Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cat Bed Anyone?

Weeeellll, I should've known better. Having used this yarn before (my size 15 mens slippers), I knew that this particular yarn doesn't shrink alot into itself, as opposed to straight, untweeded worsted or bulky yarns. That said, my bowl is not stiff enough to be a bowl, but it is an awesome (and large) cat bed. Does anyone need one? My cats have them already, so I'll happily give and/or mail this to anyone who could use one.

The felted slippers went much better and I like them a lot. They're not as fuzzy as Lamb's Pride, but just a stiff & formed. I'll definitely use Plymouth Galway again.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

More Felting

This is a fast "wash cycle" posting. :) I found a pattern online for a shallow bowl and it was a quick knit (methadone, if you will, until the Bristol pattern arrives). Here's the unfelted bowl knitted up. I used a bulky weight blue tweed (no name) 100% New Zealand wool purchased on Ebay (Bob from Yarn Barn is a delight!).

I also received my first ever skeins of Plymouth Galway and the slippers went faster than ever. It knitted soooo nicely and quickly; I was amazed. Now while the photo makes the yarn look blue, it's actually a very, very pretty green, "Forest Heather," to be exact.

Needless to say, once the Saturday housekeeping is done, I'll be cooing over my washing machine watching these babies shrink (big pirate laugh).

Happy holidays y'all!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Couldn't resist this one and didn't even try

I like felting; I really, really like felting and when I saw these bowls, my jaw fell open and "oooooohhhh" came out. That said, I bought the pattern and will be watching the mailbox like a hawk. I'm sure it's going to be a while before it arrives so in the meantime, I plan on studying color cards and figuring out combinations (though I'm sure I'll copy several that Carol Bristol used - - especially the center red and blue ones).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
In the spirit of the holidays, my wish for you is an old Irish favorite:

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

To Do

My father and his wife are coming up from Mississippi on January 10th. The Alexander clan is getting together the weekend of January 13th to celebrate the holidays en masse. Mentally, I've been preparing a list of things to be done and it goes like this....

1. Clean my car
2. Scrub gas grill
3. Scrub out oven
4. Clean fridge
5. Scour bathrooms
6. Reorganize & rearrange barnyard sty (aka daughter's bedroom).
7. Replace broken closet door in son's room (subject son & friend were wrestling at the time)
8. Grocery shopping and menu planning
9. Knit up three pairs of slippers for aunts X-mas gifts
10. Keep up with laundry, ironing, cooking, dusting and vacuuming.
11. Work full-time job.
12. Oh crap...rescue squeaking field mouse from ferocious kitten who just brought it into the basement as I sit here typing (job completed & now I'm grossed out). Does anyone else have a cat or cats that actually bring the rodents in instead of keeping them out?????
13. Knit dishcloths.

Ha ha...can you tell where my priorities are? :) The rest will get done in time and believe it or not, I'm not that stressed. TGTK...thank God there's knitting. Happy holidays everyone!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Soaps & Such I'm beginning to get a little frantic. I've been knitting for months now, but it just doesn't seem like enough. I've been shopping for Christmas since August (and I'm very well prepared - - better than I ever have been before), but I'm still starting to feel the pre-holiday "burn." You know that "I must do more" feeling.

It began when I saw Kristen's "ticker" and pirated one for my site. Now, every day, the Christmas countdown faces me first thing in the morning. The ticker must go. :)

In the meantime, the soap is finished and waiting to be shrink-wrapped. I completed a leaf washcloth and ironically, I had some matching molds for the soaps. Below are the finished soaps and one more washcloth.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

While one snoozed....

...the other slept at a friend's house and the husband was at work, I had some quiet time and made felted bowl "fillers," my soap.

The soap is a goat's milk base and I added a bit of dried lemongrass and lavender.

Fortunately for me, I had some help and/or quality control of a fuzzy sort.

Having decided that the soap was inedible, Liberty fell back into her
favorite standby, a sweet look. If that wasn't effective,

a threat. Scratch me or be scratched.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Leftovers I Can Live With....

