Thursday, July 31, 2008


So in my quest to never finish anything, I started two new projects last night. One is a child's hat that I'm sort of designing myself, my first "design" (but seriously, its a hat, and nothing crazy). The OTHER one is a shawl to wear to my friend's wedding in September. I figured since I got the invitation, it would be a good time to start it! I only bought the yarn a month ago... I got it at Yarns in the Farms in Beverly, Mass. I love that store!!! Its very small, but very cute, and has tons of yarn, but not in the overwhelming way that a lot of other packed stores do. Anyhow... this mohair was on sale and had been dying to try something with mohair, so I grabbed it. As pretty as it is, now that I look at it, it kind of looks like a dead squirrel

Erm thinks it looks like potatoes.

So when I bought this yarn I had in my head exactly what I wanted to knit with it, I just couldn't find a pattern. Then came newly addicted knitter Mom who is determined to buy out every LYS and bookstore of all their knitting magazines. I was pawing through them aimlessly a couple of weeks ago and voila! I found a pattern for a lace shawl with mohair that is exactly what I wanted! It has a specific name, but of course, I can't remember the name of it. And, I can't find a picture of it anywhere. But, I have a picture of the beginning of mine, that looks nothing like what it will look like when its done. However, if we learned anything from the Helen Incident of 2008, its to not get discouraged too soon! So, after two repeats of the lace, this is what I have:

It doesn't look like a shawl... or potatoes, or a dead squirrel, even. But, I am determined to finish it! Even if I don't wear it to the wedding, I haven't made something for myself in forever... so it will be nice to have this. Maybe when it looks like a shawl I will print more pics...

Speaking of not making anything for myself, I have bought yarn to make things for myself, as well as others. Bringing me to something that I have decided to do, although I hate even saying the words... I am putting myself on a yarn diet. Ack! Seriously, I need it. No more yarn. I have tons, and I only need 2 skeins for a gift, but other than that, I think I have everything I need for myself and others until at least after my wedding. FYI that is just shy of 6 months away. Can I go 6 months without buying yarn? I hope so! This is what I'm working on:

1. Gift #1

2. Gift # 2 (I can't say what the gifts are, for the same reason that I don't badmouth people, you never know who is reading your blog).

3. Red Sock #2

4. Erm's Sock #2

5. My poor, neglected Rusted Root

6. My Sock Yarn Blankie, which needs a new name and definitely won't be done until after my first wedding anniversary. Big big ongoing project.

7. My mohair shawl

8. I was in the middle of a pair of socks for my Nana in May... but I took them off the needles... should do those, too...

I also have various projects to work on in between all of these, I would like to sell some stuff at a craft fair or two in the fall.

Putting that all in writing makes me realize that there is no need to buy new yarn! I have plenty to keep me busy until at least January! I am completely OK with the yarn diet. But, if anyone is looking for a birthday present for me... I'm sure you can guess what I'd like.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TNT, Red Socks, and Space Invaders

Hello there! Long time no blog! I've been busy busy busy! Between work, wedding stuff, running/tennis/etc, I haven't had much time to knit! However, I have had a big accomplishment... I finished Red Sock number one! Its been done for a little while, it took me a record 2 weeks for one sock, which is very speedy for me! I cast on the second last night so I wouldn't suffer from SSS on this one. I'm very pleased with how they are coming out, although I'm wishing I had made the leg a little longer. Oh well, take a look!

After that sense of accomplishment, its on to more accomplishment, namely my 5 mile race! When I say accomplishment, though, I don't mean that I won, or even ran a personal best. I mean I finished. Because it was HOT that day. We started at 9, and even though I'd say about half the race was shaded, the half that was in the sun was brutal. What a difference an hour makes!!

To keep me active when I'm not trying to kill myself running in the heat, I play tennis on Tuesday nights with my fiance, cousin, and his girlfriend. My cousin and his girlfriend take Tuesday Night Tennis (TNT) very seriously, as shown by their uniforms.

And by the look I have here, you can tell I don't take TNT all that seriously. Although I feel like I do...

Well, at least its good exercise.

