Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions for the New Year

Just a few goals to share as the new year approaches.....
1. Blog more. I have neglected and otherwise just wimped out on you all.
2. More pictures. Again just pure laziness.
3. Better protect my yarn from the feline molestation. Some people have moths, mine are just a bit larger. Anytime yarn is left out (actually any yarn EXCEPT acrylic - apparently Hanz is a yarn snob too) Hanz feels the need to hide it under the bed. He doesn't chew on it anymore (OK, RARELY chews it anymore) but he loves the act of stealing it. He hunts it, sniffs it out from under or inside wherever I think it is safe and he steals them one skein at a time and then waits a few minutes to see if he got away with it. To be very honest, he usually does - what draws my attention is not being able to find Franz. Franz will normally come when called but when he doesn't, I always know where to find him... under the bed nuzzled in a cocoon of yarn. As cute as this sounds, Mommy is not amused.
4. An online fiber journal. During my move, my knitting journal went AWOL. Now, I KNOW that "The Man" will find it at some point with all of his stuff. HOWEVER, I SAW the way he is living now and I am wondering if I will need a HAZMAT team go pick it up or if I even want something that was IN the bio hazard he calls an apartment. Well, in the best interest of the health of me and the boys, I think I will just re-create it online.
5. Maybe you can help me with this.....
Do you want labels? I am divided on this. Does anyone out there have an opinion?
6. Start a new blog. No, I am not shutting down this one. I have just had some very life altering things in my life this year and I am almost , dare I say it...... BUBBLY. I want to share. I want to motivate. I want to hear what you have to say. But it isn't (well, at least most of it) knitting or fiber related. Some of you come here for the fiber and I want to respect that. So, in the next few days I will announce my new, additional blog and then I will try to keep my non-fiber related stuff over there. Of course you are always welcome to read me there too.
I hope you all have a wonderful AND SAFE New Year's Eve (you better call me if you need a sober ride home!!) and I will see you on the other side!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

As blessed as I am, I am struggling to find the words to express the joy I hold in my heart today. So, I leave you with this, for those who are still struggling to find that perfect gift:

"Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect."
~Oren Arnold

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Just a reminder...

The square joining "party" is this coming Saturday. If you haven't already RSVP'd, there is still time/room and we would LOVE to have you. I am bringing cookies and rumor has it there will be bagels and coffee as well. You can find more information here. If you CAN'T make it, you can always send us some 8" squares - crocheted or knitted - all the info is on the site. We have been blessed to have received squares from all over the World.

As for MY projects, so many projects, too many birthdays in December! (To Do: Petition to make sex illegal in March!) As if Christmas and birthdays weren't enough to keep a girl busy, moving my house (I'm FINALLY done - "Free at last, Free at last.....") AND moving my office - into a building that we haven't finished building yet!! WHAT A MONTH! BUT, I do have more posting for you in the very near future WITH pics. (And maybe a teaser of the pattern I am working on.)

I hope you are ENJOYING the season (or lack thereof for those of you San Diegans - no 60 degrees is NOT weather) and not rushing through it. Slow down and smell the eggnog. And, if you see me out and about, don't get too close, you never know when I might break out into my rendition of "The Dance of the Sugar Plump Fairy"!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

New map adds to "the crazies"...

It is no secret to those who know me that I am "just a little off". I take meds, I am no danger to (most of) society. (Hey, you read the blog title, what did you think you were getting into?!) But there are those little things that really just add to "the crazies" and, most recently, I did it to myself.
So I put up this cute little map at the bottom of the page that puts a little dot to show where my readers come from. I am assuming that it tracks where your computer gets its Internet service from and a little programming later, there you have it. I thought that this would be a great idea to really make me feel like I was reaching out to the world of knitters (and maybe a few who are considering making the step from knitter voyeur to actual knitter). WELL, the plan back fired on me today.
Today I had a reader from Mill Valley, CA. Now, I don't know anyone from Mill Valley, I have never been there and I don't think I read anyone up there. I haven't even written anything INTERESTING lately. So, how did they end up here? SO, here is my "shout out" to all of my "new" friends (yes, you "old" ones can play too) - tell me who you are, where you are from, why you are here and how you got here. I would love to hear from you!! And, hey, YOU from Mill Valley! Shoot me an email and I will make you a scarf to keep you warm during the Bay winter.
For those of you here in "Sunny and 74" San Diego, bundle your kids up and let them go play in the rain. Jumping in puddles and playing in mud is almost as fun as the warm bubble bath afterward. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A quote and a funnie

A new meaning for the Christmas colors.....

RED means STOP and be thankful for the moment.
GREEN means GO out and do nice things.
Of course, I got this fro a Starbucks cup, but hey, it is the thought that counts, right??!


AND, a Chistmas funnie, absconded from a Borders Bookstore ad:
(Just to cover my butt, if you click on the picture it will bring you to their website.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Christmas Wish List

As I read my favorite blogs, I always take advantage of looking through what the author likes to read. Chances are that if I like their writing, we have similar interests, thus, I will like the posts that they read as well.

