Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ending on a High

There hasn't been much knitting going on lately. Somehow it got lost among the flurry of Christmas preparation and celebration, despite my visions of sitting in front of a cozy fire enjoying the lights on the tree, holiday music playing in the background, needles and yarn in hand. I caught a cold the week before Christmas, which turned into bronchitus. Still, Christmas was merry. Shared with family, friends, good food and fun presents. DH gave me an iPod and I finally feel like part of the "in" crowd. I'm excited about not only having all of my favorite music at my fingertips wherever I am, but finally being able to download and listen to Cast On and Knit Cast.

As 2006 draws to a close, I've been reflecting on the year in regards to my knitting life. It has been the best so far! So many positive things happened this past year that enhanced my knitting skills and made knitting even more enjoyable. Let's explore, shall we?

It started in February, when I attended Stitches West with my mom and mother-in-law. I've been to Stitches before, but this was the first time I went with someone else, which made it even more fun. Both are new to knitting, so it's fun for me to share my passion and encourage them to learn and start new projects. And I'm glad they both enjoyed it enough to come with me again in '07!

Around the same time, I started attending an SnB group in my area. This has made a huge difference in my knitting experience, because I have met and become friends with other knitters who are as passionate about knitting and addicted to yarn as I am! I continue to learn from and be inspired by them. We've had some good laughs this past year and even though we no longer meet on a regular basis, I have made some very good knitting friends who I will keep in touch with. Thank you for making my knitting life more enjoyable and this past year more memorable!

I've gone on three yarn crawls, joined three KALS and participated in a Secret Pal exchange, none of which I had ever done before. Oh yeah, and I started this blog, which is connecting me to even more wonderful knitters out there in the world.

2006 has definitely been a high for me and my knitting. I look forward to I don't plan on crashing anytime soon! My bronchitus is getting better everyday and I get to bring in the New Year with DH and Nikko (maybe in front of a cozy fire, admiring the lights on the tree before we take it down, listening to holiday music...). Definitely with yarn and needles in hand!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No time to knit

In the words of Officer Barbrady from South Park, "Okay people, move along...there's nothing to see here...."

Seriously. With Christmas being 5 days away, there has been no time for knitting chez yarn addict. I'm jonesin' for some yarn and needles! I've even received my state-of-the-art speed-demon Option Needles to cast on Sahara and where are they? In the bag. Taunting me to open them and get started.

I might be able to get a quick fix in before Christmas. I'm really looking forward to the day after. I don't have to work, the festivities will be over and I can knit all day long if I want to!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Thanks Secret Pal!

A few days ago I received my first package from my Secret Pal. I was very excited to see what was inside.

Here's what I got:

2 skeins of Bernat Galaxy Yarn in a pretty purple with flecks of gold
A cute journal and 2 note pads
A little Ty Jingle Bear
A silicone trivet
A yummy smelling spice candle
Some decorated binder clips
A couple packages of hot chocolate
Mrs. Fields chocolates
And some Altoids

I'll have a good time using all of it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Got Gauge!

I swatched for the Sahara pattern and my gauge was right on the mark. This almost never happens. I usually have to go down a needle size (or 2) due to being a loose knitter. I was worried about being able to get the right gauge at all with the yarn I wanted to use. The pattern calls for worsted weight and I consider the Harmony from Brooks Farm to be more of a DK. So the fact that I'm a loose knitter and the pattern suggests size 6 needles for a worsted weight yarn worked in my favor. I love it when that happens! : )

Here it is:

I still need to block the swatch to make sure nothing wacky happens to the gauge, but I think it's going to work. I bought this yarn last year at Stitches and I've been waiting for the right pattern to come along. The lace scarf I made a couple of posts back is yarn from the same company. What can I say about the yarn? I'm in love! This yarn is so silky smooth and light. It's like dipping your finger in whipped cream. And I love the subtle variation of color. It goes from a coral red to a darker garnet. I can't wait to see how it knits up in a larger fabric.

This pattern will be my first top-down sweater and the first time I knit a sweater in the round. So it will be a learning experience if nothing else. I have the pattern. I have the yarn. Only things left to do are to block the swatch (today) and get the right needles. I only have bamboo circulars which I refuse to use because the yarn catches on the join...very annoying. I think I'll order a pair of KnitPicks Options. My friend Mary let me try hers once. All I have to say is that you don't know what you're missing until you try these needles. Honestly. I thought I was fine trodding along with my bamboo gear. I have a lot of bamboo. Well, let me tell you....bamboo is to Options like a Ford Focus is to a Ferrari. The former are practical and get you where you want to go, eventually. The latter make it a far more sensory experience. They're fast and sleek. I highly recommend you try them.