This weekend after my 5 miles of hell, I went to the Lowell Folk Festival with my old coworker and good friend Keely. We had food, drinks, and lots of fun! We also brought her gorgeous and wonderful dog, Semper. Actually, he is still a puppy. A huge, 7 month old, 80+ pound puppy! He is also my nephew. We walked around for awhile, and finally found a place to camp out for a few hours. What we should have done was open up a petting zoo! So many little kiddos came over to investigate Semper, who just kissed them all and took it like a champ! For all the people that were afraid of him, he was a pussycat with the kids, and well behaved all day! We had fun!

Also saw some friends from college and high school this weekend! We got together at Melissa's house for dinner on Sunday night, all eight and a half of us. The half being Brady of course! He had some toys, some big beautiful eyes, some chubby cheeks!

That would normally bring me to a quiet Monday night, but last night Erm and I went to the Eagles concert with my uncle and some of his friends/family. Which brings me to something that I cannot be quiet about any longer.... SPACE INVADERS. I try not to let little things bother me, since life is too short for wrinkles, but its gone on long enough. If you are at a concert, and notice that the person next to you is standing really close to you, or their partner on the other side, look down and check out where you are... if you are occupying more than half the space that the OTHER person's seat allows, you are a SPACE INVADER. Get back in your seat! I cannot stress this enough. I really don't mind sitting next to strangers, so I always take the seat on the end, since so many people do mind. However, I do have a problem when the guy next to me is a Space Invader, and his elbow/hip/hand/etc manages to invade itself to my backside, if you know what I mean. Those seats are certainly big enough for the average, even slightly larger than average person, and there is no need to try to box someone out of their own seat. If you don't want to stand close to people, don't go to the concert, stay home and listen to the CD!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Phew! I went home last night and dashed right in to check on my hat and what Helen may or may not have done to it... it still wasn't completely dry, but looked like it had shrunk back up a little. I figured if it was shrinking, that was a good sign. So I left it overnight, and its PERFECT today! I love it, I am definitely going to make one for myself. Lesson learned... for anyone that is knitting with Malabrigo Silky Merino, it stretches BIG TIME when wet, but shrinks back to normal while it dries! It is also even silkier and softer after blocking! Another lesson learned, don't freak out until your blocked items are dry, it will just add stress induced wrinkles to your face. I will hopefully give it to my aunt tomorrow, and she will enjoy its softness for years to come. Pictures below!

And a big Thank You to Erm for picking the perfect button!

Now I can go enjoy my weekend in peace! You should too!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So last night I FINALLY figured out how to finish the Pi Topper Chemo Cap. I made this for my aunt, who has breast cancer, and is a few weeks into her chemo treatments and has already shaved her head. I made the hat out of Malabrigo Silky Merino, which is soooo nice to knit with! For anyone who is making this or is planning to make this, don't be afraid of the band directions! First of all, when you make the band, you're just going around in garter stitch and picking up live stitches from the bottom of the hat. But what I couldn't find any directions on was how to join the edges of the band. I sat there for a whole night with the hat in one hand and the directions in the other and could NOT figure it out. Finally, last night, I did! When you have one end on one needle and the other end is flapping in the breeze, you are going to take your right needle (with the stitches on it) and pick up stitches from the loose end, so its kind of like you are knitting two together, then wrap the yarn from the right needle to knit, and voila! The ends of the band will be joined. I'm going to do this and take pics while I'm doing it, but that's the general gist of it. Then instead of having 14 sts, you will have 28 sts, just k2tog every time and you'll be back to where you need to be. Again, I need to add pics. Go to the site with the pattern to see what the hat is SUPPOSED to look like.

So! After I finished I decided to go to bed and block this baby this morning. Last week I bought a styrofoam head at a beauty supply store for just this occasion. I dunked, rinsed, rinsed again, and was ready to put on the scary head for the day. Except when I put it on the scary head (I think the head's name is Helen, by the way), it looked like this!

It didn't look like that while I was knitting it! I left it on Helen last night before I went to bed and it looked just fine! I was on the verge of a meltdown when I realized... Helen is maybe smaller than the average adult head. So I took a measurement of my head versus Helen. I had to get the look and angle to be the same, and as you can see, I was right:

1. Helen IS scary, and normal people do not tilt their heads and close their eyes all the time like that.

2. Helen is really a few inches smaller than my head, which is a pretty normal sized adult human head. I'm going to need a bigger Helen. But, I'll keep this one for kids hats, I think.

