Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Answering Your Comments

I wanted to take a few minutes to address some questions asked in comments.

The Booga Bag pattern is right here. The pattern is very easy and works up fast! Also, when I felt, I spin the water out of the item in the washer. That speeds up drying time tremendously. I have not had any problems with creases or adverse effects on my felted items. My process is to set the washer on the lowest water level and use hot water. I let the machine agitate, stopping periodically to check progress. I do put my items in a zippered pillow protector to keep the fuzz out of the washer. Once my item is as felted as I want it, I change the washer setting to spin out the water and then put my item to dry. I use wool wash that doesn't require rinsing--Eucalen or Kookaburra.

My only complaint about the Booga Bag is that the bag is very soft. I am planning to make a cardboard or plastic canvas bottom support piece to add more stability to the bottom of the bag and help it hold its shape when in use. I'll cover the support with fabric. Alternatively, the bag could be lined, but I'm not really in a sewing mood right now.

Someone asked if the blocking board was just foam insulation or was it covered in something. It is just foam straight from the local Lowes home improvement store. The foam is a light blue color and is denser than the white foam that you see in packing material. It doesn't flake so much when it's cut. My husband measured the space under our bed to see how large a blocking board we could store there. He then measured the foam and cut it to size. To prevent any chipping of the edges of the board, he covered them in duct tape. That's it. We want to make a larger blocking board for doing big lace shawls and such, and we want to grid the board. We're talking about a couple of options for that. When we actually test our theories, I'll post more!

I will post photos later this week of the blocking board, the completed Booga Bag, and the blocked Branching Out.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Every Woman Needs....

Every woman needs a man who will get down on his knees for her....and pin out her completed Branching Out scarf (or other lace project)....on the wonderful new blocking board he just made for her. No, I have no photos of this, but I do have a super creative and wonderful husband. I'm now the proud owner of a great blocking board made out of a piece of insulating styrofoam from the home store. Branching Out is loving being pinned to it. My mom will love receiving a properly blocked scarf for her birthday! Thanks, oh wonderful husband of mine!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blame It On The Weather

Sorry, gang, but crappy indoor pictures are the best I can do today. It's drizzly and yucky outside--not good photo weather.

Here is Clappy Clapotis lounging on the back of my recliner. I guess she needed a rest after those Olympic events and her near disastrous injury.

I blocked Clappy to be a stole. I wear stoles more often than I wear scarves. She's a "tall" gal, too, but I haven't measured her since she dried.

Here is a close up shot of Clappy.

The yarn is Mountain Colors 4/8 Weaver's Wool. I think the color name is Wild Raspberry.

Here are Booga Bag progress photos. First is daughter's bag:

She still has a few more rounds to knit and then the I-cord to make. She hates I-cord, but I promised her that it goes fast on size 10.5 needles!

Here's my bag:

I'm ready to felt!

Finally, here is a Branching Out scarf I'm making for my mom's birthday. The yarn is of course Silky Wool. I love that stuff. The color is a deeper, richer turquoise in real life. The flash washed it out.

This is my second Branching Out. I'm amazed at how quickly the pattern is going this time around. I may do a third scarf in lace weight yarn!

Monday, February 20, 2006


I finished Clapotis on Saturday night and got her blocked yesterday. She looks great! Floss, yes, the dropped stitches do block out more evenly. I figure they'll get jumbled up a bit when Clapotis is worn, so it's not so it's not too big a deal really.

Yesterday, I knitted a Booga Bag and may felt it today. Daughter is working on one as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Clappy Clapotis Sustains Injury During Olympic Practice Session

Clappy Clapotis, a competitor in the Knitting Olympics, sustained injury during a Tuesday morning practice session when she took a tumble from her coach's desk. Clappy fell almost 3 feet, lost a needle and stitch marker, and dropped several stitches as a result of her fall.

Things were touch and go for Clappy throughout most of yesterday, and she underwent several hours of extensive tink therapy. Clappy's coach questioned whether or not Clappy should go on in these Olympic Games or whether she should retire to the Frog Pond. The situation was that dire. Just when therapists thought Clappy was recovering, a stitch would be lost or marker determined to be out of place.

Finally, at about 7 PM last night, Clappy showed signs of improvement. She went on to compete in the qualifying rounds of her event and completed two pattern repeats. Clappy is expected to make a full recovery.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olympic Progress

Clapotis for the Knitting Olympics is progressing well. I've dropped 4 stitches so far. This project has been painfully boring, but the dropping stitches thing is fun. I hurry through the rest of the pattern repeat so that I can rip those little stitches out. Here's a close up:

I wrestled the herringbone scarf away long enough to capture this detail shot:

The picture quality sucks. It just wasn't a photogenic day yesterday.

