Friday, September 30, 2005


I was at Meg's blog and followed a survey link to find out that I'm


Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

"Putting your appointed path ahead of any inner conflicts, you make your own rules for the benefit of all.

If my life or death I can protect you, I will.

Aragorn is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. There is a description of him at"

Hmmm....could be!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Some WIPs

I wanted Little Man to put my now-felted tote bag on his head again, but he wasn't having any of that. So this is the pic I'm posting, sorry you can't see the full size of the bag...blame it on onery 3 year olds.

It shrank about 1/2 the length & 1/3 the width so it's quite a bit wider than I thought it was going to be. I had some really cute handles I wanted to use, but they aren't nearly big enough to hold up a bag this size. Looks like I'll be making about 5 miles of I-cord for handles.
I was thinking of starting on the handles today, but it's about 95 degrees in the shade and much too hot to sit around with a skein of Lambs Pride Bulky in my lap. We are very lucky not to be near the fire area this time around.

The last time we had bad firestorms, they were close enough to drop ash on us for days. The sky was dark with smoke and ash. This photo was taken around noon in October of 2003. Check out that artificial sunset effect.

Fire season and the Santa Anas always freak me out. We live in a high fire risk area, near a natural brush canyon. Our home is about 2 miles from the parts of Laguna Beach that were totally destroyed by fire a decade ago. In fact, we can see the backyards of some of the rebuilt homes from our balcony.

The Dearest and I have talked about what we'd save in an emergency evacuation (besides the obvious kiddos and dog): he always tells me to remember to take the server. I worry about wedding photos and yarn. I *am* sick, aren't I?

And talking about sickness: here's another shot of my ever-a-work-in-progress @#$# Silk Corset. Remember how I was whingeing about the crappy I-cord cast on I did for the armpits? Well, no more worries- I frogged back to the armholes and re-knit the whole thing. After trying the corset on, I realized that the armholes were way tight. So I re-knit them, adding 6 extra sts to the armhole and using an e-loop cast on in place of the awkward I-cord caston.

Hopefully this will be the last ripping I'll have to do for a while on this piece. *Praying*

One good thing about the hot weather:

Monkey Boy got to play in the sprinklers for the first time.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Thumbs up

The very first ride we hit at Disneyland was the rockets. I seem to remember these same rockets (in a different color) being much higher and closer to Space Mountain. But it's been at least 15 yrs since I was at Disneyland so I'm sure they moved everything around.

Little Man had so much fun on the rockets. I think the park as a whole was a bit of sensory overload for him. He kept saying that everything was very loud. We only went on four rides: the rockets, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (which I had forgotten was *very* loud and kinda freaked Little Man out), the merry go round (much better for Little Man) and finally we hit the Pirates of the Carribean. At first he kept asking "get me out of here" on the Pirates ride, but eventually he got into it and had more fun.

We had the annual passes and they are great; it's so nice to be able to go for only a few hours without the pressure of hitting every ride. I can't wait till winter hits in earnest and the tourists go home. I remember when we were kids, the best time to go was on a day when it was raining or threatened rain because no one would be there and you could just walk on to any ride you wanted.

Dland was a hit and we'll be back again pretty soon (maybe even this next week).

Here's Little Man trying to lift the sword from the stone.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ghost or pre-felted bag?

It's true- we *do* have a haunted

Haunted by huge (pre-felted) knitted bags. This particular ghost also eats large amounts of popcorn, raisins and fruit snacks. Oh, it seems to love Bob the Builder.

We just can't get rid of the darned thing, no matter how many exorcists we call in.

We had pretty intense thunderstorms this past Tuesday, which is rare for So. Cal.. Here's a view of the sky about an hour before sunset.

Around 1am Tuesday morning, a huge thunderstorm dropped tons of rain on us, complete with some crazy lightning. The thunder came right after the flash of lightning, so of course it woke Little Man up. I heard him crying and found him in the hall bathroom with his hands over his ears. He kept saying "it's too loud!". We calmed him down by showing him to count between the flash and the thunder.

Then Monkey Boy woke up and stayed up for another 2 hours. UGH Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night.

Here's the same sky, right before sunset. Little Man and I actually saw a double rainbow right after this. Unfortunately it was too dark for my camera to pick up.

BTW wish us luck; we're going to DLand today for the first time with Little Man and Monkey Boy. Hopefully all the tourists are gone!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Homemade fun...

We go thru a lot of playdough in this household. If Little Man isn't leaving it out so it dries up, Monkey Boy is attempting to eat it. I knew there were homemade playdough recipes available and I decided to try making some this afternoon. Of course Little Man was my lab assistant. We used this recipe and made two batches. One was pink (supposed to be red, but I didn't add enough food coloring), and the other was orange.

Here's Little Man showing off the finished product.

It was a lot of fun and quite messy, so I'm sure we'll be doing it again sometime soon.

The curse of being a photographer's child....

"Don't just take my photograph, HELP me!"

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Rippit, just rippit!