Crafty Loca in her infinite conscienceness of balance, reads No Inpact Man. I have taken to reading him on occasion (my attention span wanes when there is no knitting involved) and he has a very interesting blog today that I would like my readers to take a look at. Today's blog is his Letter to Santa. Take a look, replace "Tanner" with your name (unless you are a sexy single man looking for a zaftig domestic godess, in which case, replace "Michelle" with your name and then email me!!). I think he has the right idea(although I would NEVER turn down a handmade item of any kind!!). I wish this kind of Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) for you and yours.

Friday, November 23, 2007

This year's Thanks giving list...

1. For my daughter's presence in my life. I could stop here and still be the most blessed person I know.
2. For the new friends that I have made this year - there a A LOT of you - all of incredible quality and warmth. I could not have made the transition that I did without the input you have made in my life.
3. For my knit group. I know I have neglected you the past few meetings, but you should know that you are ALWAYS in my heart even if I am not there to share my theories, whine about the fact you are all freaking morning people!!!!!, and just in general, make you wish that you had brought earplugs.
4. For the jobs I love - the one that (hopefully) pays the bills and the one I hope to make pay the bills next year. (Thank you Deb for being my biggest supporter, cheerleader and unpaid marketer. I will never be able to say 'thank you' enough times for all of the promoting you do for me!)
5. My knitting. The knitting that calms me. The knitting that excites me. The knitting that carries me through everyday and remains even when I am dreaming. The knitting that owns my heart and still exudes from me even during a bout of food coma brought on by too much triptophan (even if I can't spell it) and pear cider. (I believe Deb is to thank for that one too!!)
I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving and was able to see what they have to be grateful for this year.

OH!.....and thank you God for another year with good drugs (legal ones) that allow me to recognize what I have to be thankful for!!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

AWOL from my blogging duties

OK, so I have been a little less than diligent in my blogging duties. And, unfortunately, I don't have any FOs to show you that may excuse me from my absence. I will, however, catch you up on the last month in hopes that we can regain some lost ground and get back into the swing of things.

Well, as you probably already know, the fires were devastating to a large portion of San Diego County. My good friend Adrian was nice enough to open her house to me, my boys and "The Man". The boys and I have renamed her "Auntie Adrian" as she spoiled ALL of us - putting "Feelaway"(sp) aka "kitty crack" in our guest room - which, by the way is bigger and more comfortable than my apartment. If you have never heard of the stuff, it is supposed to calm your feline in stressful situations. Well, I must have been a feline in another life because I slept like the DEAD 2 nights in a row. She also supplied kitty treats and toys. And that was just for the boys!! I have never felt so cared for in my life. You know if that attorney gig doesn't work out for you, maybe you could teach "How to be the perfect Hostess classes". I never gave her a proper "Thank You" - don't worry, it is coming - I am just REALLY SLOW these days!


After returning home, my knitting group has shown my yet one more way that San Diegans step up and care for one another in a way you rarely see these days. Our Organizer, GeorgeAnne, started this:
You will see this on my side bar and it will link you to the blog she started. 1500 San Diegans lost their homes and she has challenged all of us to knit and/or crochet as many blankets so that there is a blanket created with love for everyone that wants one. This project started out simple enough, a shout out to our "Fiber Therapy" group. However, many in our group are in exchange groups and such; some work in higher profile jobs and have contacts in media type environments. Somewhere along the way, knitters and crocheters around the country - and even a few in different countries have donated their time, effort, fiber and well wishes to this project. What once seemed like an unfillable order is now well on its way and is an amazing statement of what people can do when they join together for the same cause. Check out the website. See what we are doing and if you have the ability, volunteer in some way. Even if you don't knit or crochet, there are ways to get involved. Contact GeorgeAnne - I am sure that she can help you get involved with whatever gift you have been blessed with. If you know someone that lost a home and would appreciate one of these blankets, go to the website and fill out a nomination request. The information will not be shared with anyone and is not being used for any other purpose than to get the blankets to those who want them.
Also on the excuses for being AWOL...
Well, I am moving out of "The Man's" apartment (yes, I know all of you who know me are saying "FINALLY"!). After a long (bizarre) "relationship" we are finally parting ways and I am once again moving my 10 tons of yarn. Thanks to a good friend (and new room mate) I will have plenty of room to put that 10 tons of yarn and a work space to spread out in. Of course, pictures will be available once I have it all moved in.
Not only am I moving my personal life, but we are moving our office as well. As some of you may know, I work for a general contractor (who is getting many calls to be build homes lost in the fires). We are in the final stages of finishing a brand new office building. Now, when I say "the final stages", I mean that we have about a month's worth of work left. We will be moving in Friday after next. As you can imagine, without the holiday it would be hectic but since Thanksgiving is upon us (whether the retail media wants to acknowledge it or not) and since the City of Solana Beach enforces a mandatory shut down on holidays, the 2 weeks we have is really only 1 week. The stickies have come full circle around my monitor and the surface of my desk has disappeared. OH WELL, at least packing will be easy - I will push broom it all into a box and then dump it out onto the new desk. I doubt any attempt at an organized move would be any more successful.
Well, I hope that this is a small indicator of why I have been absent. My sincerest love and appreciation to all of my friends that I know I have been neglecting. Bare with me just a little longer. And don't worry, I am working on your Christmas gifts!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Deja Vu

