Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Here it is, the dreaded SSS (that's second sock syndrome for all you newbies out there). Yes, that is when you get so excited about finishing a project, only to realize you have to do it all over again, cause you can't just knit one sock! Well, I guess you could, but that kinda defeats the purpose. Interestingly enough, socks were my very first knitting project. I know, I never did believe in starting easy...." about I try doing this sock thing and using 5 tiny double pointed needles....yeah, that's the ticket...." Needless to say when I finished that first sock, I was so happy and proud. I showed EVERYBODY. I was a bit taken aback when most people, although happy for me, looked a bit if they were saying "why is she so excited about ONE sock? Doesn't she have to knit another?" What they didn't understand was the total satisfaction I felt at having completed anything! I took their consternation in stride, and immediately began work on the second sock. It took longer, ironically, than the first and not because I was new to the process...but because now I felt that I had knit the hardest thing I could and the whole knitting world was now open to me. Nothing scared me...intarsia, please!, fair isle...sure, bring it on....set in sleeves...size 000 needles...I laugh at you! So other things took my interest, and the second sock languished in ignominy until a year later...I saw it peaking out from my basket. I quickly grabbed it and finished it. Of course my elation at actually finishing the sockS was not shared by all. Most everyone had already forgotten about the first sock, so their responses were much like before: "what can you do with only one sock?" When I explained that it was the pair to that one, they were speechless and in their heads I knew they were thinking: "she should find another hobby--clearly this one isn't working out"
And so I have you my knitting all all share in all the ups and downs, the forgotten and the not so forgotten, the finished and of course the unfinished.

So onto the next project! What should it be. I got this beautiful yarn at a shop in the Outer Banks. I also bought a 40 inch circular needle and this pattern for knitting two socks at a time on the circ. needle. Of course I have just finished socks....what are your thoughts?

A close up of the yarn. Its Cherry Tree Hill supersock merino. It feels fantastic---and the colors are gorgeous!

There is also this: the ribbed pullover with black alpaca (double it). I got this yarn a while ago--deliciously soft and I hear pretty easy to work with.

And last, this knitting pure and simple pattern for a top down henly t-shirt. Knit with Blue Sky Alpaca's organic cotton. I got this with the intention of making it this summer--but it is something that can be worn under jacket as well. The yarn is the Sand color--a nice neutral.

Here is a close up of the pattern. So let me know what your selections are--I guess I should be glad that I have these choices......I hope everyone goes out and enjoys this beautiful day!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Here is my wonderful S & B group! The birthday girl is the one in the middle. She was very surprised. It was pretty funny actually, as the three of us ladies had arrived early and were waiting for Patricia....and then I noticed that she was sitting outside by herself. We were not sure if she was coming in or not--so we all walked out and surprised her. It was great. The food was amazing. I really wanted to lick my plate, but propriety kept me from doing that. Here she is right before she opened the gift:

I think I caught her off guard--but here she is! She is just wonderful and has become such a dear friend. I feel like I can tell her ANYTHING! Here she is with the scarf (of course the weather has been warm here so she really doesn't need it yet)
It looked great on her. I was so happy that I chose that particular color. I have to admit, that finishing this scarf in time for the luncheon was a "personal best" for me. I don't think I have ever started and finished something in such a truncated period of time. The four of us are determined to start meeting again--summer is hard with kids and then three of us sent a child off to college this fall--and the fourth just sent a child off to France! For all of you moms out there with young'uns, savor these moments even when it seems hard. Because one day they will be gone and the ache you feel for them will be real.

So, off to finish the second sock (see previous post) and to enjoy a couple days off, then the final weekend of my show. Happy Birthday again, Patricia!

Friday, September 22, 2006


Yep--that's right. You put it in the washing machine. After all that expensive yarn, all those stitches, all that luscious softness, you hold your lay it gently on top of the washing machine, weighing your options. Do I really want to do this...yes, I know the end product IS beautiful. But, what if this particular yarn batch doesn't felt? What if it turns into this giant ball of lint? Oh you make the decision to go ahead and put it in. You are going to gamble and see if it works out.