But... the hat still looks huge. Was I not supposed to block the Silky Merino? I will be devastated if I have to start over with a whole new hat! I was trying to think of what to do, when I remembered that I read somewhere on Ravelry that someone used a plate to block this hat. Aha! So I took out one of my salad plates and stuck it into the hat, and then put the hat AND plate on top of Helen, who I hate right now. I left it all in the bathroom (with the door CLOSED so my two wonderful cats don't invade and interrupt the process) and it looks like this:

By the way, that flap that just looks messy is really going to be sewed onto the band with a beautiful button, so it looks like... a flap with a button.

Can someone please reassure me that this hat is going to be ok? As you can see, it is down to Helen's NOSE, and looks ridiculous. I don't want my aunt to look like that kid from Fat Albert when she wears it. Now I'm wondering if gravity is going to take over and pull it down even farther? Can I block it again? Should I just give up and start again? Help!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

Some of my favorite things about summer:

1. Staying lighter later. This allows me to be outside until 8:30, sometimes later! Last night Erm and I played tennis with my cousin and his girlfriend, and we were out just that late. I'm not even going to brag about our crazy comeback, which I am paying for today. I swear, sometimes I feel like an 80 year old after exercise! Maybe its because I'm considered an "older woman", as stated by one of my coworkers yesterday. But, this is a happy post. The blow was softened afterwards, where we partook in...

2. Ice cream stands! Or in this case, an ice cream store. There's nothing like a spur of the moment stop at an ice cream place to cheer you up! Instead of my normal pistachio or chocolate chip, I got a pina colada slush, which was excellent. It was a wise move since I got ice cream yesterday at work (oops). Thank God for tennis!

3. Swimming in my parents' pool, which I actually haven't gotten a chance to do yet this year! Hopefully this Saturday will change that...

4. Sitting outside on a deck somewhere, enjoying a delicious beer and some seafood. This is really my favorite thing about summer. It sounds like I have a problem, but being able to sit on the ocean, during the day, and have drinks... yum. I can see you smiling right now. This Sunday, Erm and I are heading to Federal Jacks in Kennebunkport for the day. Well, we'll walk around town, too. We got engaged last July, and we are celebrating one year of engaged bliss. Can't wait!

5. Sundresses. When you just want to be comfortable.

6. Barbeque. I am lucky enough to be marrying a man who not only cooks inside, but has crazy grilling and smoking skills. Ribs, brisket, chicken, vegetables, potatoes... he does it all. And I'm not talking just a bare steak or pre-marinated chicken from the butcher. He makes his own rubs, sauces, marinades, etc. He also likes to dress like his food
7. Sights like this:

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy summer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One Sock, Two Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock

So this past week has been a busy one, and one full of finished and started projects! First off, I stayed up late one night last week and FINALLY got done with the first sock for Erm's pair! Took me long enough! And the good news is that it fits, and he loves it. He is excited for his second one, which he is patiently waiting for. See the sock below!

So that was very exciting for the end of the week. We had a jam packed weekend, as always. It started Friday night with some crazy commotion next door, which I don't really want to get into. I'll just say it kept us up very very late and we were tired on Saturday! But, we got up, rallied, cleaned the house and got some other stuff done and prepared for Kelly, Scott, Shaine and Todd, friends and bridesmaids, to come over. Erm made ribs (again!) and they were DELICIOUS (again!). I can't get enough of them. Also very exciting was that Kelly brought Brady! I'm sorry to all you other babies out there, but Brady is probably the cutest baby out there. He is so interactive, mimicking everyone's faces and mannerisms, especially his Dadda!! Check out Kelly's Blog for more on Brady. Here's pics of me and Brady in the kitchen... it was a fun night!