I am sitting tonight with my knitting in hand watching hour after hour of the news. I have packed bags for myself, my babies and my room mate, who is California Highway Patrol. He is out helping with the evacuation process for the fires. Like the Cedar Fires in 2003, there isn't just one fire, but several. The winds are high, the humidity low.
I was affected by the Cedar Fires. I lived in East county, I sat and watched the tv thinking I was safe and distant from the fire. When the fire came over the hill behind the house, I had not packed anything and had no gas in my car. Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was. While I did not lose my belongings, I know many who did. Many, woke to police banging on their doors. They had 10 minutes to pack what they could and go.
I went to work, for a short time, with a construction company that was rebuilding some of the homes that burned. Ironically, I met my room mate at that job and I work for that company again now, 4 years later. I saw the pain that people went through trying to replace their lives.
I will not wait. I will be ready. After packing, as I rake my brain, trying to make sure that I haven't forgotten anything, I sat knitting in an attempt to stay calm. Apparently it worked well, the cats didn't notice anything until the air became seeped in the ash. Even though I shut the windows as soon as I smelled the smoke, there is ash inside the windows. My eyes and throat are scratchy - I can only guess how the boys feel. They are now trying to figure out what is wrong.
My prayers go out to the men and women out there trying to protect us and those who have been evacuated.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blogging for a cause

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Please join me and help make our World a better place through education and awareness.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Working at my Art


SO many things going on in my world!!!

Well, lets start with some new info over to the right ------->

I have some craft shows coming up this month and next month. I will have a booth with Goldie Knits so come out and see us! For those of you wanting one of my DPN Holders, this will be the first opportunity to purchase one! I will have pictures up of the options later this week. Custom knitting bags and organizers. Since Most of these are one of a kind, I won't have pictures up - you will just have to come out and see them. And, of course there will be socks - mostly baby socks but there will be a few for us big babies too.

Also, I am officially starting to do finishing work. For those of you who have a few projects stashed that are 90% done and you just don't want to bother blocking and seaming, don't ever get those zippers right, or just got bored half way through a project and don't see yourself finishing the project if you have to do it - send it my way! I have to send a great big "THANK YOU" to Corinne at Crafty Loca for such kind words today on her blog. She gave me the opportunity to work with one of my favorite yarns (Manos) and trusted me with the beautiful pieces that she knit for her man. I am so glad you are happy with the results!!


There is also a 'Disclaimer' over there. As cat allergies seem to run rampant here in California, I must throw out it out there. The "real bosses" here at Neurotic Needles are Hanz and Franz. While they are short haired and very well groomed, but they are still cats (sorry guys!). Brush and vacuum as I may, the hair is EVERYWHERE. While I will make every attempt to keep your item from becoming some sort of feline-angora, you may find a stray hair or two. Consider them blessings - their way of saying "Thank you for contributing to our next kitty platform".

Friday, October 5, 2007

Support San Diego Zoo



On October 6-7, stop by your local (San Diego) Starbucks and purchase one of these fall favorites: Caramel Macchiato, Chai Tea Latte or Pumpkin Spice Latte, Satrbucks will donate 25 cents to the Zoological Society at San Diego to support its conservation efforts around the world. ~Like you need an excuse!!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Shameless Plug

It is such a rare occasion these days to get truly great service. So, when you get it and the store you are in has great selection and prices, it would be sinful to let a trip there pass without giving them a little plug.
I went to Fabric Discounters in the Miramar area (in San Diego) today and now I am kicking myself for waiting so long to go!!! They carry interior design fabrics - everything from sheer to heavy weight and their prices are great. There will be some VERY cute knitting bags and needle storage being made!
I think what REALLY caught my attention though, was the lack of snootiness. Now those of you who know me personally can attest to how much this bugs me... lack of customer service, judging appearances to determine how to speak. JUST BE NICE. I walked in and was GENUINELY greeted - not the standard "Welcome to _______" without so much as a turn of the head. Another employee came over and asked if I needed any help finding anything specific - "No, just looking." She let me know that all of the bolts had samples available and if I needed anything to please let her know. No pressure at all. I browsed, being checked on once, grabbed up some remnants and headed for the register before I started buying WAY more that I had planned. Again, genuinely nice people at the register and didn't even glare when I just got my remnants! They asked what I was making and we chatted while I was rung up.
I will be a repeat customer. I should have grabbed some cards and delivered them to some of the places I have been that gave me crappy service!!! SO, if you have a need for interior design fabric, or want me to make you a bag, go check them out!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Truly disturbing comments

Yesterday I received a truly disturbing comment (which I have since deleted) with the rantings of someone who (I hope) forgot to take their anti-psychotic meds. The comment was left anonymously.
To whomever left the message - THIS IS NOT THE FORUM FOR YOU. Please take your message to rants and raves on Craigslist or somewhere else where people who are receptive to that kind of message go. I don't want to read it. I don't want my readers to read it. AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY - IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE HERE.
To my readers - My sincerest apologies to anyone who happened to see it. My love to everyone. ~Lisa

Monday, September 10, 2007

Function and (New) Fiber


Well, as I have mentioned before, I have skis for feet - really long, really thin. While I imagine that if the rest of my body was as long and thin I might might not be so whiny, having skinny feet makes it a bit difficult to find shoes that fit. Usually when I get the length large enough, they flop back and forth side to side. This can cause serious problems when you are wearing slides and live on the 3rd floor. They say 'necessity breeds invention' and this is my version.
Sandal Socks in Lion Brand Micro Spun
Knit on US#5 DPNs


The mini sock fills the space between foot and shoe thus tightening the shoes.
Since they are so short, just covering the ball of each foot, they completely hide under my slides. (and keep me from falling up the stairs) It is the simple things that keep me happy.

