Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hoodie has a hood!

I FINALLY finished the hood! Things I'm happy with about it include:
  • The cables really do meet up and look continuous
  • I used the 3-needle bind-off for the seaming and that worked nicely
  • It seems to look good from the front and sides
Things I'm NOT happy about are:
  • The grafting of the center stitches was a little iffy
  • The hood over all seems a bit large
Anyway, as I told Jess, who has been an immense font of knowledge on all things related to sleeves, Rogue is not going to be a work of art. I think this pattern was a little beyond my knitting abilities, which makes it a great project for me to learn from. She'll look beautiful unless you stare at her seams, and I know I really need to work on the seaming things. I'm at peace with the flaws, though. And I'm really glad I have such good friends to help me through the rough patches, like the NYC Jess and the Granger Jess. And of course, my guru.

Now I need to tackle the sleeves, not in the round since they are set in. Yikes!

OK, one problem I have seriously been baffled by...I was weaving in a bunch of ends when I noticed a single stitch marker hiding at the very apex of the v-neck. I thought it was just an extra that had fallen off my needle when I was grafting/binding off. I went to pick it up and put it away. OMG, it was stuck to the sweater. I pulled. Nope, not coming off. Then I noticed -- It was ATTACHED to a single live stitch. Right there in the middle of the neckline. WTF??? I now remember doing this and wondering why I was doing it. I know I did it for a reason, trust the pattern, etc., but I couldn't find the place in the pattern that told me to do this ridiculous thing -- put one single stitch on a holder and leave it there until you're almost done with the whole sweater and about to rejoice and then you realize you have a live stitch in the middle of the neck and no way to make it "un-live" (what's the word for an un-live stitch?). No friggin' way I was going to frog this baby. I did what any short-cut loving imperfectionist (don't read this, Claudine) knitter would do and I use a short length of yarn to weave the live stitch into its rightful place among the other properly behaving stitches. Pray the ends don't come out, okay?

Last bit of news, I hung out with some knitting and spinning friends on Tuesday night and met an amazing spinner/dyer named Elizabeth (aka the Chocolate Princess). OMG, her stuff is so beautiful. The colors of her sock yarn were just lovely and I wanted to scoop them all up and roll around in them. Unfortunately I hate knitting socks. It's not really fair that there is so much wonderfuly colored sock-yarn out there that gets me all hot and bothered every time I see it and then lets me down when I realize what it is, i.e., not suitable for my knitting needs (I usually like yarn a little bit thicker than the sock variety). But, you sock knitters will love it. She dyes roving, too. And started an etsy store -- check it out!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Rogue Update

As promised, here are some progress shots. The body is all done and the hood is more than halfway there. I am so in love with how the Celtic cabling is looking, I can't believe how nice it is! The hood is pretty easy -- you have to pay attention at the ends, where the cabling is, but in the middle you can just purl or knit along happily.

After this I have 2 sleeves to do. The pattern says to knit them flat and "set in sleeves" -- but I'm wondering if I can't do them in the round? So much easier than seaming -- especially since I've seen how bad my seaming is on the shoulders. I'd just have to treat each row as a RS row and reverse the WS instructions where the cabling is, right? Anyone have any warnings about why I shouldn't do this...? Please speak now to save my sanity -- I'd say you have until the weekend, when I should have the hood finished and be ready to start the sleeves. Thanks!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sam is the Jester

Sorry for the lack of entries lately. I've been busy -- family, baking cookies, shopping, holiday stuff in general...among other things. I was very happy to finally spend some time with my family in CT last weekend. Sam was as cute as ever -- here she is sporting the jester hat I made her. It's really cute, but if I make one again, I plan to tweak it a bit so that the "peaks" are not all on the very top, coming out of the top center -- I think the hat would work better if the top were rounded a bit, and the peaks coming out of the top sides more. Does that make sense? Anyway, I made this with a bunch of leftover yarn bits, and it was fun, quick and easy and fit her surprisingly well. As an added bonus for the adorable wearer, the chartreuse base of the hat is made of Morehouse merino...yum!

During my visit, Sam made some cookies, which were good even though she ate a bunch of the dough and I don't really know where her hands have been...actually I do know where her hands have been, but I tried not to think of that while enjoying the cookies.

Brady is just as cute as Sam, but at this point in his life he really doesn't do much except look cute and smile. I'm sure he'll forgive the lack of attention, I'll make up for it when he has better control of his arms and legs and can make them do funny things like his sister.

Rouge update tomorrow, I promise -- almost halfway done with the hood, which is taking a lot longer than I expected!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Don't Feed Them after Midnight...

