Monday, April 24, 2006


I finished the Christening Shawl late Saturday night. There it is in all its glory. Sorry that I couldn't show the whole thing, I had nowhere to lay it all out, and it was a dark and rainy night so I couldn't go outside.

Just because I like it so much, though, here's a close-up of the edging. And here's the baby and her mother.
Now for an AWWWWWW moment; when I met them at the church, the baby's mother was carrying her in and there she was in her carseat tucked under the baby blanket I'd made for her mother over 19 years ago. Her mother still sleeps with it (when she can get it away from the baby.) AWWWWWW.

I've lost the Red Head sweater, though. I thought it was in the pile of stuff to the left of the bed (my side), but it is not. Not under the bed either. I must have put it somewhere in a misconceived fit of housekeeping. I'll have to mount a search. But to show I have not been slacking, I present this:
The current state of the Birthday Socks (I'm turning the heel).
And this:
My current spinning. I've got 300 yards of singles yarn, and I think I'll get just under 100 yards more. What, oh what can I possibly knit with ~400 yards of sport to dk weight yarn?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

No End in Sight

I did not finish a knitted item today. I did get one side of the shawl edged last night though.
I have ummmm, three more sides to do. Let's do the math here, shall we? That's three days to do ONE side and only two days left to get the other three sides done. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? I thought not. Well, I do have knitting group tomorrow night and then all day Saturday. So it's still a toss-up.

CQ e-mailed me today to complain about how cold her closet er, office was. The woman needs a shawl! Good thing I got the wood to make the Tri-Loom. I'm going to try to get it together next week. Maybe I can start weaving on it by next weekend! Try to contain your excitement.

Well, I'm off to pick up stitches so as to attach more edging. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Another Finish!

Here's today's knitting progress.
I finished the Halloween II socks and gave them to Younger Son. He was excited to get them (he hugged them to his cheek. Really!) and said he will save them to wear to church on Sunday. I've started on the Birthday Socks. (Traffic was bad, so I got in extra knitting time on the bus today.) I'm still attaching the edging to my shawl, and a bit of doubt is starting to creep in about getting this done for the weekend. I took it to work today and worked on it at lunch, and will do the same tomorrow. We'll see.

Otherwise, Older Son is a National Merit Scholarship quarter finalist! According to the letter he scored among the top 50,000 students out of the 1.4 million who took the PSAT/NMSQT. CPRS will recommend him to two colleges. I'm hoping this will translate into some $$.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Billions and Billions

Look! I've attached this much of the edging to my Christening Shawl. Only a billion more stitches to go!

In other knitting news, I'm almost done with the Halloween II socks, and so tomorrow should start the Birthday Socks.

I talked to an old friend last night and I told her I wasn't adjusting well to working full time. She pointed out that I had been working full time for over two and a half years, so it was time I got over it. I just don't know how everyone else manages. My "8" hours of work stretches out to at least 11 hours out of the house, more usually closer to 12. Honestly, by the time I get home I'm completely wiped out. I think there must be something wrong with me.

I'm getting pumped for MDS&W! I'm thinking about what I want to get. Hmmmm. Yarn, books, fiber. Yep. Too bad I can't get a sheep or two. I'm sure they'd keep the lawn better trimmed than the current grounds crew.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ticking Away

Just tick another item off the list--One baby sweater set almost done. The knitting on this is done, just have to do the finishing (bleah).

It's the 5HBS, with matching bonnet and booties. Cotton Tots yarn, took about two skeins. Nice Easter-y colors to work on this weekend.

So on the agenda now is piecing together the Christening shawl for this weekend, and then finishing these pieces for the first weekend in May, then the Red Head sweater and socks for Older Son's birthday on May 18. Doable, I think. I'm grateful to be back to sock knitting for the bus this week (can't do any finishing there).

I was off this weekend delivering Birthday gifts (Forget the presents, the real gift was me hauling my lazy butt anywhere on a Saturday morning!) and afterwards stopped and picked up wood to make my Tri-Loom (yeah, I'm gonna do it!). I had this surreal moment when I was sitting in the parking lot at Home Depot drinking my coffee and listening to Car Talk on the radio. Wierd.