Also this week there was a small lapse in my yarn diet. I had a request from my daughter for yellow socks. Do you know hard it is to find washable yellow sock yarn?! After searching several online stores and making several purchases, I decided it might be safer to go into a local yarn shop (well, it would at least take me longer to spend my paycheck!) So off to Needlecraft Cottage I went since they have a decent selection of sock yarns. Well, they like everyone else didn't have your stereotypical sock yard in yellow, however, what they did have I can't wait to try out. Panda Cotton is 55% Bamboo, 24% Cotton and 21% Elastic Nylon (this color is Vanilla Cream and is a pale yellow and pale orange variegate) . Machine Washable, cool for feet in a warm climate and most importantly YELLOW. It is really soft and though the ball is teeny-tiny, it is 170 yards and she said she got a knee high sock out of 1 ball with a lot left over. Since I am making little short socks, I may be able to squeeze 2 pair out of the 2 balls I purchased - AND at a very good price I might add... SO good in fact that I took the opportunity to purchase the other yarn shown: Maizy 82% Corn Fiber, 18% Elastic Nylon for some socks for me. Hey, anything to stay cool in this heat!

By the way, the other yarn in the picture above is a hand painted merino by Artyarns. Off to knit socks for my girl.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I'M MELTING!!!!!

For those of you that are in San Diego, I need not say more. I know that to the rest of the country, we sound like a bunch of whiners. When I moved here 12 years ago from the East coast, I was so won over by the weather that I never left - I gave up the seasons for the mild summers. I am now questioning my decision. Now, I love the cold. I love the rain. I am just a big baby when it comes to humidity (just ask anyone who knew me in Florida). NORMALLY we have 3 weeks of humidity in July - so far we have had almost 2 months of it. Now we are starting to enter the Santa Ana season (dry, hot wind from the desert) - at least I'll be able to breath while I am melting.
So what do I do when it is hot? You guessed it - I knit! If I am going to be miserable, I am at least going to shirk my household duties and do what I love. I managed to finish a few of my many projects-in-waiting.


A gal from my knit group shares the same birthday as myself. I threw these together after buying a different yarn for her. While I liked the yarn I purchase for her, but she doesn't wear socks very often (even though she is a sock knitter) and chases 2 teen boys. Because of this, I figured that a washable sock may be more appropriate and maybe used more - who has time to hand wash when you are chasing kids regardless of age?!
Toe Up Ankle Socks by Rachael Calado
in Knit Picks Dancing (clearance yarn)
41% Cotton, 39% Wool, 13% Nylon, 7% Elastic on US #0 DPNs
This project is something I have been wanting to do for a while for several reasons...
First of all, they are just very feminine yet so simple. The beauty of making my own clothes is that I can make the delicate and feminine clothes in my zoftig sizes. Also, I went salsa dancing a few weeks back and found myself dancing with all of the men under 5'5". I took my heels off 2 dances in so they weren't looking straight at my twins the whole time. I figure a pair of these in a flesh tone could be just what I need. I'll let you know how it works.
Mohair Ballet Slippers by Beverly Galeskas
in Ella Rae Classic 100% Wool for the upper as well as the inner sole and Patons Classic Merino 100% Wool for the outer sole.
I made the womens' size large following the pattern exactly except for the final bind off - of course my skis just barely fit. When I make these again (yes, I was that happy with them) I will make them a size larger.
This last project is a little on the random side. When I was first starting to knit I was given 2 balls of bright pink fuzzy stuff. While they are completely not my color, I really have a strange facination with it. I found a hat pattern that I could use and incorporate another color into it to tone the pink fuzzy down. It probably would have worked out great if I had bothered to swatch or really pay attention to the pattern. Instead, I had an interesting thing happen to me. For the first time since I have started crafting (we are taking in-utero) I just played with my medium and let it go where it wanted to. Now I doubt I would have gone in THIS direction intentionally, but I have to say that it was a really nice change to just give the control up to the fiber.
Well, back to knitting. I have a few more in process but no pictures yet. More very soon - particularly if this heat keeps up as I will be hiding in the A/C with my knitting.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Success is...