...and never, EVER, get them wet. That applies to suri alpacas as well as Gremlins. I just blocked this hat and OH MY GOD does it smell like a rutting beast! I'm praying, PRAYING, that the smell dissipates after it dries because I've spent a good amount of time working on this "Braid and Bobble Hat" (from Fiber Trends), and frankly, it has been a pain in my ass. While I'm quite pleased with the appearance of the cables and braids, I couldn't remember the repeats so I had to keep looking at the pattern, flipping it back and forth to remind myself the difference between Cr3R, Cr3L and C5B. I should have just written the abbreviations on a post-it so I didn't have to keep flipping the pattern over, but I got too lazy to take the time to save some time. This is going to be a present for someone who doesn't read this blog, so hopefully she'll never know the olfactory experience that is this hat (until she wears it in the rain...)

My Rogue hoodie is coming along very nicely and even more importantly, it fits! It's kind of a perfect fit and I was going for some ease, but I haven't blocked it yet and I'm pretty confident that it will stretch a little bit at that point. The cables look great but I found out that I'm really terrible at seaming -- I had to seam the shoulders and it really looks amateurish. I won't show you because I don't think I want to re-do them at this point so I'm just going to live with it -- anyway, what am I if not a amateur apprentice to the knitting gurus?

I think I'm going to get hooked on spinning pretty quickly. I spent several hours at Jessica's house on Sunday, spinning away on her Lendrum. It was my first wheel experience, and I really loved it. And I love Jess, who owns all the equipment one would need to march a flock of sheep in one door and a thousand skeins of yarn out the other -- including some innocent-sounding combs that have teeth big enough to scare a tiger. And she had a bag of fleece that was truly fresh from the sheep -- and smelled like it, too -- worse than the wet suri hat, but still strangely alluring. My spinning classes start in January!

Monday, November 20, 2006


Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited on a tour of an organic dairy farm. David and I donned out boots and old clothes and trekked through humongous pies of cow pies to get to a field of about 10 or 12 happily grazing cows. They were overjoyed (as much as cows can show overjoyment) to see the farmer, who took a few minutes to "move the cows" -- that is, enlarge their grazing field on one end by moving a wire out in a few places. This allows the cows access to new grazing land and gives the old pasture a chance to re-grow its grasses. He only moved them a few feet out, but this happens almost every day so the fields all get their chance to rest.

This weekend was also the last home game at ND stadium for 2006, and our last chance to "sit" in the student section. I'm kind of sad that this had to end, football season iss probably the best partabout coming back to ND. But our team kicked butt and we're onto the Trojans next week, fighting for some slight, miniscule, sub-atomic-sized chance at a National Title, or more accurately for the right to get our asses soundly whipped by Ohio State.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Help Dave's Man Crush

If you love Dave, please go to this web site and vote for Brady Quinn to win the Heisman (thanks to Gillaby for the link!)

Brady for Heisman!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Gratuitous Baby Bragging

Here are my cute niece, nephew and brother -- not necessarily in that order, but pretty close! Brady is sporting the Jester Hat from Knitting on the Net. I made him the One-Hour Baby Booties from SnB Nation, but I have to say, they were way too small. So was the pair I made for KGB. So maybe they are really meant for new new new newborns...but KGB is only 2 weeks old. In any case, the jester hats came out really cute.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I went to visit Eoin, Becca & Ryan in Chicago on Sunday and to meet the newest member of their family, KGB. Isn't his hat cute? Thanks to Knitting on the Net again -- except this time I didn't knot the "tendrils" so they kind of look like atennae -- which I felt was appropriate for a child in that family. By the way, this is a photo of the whole family -- see if you can find KGB.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Once Upon an Alpaca

David & I had so much fun this morning at Once Upon a Farm Alpacas, who were having an open house on the outskirts of town this morning. There was a pen full of moms and crias, and two of the babies were inseparable. They were twisting they legs and necks around each other, running around. So cute! I bought some more suri for a hat for me, and had a really nice chat with one of the proprietors, Randy Beck. Someday, we'll have our own little herd of misfit alpacas.

As promised, here is a Rogue update shot -- I'm really worried about the size but I do NOT have the heart to frog this until I get to the end. I just have to keep on going. Maybe it will be a gift if it doesn't fit me right. We'll see.

