Monday, July 31, 2006

The Wait is Over!!

Have you been waiting to see the Grape Arbor Shawl?? It's up! Donations will be accepted until tomorrow evening if you haven't had a chance to donate but would like a shot at this shawl or any of the other items up as prizes!! I've got to say honestly though, I'm almost more jealous of the person who wins that AWESOME cartoon from Gregg!!

Baby afghan is going well...three squares complete, 4rth nearly so... Have also started Mason Dixon Burp Clothes... 1 down, 1 in progress. Gosh I've got SOOO much I want to knit in the next 7 weeks!! Haven't started any of the M/D Bibs yet, but those will follow soon!

Sorry no pics tonight...trying to check in on a bunch of different fronts...catching up from the computer (Internet) being down last night :(

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Um, yeah...that ink refill thing?...yeah, not so much... *grumble*

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Grizzly Bears in the Wild!!

Yes, this is a completely Off Topic post...but it's just too cool not to share!! Love nature? Love bears? Check out this National Geographic WildCam site!!

Saturday, Sweet Saturday!

Have I mentioned how much a LOVE my Saturday Knitting meetings?? It's a great bunch of people, with lots of awesome ideas, and it's totally MY day! So, I can knit, enjoy, chat, go to lunch, and I don't have to feel like I have to run home and get to sleep since I have to work the next day... It really is the ideal day to knit because not only do I get to enjoy Saturday, but I can get excited about other projects, and I still have Sunday to follow through on them! For those of you following the Log Cabin Baby's growing! I've decided two things about the blanket. 1) Each of the squares will have a unique center square color. 2) Each of the squares will use only 6 of the 7 colors in the overall afghan.

As for the baby shower, the invitations are planned out...will need to print them. So, that combined with the fact that I've been out of printer ink for the last year or so...well, went shopping at Office Depot today...and found something I wasn't really aware of before...REFILL KITS! Anybody ever tried them? I'm hoping they work well...a little concerned because the cartridges haven't been used in so long, but, well... I'm told I have 14 days to return for a full refund if it doesn't work :(

Also on the subject of the baby shower and the Log Cabin afghan, I picked up a copy of Mason Dixon Knitting at B&N on Tuesday just to check out what was in it. Now, I have to say, I'm usually not one that's too into knitting books. Most of them have a whole lotta crappy patterns that I could never see myself actually knitting... NOT THIS ONE!! What an AWESOME, and FUNCTIONAL collection of patterns! I've heard the text is also very interesting, though so far I just keep looking at the pictures and haven't actually read any of it yet. However, I NOW OWN IT, so I'll be doing some reading very soon!

Sorry B&N...actually had planned to buy it at Amazon, but then thought it through... 33% off at Amazon, then I either have to buy something else to get up to the $25 free shipping level, or else I have to pay shipping... Alternative? 25% off >$20 purchase at Borders - and Tax Free at that! Probably about the same price as paying shipping at Amazon, but I have it in my hot little hands RIGHT NOW!

So, what's the first thing I'm going to knit from M/D Knitting? Well, aside from the Log Cabin Afghan that I'm already knitting... I LOVE the Bib and Burp Cloth patterns!! Cute and simple! So, since Michael's has Sugar 'N Cream on sale for $1 a ball... I do have a whole box of it already, but, well...I just couldn't resist. I think this will make some great Bibs n Cloths!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chip-N-For-Dale - Thanks and Last Call!!

First, the Orlando Area Knitters want to thank all of you who have so generously responded to the letter we sent out requesting your help! Your donations have been wonderful, and every cent will go directly to help Dale and her family with their expenses. If you haven't been following her progress, you can do so on her Journal blog at

The Final "Grand" Prize of the fund-raiser will be posted on Monday, and I'm thrilled to say that it will be the Grape Arbor Shawl (pattern from WendyKnits) that I knit for this event. It is truly gorgeous, and I hope you'll drop back by the Chip N site on Monday to see it! My shawl aside, if you have been waiting for the right time to make a donation, NOW IS IT! Donations will close at 11pm on Tuesday night.