A few weekends ago a few of us went on a "mini yarn crawl". We had such a great time with the organized trip the weekend before (all 20(?) of us) that we thought just 3 of us would be a great manageable spur of the moment thing. A fabric store (where we saw another Fiber Therapy member who had a similar idea), a Michael's and a yarn store later, we were in full tilt knitting mode when we were sitting down to lunch. We started talking about my up coming DPN Primer class and GeorgeAnne, in her normal way of talking me into things, has me (in the middle of a restaurant, mind you) pull out the extra yarn and needles I always have in my bag and I am doing a mini-tutorial on the cast on I will be teaching. (By the way, how did you seasoned knitters like that?) A few days later she emails me that the cast on worked great but now, half way into the sock she has started (!!!!) she is stuck. During the trip over after work, I found that it was the pattern, not her, that didn't make sense. So I scanned the pattern, put "The Lisa Spin" on it and after a fabulous dinner (Thank you again, GA) I was leaving her to her knitting. I was just thrilled that she was knitting.
Later in the (very busy) week, we had our DPN Primer - all of you ladies did WONDERFULLY!! Make sure you bring your hats next Saturday!! I have to admit, I was a little disappointed to see GA CROCHETING!!! with the other crocheters not taking the class. What didn't I express completely that she didn't just fall in LOVE with knitting socks?! Did I fail my friend? And, if I wasn't able to light the fire for her, how did I hope to extend my passion to the others in my DPN class? Would they save the DPNs only for this winters kindling? - the yarn to be pulled out and crocheted into wash cloths? Would I then see them at meet ups and find they have decided to "go back to the dark side" too? (Yes, I mean crochet)
Well, today on my visit to GA's blog Hook and Needles she redeemed me and made me feel as successful as will ever need to feel... I quote (re: her almost finished and very comfy looking, yet 80's inspired sock - and YES, WE WERE COOL), "I can see the addiction to these little things." If I achieve nothing more, I HAVE SUCCEEDED.

Knitting has been a savior to me. It has warmed me - literally and in a "warm fuzzy" emotional way. It has inspired me. It has given me a way to release and enhance my calm. It has introduced me to a wide array of WONDERFUL women (and one man - I'm not forgetting you - even if you missed my class!). With all of the beautiful things that have come to me through this passion, how could I not want to share it with everyone - especially those I care about?
It isn't about the one sock or the one hat. It is about the personal growth and rewarding experience of making that one sock (OK, maybe you should aim for two) or that one hat. It is the process. It is about creating something with love - even if it is for yourself! You need to give yourself love too! (Just don't forget I like dark colors!) It is about having passion and sharing it - if I have done that, I have been a success. Thank you GeorgeAnne.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

DPN Primer / Baby Hat Class

OK, so if there are any of you in San Diego that have not signed up, I am holding a DPN/Baby Hat Class tonight at Fiber Therapy's monthly meeting. So many of out members are crocheters (AKA "want-to-be-knitters") that before diving into something a little more involved, we wanted to make sure we all at least had some basics down. Since I have never taught a knitting class before, it will be a shoe in for some really good laughs. And besides, we always love to see new faces. For more information, just visit the web site.

If THAT doesn't scare you off, there will be a Sock Class next month - the information for that will be posted on Thursday.


You DO NOT have to be a knitter (or crocheter), you just have to aspire to be... we will be happy to get you on your way to addiction. However, we do not, as of yet, have a KA / CA group established so we cannot be held liable for any indiscretions that you may make (such as spending grocery money on yarn or being late to pick up your child from school because you "wanted to finish one more row").


Hope to see you there!
P.S. (Knitter's Anonymous / Crocheters Anonymous)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Socks and the Long Awaited Hat Pattern

It has been a busy, busy week here and not a lot of knitting has happened. I will say that my new knitting friends (one in particular - you know who you are) have really been a huge support and I can see that I am not just making knitting buddies here but real friends. Thank you to ALL.

I did have a few moments to meet up for coffee and finish up these
Toe Up Anklet Socks by Rachel Calado for a Size 6 shoe

I used Knit Picks Dancing (it was a clearance yarn so it may not be available anymore) 41% Cotton, 39% Wool, 13% Nylon, 7% Elastic on US #00 (instead of US #1). I also adjusted the width as they appeared a bit wide for an 11 year old foot.


Despite the teeny needles (I actually LIKE the smaller needles better anyway) and having to get used to the enormous amount of stretch in the yarn, I LOVED working with the yarn and pattern. I can't wait to make a pair in a "real" size. I also started a pair of baby socks made out of the same yarn. I finished the first and all but the toe (cuff down) on the second and ran out of yarn. HOPEFULLY I will be able to get more.



I also have FINALLY posted the info regarding my hat class .
- Nothing like waiting until the last minute. Since this is an original pattern, I needed to get a couple of pictures to post and I finally got a good one (well, my favorite is the one on the last post). If you need more information on this class, you can find it on our MeetUp Site.



Off to knit birthday socks. I hope your weekend is as relaxing as mine is turning out. If it isn't maybe you should be in our knitting group. More soon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A 2 Second Shout Out

Has everyone seen the new MagKnits?
Pink Champagne is super SEXY!!















With its clingy fit and open back, all I have to do now is buy a body to go in it! Any one know a good plastic surgeon?

Just kidding! - After all I am just a few pounds away from a mumu! Pattern coming soon!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A(nother) word on gauge...


... a s-m-a-l-l word...