I also stopped and got this
at Half-Price Books. I was a big fan in the late 70s when the syndicated shows were on weekday afternoons. Its quirky off-beat humor appealed to me (still does). And the music wasn't bad either. (I liked The Kids from C.A.P.E.R for the same reasons.) My favorite Monkee was Michael Nesmith. I loved the scenes with him trimming the pom-pom on his hat. (What can I say? I've always been a geek-lover. Dave went to college for Physics and Math. 'Nuff said.) I remember that I knew all the episodes so well that within seconds I could say what the episode was and what song they would sing. Wonder if the series is out on DVD? Now that would be something to have.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Celting

The Celting is DONE! Hopefully it will fit the boy when I get it over to him tomorrow. I like the way the neckline turned out, and I even have a bit of yarn left over after sewing up all the seams and making a nice fold-over collar (love it, btw!) But don't worry, I've still got plenty to keep me busy.

I'm starting on a 5HBS with matching bonnet, and will work on finishing up the shawl (just have to attach the edgings) for next weekend. Then the Red Head sweater and socks for Older Son's birthday. I got the sock yarn at Knit One when I was there to see the Yarn Harlot. It looks exciting (well, in a drab manly sort of way) can't wait to see it knit up.

So I'm off to do the family thing for Easter. We're going to my Mother-in-Law's and I'm making my famous "Easter Spinach Phyllo Dough Thing". (At least that's what they call it every year when I'm asked to make it.) Need an impressive dish to take to YOUR Mother-in-Law's for Easter? This could be it.

You'll need:
1 package of Phyllo dough, thawed
2 boxes frozen spinach (or equivalent), thawed and drained
10 eggs, beaten
1 bunch green onions (or 1 medium yellow onion), chopped
1 lb feta cheese, crumbled
~1/2 lb of butter
9" X 13" baking dish, pastry brush

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the onion in about a tablespoon of the butter.
Mix the sauteed onions with the spinach and crumbled feta cheese.
Melt the rest of the stick of butter.

Using the pastry brush, brush melted butter on the inside of the baking dish. Working quickly, lay down a sheet of phyllo dough and then brush melted butter on top of it. Continue to place sheets of phyllo dough, brushing melted butter between each sheet until you have at least 7 sheets. Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the dough, and pour the beaten eggs over top. Place another layer of phyllo dough over the filling and brush with melted butter, then lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top. Continue to layer phyllo dough, brushing each layer with melted butter (you may need to melt more) until you have at least 7 layers. (Again, I often lose count and end up with more). Brush the final layer with butter, and then use a sharp knife to score the top diagonally, making diamonds.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

That's it, very impressive looking when done, and not really hard, just a bit time-consuming. I dampen a dish cloth and lay it on the phyllo dough to keep it from drying out. Don't stress over little tears, just use the pastry brush to push it into place. The phyllo dough even comes in 9" X 13 " sheets, how's that for convenient?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Almost There

I'm just about done with the second sleeve.

My regular bus home broke down, so I had an unexpected knitting opportunity while I waited for the next one. After all was said and done, I ended up with an extra hour of knitting time. The only problem was that standing and knitting while holding my bag put a knot in my back. But what's a bit of pain when there's knitting to be done? It looks like I'm going to finish in time. I only have a few rows to finish up in the morning, then I have to put it all together and knit the neckband. I hope I have enough yarn to make a fold over collar, that's what I'm envisioning here.

I may have to spend some time doing yard work at my mother-in-law's. Older Son took care of it last year (she paid him, which I objected to but got overruled on by all involved) but he says he doesn't want to do it this year. Anyways, I told Dave it was just wrong that a woman who has three grown sons living within a few minutes drive should have to pay someone to take care of her yard. So guess who's been volunteered? Me and my big mouth! (But I still say I'm right!) So I'll check with her in the morning. Younger Son may come with me and help. Older Son is going to be working on the yard here (which used to be my job) and he won't get paid for it either.