The Lumpy Bowl. This is an example of me goofing around. I had a small ball of Playa left from my last bowl, so I created this lumpy bottom half. With a bit of the remaining Lambs Pride (Andie's scarf), I knitted up the strange top. It's odd looking, but believe it or not, it looks cute on my kitchen window sill.

An Apple Hat made from Christmas stocking extras and a bit of Wings.

More Baby Hats (Pronto from Skander's scarf) and cotton (from Trevor's hat).

Friday, December 01, 2006

Conquering the Stash

What am I knitting? Slippers, slippers and more slippers. It's been the story of my life these last six months and as proof of that statement, I can honestly say that I barely glance at the pattern now. The monotony of it is driving me mad, but it'll be worth it soon.

To break up the routine a little bit, I've been using leftover yarn to make odds -n- ends, which I'll photograph and post tomorrow. It's fun to use the stash leftovers and see the pile of yarn get smaller. The word, "stash," is a pretty relative term though.

I have seen, with my own eyes, a large, two car garage that had floor to ceiling shelves stocked with yarn. The lady has industrial sized cones of yarn and hanks as big as my car. My stash? I have a half full wicker laundry basket.

The Knitnapper has discovered the wicker basket by the way. Liberty now stealthily creeps up behind the couch, under the end table and up to the basket. She then puts her front paws on the basket, leans in and grabs whatever ball is closest to her. Then, like greased lightening, she takes off. (Nascar drivers wish they could move so quickly). You wouldn't have any idea she was there, but for the "creeking" sound that the basket makes. I then shout, "ANDIE! CAT!" and resignedly, my daughter goes into the kitchen and begins to rewind my yarn. Libbie can have a small ball of yarn wrapped around the kitchen table and chairs at least three times in less than ten seconds.

This is the August photo of Libbie. I'll take a new one. She looks the same, just larger (and sneakier).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dianne's Squirrel & the Irish Hiking Washcloth

No, I cannot take a decent picture to save my life. After 25 attempts, I was finally able to get a viewable photo of the Irish Hiking Washcloth. It's not yet blocked, but when it is, it'll be a nice addition to the Christmas stash.

Below is Dianne's squirrel cloth. Dianne (see links) turned me on to this pattern and I love it! It was the first thing I've knitted where I had to do yarn overs (yo) and it was fun learning a new stitch. Both cloths are Mission Falls 1824. The Irish is yellow and the squirrel is a very nice rusty brown color (again, my lack of photography skill).

I bought my first skein of Tahki and I'm planning to do another washcloth with that and see how it knits up and turns out. It's cotton, but it's got the consistency of thick embroidery floss. It should be interesting and very, very slippery. Thanksgiving, I think, will be spent at home this year. I plan on spending one day cooking and for the the rest of the weekend, my family's getting a one way ticket to "Leftover-ville" so that I can bang out some more gifts. Hope y'all have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Baby Hats

I've been in the mood to make hats lately. I can't seem to commit to any really large project until after the holidays so these are nice, small and easily done.

The red tomato hat is made from Karabella and the blue and purple hats (blueberry & eggplant) are made from Wings. "Wings" is a perfect name for this yarn. It's part merino, part silk and part alpaca - - in other words, it's incredibly soft and not-at-all scratchy.

The hat below is a 100% cotton. It's made with "leftover" yarn from a previous project. While the cotton doesn't have the elasticity of the above baby hats, the fact that it's machine washable makes it very nice.

I need to find a yarn that feels like Wings, but won't be ruined by Mr. Maytag. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated! :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

The First Felted Bowl & SnB

This is my first felted bowl and it's from a Plymouth pattern at Yarn Theory. On the pattern booklet, the bowl is navy, lidded and very linear. Obviously, mine didn't turn out at all like that, but I do like this too. The cuff was a fluke to make the bowl less deep and the rounded curves just happened of their own accord. If you turned this bowl upside down, it'd be a cute toddler hat according to LW. :)

The wool is Playa del Uruguay and the needle felting is various bits of leftover Lamb's Pride (pink from Andie's scarf and burgundy from some slippers). I plan on filling this with some knit washcloths and a few bars of handmade soap as an Xmas gift.