So, the lesson learned here is that sometimes 2" just isn't enough.

(Ok ladies, minds out of the gutter!!)

Since I hate swatching, if there isn't a way to incorporate a swatch into the beginning of my project (i.e. I can knit 20 or so rows of the pattern width in an hour or so), I will only swatch 2" x 2" - that is usually enough given my typical yarn and needle sizes. This picture though, is obviously a good example of 1/2 the reason why sometimes 2" just isn't enough. Truth is the larger the swatch, the better your chances of measuring accurately.

Another important thing when swatching is to actually take the measurement it measures. If you don't like what the tape measure says, stretching or squishing the swatch to make it measure what you want it to DOES NOT COUNT. (THAT would be the other reason 1/2 of the reason why this attempt doesn't fit EITHER.)

SO, I guess I will be making this again - at least I like the pattern.

In response to requests, I will be teaching a sock class at our September evening San Diego Fiber Therapy group. While planning this, it ocured to me that with so many crocheters, I am not sure how much experience we all have with DPNs. SO, that being said, I decided to do a DPN primer class in August to make sure what I am teaching in September is not too much of a learning curve - the group is supposed to be fun not frustrating. It will teach the basics... handling DPNs, knitting in the round, ribbing in the round, and decreases. I will also offer an alternate 1" x 1" rib cast on for those who feel up to it. Here is a picture of the hat we will be working on:

. . . please excuse the morning picture. . .

of course, the model is pretty damn cute though, isn't he?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A word on swatching...

Ok, so we ALL know the importance of swatching. And, truth be told I usually make a feable attempt - I don't wash and dry and block and do the hoky - poky and turn myself around - but I at least knit a 4" x 2" rectangle and make sure I am close.....
THIS, is not close. THIS is what happens when you decide to change needle size and cast on in a rage. THIS is what happens when you take your frustrations on your knitting so you aren't arrested for what you would like to do. THIS is what happens when after a very tense night of (productive) knitting you are so in love with the yarn you are using that you don't even notice that the shawl (yes folks, this is a shawl) you are working on would fit around the EARTH!
All I can say is that I am really glad that I LOVE this yarn. I have rrriiippppped, re-cast on and will finish this weekend. More (human sized) pics to come soon.
I also whipped up this...


This is Vine Lace Baby Hat from Knitting Daily

by Sandi Wisehart

I used Mandarin Petit 100% Egyptian Cotton on US #3


This was a very quick and fun knit. Yes, I know this is REALLY not my color (or size) but is am hoping I can find a cold head that will enjoy the color as much as I enjoyed making it. Also, it uses almost no yarn - I can probably get 2-3 more tiny hats out of this skein.

Well, off to finish up that shawl (again). I'll leave you with a picture of my boys at Presidio Park. --Go figure I bring them outside and all they want to do is cuddle. - But look at the smile on Franz's face! (Franz is the cute one on the left.)



Saturday, July 7, 2007

GRUMPY

So I spent the last 2 hours writing this great blog and I hit publish and it just DISAPPEARED!!!!! You will have to wait a little while longer for my new post... I think a pint of ice cream is in order first! GGRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr............

FINALLY a Post!

I know that it has been far too long since I have shared. It seems I have spent much more of my time starting projects than finishing them. So many in fact, that I could no longer start any new projects because all of my needles were already in use on partially completed projects. SO, time to get some work down, clear a path through the craft room and finish some of what I have started.


In a past post I alluded to this, a birthday present for a friend:
It is a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn.
Lacy Stole made with Lion Brand Micro Spun in Black
While it took much longer to finish than expected, it turned out soft and very appropriate for San Diego weather. I may need to make one for myself - once I have completed more of my projects of course.


I have also completed (another) pair of socks.
Embossed Leaves Socks from Interweave's Favorite Socks
The yarn is Austermann Step with Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil
75% Superwash wool / 25% Nylon
The color is not one that I would wear but that was the only color that they hadn't sold out of - this yarn knits up so nicely they can't keep it in stock. I fully intend on getting some more... I do always try to support my LYS but if they are still out of it on my next trip, I think I will have to break down and order some online.


I DID find out that when they say 'superwash' they mean "doesn't shrink even if you wash in hot and dry on high" The Embossed leaves pattern stated that if you wanted larger diameter socks to use a larger needle set. In my rush to get "things I want to make even though I have other things that need to be done first" projects checked off my list, I forgot about negative ease. The pattern called for US 2s so I used a US 3. They fit but not really the way I would have liked. I figured if I could shrink them, even just a little bit, that they would fit nicer. A hot water wash and a trip through the dryer on high and they are still the exact same size. (If I had liked the size they would have shrunk in a cold water, gentle cycle and line dry.)


I also learned a very cool cast on. It was a 1 x 1 Rib Cast On - incredibly stretchy and very neat. Get the book. Try it.


Well, back to finishing up projects... I PROMISE it won't be so long 'til the next post. Stay out of the heat - and if you see Mother Nature, please remind her that San Diego isn't supposed be humid!!!