Here are my birthday presents:

There are lovely Lantern Moon needles hiding in that silk case. I haven't tried out either of the new needles yet, nor have I cooked anything from the Rachel Ray book. It's fun petting my presents, though.

Monday, February 13, 2006

We Have a Teenager in the House

Our baby is 13 years old today. It seems like only yesterday we found out I was pregnant. It seems like only yesterday our little girl was born. My, my the time goes so quickly.

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light
And the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daugter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see
How happy she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

--Martina McBride

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dear Husband!

Today is my dear husband's birthday. His present from daughter and me is an XM Satellite Radio for his car. He spends a good bit of time driving every day, so we thought this would be entertaining for him. You can buy a home kit for the radio, so he can set it up inside to enjoy, too. I think we're going to be buying that later today, if we can find it locally.

We're going out to dinner tonight to celebrate husband's and daughter's birthdays. Her's is tomorrow. One of her friends is joining us. It should be a good time.

I'm relieve to say that I'm liking Clapotis more now that I'm at the dropping stitches part of it! The sun is shining today, so I'll try to get some photos posted either later today or tomorrow.

I completed the Herringbone Rib Scarf on Thursday night. I was worried about the look of it, but washing improved everything. I didn't block it very much at all, but just getting it wet and laying it out to dry opened up the pattern nicely. It was cold on Friday, so daughter grabbed up the scarf and wore it to school. I'll try to rip it from her grasp long enough to get a photo. I really enjoyed the pattern and am so pleased with the outcome.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Birthday Presents

No pictures today! It's dreary outside, and I don't feel like doing indoor photos.

I got belated birthday gifts from husband and daughter last night. They chose very well, so it was worth the wait! First, I have a copy of Rachel Ray's new book 365 No Repeats--A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners. Next up was a set of Lantern Moon needles and a gorgeous silk case for them. I know that this was daughter's choosing! The girl has great taste. Finally, I have a new rosewood circular needle in the size I need for Klaralund. I've been lusting after these needles!

We watched the Olympic opening last night, and I cast on for my Knitting Olympics project. I'm making Clapotis, the pattern that has been all the rage for eons now. I'm not liking it. Frankly, I don't see what the fuss is all about. The pattern is quite boring. Hopefully, once I get to the part about dropping stitches it will be more entertaining. I know many people have knit this pattern over and over, but for me, unless things change, this is a one time knit.

Speaking of the Olympics, what did you think of the uniforms? I don't like the fur and skin looking hats that some of the teams were wearing. Ick! I loved the Estonian team's knitted hats and mittens, though. None of the other clothing really stood out as all that special.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Birds

Our back yard was filled with birds this morning. We had a pair of woodpeckers. I think they were red headed woodpeckers, but they were too far away for me to get a good look. We also had a flock of red winged black birds, numerous robins, sparrows, doves, blue jays, cardinals, black capped chickadees, titmice, mocking birds, juncos, Carolina wrens, and gold finches. The squirrels were also out in force frolicking around. They seemed to take particular joy in chasing the birds. I could almost see grins on their squirrely little faces and hear them giggling as they startled the birds.

I'm still plodding along on the herringbone scarf. I love the pattern. The pattern is fairly simple and easily memorized. This is one that is good for working while watching television or having a conversation. It's simple yet looks so gorgeous! I am hoping to finish it up tonight or tomorrow so that it will be done before my Olympic quest begins.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

~*~Happy Birthday to Me~*~

Way back on this date in 1965, I was born. And the world has not been the same since!

My birthday present to myself has been a month in the making so far, actually, three weeks if you take into account the week I was sick. Today was my first weigh in at Curves. I've lost 3.25 pounds and 6.25 inches. Not bad! I'm encouraged enough by this to try to fit in an additional workout per week, and I'm working harder at the exercises now that I'm more familiar with the routine. I'd love to go to Curves every day, but with working a full time job and taking care of my family, there just isn't time.

Beverly asked in comments if I'd given up on Tubey. No, not at all. I've just not had time for Tubey lately because this Manos has been taunting me! Tubey will be finished before I cast on for Klaralund, but I still need to complete the scarf I'm currently working on and Clapotis which is my Olympic event.