The first S -n- B took place on Sunday and I had a blast. One knitter attended and we talked and talked. I was genuinely startled to realize that almost two hours had passed when I finally glanced at the clock. L.W. and I discussed yarn, spinning, how to gently steer //totally manipulate// your husband into paying for the class you want to take, patterns and a hundred other things. What a joy it is to spend time with someone who a) shares your passion, b) is not a demanding pre-teen or an apathetic spouse and c) provides new and exciting ways to build upon your passion! IT WAS GREAT!

That said, the next S -n- B is Sunday, December 10th from 2 to 4 p.m. Please feel free to call me at 540-297-4292 for directions or information. If you can't make the the gathering, but would like some of the donated yarn to use for a donation of your own, please call me and we'll meet up to pass the skeins.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

O.C.D. or just plain Anal?

Unfinished projects drive me nuts. I can't explain it except to say I grew up hearing things like "If you're going to do it, do it right," and "Once you start something, see it through." That said, Andie's uber-pink scarf had been tormenting me...teasing me...begging me to complete it, so I did.

Andie insisted on a 20 stitch cast-on and the fiber is a bulky Lamb's pride, so the first skein equalled the length of a dishtowel. Needless to say, (she) I needed more yarn to complete the project. I bought a second skein of (Pepto) Pink and to break up it up a little, I also got a skein of Victorian Pink. Now Andie has a monstrously long and wide scarf for winter in colors that she probably won't even want to touch in two years. However, the scarf is now silent and I'm onto other things. :) Namely, washcloths. Quick, easy and suitable for Christmas. I plan on giving washcloths and homemade soap as little gifts.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Finished Projects

I finally finished the Irish Hiking Scarf and it's monstrously large. It wraps around my son's head and neck four to five times (and I didn't even use all ten skeins of Pronto).

My should-have-been-a-sock Christmas stocking was a blast to do and turned out pretty well. Jan's directions were impeccable and I was able to do the Kitchener Stitch all by myself at home to complete the toe. Now that the fun projects are finished, I'm "back to work" on Christmas slippers/clogs. Once the holidays are finished, I have promised myself a treat. I'm going to select a project and it's going to be for me...all for me! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006 from 2 to 4 p.m.

We have a plan and people too! The first S-n-B is scheduled for Sunday, November 12th from 2 to 4 p.m. in my home. Adele Frischman very kindly donated boxes (yes, BOXES) of yarn to be used for the knitted donations. I grabbed one of the balls of yarn and did a scarf this week. While in Yarn Theory, I found a beautiful FiberTrends baby afghan pattern and that's going to be my second project, but my first-ever knitted blanket.

Again, I just want to write that everyone and all skill levels are welcome to come. You can bring your own project and work on it with us or grab a ball of yarn and do a donated item. It's entirely up to you. For more information, please call 540-297-4292 or e-mail me at Hope to see you Sunday the 12th!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Any Takers?

I am trying to create a local knitting group and I would love for you to join me. My very random thoughts on this group are as follows:

a) Meet one Sunday a month (or more if everyone would like) at my home in Moneta or perhaps another place in Bedford,

b) Everyone and all skill levels are welcome, and

c) You can bring your own project along and/or help with a community-based project, e.g. baby hats for the local WIC office or Warm Up America. (Please see to see the WIC baby hats and to learn more about this organization).

If you're interested, please contact me via Comments or my e-mail address, and I will reply.

(P.S. - The above pictures are "me playing." The names are just ideas and being my obnoxious self, the third is my favorite. Hope to hear from you soon! ) :) Dana

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sock Class

Last Thursday evening was my first sock class and in all honesty, I bombed. I had purchased two small skeins of Wildfoote and had visions of lovely socks dancing in my mind. In reality, my contact lenses were drying out, the Wildfoote kept splitting as I attempted to knit with the tiny size 1 circulars and my sausage-like fingers refused to work. To cap it all off, my head started pounding and I thought, "ENOUGH!"