We're so close! Wouldn't it be great to break $3000? Thank you again and God Bless!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Hooray!!! This new afghan pattern is AWESOME! Went and picked out two more colors to add to the initial 5...dark peach, and light purple. The finished square is about 15"x15". I'm going to do a 2x3 blanket, with a (probably single) crochet around the edge. Then will crochet the two blocks together. The color to put it all together? Well, that all depends...either "Berry Blue" or Hot Pink! Should have a better idea which I'll need by the end of the week. I'll definitely have plenty of time though, since I have 4 1/2 more squares to knit!

Janette shared a blog with another really cool idea tonight as well...a Random log cabin afghan!! 5 colors, same order, strip height determined by a random number generator! (dice would work as well). What a great idea!! I might do this just for the heck of it sometime...we'll see...still too many projects too little time.

Checked out Mason Dixon Knitting last night as well...the book that is. It had some truly awesome patterns in it!! I'm not usually much of one for pattern books, but I really like this one. I think perhaps this weekend I'll pick up a copy...there are a number of additional things in there that I'd like to make for the baby.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'm feeling much better now...

Many thanks to Janette for her very quick response to my earlier plea for help. She recommended the Mason Dixon log cabin pattern...and here's where I'm at now...

This is actually a pretty cool technique, that I haven't done before, so while it's all garter stitch, I'm still learning things, including some great starting and finishing techniques to avoid having to deal with a lot of ends when I finish!

I found an interesting technique recently that I wanted to's for making a braided "rope". In this case I used three strands of sock weight yarn. In one end, I tied a loop and looped it over the knob of a dresser drawer. Then I walked it out to full length (about 1 1/2 yds in this case) and began twisting it. And twisted, and twisted. Once it was highly overspun, I held out a finger to keep the tension in the strand and mark the center. Held the two loose ends together, and allowed the whole thing to ply up (just the same way a single on a wheel will ply if you release the tension on it!). Here you can see the great 3-2 ply rope that I've made! This is, btw, the new strand for my pendant cutter. Had to prep it for my trip to NY in September...not to mention it's coming in very handy for my current project.

Does this look right??

Started on the afghan this afternoon...the stitch pattern is VERY open. I'm not entirely sure it's appropriate for a newborn either... I'm a little afraid that they would get their little fingers caught in the open-ness of the pattern. Besides which, it's very hard to count rows...since the row definition is so bad. The full width picture shows the whole 8 1/4" block, while the second focuses in a bit more on the details of the pattern. I would LOVE some feedback on this, cause I'm not entirely happy with it...may very well switch to a different pattern.

There is one on the yarn jacket that's actually pretty close to what I had in mind I think...except I just looked inside and realized it's a crochet pattern...I could always do it in garter stitch though...

Or, let's see, here are a couple of the other patterns that I really liked when I was looking today...

The Knit Crossword Afghan is very interesting...
Would cut back on the size. I would want to spell Love Baby or something on it though, and you can't really cross those like a crossword. Ideas for what could be crossed?

The Leftover Afghan is also nice, and would be very simple to knit. I don't want color to go all the way across though, I really prefer the idea of blocks of some sort...

The Short Rows Afghan also appeals to me to a certain degree. Remember, we're talking bright kiddy colors...actually, the colors I picked out are almost the exact same ones shown in the Caron pattern.

For that matter, the Knit Tiles Afghan would work just like the one that I'm trying to do, but with a better actual knit pattern...

I would LOVE some feedback...I don't have time to wait until next weekend...need to get crackin' on this!

Found the Pattern, Bought the Yarn!

Here's the pattern that I've picked out to knit for the baby! It's a LionBrand free pattern called Earthtone Tiles Afghan. I've also picked out Caron Simply Soft in 5 lovely bright colors! So, it won't be an Earthtone Tiles Afghan, but rather a Bright Baby Tiles Afghan! Will also make it smaller of course, but I like all the geometrics, it's a reversible pattern, and while there will be some sewing, I think it'll come out gorgeous!!