Li's husband voted against the spiral rib hat. I guess if another man nixes the hat and husband is adamantly against wearing a spiral rib, that's the end of the matter. It's a cute hat, and I'm sure daughter or I will enjoy it. Besides, the bow-knot scarf that it matches is definitely a woman's garment, so now we have a set. See Amie, we got outvoted! :)

I've been loving the Today show this week. Katie Couric is in Italy and has been doing segments on location. She was in Rome yesterday, Florence today, and I think she'll be in Turino tomorrow. I would love to go to Italy one of these days.

Monday, February 06, 2006


It's darned cold in SC today. The sky is a lovely gray color, too, and looks as if it could leak something or other at any moment. As long as that something or other is liquid and not solid, I'm OK. I don't want any ice storms.

The birds are keeping the feeders busy. I've had swarms of goldfinches all day. They are so pretty! We have several feeders in the yard, but the birds seem to prefer the two we have out back. There are so many birds singing and chirping outside in the woods. I imagine some of the noise is also squirrels. None of the fuzzy critters are running around the back yard today, so they must be tucked away in their warm nests in the trees.

Did I mention that our yard has been certified by the National Wildlife Foundation as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat? Daughter worked on that certification as part of her science class project last semester.

I believe that a bad photo is better than no photo, so here is a bad photo of the Silk Garden I'm using for my Klaralund:

I love the colors--the turquoise and purple are some of my favorite colors and ones that look good on me.

Here is the spiral rib hat made from Patons wool:

So what do you think? Is this too feminine, or can a man wear this hat?

Finally, here's what I have so far of the herringbone rib scarf from Li's pattern:

It is quite a bit longer than this, but I folded it up for the picture. I've used a skein of Manos so far and have another skein to put with this. The scarf is in serious need of blocking.

I love Manos--love the way it feels, love the colors. What I do not love is the thick and thin quality of it. This is my first time using Manos (frogged this particular skein because it clearly was not wanting to be My So Called Scarf), and I have anywhere from bulky to sport weight all in this one skein. That doesn't particularly bother me except that in a pattern like this one, it seems that the skinny yarn is presenting itself on the front side in the midst of my stitch pattern. I'm not too happy about that, but I will keep going with this scarf and see how it comes out in the wash.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

*Yawn* *Stretch*

Is it bed time yet? Nope? Only 8 PM, huh? I guess that cup of coffee after dinner isn't going to kick in! Punch me if I fall asleep.

I finished a spiral rib hat in the Patons Nature Wool. The hat turned out fine, but I'm still not thrilled with the yarn. As I mentioned in a previous post, it looks "worn" when it knits up--fuzzy. I did a cost comparison of the Patons to Wool of the Andes from Knitpick. They are both about 2 cents per yard. Give me the WOTA any day. IMO, it has a nicer texture and looks better in the finished item. I'll try to post a picture of the hat later in the week. I gave it to husband, and he was trying to decide if a spiral rib is really a manly looking hat. Anybody have thoughts on that?

I'm currently working on Li's Herringbone Rib Scarf in Manos variegated yarn. Oh my gosh, is this a gorgeous pattern! Check ot the gallery of completed scarfs. I first spotted the scarf on Beth's blog and knew my Manos had to become that scarf. Li is working out the pattern and hopes to publish it. If you ask nicely, she may share it with you so that you can test it out. I will take photos of my progress later in the week.

I've joined several knitalongs and will try to get the buttons posted soon. Tubey KAL, Team Knitty for the Knitting Olympics, and Team Clapotis, another Knitting Olympics team. Of course, we've not begun any of the Olympic knitting and won't until next Friday. Also, my Tubey is about to take a little wade in the frog pond. I'm just not happy with the yarn join for the second ball, and it has to come out!

I'm about to become a Soccer Mom! The kid who hated playing Y Team soccer as a wee one has decided that she'd like to play on her middle school girls' soccer team. Practice starts tomorrow, so we have her equipped with cleats, shin guards, and the longest socks I've ever seen in my life.

Tomorrow is my first weigh in at Curves and my one month anniversary. I actually have only worked out for 3 weeks, because I was sick for one week. It will be interesting to see if I've made progress. I feel better, and that was my original reason for joining.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Here's the Proof!

True English Nerd
You scored 81 erudition!
Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your definite from your indefinite articles, but you've got quite a handle on the literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well done! The English snobs of Boston salute you.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 78% on erudition
Link: The Are You Truly Erudite? Test written by okellelala on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test