Know thyself. I know myself well enough to admit that patience isn't one of my abundant virtues, nor is eyesight. That said, I reached over and grabbed a pair of size 8 circulars and a skein of Lamb's Pride (I'm in love with this yarn) and instead of a sock, I began knitting a Christmas stocking. It's the same principle and plan, however it's much more suited to blind, impatient, big-fisted me. :) So far, so good. The photograph colors look bizarre, but the main color is a bright, deep red and the stripes and Fair Isle knitting are in a deep green.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Cables

The cables are coming along nicely. Unfortunately, I didn't buy quite enough blue or black Berrocco [sic], so I'm making one long blue & black Irish hiking scarf. I really enjoy the cables and never ever imagined that they would be so easy (thank you Jan for showing me how to "CSF6"!).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Knit Til You Drop

One would think that that was my motto this past three day weekend. When I left work on Friday, I had the best of intentions. I planned to scrub out the oven, scour the bathrooms, and make our house immaculate. Instead, I sat on my bum, served frozen pizzas for dinner and knitted my way through two pairs of clogs.

Oh well, there's always something to clean and while the housekeeping will wait, the holidays won't. Furthermore, it's gotten cold lately and I want a pair of slippers for me. :)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

We've been busy

We've been busy gearing up for Christmas. In fact, the first cool day we had, I went into a frenzy of knitting that hasn't yet stopped. Here's a Manos del Uruguay scarf and below, a Lamb's Pride Supreme Purple and Oatmeal scarf. The Lamb's scarf was made from slipper and hat leftover yarn.

Andie's been knitting too. She's still working on her purple Manos (which I'm tempted to steal from her because a) she's not done yet and b) I really like the color - - it's grown on me). She's also working her way through a skein of Lamb's Pride Pink (bulky). Work and school keep taking a chunk out of our knitting time. :)

Exciting news....Sock class starts next week.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Irish Hiking Scarf

I stumbled across and new and neat blog site and it was all the better for these beautiful, cabled scarves. The pattern looks easy enough for even me and the photos of the end results are beautiful. Woo Hoo...Christmas '06, here I come. :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Something New & Interesting

While blog surfing, I saw mention of "Red Scarf 2007." It sounded interesting to me and I thought you might like to see it too.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Andie's Knitting

Andie is now knitting and doing a marvelous job of it. She and I seem to be opposites insofar as I struggled with the knitting, e.g. twisted and dropped stitches, but was very comfortable with the cast on. Andie, by contrast, has me do her casting on, but she knits with such speed and uniformity; it's really wonderful!

Using her babysitting earnings, she bought her very first hank of yarn and chose a purple Manos del Uruguay. She's now working on a scarf and states that her next project will be a hat. I'm so proud of her!

This was her first scarf - - a light bulky weight New Zealand wool tweed.

Friday, August 25, 2006

What a Week...

While Mohamed was re-hospitalized last week and this week, I managed to get quite a bit of knitting finished. I had to laugh when I realized that my husband is a) very good for my creative output and b) absolutely awful on my nerves, equilibrium and sleep. ;)
Here's the finished products thus far....

This is my "wildflowers" scarf made
from Manos del Uruguay yarn. The picture in no way does the colors justice!

This is Skander's skull hat and no, it's not glow-in-the-dark...just a really bizarre photograph. And in conclusion,

Another Lamb's Pride winter hat being modeled
Yes, Andie is now knitting and I'll
post her projects on Monday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Almost Done

This is Skander's skull hat. It's actually farther along now due to the lag time between the photo and posting. I'm on the K3/K2tog row now and I have to move it to DP needles to finish it off.

It's warm, soft, stretchy and quite large because of the skull. It may very well 'swim' on Skander's head, but we'll see. If it's too big, I'll find someone it'll fit! :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Not-So-Sweet Liberty

On the Fourth of July, my daughter adopted a tiny, stray, gray kitten. Andie named her new pet "Liberty." Libby, as she is called, was incredibly shy, unassuming and frightened. Regular meals and lots of love and attention brought the kitten out of her shell. Little did we realize then that we had unleashed a beast!