, right?

In the meantime, I am already planning to make another pair of these. Maybe the second pair will go faster. I have written down some of the changes to the 'recipe' that I made. I am using the Socks101 instructions - but making a short, loose slipper out of it.

My mom and I both wear a size 10 women's shoe, which is large! So, if this slipper size in worsted weight yarn looks big... it probably is ;o) Here is the pattern, in my unschooled pattern-writing structure.

Slipper Pattern
built on Socks101 instructions

Worsted weight yarn, size 4? dpns. Cast on 48, split to 3 16s.
Top, 2 rows of garter stitch.
K2P2rib, continue until count 12 stockinette stiches.
Split 22 for heel (wide heel), work 22 rows, turn heel.
Pick up 14 stitches at sides. Work one round.
*Decrease 1 st at each side of heel, knit around*
Repeat * until the # of stitches on the side needles are 15.
Decrease again.
Knit around 27 rows.
Start toe decreases.
Graft off when each needle has 15 stitches (boxy, roomy toe).

My mom said no pointy toes... I hope she likes these boxy ones.

We have two new bookcases to put up this weekend. Cheap ones, from Wal-Mart. We had six of them at the apartment in Fargo, but lost all the pins when we went to put them back up here. A new set of pins cost almost as much as a new bookcase! (go figure) Hopefully once we can unpack some of the boxes of books we will find the one the old pins got thrown into.

Six months and we still 'live like monks!' (quote from someone we know)

Does anyone out there speak Cat?
I really need to learn how to say
'Keep your Butt OFF the Stove or Else!'

Our kittens are 6 months old in November. Willow is as stubborn as a mule. Once I tell her three times about something she understands that it's wrong... but if she wants to do it, she keeps doing it (and runs like the wind if I catch her at it). Lately I can't keep her out of the teapot on the stove - she just has to get into it and stick her whole head in...because she can. If one of the other burners had been on she would have to learn the 'paws burn' lesson twice! ***frustrated***

Friday, October 21, 2005

Knitting Weather

Leo's Icon Archive
It's supposed to get cold this weekend! Maybe you can't tell, but I'm happy!

At least... I am now, before it actually happens ;o) The weather forecast for Sunday is a low of 35. Time for wool socks, my shawl, gloves, scarves and hats! And time for knitting! This is what a 100-degree-plus summer does to a girl from Minnesota! 8+}

I was painting boards in the office garage and really enjoying the 55 degree weather. A cup of coffee and a cotton sweater and I was happy. (Did I mention I LOVE coffee?, don't get me started... fresh dried peppermint and french roast coffee with a little bit of cream in it...)

Got to the middle of the second sock. I guess the rest will be tomorrow. Then I have to decide if I will mail them off next week or make something else to go with them. I rescued my other pair of dpns from an abandoned project... I can knit a teddy from 'Knitting for Baby', or try the booties.

I have a book coming in the mail - 'The Good Life', by Helen Nearing [Link]. It is a book about homesteading and living by your own means. This works in with the sheep and woolworks we want down the road. I still have to get myself spinning!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Baby Knits and truck cats

Got a new book! Knitting for Baby. (melanie falick and kristen nicholas) [Link] The reviews say it is not a book for beginners... but some of the projects look like things I can already knit! I knit little rabbits last year that look like the teddy bear. The little booties are really tempting! I should start stocking up for our own baby... But that is still a few years away, can I start anyway? ;o)

I don't recognize any of the yarns in this book, except for Manos. I'll have to do some major subtitution and swatching. Loked up some of the yarns — they don't seem easy to get ahold of.

Willowpede is 'mugging' me while I work on the computer. She is as persistant when she wants attention as she is in avoiding everyone when she wants to be alone.

Our cats usually go to work with us in the truck. They behave beautifully (knock on wood) except for when we are at gas stations. Willow is very scared of people she doesn't know. If someone talks to us at the gas station about us(and they often do), Willowpede crawls down to the floor and cowers.

We had to stop at a store this morning. To avoid cooking kittens in the 80 degree weather, they had to stay home. Tonight they are making up for all lack of playing and attention. J says we should set up a webcam to see what they do when we are gone. ;o) Do we really want to know?

Still working on the second sock, and getting to the 'I really wish my dpns weren't committed to this' stage. I'm sad to say I feel that a lot when making a project. Dreaming of yarn... and so many patterns. I have to focus on finishing.

I am so mean to Willowpede -- she is utterly fascinated with our DVD player. Every bit of it opening and closing she has to investigate. When we put a new disc in, she listens to it loading, and sits back to watch the screen light up and the header music start to play. We were using the remote to tease her tonight, opening and closing the disc repeatedly. She was so disappointed when we took the last movie out and the close-disc cycle didn't result in anything.
Movie Tonight : Metropolis 1927 silent film.