I was going to take a photo of my Diamond Fantasy Shawl tonight, but as I was laying it out I spied a mistake on the edge. Somehow or another I managed to shift a whole row of the pattern off by at least a couple of stitches. The YO that ends up right before the garter stitch edging was pretty distorted, and you could very obviously see that the pattern wasn't right from that point on. I briefly considered leaving it, then came to my senses and decided that ripping would be the better part of valor.

After frogging about 3 inches, I was able to pick up a complete row of 81 sts. Now I just have to figure out where in my pattern I am. *sigh* Luckily, I am inspired by Cara's finished DFS to keep on knitting.

Also on the chopping block: the cover sweater from Fall Vogue 2005. I decided to try this design from Annie Modesitt, but instead of using her twisted garter stitch pattern I am using my Chocolate Cherry handspun, which gives a similar look without all the extra work. The sweater/swatch was about 8" in diameter before it hit me that I had increased one too many times and the whole project needed to frogged. I probably could have just tinked back to the part where I increased incorrectly, but I decided this morning that I wanted to add some brown Blue Sky Alpaca yarn into the pattern and it would just be easier to re-knit everything. Another thing bugging me was that there was a pretty big hole in the center of the sweater. Annie's instructions tell you to cast on some sts and start increasing, knitting between each increase. Unfortunately she doesn't tell you what kind of CO to use, and most circular COs leave a hole. It might have been tightened up after all was said and done, but I just wasn't happy with it. So the cover sweater took a trip to the frog pond tonight as well.

The plan is to start again tomorrow, using an I-cord cast on so eliminate the hole, while knitting randomly with my handspun and the Blue Sky alpaca yarn. Hopefully we'll have pics up by Monday-ish.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

redwood lace

I finally got down to business on another lace shawl, the Diamond Fantasy Shawl. Here's a peek at it-

The colors are a bit washed out (trying to take photos with an 8mo old needing a nap and a 3yr old 'helping' is really hard). I like this pattern a lot and am knitting on it every night while I watch re-runs of The Amazing Race on GSN.

Freeking spammers

So due to all the spam comments I've been getting, I'm turning on word verification for comments. Sorry, but it had to be done!

Silk Corset in progress

Well, here is a photograph of my Silk Corset. This is what I have to show for 9+ hours of knitting. I shit you not.

As I've groused before, either I am a really stoopid knitter or this pattern isn't very well written (I tend to think it's the latter and not the former). After ripping this thing four times, I finally decided to skip the charts completely and re-write the pattern so I could actually understand it. It must be working cuz I am actually past the armholes now and into the 1x1 ribbing on the torso.

Here's one of the armholes. I'm not very happy with the way the i-cord cast on is so loose. Can you see how stretched out the stitches look?

I may have to go back and use some crocheting or something to tighten the armpits up. We'll see how visible it is when everything is said and done. Luckily this *is* the underarm part of the corset so it shouldn't be too obvious.

Another WIP: I'm knitting this bag based on Knitpicks' Farmer Market Tote, but using some Lamb's Pride Bulky instead of the called-for KP yarn.

Felting is always so much fun IMO. It's amazing to watch a huge knitted item turn into a much smaller felted item. This is probably going to be the size of a garbage bag pre-felting....we'll see how much it shrinks once we run it thru the washer.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I'm In! Secret Pal 6

Ok, here goes:
1. Are you a yarn snob: Kinda- I am not a fan of novelty yarns or most 100% acrylic yarns. I prefer natural fibers for the most part, but I've been known to buy my share of Lion Brand WoolEase.

2. Do you spin? Crochet? Oh yes, I'm totally hooked on spinning. My fiber stash is nowhere near as big as my yarn stash...but it's growing! As for crocheting: I can do it, but it's not something I enjoy.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.): Very allergic to angora (just thinking about it makes me itch). Not too fond of strong scents (including smoke and perfume).

4. How long have you been knitting? About 2 1/2 years.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Nope.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.): Anything fruity. I love Bath & Body Works' Vanilla Sugar and also the Ripe Raspberry. Yum. Not really into flowery scents, except for roses.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? More than one. :)

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Beading, scrapbooking, painting....

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I'm pretty out there with my musical tastes. I pretty much listen to everything except hip hop/rap and country.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? My favorite colors would probably be purple and then pink. Probably the only color I can't stand would be yellow.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Married, two little boys (3yrs and 8mos). One crazy ankle biter dog.

12. What are your life dreams? : Is this an interview or what? Hmmm....the answer to this would change depending upon when you ask me. I guess right now I want to raise two wonderful little boys into two self assured, kind, creative and confident men (and not lose my mind in the process). After that, it would be fun to 'retire' and travel with the Dearest. I've always wanted to visit Africa.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? I love me them varigated yarns, no matter where they come from. Rowan makes some wonderful yarns, as does Koigu and Jaeger. Oh yah, gotta throw in Socks that Rock and Artyarns' Supermerino too.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Angora cuz it makes me itch (see #3 above). Mohair is hard for me to knit, even tho I like the finished product.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Lace (joined the Summer of Lace/Lace for All Seasons group). I have three lace-y projects going right now.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Stuff for the kiddos because those projects go so quickly and they turn out so cute.