FTR - the tale that knitting yarn is part of the FL Tax Free week seems to be greatly exaggerated. Walmart said it's not on the list and they're not honoring it. I'm trying to find the source of the list we were looking at yesterday that said it WAS Tax-Free. It's only $.70, but it's more the principle of the thing!

Gotta go get started, just wanted to let you know I'd found a pattern!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

As One Chapter Closes, Another Begins

The Grape Arbor Shawl has now been delivered, as have a few other small items I've been working on. That project has taken up most all of my knitting time over the past month or so...

Now I have another project that will keep me busy for the next two months... My mother called on Thursday with a grand idea...they were thinking of having a baby shower for my brother and his wife at the beginning of November (she's due the end of December). Then, they thought, "Wait a second, Jody will be here in September, what if we did it then??"

So, we're now planning a baby shower for two months from now! Which means I have to get my needles clicking! Of course the first decision is what to make...

At this point, we don't know what they're having just'll probably be another two weeks before we know...and even then we might I think I'm going gender neutral.

I think a blanket would be a nice place to start - was thinking of using Caron's Simply Soft. It's a slightly lighter weight worsted, and acrylic...and the price is right. Any other suggestions? I also kinda like it, since it comes in a wide array of colors. I'm more inclined to do something with a collection of bright colors instead of using pastels, and the shades I saw of SS fit the bill nicely. So, now I'm off to look for a pattern with nice color changes, as well as a semi interesting pattern. Am thinking blocks, though I hate the idea of sewing/crocheting them together. The up side however is that I can do lots of bright colors. Who knows, perhaps I'll even make up my own, using different patterns for each block and just make it a patchwork of squares.

I also have a cute little pattern for a baby bobble hat...could do that out of leftover SS actually. I did have an idea that I'd like to do it from a very soft washable wool blend, since they are in NY and it'd be warmer. What are your thoughts on using any wool for babies? Am I just better off to stick with acrylic or cotton?

Perhaps, I'll do a multi-colored afghan, then do a bobble hat and a pair of booties from the leftover yarn...

Would LOVE feedback and experienced suggestions on this, since this is the first time I've ever actually knit for a baby!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

How can you tell you drink too much coffee??

You just completed another sweater and you don't know how to knit.

Actually, that reminds me of the scene in the movie Demolition Man where Sly's character shows up in the morning and presents Sandra's character with a freshly knit sweater! Whipped the whole thing out overnight! It seems they reprogrammed him while he was Knit, Sew, etc. what does it say when you churn out project after project and you don't even DRINK coffee?

Obsession. It's the only reasonable excuse!

Nearly done with the hat that I'm working on...only about 6 or 8 rows left! Gotta get off the computer and get working on it! It helped that I spent several hours at a knitting meeting, then had a nice dinner with Maria at TooJay's. After our lovely salads, we knitted and chatted for a while longer. All the more time to get the hat finished!

I also saw a pattern earlier this week for a great bookmark - made in Jaegerspun I had a particular color in mind, but pretty much a polar opposite color from my Zephyr Shawl (Indigo). So, sitting at the meeting tonight and Cindi walks up to show me a huge cone of Zephyr in exactly the color I needed!! She was kind enough to let me wind off a small amount, so now I'll be able to knit the bookmark in the color I want too! Yet another project for the week!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Knit, knit, knit...

We had a going away luncheon today for a co-worker who is picking up her family and moving to South Carolina. The movers come tomorrow, they should get into the new house Tuesday. ...Oh, wait...not really relevant... what IS relevant is that I took my newest knitting project with me to lunch. Actually, I cast on on the way to the restaurant! Kind of a fun cast on's the Emily Ocker Cast On which is a nifty little cast on where you crochet the cast on around a loop of the leading tail. Once you're well into the project, you can tug on the tail and snug up the cast on! Simple, elegant, and very tidy. This is a perfect cast on for circular projects, knit in the round, from the center out.