Friday, May 25, 2007

A Productive Night

Well, I am finally making some progress in my lengthy list of projects, UFOs and the endless pursuit to organize my creative outlets. Much like my eating habits, my eyes are MUCH bigger than what is good for me and I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, sometimes quite literally. I could be stranded on a desert island with the contents of my craft room and be content for years - by the way, that is on my Christmas List!

My co-worker's daughter has a birthday coming up and she asked me if I could make her some socks. I, being the plain Jane I am (and having no use for them for myself), had just the perfect socks to make for someone who can pull off pretty.


These are Twinkle Toes by Cookie A.
(there is a free pattern here: DIY Network
I used Yarn Botanika in Peach Spice
(again in a color I could never pull off)
Superwash Merino & Tencel in a fingering weight on US size 2
It took approx. 176 yds. for a size 8 1/2 foot.
I squeezed my skis into them to get these pictures and I am sure glad I did - I would have hated not having a picture of these.
I also pulled this together pretty quick. As per the plan's claims, "if you start it today, you can use it tomorrow. It only took about 4 hours to knit, felt and block.

Amanda's Squatty Sidekick by Amanda Berka sent through Knitting Daily
I used Paton's Classic Wool in Chestnut Brown and Moda-Dea Gleam in Jasper
It was knit on US10 1/2 circulars which was like knitting on tree trunks. I am glad to be moving on to some smaller needles.

I also have been updating my knitting journal like a good girl, with pictures, yarn samples, details, changes and all. I have purchased a few clear containers for projects so "Hanz the Chewer" can't eat my progress. They double as a teaser toy for him... he can see the yarn so it keeps him busy trying to get at it. If he is busy at that then he is not trying to help me take pictures.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hell Hole Canyon


Southern California has so many great places to hike that you could literally hike every weekend for several years and never hit all of them - AND if you did, many of the desert hikes drastically change each year due to flash flooding during the "wet season". Since it can get pretty hot out there, I am trying to eek out the last few East County hikes this month as the weather is getting warm very quickly. This past weekend a friend and I hit inappropriately named Hell Hole Canyon - apparently it was named more for the 'hell of a time' it was to migrate through more than a description of the weather and surroundings.

I will say that it is always surprising to me how such beauty can grow out of such desolation.

We had a great time - of course we just did the lower portion... the upper portion goes from the originating 1800' to 3030' in less than 2 miles and there is NO foliage to provide shelter OR to photograph - which is why we went in the first place.

The lower trail starts out desert (top picture), has a sudden dip into a wooded area surrounding a creek (complete with mud and a tadpole! - not something you see many of here in such a dry climate) and suddenly you are back up to desert (see the desert through the trees??).
The rocks at one point formed a cave which I am sure something had made a home out of - a palace in such a sunny dry area.
We didn't hike very far due to the frequent stops we made for pics but the first 1/4 mile is a 200' decent which coming back is all up hill. I'll call that my exercise for the day.


Well, we got some great pictures and we had a great day (even if I did get very sunburned on my arms - even with 2 layers of SPF 30.
By the way.... did you see the needles?!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

GREAT SURPRISES

My friend surpised me with this great banner as well as a business card template with a picture she took. I do believe I will be doing some cooking for her this weekend. Thank you Deb!

Finishing up old projects

I have a tendency to get projects 90-95% done and then just STOP. Either in my head it is done and I run out of steam or worse I RUN OUT OF MATERIALS!!!!!
That is what happened with this...
The After Dark Nightie from Mason-Dixon Knitting
(the T-shirt is because no one wants to see that much of my skin... thus the "after dark" part of the title) I didn't do as much open work on the top lace work so that the neon reflection from my pasty-ness wouldn't keep me awake at night.
I used the recommended yarn:
Euroflax Linen in Sandalwood The pattern called for 4 hanks, I bought 5 and ran out while binding off (in December - HEY! I don't judge YOU!) I finally got around to ordering more and since I now had 99 yards left over, I decided to knit straps - just 4 stitches in garter stitch until I got the length I wanted. I didn't need fancy adjustable ones... no one else will be wearing it but me. Also, I didn't feel too concerned about them stretching out since sleepwear is usually worn while you are horizontal thus taking the gravity affect away (if only we could apply that 24/7!)
I now have 99 yards left over which I will probably use for:
The Basic Bra from Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael (who I LOVE!!! - I have another 95% done project from her in my "To Do" pile) I purchased the book during a "little" book spree - call it productive PMS shopping - and have a deal with myself that since I want to make most of the book that I won't start ANY of the patterns until I have caught up on my finish work. Maybe by that time I will be the same size of the models in the book - "Bra shown measures 34B. Panties shown measure 23" - or maybe I can't just make that size and wear it on my lower legs! Bitch! - OH wait! my lower legs are BIGGER than that! Bitch! Doesn't anyone FEED these women?! AND, how is it that we still have women this size? They CAN'T POSSIBLY reproduce with hips that size! Doesn't evolution weed anorexia out? OK, maybe not - but do we have to flaunt it? How many knitters (who are usually mothers) actually look like that? Show us the 38D women with the saggy boobs (DAMN THAT GRAVITY!) from breast feeding and bras that actually hold us up Show us the women with child bearing hips! I think I was born with hips wider than 23"!
...Funny story... My name was supposed to be Francesca Maria but my mother - always looking out for me - looked at me, just a few minutes old and decides that with a butt the size of mine (yes, at only a few minutes old) they would surely call me 'Fanny' and so to save me years of torment, she went with Plan B - THANK GOD! Thank you Mom!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More socks

I will never buy socks again. I have finished my 2nd pair of socks and I can't figure out whether I enjoyed making them or wearing them more.