And then, this is what happens. Oh my.......its' gorgeous, its' beautiful, its' everything you KNEW it would turn out to be.
Here's a close up. It looks like velvet, doesn't it? And it hasn't really lost all of its softness. In fact, it is very soft, and since the stitches are barely noticable, it looks like a solid piece of fabric. Ok, so I guess those pattern writers know what they are talking about. I can't believe I was able to finish this....I don't think I have ever knit anything as quickly as this. I am giving it to my friend today at lunch (a surprise) and will post pictures of that later.
I guess now, I should finish those socks I started a while ago!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Here's the progress on Vintage Velvet so far....I actually didn't do much over the weekend...I had 5 shows this past weekend (did I mention that I am a part-time actress??), but between today and yesterday...I am making up for lost time. Of course alot of that has to do with the fact that we are having a get together for the recipient of this scarf--and I would like to have it done by then. Are you noticing a theme with my work? Yes, I work much better under a deadline. I guess I like having a specific ending point---hummm what does that say about me? Either I am a terrible procrastinator, or I have some bizarre form of OCD and this is how it manifests itself. I guess I should be grateful...I mean it could be worse. Anyway..this thing feels (I know I've said it before) just luscious. I am feeling the way I did when I made it before, and that is "do I really want to felt this thing?" Will it come out this soft? The answer is no, BUT, the end product is equally beautiful. I will take a wait and see approach with this one.

Have you all seen this magazine? I picked it up the other night while doing some late night shopping--you know the kind where you are there getting everything from milk to feminine stuff (sorry but there it is), and you see this magazine and think--hummm that looks good and before you know it, you've added it to your pile. Well you can imagine my surprise and shock when, as I was paging through it before going to sleep I saw a familiar face.

Yep--that's Ann Shayne ladies and gents. One half the voice behind that great Mason Dixon blog. I did not even hear her mention it in her blog. But there she is looking beautiful I might add, with her essay on her most memorable meal. I have to say I was a bit confused at her selection: "Tang and Saltines", but after reading the essay, it all became much clearer. She really is such a nice person and I for one am so glad that she is such a popular face for knitters everywhere!
I just wish that I lived near her, and could go knit with her whenever I wanted. Wouldn't that be cool.

And last, but certainly not least, is this piece of partially embroidered linen. I frequent local thrift shops and just thrill when I come across a piece like this. But I am also saddened in a way. I can't help but think of the person who started it and I then begin to wonder about what happened to him/her and why it never got finished. To me, they are like orphans...beautiful and just needing a loving hand to take care of them and finish what someone else started. So for all of a dollar, I bought this, the yarn, the hoop, the little silver scissors and a beautiful sheet of directions from "Elsa Williams Needlecraft". I did a google search on her and apparently she was definitely a leading force in women's needle art during the last century. Her parents were living in South Dakota and taught her to do all this incredible stitchery at a very young age. So, for just a dollar, I feel a special connection to this incredible lady and I WILL finish this piece; for her and for the person who lovingly started it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Lion Brand going upscale!! Just got this catalogue in the mail. Of course, I love all things catalogues! This one is really beautiful. They have some gorgeous yarns. I have to admit there is a part of me that is somewhat snobbish about my yarn--the thought of any yarn made with (that dreadful 'A' word) was enough to send me into a tizzy. I would immediately go to my LYS and shop for something pure and natural. When I would hear people talk about going to Michael's to buy yarn, I would smile and think "well they just aren't buying very good yarn".

Of course, this catalogue is going to change my mind about that. I have gone to the store and felt some of this yarn and it is great! The microspun is slick and soft (use wooden needles!) and the cashmere blend is as good as any I have seen. They offer a pattern in the catalogue for the cashmere blend. Check out this sweater.

I think its really interesting and it is knit in the cashmere blend. I wonder if the shaping would be hard on the yoke---ha ha, since when have I ever worried about that. I think I will have to go and get me some of this yarn.

Here's the (slow) progress I am making on Vintage Velvet:

I only wish that you could put your hand on the screen and feel this wonderful fabric. The pattern is not hard at all, but you do have to pay attention. If you have read my blog, you know that I am also an actress and have been performing in a show all month. We perform Thursdays through Sundays, so its not leaving me much time to knit---I hate that. I am on stage the whole time, so no backstage knitting either. Bummer. The reviews have been great though so its all worth it.

Let me know what you all think of the Lion Brand Catalogue!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Meet my beautiful great nephew, Adrian James--we call him AJ! I get the privilege of babysitting him on Wednesdays. The first thing he does when he gets here (besides running up a giving me a HUGE hug) is getting his trains out. He absolutely LOVES these things. We usually build a huge track and then he plays for hours, making up funny sounds and having a ball.

Here he is in close-up. I am getting a sneak peek at what its like to have a grand-child because we only get him one day a week and we shower him with so much love and affection--and then we get to send him home to mom and dad again. Its great, I tell ya.