Today's project is a nifty little hat made out of some Koigu that I bought a couple of months ago. The color is a combination of pinks and purples. It's knitting up beautifully and I'm looking forward to completing it to see how it comes out.

Won't be able to knit on Saturday, but someone just reminded me that there's a Sunday meeting! Hooray, I'll get to knit with friends this weekend afterall! Will also help, since I have about a week to a week and a half to complete this hat! I'll show you a picture sometime after it's completed.

Brain is rambling in no particular logical order right now, so I fear it's time for me to go for the night...Hope to see you all again real soon!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Grape Arbor Shawl #2 Done

Hooray!! The second Grape Arbor Shawl is officially done!! Wanna see it? You'll have to check out the Chip-N For Dale Blogsite! It's not up just yet, but keep checking back, it'll appear there sooner or later! Oh, and in the meantime, you can check out all of the other lovely items up on the site!

Now I have to decide if I'll finish the first Grape Arbor shawl - out of my turquoise handspun - or start one of a number of other projects that I have on tap.

So many decisions...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Here's where *I* Wanna go to Camp!!

Now this is MY kind of summer camp!

My boss has enrolled his kids in all kinds of summer camps...Space Camp (they got to see the shuttle go up from up close and personal!), Soccer Camp, you name it... I'll have to tell him about this one...though I'm not sure he'd send his kids to Iowa for a week for it, but hey, sounds good to me!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006


So many decisions to make...

The Finger Lakes Fiber Festival posted their class list this week...exciting stuff! So, here's my short list...

This felting class looks pretty cool actually...of course now the question is, what photo do I take to felt? So many possibilities... I might pick out a couple of them, so I can make a final determination once I get there...
"Especially for Ewe" Felt making Fun- Students will create a landscape in wool fiber working with a favorite photo, painting, or from their imagination using both wet and needle felting techniques. Student to bring a towel or two and a picture. Sandy Cirillo $45 Saturday 3-5

Now here's another interesting one...dying from natural dyes! The gardener/naturalist in me really likes this idea, and a whole day class will help to create a great foundation! Lots of notes and a whole bunch of cool samples to bring home!
Fantastic colors from Natural Dyes- Participants will learn about the natural dye process, wool handling, basic color theory, the history of natural dyes, and dyeing and safety considerations. Participants will gain hands-on experience with the process of dyeing on wool and silk with natural materials, a range of color possibilities (achieved through the use of mordants, assists, single and multi-color dyestuffs, including indigo), and how to record dyeing results for further exploration. Basic color theory will be covered, with references to the history and uses of natural dyes. Each student will leave with samples of approximately 25 colors from 4 -5 dye pots, complete instructions, a reference list and sources of supplies.
Carol Wood Debbie MacCrea $60 plus $35 materials
All Day Saturday (Sunday if enough demand)

If I can't take the natural dying class (if it's not offered on Sunday), then these would be my other choices...The dyeing class, since it would give me a general overall survey of dying. I do think the natural dyes class will be more interesting, but this is a good backup.
Dyeing 101- Learn three techniques in dyeing-- microwave, space and pot. All supplies included. Betty Todd $30 Sunday 10-12

Also a good survey course in fiber preparation...
Fiber Blending- Learn about blending fibers with hand carders, drum carder, combs and hackles. Students will bring home their blends. Debbie Santolla $35 Sunday 2-4

I know, I know, I could do this myself...but I'd still really like to know what sort of techniques they use in this class. I'm not sure it'll be offered at any time that I could actually take it...but I'll see when the offer it and see how the rest of the schedule fits together...
The Amazing Multi-Directional Scarf- Learn short-row shaping and see how this technique and a space-dyed yarn combine to make a mesmerizing scarf! Students should bring short, straight needles, size 8. Erin Kosich $38 TBA
And OF COURSE I'm definitely looking forward to spending some quality time at the market! I've visited with several New York State vendors previously...and have purchased from a couple of others...also I understand that Susan of Spinning Bunny fame will be there as well. Am trying to save up now so I can get some great stuff to bring home with me!