I'm contemplating purchases at MDS&W. I've been talking about getting a Tri-Loom for several years now. This could be the year! I keep saying I'm going to make my own, but decided that if it didn't get done before I went I would buy one. I think Younger Son's summer job may be weaving shawls and wraps on the Tri-Loom and my rigid heddle. Maybe we can sell them on E-Bay. Hmmmm. My own little sweat-shop right at home.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


First off, here's the progress on the current sleeve:
(Maybe not. Blogger seems to be objecting to photos this evening. We'll wait a bit while I blather on and see if anything develops.)
(Hurray! Blogger has relented!)
It looks like more progress than there really was, because I'm working up from the shortest rows. I'll slow down a bit tonight as the rows get longer.

Yvonne, I was wondering if you were there last Friday just today! I was a bit disappointed that Team PGH wasn't mentioned. If you see me again speak up! (You might if you're at MDS&W -- and I'll be there all by my lonesome.)

Oh, and since I was listing deadlines yesterday, here's a new one. I have to attend a christening on the 23rd, and I want to present the baby with a christening shawl. But I have a trick up my sleeve there -- the pieces of the shawl are already knit, I just have to put them together. But still, it's another deadline. (One step forward, two steps back.)

So I'm thinking about the baby sweater I have to make. I have some Cotton Tots in appropriate colors in the stash. (And look at the numbers over there on the sidebar, I have to use up some stash!) I'm thinking something along the lines of the 5HBS or EZ's Favorite Baby Sweater. I briefly considered the little dress, (I still have that pink yarn) but I think it would be too much knitting for the time window I have.

I saw another rainbow today! I'm thinking Powerball. Just think of all the stuff I could get a MDS&W with a couple of million....

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Well, I've finished the front of the Celting sweater, and started on sleeve two. Here's the picture to prove it.
I'm hoping the neckline works out okay. I had problems with the neckline on the last Aran I designed so I'm a little nervous about it. Hopefully I can finish the sleeve by Friday and I'll have Saturday for finishing.

I was hoping to get this sweater done and take a bit of a break from deadline knitting, and focus on getting the house and yard in order. You know, a bit of spring cleaning all around. All I had on the books was the Red Head sweater which I would like to get done for Older Son for his birthday next month. I'd like to make him a pair of socks too, so that meant finishing up the ones I'm working on for Younger Son and then making a pair for OS. Not too bad, I could make it work in a month. I got an e-mail today from my sister. She wants a baby sweater set for a gift. She'll need it when I see her for MDS&W. Three and a half weeks. Then just two weeks until OS's birthday. I'm knitting to deadlines again.

I watched the new Ten Commandments. Ehhh. I have to say I didn't care for it. Not a patch on Charlton Heston.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Star Struck

I met Yarn Harlot and we did the whole mutual blog thing

and I think my picture broke her camera.
No really, I did get to meet Stephanie, who was extremely funny and charming and very gracious to all of us. I don't think she'll remember me at all.
Just look at her, she's so cute! And Heather looked really great too. I look like the dork that I am. Oh well, you can't make a silk purse... Anyways, I think I may have gushed too much. I tried not to, but some leaked out anyways. Afterwards, Celtic Queen, Heather and I went to Gullifty's for dessert. It was great! I think we all had a good time. There were a few bumps though -- I got lost driving there and then thought I lost my car key (but it was in my other pocket DUH!). So yeah, I looked like an idiot. Let's just chalk it up to being star-struck shall we? It helps me to imagine it as an isolated incident. (No, no, I'm not in denial at all!)

And I completed the first sleeve of the Celting sweater with yarn to spare! I'm working on the front now.

I'm just past the armhole shaping. I'm pretty confident I'll get it done, especially since I'll have Friday off.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Last Chance

OK, Blogger is definately kinda weird tonight. First I couldn't connect to my blog, then I could see the front end, but not access any admin stuff. I got a Blogger page that said "There's an error, our engineers are working on it". Yeah right. But I kept trying, and was just about to give up and call it a night but decided to give it one last chance when I got in. Then it just published this post before I could write anything. A little off kilter tonight for sure.