Go IRISH -- 2 hours to kick-off! We have to head out to a local bar to watch the game, since it's only being broadcast on a satellite sports channel. And David forbid me from bringing my knitting to the bar, which I thought was pretty rude. But I can forgive him because he gave me a really cool 5th Anniversary gift, which is traditionally wood. David bought me some trees fromThe National Arbor Day Foundation, which will be replanted in our National Forests. So cool! What a great gift, check it out here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Brady's Booty

No, I'm not talking about David's man-crush, Brady Quinn -- I'm talking about my adorable nephew, who is going to get some booty(s) in the mail soon! Kerry if you see this post before you get the package, stop reading now! The booties are from SnB (I actually crocheted the straps, what is this world coming to?) and the hat is a pattern I found online from Knitting on the Net. Like the turtle buttons?

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. I lost my USB cable for the camera and to me, posting without pics is like eating french fries without ketchup. It satisfies your hunger for food but is only a primitive shadow of what fine dining can be.

Rogue is getting BIG and therefore not so portable as she once was. I promise a pic soon. I finally tried her on and she fit, but I'm worried she's a little snug. I'm praying that's due to the fact that the front was still on the needles and that with a little bit of blocking, we'll be happy together.

Speaking of happy together, Happy Anniversary to Me & David! 5 years, holy crap!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Guru!

I predict a happy and exciting 32nd year, what with getting hitched and all!

Also, happy birthday to Jess's daughter!

*Picture found on Sheep in the City.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Happy Halloween!

Please check this out, it makes me laugh and cry -- The Life and Death of a Pumpkin. It's so sick and wrong and I can't stop watching it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Yarn outing!

I had a great time going to Sheep's Clothing in Valparaiso this weekend with Elizabeth, her MIL, Jess and Vicki. The store was overwhelming -- so much yarn, books, needles, notions and good fiber fiends. Check out Jess's blog for some pics b/c I was too busy feeling everything to take any.

I bought this nice multi-colored manos that will eventually become a baby gift, and also something that will soon (I hope) become a little birthday gift for someone who reads this blog.

Take a look at Rogue -- now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout! I'm about to start the arms. I love the way the cables came out! I just hope it fits -- I don't have the patience to take it off the needles to try it on. That's dumb, I know, but I came this far...

Last but definitely not least, congratulations to Mikey -- I'm so proud of you! He made detective!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rogue, interrupted

I'm usually a pretty monogamous knitter, but the Buttercream suri that I bought from the Amish Alpaca farmers kept calling my name, and I knew that I couldn't wait until Rogue was completed before playing with this buttery goodness. I wanted to make a hat with it, but then I found the Nakiska pattern on Knitty and it seemed perfect. It knit up super fast and super soft, and I still have enough yarn left to do a hat -- it didn't even take 1/2 a skein! The only thing I had to fix was the bind off -- MAKE SURE YOU DO A LOOSE BIND OFF for this one! Otherwise it won't stretch. But there was a lesson in un-doing a bind-off there for me. Also, I will use slightly bigger cable needles next time -- the middle with the cables is a lot tighter than the edges with the seed stitch. But this will even out with wear, and it looks and feels niiiiiice!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Merry Widow

This is my favorite soprano and good friend Laura Portune. She's one hot mama with a voice that can shatter glass, and I mean that in a good way. Go see her in The Merry Widow if you're going to be in or around Columbus in February! While there, you can check in on A Second Breakfast and Ruthless and his bride, who also make their merry homes there.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Two steps forward, one step back

I'm happy with the progress I'm making on the Rogue Hoodie. But I still slip up. Last night I spent about an hour tinking back when I forgot to do a repeat of the cable pattern and just kept on moving up the chart. Grrrr. But it's all good now. Can you see the kangaroo pocket?

Rhinebeck was this weekend -- all the posts about it make it look like the weather was beautiful and everyone had a great time. Wish I was there -- but definitely next year!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Avocado Fever - THE SOURCE

After that Paul Hornung's "pants fell down" post, my hit counter skyrocketed by 2K in two days...and a large number of these hits were coming from (think of it as gawker for sports) -- they had AVOCADO FEVER as one of the confirmed "sources" of this rumor. I love it! Check it out here. I am SO sad I didn't have my camera because we were RIGHT THERE in full view of those baby blue boxers. Here's a link to the "event" on (I found this link on NDScene). I can't find actual pics anywhere on the web, but I saw an excellent replay of it on WNDU Saturday morning before the game. Bug them to post the video.

You'll all be happy to know that Mr. Hornung's pants remained firmly around his waist when he was honored on the field during the UCLA game Saturday. Here's a shot of the team rushing over to the student section after Quinn and the Shark's amazing last-minute TD to win the game for the Irish! Best worst game I've ever been to...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Heisman winner caught with pants down...