Knitters, Knitters, EVERYWHERE!!!

Question?: What do you get when you combine two individually formed knitting groups, plus throw in a couple of extra knitters who just happen by?
Answer: 17 Knitters crammed in the front half of Barnes and Noble, all talking at once, in a gigantic impromptu Show & Tell!

What a DAY! I sure am glad I didn't miss it! (Almost did, but, managed to work out the conflict!)

To Liz, Marci, and all of the ladies from the Gotha knitting group, it was great to meet you all! If you look to the left, you'll find the links that I mentioned.

A few highlights...

The Florida Fiber In has recently set up a new web site! It contains information, dates, demos, and vendor information for the Fiber In that will take place in Orlando on 9/15-9/17/06.

Chip 'n for Dale - Jackie mentioned this morning that we are trying to help out one of our members. Check out the blog for Dale, help out if you can, and enjoy the eye candy on the site (maybe win some of it too!)

The Knit or Knot Website - While this is a site for a specific guild, we also strive to provide information on knitting groups in the area. If you're looking for other opportunities to meet with knitters, there's a list on here! We'll add the Gotha group info as soon as I receive it.

Orlando Area Knitters Yahoo
group - This is the group you visited with this morning. If you'd like to be on our Mailing list, feel free to join - just let us know who you are when you sign up.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So Much to Say, So Little Time

I know I've been sadly absent the past few weeks from this site... I wish I could say that will improve, but I fear it is destined to remain the same for the next month or so...

I have been knitting whenever possible, and have made progress on the second Grape Arbor Shawl. The main body is complete, I'm knitting on the lace edging. It's coming out beautifully, I can't wait to see the finished project! I'd show a picture, but for now I think I'm going to keep it a surprise. Soon it will appear on the Chip'N for Dale site - be sure to check out the site daily to see all the wonderful items that will be posted and add your donation for a shot in the drawing!

It helped that I went to visit some friends over the weekend in West Palm Beach...they decided it was a good weekend to buy a car...the total 5 hours that we spent in the dealership was enough to remind me that I don't want to buy a new car anytime soon!! The good news was that between the car dealership and a bit of shopping on Saturday, I knit an entire ball of yarn into the shawl! I also got to visit Great Balls of Yarn while I was there. Nice store, good selection. We were most impressed that they are in the process of opening the *4th* store in their franchise! I did find a cute little baby bobble hat pattern that was one of their store patterns, and was able to get a copy of it. It'll come in handy since I now think I'll be knitting baby hats in the near future... No, no, not for me...don't get any ideas!!

I see that the Class and Workshop schedule has been posted for the Finger Lakes Festival... will be looking that over soon to determine which classes I want to attend, and also to figure out if I'll want to have my wheel with me... Trying to get it to NY might be a challenge, but it would be oh so nice to have it with me.

Speaking of my Birthday present from my mother the other day...a gift certificate to Susan's Spinning Bunny!! Very exciting I just have to pick out what I want! Will make some decisions soon.

I did take a photo for you of the Cherry Tree Hill fiber that I picked up a couple of weeks ago at Chez Casuelle. It's truly luscious stuff, and almost enough to make me sit down at my wheel right now...except that I really want to get this shawl finished!!

And, as if this fiber, and my Spinning Bunny GC soon to be fiber wasn't enough...We've been working on planning a trip to a former Spinning Shop/Studio as well! Was originally planned for this Monday, but alas, work is totally kicking me around, what with our budget being due like two weeks from tomorrow... So, we've postponed the field trip to a time that will work better for the group as a whole, and be much more enjoyable for all of us, myself included!

Enough typing for now...want to go work on that lace edging for the to you later!