In other knitting news...

I finally finished all the pieces to my nephew's hoodie. I'm going to block it today and then sew it up. This was supposed to be part of his birthday present in October. It will now be part of his Christmas present. Photos to come in a week or so.

I'm thinking of making this for my Debbie Bliss KAL using this yarn:

Another attempt to do some stashbusting. Again, I'm concerned about the gauge. This yarn calls for size 3 and the pattern calls for size 5. But hey, maybe my luck will stay with me and it will work perfectly.

Since I've been focusing on using yarn from my stash, don't think I haven't been shopping. Here are some of my latest acquisitions:

Pursenalities by Eva Wiechmann
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker
Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann

I have the yarn for a felted bag I want to make from Pursenalities. And the other two are the beginnings of my collection of their books - both are knitting legends.

I'm off to block before I go to work. Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm still here...

Not much happening on the knitting front. Between work and the holidays my knitting time has suffered in a terrible way. Hopefully, I'll have an FO to show you soon...the hoodie for my nephew. But I had to rip out the hood and figure out what I did wrong and fix it. Somehow I knit it backwards. Since I want little Anthony to be able to see and breathe, I thought I should fix it. Funny thing is, I did it right the first time I made this pattern. Go figure.

I'm trying to decide which sweater to start next. I'm waiting for this pattern to become available. I have a pretty varigated red yarn I'd like to use, but I'm not sure I can match the gauge. I'm going to swatch and see. I'd also love to make this for DH. But I don't have the yarn for it yet. I love reading Jared's blog and I think he's an amazing knitter. Take a peak at some of his FOs. I also want to make the Urban Aran sweater...someday.

So I'm in indecision mode. Not a lot of knitting time, not sure what to start next....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Look, it's a FO!

Well I've finally come up for air and after having a few days off, I feel like my normal self again.

Ta da! I'm pleased to present my first lace scarf -

The pattern is the Cocoon Lace Scarf by Fiber Trends. The yarn is from Brooks Farm. I bought it at Stitches West last year. I love this yarn! I think it's Duet (a wool/kid mohair blend), but I don't know what I did with the label. It's super soft and light...feels very cozy wrapped around my neck. It's actually been finished for awhile except for the blocking. I discovered I don't like the process of blocking lace. It can be very time consuming. This project wasn't as bad as some that I've read about, but I wove the blocking wires through every stitch along both edges. The result of the blocking is magical though and worth the time. So lace is definitely in my future, which means the blocking is also.

Here it is once more:

A special thanks to Knitdevil Madge for playing photographer with me yesterday. And for helping me untangle the "yarn barf" that exploded from a ball of yarn I was working with. It felt good to be knitting with my friends again, since I haven't been for a few weeks.

I've caught the KAL bug!

First I joined the Red Sweater KAL. Since my favorite color is red and I happen to be working on a red hoodie for my nephew, it seemed like a good idea to me. I plan on starting a red sweater for myself soon with some Harmony yarn from Brooks Farm which I also bought at Stitches West. Brooks Farm was my favorite "find" at the market! I'd like to suggest that my friend Mary join this KAL, since I know she bought some red yarn to make a slouchy cardigan and she loves to join KALs. Anyone else want to join?!

Then I joined a Debbie Bliss KAL. I love Debbie Bliss' designs, especially her designs for children. It also happens that the red hoodie for the nephew is a Debbie Bliss pattern. It's a win win! Once I'm finished with it, I might consider making one of her designs for myself also. The good news is that there is no deadline for either KAL.

I'm seriously considering joining Sundara's Petal Collection Club. I did some lurking around and saw some of the past colorways that were sent to participants and I liked them. Plus, I like the idea of getting a surprise in the mail.

Tomorrow I'm signing up for Stitches West! I'm very excited because this year I'll have friends from my SnB group joining in on the fun!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Good news/Bad news

(It's a mixed bag really)


I accepted a position on the management team at work. I really like the company and I love the product which makes it easy to sell.


It's full time, which means less time for knitting and less time getting together with my SnB sisters. : (


It does mean more money for buying yarn though! It's also at the store in the Santa Anita Mall, which means it's closer to Pasadena (come by and visit me!). So I can join the group on days that I have off and when I'm scheduled for the night shift. And I plan on it being temporary - just until DH and I have a baby - hopefully only a year or so away (less would be good).