17. What are you knitting right now? OMG can I just rattle off a few of my many WIPs? The Diamond Fantasy Shawl in Knitpicks' Redwood sock yarn. The Little Lacey Top in Elizabeth Lavold's Silky Wool. A felted bag I'm making up using some Brown Sheep Bulky. Socks for the Dearest. I'm going to stop now, cuz I'm embarassing myself.

18. What do you think about ponchos? If I was 16, 5'10" and weighed 99lbs, maybe a good look. As I am now? Not so much.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? I mostly use circs, but I have some lovely wood straights that I really like.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? My faves are Addi Naturas, but they are hard to find. Most of my circs are therefore the Addi Turbos. Almost all of my straight needles are wood (birch, maple and bamboo). All my DPNs are wood. I'm a bit of a needle snob LOL

21. Are you a sock knitter? Well, I have a huge stash of sock yarn, but I haven't knit that many socks. Socks are fun, tho!

22. How did you learn to knit? Lessons at the LYS.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? Probably about 1.5 yrs old. It's the Bed & Breakfast Sweater from an old IK.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? Classic Winnie the Pooh's Piglet.

25. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

26. Is there anything that you collect? Yarn! Ummm...and unique/old glass beads.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None. I usually buy IK or Vogue Knitting from the local bookstore.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on? Maybe the current Rowan mag. That's about it, cuz I am always buying knitting related books for myself.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another?? I really want to try Fiddlesticks' Lotus Blossom or Peacock Shawl. I just don't know if I have the courage to really attempt a big lace project like that!

ETA: 30. What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like? I have long feet- they're 9.5 inches long and only 4 inches around. Love lacey looking socks, because they are so feminine.

Monday, September 05, 2005


It's true: I have knitting ADD. I discovered this not too long ago, when I was cleaning out some of my stash and found at least four projects in various unfinished stages. These particular projects were so old that I couldn't really remember what a couple of them were. That's bad, especially considering that I have at least six or seven other current projects laying around the house that I'm supposed to be working on.

So in an effort to catalogue my projects, I've compiled a list:

Projects that are on the way to the frog pond:
Kiri in Elann's Peruvian Collection Cashmere- I decided that it was taking way too much work for me to keep up with the charts in Kiri. For whatever reason, I kept messing the darned things up so my Kiri is going to be ripped. I may try again with some Kid Silk Haze that I recently added to the stash (see below).

Diamond Fantasy Shawl in KSH- Nope, not working. I like the KSH, and I love the pattern, but together? Not so much.

Projects that I actually might complete:
The Dearest's sock in Handpainted Yarn's merino worsted- I've knit this sock at least 4x now and poor Dearest still has nothing to show for all that knitting. Thank goodness the HPY merino is so wonderful or I would've thrown the whole project out the window by now. First, I knit sock#1 up to the heel and when Dearest tried it on, it was waaaaay too small. 2nd try: I knit toe up and got to the heel again. Found out that I dislike toe-up patterns. Also found out the sock was too small AGAIN. More ripping. 3rd try: cuff down pattern with some cabling thrown in. About 6 inches in, realized that cabling was making the sock too small. Plus Dearest said it was kinda girly. Another frog pond trip. Currently 5 inches in on the 4th try; just a simple ribbing this time. Please Lord, make this sock fit and look right.

*&(*&*&^%^&* Silk Corset in Classic Elite Premiere- I actually got past row 12 (after FOUR tries). I pretty much chucked the chart out the window and have been following the written instructions (after re-writing them for myself, since even the written instructions are pretty confusing). I am determined to finish this thing if it kills me. Look for further cursing regarding this project in the near future.

One Skein Wonder in my own handspun: on the back burner for now. I work on it here and there, but it's a low priority so not much gets done.

And what's this?
It's my version of Knitpicks' Farmer Market Bag.
I'm using some Lamb's Pride Bulky in brown, green and orange. I'm hoping that this will be my Fall tote this year.

BTW Christie commented about my desire for a felted laptop cozy: I'm going to throw this out...because I didn't think of it until it was brought up to me. Static electricity. Bad for computers. Will felted wool hold a static charge? I'm almost afraid to use the felted case that I've made.

Good point! So I asked the Dearest: would I have to worry about zapping my laptop into oblivion if I knit up a felted cozy for it? His reply: The worst static charges build up when you have two types of fabric rubbing together. So a cozy-covered laptop in another bag (like a backpack) would build up a ton of static. Not so good. But if I just carry my cozy-ed laptop around under my arm (as I'm wont to do around the house), it should be fine.

So there you have it, straight from the Computer Guru's mouth. I think I'll be making me one of those cozies after all.

Friday, September 02, 2005

No words

Just this:
Red Cross
Give a Little
Network for Good

Every little bit helps.