Here is my new project. Its from the book "Scarf Style" which is a great book. Lots of interesting patterns and inspiration. I am using Meunch's Touch Me yarn, which is absolutely gorgeous and absolutely expensive. I ordered the amount needed from and I got my package in two days!! Also, shipping is free on orders over $75 and, interestingly enough, that's exactly how much 5 skeins of this stuff costs. It is truly worth it though--hey remember, no one said knitting was cheap!

Here is the yarn close up:

The color is Light Mauve and it is going to look beautiful. It is for a very special friend of mine. (I hope she is not reading this). When you are done knitting, you put it in the wash (I know, I know) and it felts and looks like velvt. I have made this scarf before so I am not as nervous about it as I once was. Here is a picture of a finished scarf--I am thinking that this one will come out looking almost this same color:

The cable in the middle is stitched so that it is the same front and back. On either side of the cable panel is a modified rib stitch. It is a 22 row repeat, but very easy to learn. Still, I never like to put it done in the middle of a repeat--or I just leave a post it note with the row I am on--the old brain is going!

Monday, September 11, 2006

So I finished the kimono and hat in time for the baby shower yesterday. The weather was beautiful, the food was incredible and the mother-to-be radiant (she thought she looked fat, but in truth she looked wonderful!) I ended up striking up a conversation about knitting with a couple of really neat gals. One actually brought her knitting....I love that! She was using her grandmother's needles and showed me how her grandmother used to knit holding the long needles under her arms and primarily using her wrists--I am so used to using circulars, that those long needles frighten me--I can't imagine when that was all there were. Anyway, here is a picture of the completed kimono. Notice that I crocheted a picot edge to the bottom. I just needs a little something extra. So Sunday morning, a hour before the shower, I am furiously crocheting the edge. Keep in mind I am a closet crocheter--its not my thing and I don't do it alot, but I love the edging and crocheting it goes sooooo much faster than knitting it on. A close up on the picot edging:

This picture is not too clear--I realize, but it shows a little bit of the picot edge. It really added another dimension to the whole piece.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

So, what started as this late Tuesday, ended as this late Wednesday:
This is the hat I made to go along with the baby kimono. The hat is knit in the round in one piece then the petals (6 of them) are knit separately and then attached. The stem is knit directly from the top of the hat, then you switch to two double points and make the I-cord pretty much whatever length you want. For those of you who have made I-cord, you know how easy and fun it is. And FAST! Before you know it, you have yards of it...knowing when to stop has been the hard part for me.
So onto the booties--this shower is Sunday...think I've got enough time??

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

FINISHED KIMONO! Here it is. I have not sewn up the sides yet. I am thinking of weaving a ribbon through the eyelet area on the front--what do think? I also need labels for my handknits. I have not found one I like yet. I want something new and original; I am thinking of just creating my own with some cotton and a single strand of thread or floss--and some creative embroidery. Hummmm...sounds interesting.

Here is my next project to go along with the Kimono--its from this book which is absolutely gorgeous. It has the cutest and easiest patterns. I can really see making most if not all of these
adorable baby/kids hats. I am using a beautiful cotton yarn in solid pink with white accents. Like I said before I really hope that this baby turns out to be a girl!

Here is the pattern that I am using:
Isn't it great! I highly recommend this book to any new, intermediate or experienced knitter!

Friday, September 01, 2006

BABY BOOTIES! Here is the pattern, yarn and needles. These needles are SMALL! They are almost like toothpicks. The wonderful owner of my LYS was quick to point out that there were no refunds on broken needles. Although they are tough (bamboo) she said they sometimes break. Which pretty much is the kiss of death for me. I like wooden needles for this kind of work because it provides a little "catch" with the yarn--you know what I mean. The pattern is from Summer 2005 Interweave Knits. It looks a little daunting; short row heels etc. I feel my sock knitting learning curve is being stretched to its limits (did I just mix my metaphor?) I learned how to knit a sock on two circulars, then I learned how to do it on one long circular, and now, I am back to 5 needles but all these new techniques. AHHHH STOP! I love this yarn though. Crisp, clean white cotton. It is soft and delicate and feels great with every stitch I make. Its the perfect knitting trifecta: a great yarn, great needles and a wonderful pattern.

The remains of Hurricane Ernesto are making their way up to Maryland today. We are finally getting some rain. But as is typical we will completely deluged today and tomorrow and then we will go weeks again without it. I shouldn't complain really, at least it made the temperature drop. So, stay dry people.