Super Secret Ebay Yarn!

Yay! I won my yarn!

Now I have to wait the long wait for the mailman to bring it ;o) **starts thinking about the projects 1000+ yards of this yarn will make** I see it is most likely hand-wash. Should it be a shawl? I haven't learned how to knit lace yet.
This isn't where I bought it from, but it is close to the gauge and type.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Black Cauldron, Socks and Salamander

Starring Salamander...

She is my vocal, social cat who sometimes sees imaginary bats.
'Sally' is short for Salamander.

We got NetFlix today! I mean, they came in the mail ;o) J and I had both seen The Black Cauldron a long time ago. We are also watching Full Metal Alchemist, an anime. It is better than most we have seen.

One sock done! Sorry no pics. The next is cast on. I still have a lot of room for improvement. Somehow I am just not getting the instep decreases to be even AND fit. Maybe it is just my foot. My mom is the same shoe size as I am - sizing her sock on my foot.

Had Chinese today. Is is normal for chicken teriyaki to be served on a stick? I thought that was chicken yakitori... but maybe that's only Japanese food. It was really good, but I didn't expect to be eating skewered meat for lunch!

Our fortune cookies.
'A nice cake is waiting for you.'
'You are tasting the sweets of success.'

Joke of the Day :

Two manx cats are sitting together.

First Manx : 'I have the world by the tail!'
Second Manx : 'Well — THAT explains a lot...'

Saw this on someone else's blog! ;o)
Super long sock
Wow! You would have been a pair of socks as long
as it's possible for socks to be before they're
tights - and all multi-coloured with pretty
patterns and detail all over the place - then
you could stand and admire your sock-self all

What type of sock are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Vegan biscuits and cake

Ok, I forgot to say, my husband is a vegan. This is a project that has been going on for two years. We've been married three years. So, I re-learned to cook.

These are probably high fat in the vegan recipe, but then, there isn't a lot he can/will eat... so he definitely isn't watching calories.

Baking Powder Biscuits - Veganized
2 c. flour (or 1.5 c. white flour, .5 c wheat flour)
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. unsweetened soy milk (skim milk non-vegan)
1/3 c. oil (we use 1/2 olive oil, 1/2 canola) (melted margarine, non-vegan)

stir dry mixture together in a large pan/bowl/wok, mix milk and oil together in another cup or bowl. Pour wet mixture onto dry, stir until combined. You might need to add just a little more flour if your dough is sticky. Roll into 6 or 7 balls, stretch each ball into a flat dough pancake. Put on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil in 400 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Great with tomatoes, salsa and vegan gravy (store-bought :o(

Cake mix, veganized

Duncan Hines moist yellow cake mix
mashed banana or ground flaxseed as binder(eggs)
canola oil and water as mix indicates

Note: I noticed Duncan Hines moist yellow cake mix isn't vegan anymore! It has egg white or whey in it, I forget which. Double check your cake mixes -- but a banana is a good binder to use instead of egg. You could also look up a regular 'quick cake' from-scratch mix like this Applesauce Cake and substitue the banana for the egg.

Willowpede channels Confucius...

Woman with wet paintbrush should not bat at mosquito.

Heh, I painted more at the office today. I do wish Willowpede had channeled Confucius before I got paint flying through the air. At least it was latex, and I'm washable.. and most of what it hit was expendable ;o) **ie dirt, old trailer, other boards to be painted etc**

Cast on my mom's NEW slipper sock and have gotten to the instep decreases. I love Socks101. I darned three holes in the brown house socks! I'm telling myself some kitten named Salamander might have chewed on it. She has taken a liking to wool fiber. I found her chewing on one of our wool blankets, and previously on one of these socks. I can just imagine if we get our sheep and I start spinning wool! The trouble we will be in then...

Willow's burned foot is healing somewhat. She has me worried with it though. She got on the stove late last week at the office. She started limping on it yesterday (after a whole weekend of it looking okay) and it had changed color. We put some camphor spray on it today and she did not approve at all.

Willow and Sally have little brothers and sisters at the office. Two of them are stub-tailed. Their dad (and Willow's too, probably) is a Manx. He really does look like that picture! One of the new kittens looks just like Willow, he is a boy though and does have a tail. The two tail-less are a yellow and white tom and a girl that is gray with speckles. She is the most fearless and the most noisy. J helped to name her Ewok. She looks sort of like a little wokling. She has that hair thing going on and the big eyes, that's for sure.

Well, off to make biscuits and a cake. It is 65 degrees out and falling. We really can't believe this is Fall in the South. My poor mom has 39 degrees and falling up in Minnesota!