So a little while ago I got the bright idea to make Red Sox socks for my friend Dana. I bought the yarn awhile ago but just never got around to it. Of course, her birthday is in a couple of weeks, so guess what I started this weekend? I swear, I am a masochist. However, the weirdest thing has happened... you know how Erm's blue socks have taken me 2 months to make just one? I only have a couple of inches to go on the leg of the first red sock already! I didn't even have that much knitting time this weekend! I think its for a few reasons... a) her feet are much smaller than Erm's, so - fewer stitches b) no pattern on these, which while boring, goes much quicker c) maybe because these are red, which is my favorite color? I don't know! I also need to learn to do 2 socks at a time Magic Loop style, because I like Magic Loop a lot. But, without counting my rows, I can't really ensure that both socks are going to be the same unless I do them both at the same time. Maybe, just maybe, that will be a new project... Red Sock below!

Another thing we did this weekend was register at Crate and Barrel! It was way more fun than I thought it was going to be, and I knew it was going to be pretty fun. They treat you like royalty there! It was so nice to walk around, sipping a mimosa and just shooting that little gun away. I have heard stories of the men all wanting to control the gun, but not Erm. He was happy to hold things up for me so I could shoot them with the gun. Such a gentleman! It was great to get another thing checked off the list, but it was fun at the same time! More wedding stuff this week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! On Friday we went to my parents' house for some burgers, dogs, drinks, etc. I do have to say that the carrot cake I made came out awesome. One of the things I like to do as much as knit is bake, and I must admit, I'm pretty good at it! I would have taken a picture of the cake, but it was very plain. Nothing exciting visually. Saturday we relaxed, went and bought MORE plants at the nursery, since we are turning into crazy plant people, then had MOH and her fiance over for dinner. Something that Erm likes to do as much as I like to knit is grill and smoke things, and he made ribs on Saturday that were maybe the best ribs I've ever had. They were so good that he's making them again this weekend! I can't tell you his secret, BUT I can tell you that part of the process is "mopping" them with my homemade barbeque sacue. Mmmm delicious.

Sunday I finally did what all us New England woman dread, but have to do twice a year... I put away all my winter clothes and took out all my summer clothes! This is something I've been dying to do for awhile, but it either wasn't quite warm enough or I didn't have the time. See, normal people can start wearing their spring/summer clothes around Memorial Day, even earlier. And then they can put them away around mid-September. Not us... to be safe, you should wait til 4th of July to take out all the summer stuff, and Halloween is a good time to take out all your winter clothes. So this was the weekend! I love this project, because I forget about half my clothes! Its like I went shopping, for free!

I was apparently on a roll after that because I went for a run. Not a big one, but still, I surprised myself that I was able to squeeze that in. Running is another thing I enjoy, up there with baking and knitting. I am preparing for my church's Summer Festival race on the 26th. There's a race and a Fun Walk. Now, I thought both were 5K, which is 3.1 miles, so I've been preparing myself for that mentally. Imagine my "amusement" when I looked today and saw that the Fun Walk is 5K, but the race is 5 miles! I can do it, but totally wasn't prepared for that! Time to step up my training! After that, a relaxing day in Gloucester with Erm's parents, went home, watched a movie and went to bed! I was recharged!

Another thing I did over the weekend was wind up a ball of sock yarn that I've been looking to get rid of into little mini-balls. Why, you ask? I'm in a swap for OTHER mini-balls to go into my Sock Yarn Blanket! I'm so excited! I got to get rid of yarn I'm never going to use, and get 11 new balls of yarn to go right into my Blankie. What's better than that? I do have to say... I hope my mini-balls find a good home in whatever blanket they end up in. I said goodbye to them today at the post office... here is a parting shot of them on my coffee table....

So after purging myself of some yarn, it was only fitting that I buy some more! My LYS has a great clearance table, (don't miss the clearance sale next week!) and last week at knitting night I spotted some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino on sale for 50% OFF!! There was a bunch in a great orange-red color that I couldn't resist, I have recently fallen in love with the color orange. It took me awhile, but I finally figured out what I'm going to make with it, so yesterday I went and bought... 8 balls. I know, that's a bunch, but I need 2 for the Newsboy Cap and potentially 4 for the scarf, so I didn't overbuy, as many people do. Plus, I got rid of 12 balls, and only bought 8, so I still got rid of more than I bought? I keep telling myself that... Below are pics of my new treasure...