Here's today's sleeve picture. You know, it just doesn't seem right to me that Wendy knits for two or three hours and gets half a sweater done, whereas I've spent three, no, almost four hours today knitting and it doesn't look like I've done anything!

And hows this for weird. My friend Heather and I both put pictures of daffodils in the snow on our blogs yesterday. I'm feeling kinda cool myself, but I think Heather should be worried.

I'm definately going to MDS&W! My sister is flying up from Florida to visit friends in the area and so we're sharing a motel room. I'm getting excited.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Daffy Down Dilly

Well, the daffodils bloomed.

I took this picture this morning, before going to work. Look at the poor things, all huddled there in the snow. They perked up a little bit by this afternoon, but I don't think they're going to recover. :
I'm beginning to think we might not see any blooms for another five years.

Here's the current state of the sleeve:

A bit blurry, for which I apologize. But I'm too tired to take another picture. And the yarn seems to be holding up well too:
I think I'm gonna make it.

I purchased my winning Lottery tickets, with my Lucky Money from the basketball pool. I even put the tickets in the envelope with the rest of the money so as to spread the luck around.

Older Son has asked for money to buy some candy for a girl at school. (And he's going to see her perform in the school play.) I made a comment on his asking for money and spending it on a girl, and so he said "Dad, Mom says spending money on girls is a waste!" To which his father replied "Yeah, I've always found it to be so." I immediately jumped in and said "I don't think you've made enough of an effort there!"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Isle of Aran Even More

Here's the sweater pic:

I've finished the back and have started in on sleeve #1. Lots of nail-biting knitting suspense, Chez Moi. Will the two skeins of yarn I have be enough? (I know it will be if I get the back and one sleeve from one skein. I could live life on the edge and just go ahead and knit the front and back and let the sleeves be a crap shoot, but I don't know if my heart could take it.) Will I get it done in time for the party on the 15th? Will it still be cold enough here on the 15th for the Celting to where it (probably)? Stay tuned...

Thanks for all the kind words on the sweater! Yes, Lisa I will be putting up a pattern when it's all said and done on my website, I'll keep you posted. But seeing as how I'm still working out a few minor details (like how long/wide to make the sleeves -- did I mention I'm knitting them right now?) I'll need some time. (The sleeves? I'm dragging around an old size 10/12 sweater of Younger Son's for sizing against. I could just measure the thing, but where's the fun in that? I'm such a dork.)

Guess who won the office basketball pool? Me! Can you believe it? And not only did I just guess while filling out the form, I didn't even watch any of the games! I'm telling you, my luck is IN Baby! Powerball, here I come!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Isle of Aran

Here's a photo of the Aran sweater I'm making for the Elder Celting:

I swatched Thursday night thru Friday lunch. I then ripped it out and started in on the sweater so no pics. There were a few contenders for the center section, but I really like this Celtic Braid (BGW #3, p. 86, iirc). I knew I wanted flanking 4 st cables (notice they mirror image each other, I always do this for Arans, I think it's a nice detail.) I knew I wanted at least 10 sts in seed stitch at each side, so I decided I wanted a 10-15 stitch cable. I like this plaited cable (BGW #1). The Celtic Braid was a bit of a struggle, as it was only charted (I've stuck pretty much to written out directions, this was the first time I've only had a chart). So it took me a couple of tries to get it right. Anyways, the sweater is about a boys size 10. No ribbing on the bottom, I knew there'd be enough knits and purls to stabilize the edge, and I was going for a more modern look. The fit is a bit close, I'll have to try it on the boy, but I think I'd add another 5 sts in seed stitch to either side if I was making it again. The sleeves will have just the plaited cable flanked by 2 four stitch cables, then seed stitch. I like to have the sleeves refer back to the body rather than incorporate new patterns there. Just a personal preference. I should finish the back and start a sleeve tomorrow. I have the two skeins of yarn, so if I get the back and a sleeve from one skein I'll know I'm good.

Dave and I went out Friday night, and I saw this when I walked out the door.

I'm taking it as a sign that I'm meant to win the $174 million Powerball.