Monday, October 17, 2005

WalMart *growl*, French and unraveling sweaters

I was knitting a slipper sock for my Mom out of some stash yarn (RH). Every store in Fargo, ND had this particular yarn coming out their ears. Our new town is a nice place btw, but not for yarn! *growl*.

I needed more and knew it might be a different dye lot. But they don't carry it at all :_o( Instead of buying a different color I decided to just save my money. I know there is something else in the stash that will make two socks.

So I guess that slipper sock gets ripped out and returned whence it came. C'est la vie? ...segway... I am learning to read French. I have four books of the essays from Montaigne, and a book called Le Grand Meaulnes. All of this with a dictionary and a 1941 'French Grammar Excercises.' Our library bookstore sold me the lot for about $5.50! The librarian said a lady had donated an entire collection of French literature and learning materials and they were only able to put a small amount of them on the shelf. Sad in a way - but I'll give them a good home! (right alongside my German books)

French Reading Resources Online :

I finished J's earwarmer. He promised to model it in a photograph at a later date. Also began recycling(unraveling) a blue cotton sweater that is MUCH too big on me. Seriously, a boat would fit me better. I plan to make a multitude of dishclothes and dishtowels out of the knotty yarn.

Ebay yarn & Earwarmer Pattern

J modelling the earwarmer

I have a super secret Ebay bid on a large cone of yarn... some multicolored dream stuff that would most likely become a rectangular shawl. I still love my Cascade 220 Quatro shawl. It is somewhere in the closet though. It's just about time to dig it out again.

J clipped the claws on the kittens' front feet. Willowpede still has an earache. She felt well enough to attack J's hand under a blanket. Salamander couldn't resist - she got so wild and energetic Willow gave up. She curled up in the egg crate. Poor girl. I know she is having a bad day.

One slipper sock down for Mom. One more to go. J's earwarmer will be finished tomorrow. I got the idea for it from World War II Other Warm Things at HJS Studio. I used the same increase method but up to 21 from 15. I measured it against J's head until one half was correct.

Black Wool-Ease, size 5 straight needles.
cast on 15, garter stitch for about 4 inches.
First Ear :
Increase every row back and forth until 21 stitches.
Knit 4 rows straight, begin to decrease back to 15 stitches.

Knit for 9.5 inches. Make a second ear. Garter stitch for 4 more inches again.
Bind off and sew short sides together. Weave in any tails.

Adjust for size of actual wearer. J has about 23" circ. around the back of his neck and over his forehead. The garter stitch will stretch some, but I'm not making it a tight stretch.

Time to make: would have been one night but I finished knitting a sock too ;o)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fall begins

Here is a pic that shows both of the kittens, Sally and Willowpede. I finished the white house socks, after much much procrastinating. I left them on the needles in my yarn box for the better part of four months, with just six rows and grafting left to do on the second sock. It took coming down with the flu and having the brown socks in the wash to make me go and finish them.

Knitting headbands and earmuffs for biking. People don't seem to bike much here in our town. I think this is the time of the year (50-60 degree weather starts again) they consider 'cold'. Today was 75 degrees though, and biking felt good.

I am drooling over yarn again online. All the names and textures. And not a single yarn shop for over 100 miles! I don't count WalMart. Although I guess RedHeart is okay for a pair of slippers. Making a pair of sock-slippers for my mom out of some old stashed RedHeart. I like 100% wool yarn the best. Try finding that at WalMart :o( Ours doesn't even carry Wool-Ease!

Sooner or later we will get over to Nashville and I can visit the Haus of Yarn. That probably won't be until early next year.

In the meantime, Knitpicks catalog came in the mail. So I am drooling over those options too. I hate to pay shipping on something I used to be able to walk three blocks and pick up. I miss the Yarn Renaissance in Fargo, ND!

Well enough whining. J has requested a headband for him (since he saw the genius of mine). His ears got cold biking today too. I have that pair of slippers to knit and our Willowpede has an earache. I guess when you are all ears (look at her pic below) that is bound to happen. She was miserable last night and slept next to me in the bed. That is very different, she is the 'where is that hiding spot of mine?' type of cat when she sleeps. She wouldn't even play with Sally today. Sally took comfort in attacking the plastic bags the groceries came in.

Ok, knitting bits, check. Yarn gripes and whines, check. Kitty saga, check.
;o) ~Rhe

Box O' Kittens!

These were the kittens back in June or so. It was too cute to pass up. I'll post another pic of what they look like now. The striped one in front is Willow, and the one just behind her (hardly able to be seen, grey with white stripe up nose) is our Sally(Salamander). Our girls are 6 months now and still not settling down ;o)