I had all these great intentions of posting with photos of the leaves in Brown County, where David & I went earlier this week, and of the excellent progress I've made on my Rogue Hoodie, but I just got too busy doing nothing to blog. And then this happened...and I HAD to share...we went to the ND pep rally tonight with my parents, and 1956 Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung was speaking, and HIS PANTS FELL DOWN AS HE SPOKE in front of 11,000 people! Oh my God. I wish I had my camera with me. I mean, the guy was standing there in his baby blue boxers and everyone was cracking up as he pulled his pants back up from where they had fallen, which was all the way down around his ankles. Public speaking nightmare! Ahh!

Anyway, more knitting-related news to come next time. I just couldn't stop laughing about what I saw tonight.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Amish Suri!

David & I took a trip out to Nappanee this weekend to see the open house at the J-Bar-J Alpaca Ranch. Their flyer was interesting because there was no web site/email info -- we found out that because the ranchers are Amish, the internet is off limits to them. The herd was small (only 8 animals) but I got some nice yarn spun from their own alpacas, and it's 100% suri! Soooo soft. Here's a pic of a suri, I actually think it is one of the animals that this yarn came from (either Shandon or Butter Creme, the yarn is a blend from the two alpacas).

I'm back on track with the Rogue. That's the kangaroo pocket in front -- I was afraid to attempt this at first, because the instructions intimidated me. But then I read them again and it's really pretty simple. I'm past the point where I had to frog it the last time, and it seems to be coming along pretty nicely. I should make some nice progress on it during our trip down to Bloomington, IN tomorrow. It's supposed to be a cute area and is just a little get away during our week off.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Isn't it a bit early...

To wake up in the morning and find this outside???

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The 10th Circle of Hell

Here's a progress shot of my Rogue Hoodie. Does it look a little strange? That's because I circularly knitted myself into a MOBIUS LOOP!!! Unbeknownst to me until I had progressed through several inches + hem + a bunch of the kangaroo pocket, of course. The only bright side is that now I can fix (aka start over on) that dropped stitch in the cable panel.

I just needed to bitch. I'm so so mad.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fall Is TOTALLY Here

First up, a progress shot on the Rogue Hoodie -- I'm doing okay, better than I thought I would be. I actually progressed about 2x as far as you can see from this pic, but 1/2 of that is the hem which I just knit to the WIP, so you can't see it any more (thanks for the lesson on that in the Hourglass Sweater, Jess!). I did mess up one of the cables slightly by dropping a stitch and then finagling it back up to the needle, and I'm not so sure it was properly finagled, but the thought of ripping made me realize that I can live with this mistake, and it's not very noticeable. I'm sure it will be the first of many errors. There is a bit of trickery at work in the pattern in the form of the Trinity Stitch. It involes a combo of K/P into the same stitch 3 times. I found a video on the DIY Network to help me figure out how to do this, but OMG! This Janet Szabo woman, the demonstrator, knits and purls into the same stitch about 20 times!!!! I have no idea what she is doing. And then Vickie Howell says, "It's super easy!" Even David was cracking up as I watched the video over and over and screamed obscenities at the computer screen. Super easy my ass! I think I figured it out anyway, I have the right # of stitches, and if I find out later that I did it wrong, I'm not going back!!!!

The weather this weekend was picture perfect for a football game. Lots of our friends were in town, including the guru's parents and fiance, A Second Breakfast & her roommate and family, Becca, Eoin, Ryan & their family...the list goes on! We won the game and had lots of quality bonding time with everyone.

Sunday was time to get into fall gear, so we headed up to Fennville, MI to visit the corn maze at Crane Orchards and to drink some crisp apple cider. I think this is the last of the beautiful weekends for a while, so we milked it.

Last but not least the eggs -- I scrambled them up for breakfast and there is such a difference in color and taste. I don't ever want to eat store-bought eggs again!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jane Fonda's Dog

David & I went to see Ms. Fonda speak at Notre Dame last night. The subject was "The Feminization of Poverty". I'm not so sure how enlightening her talk was on the intended subject, but she was really interesting to listen to. She said she brings her dog everywhere so that she doesn't miss her grandkids.

In other news, I found somewhere to get eggs from pasture-fed hens. I'm cracking some open today and making chocolate chip cookies with them. Here's a pic of 2 types of eggs next to each other -- the one on the right is one from the pasture hens, the other was produced from an unknown hen diet. The pasture-fed one is WAY darker, you can see it even better in person but the pic shows it too. Maybe tomorrow we will do a scrambled or over-easy taste test!