So exciting! That's it for now! Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Wow! So after the things we will not speak of, it is so great to have started something Sunday and be just about done as of last night! My aunt requested a pair of mittens a long time ago, but said she would take them for her birthday, which was Monday but I'm seeing her tomorrow. I even remembered which yarn she wanted them in, which is amazing since I feel like my head is going in a million different directions. I cast on Sunday night after the shower craziness and last night I sewed up the first one! All I need to do for the second is sew that seam, too. I think the trick here was putting both of them on one circular needle so that I was working on them both at the same time. That way, they're both exactly the same length and knitted at the same gauge. Martha taught me that one. So, although one of them is still technically on the needle, here's the mittens!

As you can see, they look very warm, soft, and fuzzy. This is the same yarn that I knitted my first mitten EVER with, but I did a rolled cuff and didn't have enough for two whole mittens. I played with another option, a ribbed cuff, on a pair for myself and it worked out great, so that's what I went with here. I hope she likes them!

In other knitting news, poor poor Erm. I promised him SOCKS and I still haven't finished the first sock. Singular. He has said he'll be happy to have them by the time its cold out, which is probably a reasonable expectation. I'm making the Uptown Boot Socks from the Favorite Socks book and although I love the yarn, and love the pattern, I think because its the men's size and its taking so LONG that I'm getting bored. I've made some great progress, and I'm in the home stretch with the foot, but I feel like the more I do, the more I have left to do! Does that make sense? Anyway, here is the sock so far...

As you can see, I have way more done than the last pic I posted. By the way, these pics were taken with my phone since I left my camera at work (becoming a habit... leaving things at work...) which is why they aren't the greatest. So the part coming down to the right is the foot, in case you couldn't tell. And I'm holding it because otherwise it just doesn't look like a sock. What also makes me nervous is that I try it on from time to time and its very comfortable... on me. Even though I have big feet, his feet are still pretty big... I think that maybe I should have cast on more stitches? Knit looser? I hope they fit him!

I also hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend. Its supposed to rain in the morning tomorrow, but they keep saying that no day will be a washout... so cross your fingers! I have a nice weekend of relaxing ahead of me and I plan on enjoying every minute. Happy 4th!!!

THIS JUST IN: I just learned of some sad news... A few years ago, I had a rabbit, a Netherland Dwarf to be exact. She was grey, with a black face, black ears, and black feet. She almost looked Siamese. Her name was Bullet and she was the cutest little teeny rabbit. When I moved out of the house I lived in, I had nowhere for her, so instead of giving her to a shelter, my friend Leah offered to take her until we could find her a new home. 2 1/2 years later, Leah still had Bullet, until yesterday. I received a message that Bullet passed away yesterday, I'm not sure what from, but I hope it was quick and painless. She was a cute little bunny and she was in good hands. RIP Bullet. :(

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The things we will not speak of...

Ok, I'm not going to talk about the tea cozies except to say that I got them done, I forgot to take a picture, and I'm done with tea cozies potentially forever.

Moving on.

So last weekend, or last week, whatever day it was, I don't remember... I was in the room we use as an office using the computer and I heard one of my cats making a weird smacking noise with his mouth... very odd. So I looked over and outside my slider I saw a neighborhood cat, which isn't new. My house is a contemporary and we have lots of sliders and floor to ceiling windows and all kinds of places for my cats to look out and other cats to look in. There's a cat that is so big she looks like a raccoon, another black cat, a crazy white and stripey cat, and we have a new kid on the block who likes to come visit, and it looks like a time warp when he does because he looks exactly like Joey did when he was little! Here he is, I call him Evil Twin, because he is cross-eyed.

So that was one thing that made me happy this weekend. Another thing was one of our trees being in bloom! Its in bloom a lot of the time, but its my favorite plant/tree that we have and I think its so pretty when its in bloom like this. Erm just bought a yellow hibiscus too, so pretty soon they BOTH will be in bloom at the same time!

And lastly, but not leastly, MOH's shower was a hit! Everything went really smoothly, everything was delicious and fun, and most of all, she had a good time. It was great to be part of such a successful day!
So that's all the excitement for now. I'm working on a new round of projects that should be done by the end of this week! I'll keep you posted!