The pattern is from http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTwiddershins.html called Widdershins by Brooke Chenoweth Creel (no cables)
I used a Collinette colorway called Jitterbug on US 1 DPNs
Approx. 129 yds. of 100% Superwash Merino - Color 128 - Castagne
I used the Universal Toe Up Sock Formula for the toe http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTuniversalsock.html and did 1" of ribbing starting 2" above the heel.

(When you have "kankles" (as The Man calls them) like I do, and calves just as big, you don't try to make socks that go anywhere past the ankle unless you want to take out a loan for the yarn.)
Since I made them short I will be able to get another pair of socks out of the same hank - gotta love that!
Well, off to figure out what socks I am making next!! I am thinking about stepping it up a notch and doing some cables or maybe some lace - I'll let you know as soon as I do!

Friday, April 27, 2007

FINALLY a finished project!

Well, like I said, I couldn't wait to cast on those socks. I have been holding on to this pattern from because it is a down-to-Earth, every day pattern. There is enough pattern to not be plain and not so plain that I might as well have just bought them.

Thuja Socks by Bobby Ziegler
Free pattern from http://knitty.com
Chasing Rainbows Kona Superwash 100% Merino Wool
22 sts/36 rows = 4" on US #3
I only used approx. 150 yds (so I still have 120 yds left!!!)

I never realized why it is that some people just knit socks. Why just sock? Why not just hats? I mean, some people just knit scarves - because thats all they know so far. Some just knit shawls, ok, I get it, they like doing lace work. But socks??? It can't be just for the instant satisfaction because in the amount of time you finish the first one, you could have a whole hat knit up.

So why socks?? I'll tell you why, but you won't get it until you put a pair ON. I think theere is some kind of non-plastic "shink wrap" in the sock yarn because you put them on and they just mould to your feet like a second skin... a really cozy, warm, soft skin.

I am officially a sock knitter.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yarn for Lisa

So my friends went to Napa for their anniversary and somehow I ended up with a gift upon their return. I was surprised with a gift of the best kind of gift a knitter could get... beautiful sock yarn. (Remind me to encourage more travel!!) Rich, deep, jewel tones in a lush superwash. I couldn't get home fast enough to cast on! Of course, wouldn't you figure, with all the needles I have I am using the pair I need. Nothing like beautiful, new yarn to put a fire under your butt to get a project done!


These footies are my own pattern made with Capelli by Mango Moon in Bluebell. I originally bought this yarn because it was inexpensive and the stretch sparked my curiosity. And, I have to admit that the fact that the profits go to helping people in Nepal and Indonesia also pushed the sale. But, after squeezing out 4 whole summer weight footies (I could have doubled the yarn up and made 2 regular weight) out of the 350 yds (30 g) for $3.95 - I did have to go back and get some more hanks for gifts. (I am keeping the superwash for myself!!!!!)



I also found a new Salvation Army that had yet to be cleared of it's sweaters - I of course had to help them out with that. Nothing but acrylic left there! So washing sweaters is what I did this weekend (in between knitting sock rows). I am cutting myself off from yarn shopping for the time being, but I think I should be set for a while. I can't imagine knitting even half of what I have in the next month or two so putting my head down and knit is what I will do. More when the carpal tunnel kicks in!

Friday, April 20, 2007

BAD Blogger!

SO I have COMPLETELY neglected by blogging duties - not that I have had much to show. I HAVE finished 1 project... a small birthday gift for a new knitting friend.

New knitters always need something to carry their accessories that they will inevitably collect. Of course, I had to throw in a few it get him started. Just in case you are wondering... yes, that is a letter opener. Why? you ask? Well, everyone has them and they can be brought on a plane AND, given the size of the cutting opening, they are PERFECT for cutting any size yarn you might be using. The yarn was some scrumptious Prism yarn that I picked up from my favorite "not-so-LYS" - 50% Wool, 42% Rayon and 8% Nylon - enough wool to felt but also so shiny texture throughout. The color was called "Storm" and in the store it was MUCH darker and BLUE - go figure I finally met a guy that knits and I knit him something purple. He loved it anyway, the sweetheart, but the lesson I learned was that I need to start asking for more help choosing colors!! No wonder all my store bought clothes are black, white and brown!!


Unfortunately I haven't finished much else. I have been busy, busy designing and organizing the studio. I feel a productive day coming on but I think Mother Nature has lost track of time because the sky is still falling outside so the pictures may need to wait until the weekend. (for you non-San Diegans, it is raining - something that is rare in any month other than January, February, and on the rare occasion, March. Never in April. The people here look a bit like chickens in a coop if you threw their feed up into the air. - What to do! What to do!!) SO, pictures coming soon - weather permitting.

Enjoy your weekend!