It's a little crazy to take on right at the cusp of the holiday season. The store makes half of it's annual sales in December alone! So if I seem dazed and confused and look like I'm running on fumes - just send me some yarny eye candy for rejuvenation.


I'll repeat - more money to buy yarn! Yay!

Since I don't have any knitting news, I'll leave you with a picture. The bougainvilla in my backyard loves this time of year:

I'll try to have some knitting news up soon. Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Will Power

This past weekend was fun and eventful. Saturday was my nephew Anthony's 1st birthday party. Let me introduce you....

As you can see, he wasn't shy about digging into his cake! He went wild and needed a bath afterward before continuing on with the festivites. I did not finish the hoodie in time - still working on it. But I brought him the new Tickle Me Elmo, which I'm sure he'll enjoy more than the sweater. This toy is hilarious! I think the adults liked it even more than the kids. It was a fun day for a very special little guy.

On Sunday, my amazing husband ran the Long Beach Marathon. This is his third marathon this year! Makes me tired just thinking about it. I'm his personal cheerleader. I have to say that standing on the sidelines watching all the runners cross the finish line is very inspiring. Makes me want to join in the fun...almost. I better start with a 5k and work my way up from there. Here he is after the event -

Here's where the will power came in. My will power anyway. After I got DH settled back at the hotel to rest for awhile, I thought I would take the opportunity to visit Alamitos Bay Yarn Company, the local yarn store. I had never been there before and had heard good things about it. The entrance alone is charming.

And who do you think I ran into?!

It's Marie from Pasadena SnB! This is the second time we've run into each other at a yarn store out of our area. The first time was at Velona in Anaheim. Clearly we don't mind a little road trip when it involves yarn.

Alamitos Bay Yarn Company did not disappoint. The store was warm and cozy, the yarn beautifully displayed and the staff was very friendly. I will definitely go back. There are several restaurants in the area to have lunch - next time I'll make a day of it and bring a friend.

So here's what I bought:

It's allhemp6 (100% hemp) in Brick. I bought enough to make this market bag. Jillian made one over the summer in a pretty purple and I've wanted to make one ever since.

I also bought the Dale of Norway pattern book. It's book number 171.

I want to make the sweater on the cover someday. And I bought some yarn for my secret pal, which was my excuse to visit the store in the first place.

(Big sigh) I didn't buy the Rowan Tapestry to make the Lady E wrap. Or the Dale of Norway Svale to make the sweater on the cover above. Or the beautiful Mountain Colors Bearfoot sock yarn in beautiful reds. Or the Lamb's Pride for various felted projects I would like to make (the store had a great selection of colors by the way). I could have done some major damage to the bank account, but I showed some restraint. But I'll be back.

A Fun Link

You Are Pecan Pie Soda

Sweet, but totally nuts

Saturday, October 14, 2006

SP9 Contest #1

My Secret Pal 9 host asked us to post this list so our secret pals can learn more about us. It's hard to list just one answer for many of these, but I'll try!

Actor - Sean Penn - I think he is the best actor of his generation.
Actress - Meryl Streep - I love everything she's in.
Animal - Cat
Band - Pete Yorn at the moment
Book - The last book I read that I loved was The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - it's a love story with some fantasy mixed in - beautifully written.
Bubble Bath - I'm not picky...any excuse to take a bubble bath is good for me.
Candy - Milk chocolate
Color - Red
Flower - Peonies
Food - Pizza! - I like all toppings, but pepperoni is my favorite.
Lip Balm - Kiehl's (it heals chapped lips in a jiffy)
Lotion - Bath & Body Works Orange Ginger Aromatherapy
Movie - When Harry Met Sally (the perfect romantic comedy IMO-I can watch it over and over - it never gets old)
Song - It's a Beautiful Day by U2 (one of my faves - there are too many to just have one)
TV Show - Will & Grace, Sopranos
Vacation Spot - Booneville, Ca and New York City - two extreme opposites! Dream vacation - Paris!

Friday, October 13, 2006


By request, I'm posting a picture of a sweater I made for my nephew this past year.

Pattern - Cow Cardigan in Kids' Country Knits by Debbie Bliss
Yarn - Rowan Wool/Cotton
Size - 3-6 months
Needles - US 2 (I think - it calls for US 3 and I usually have to go down a size to make gauge. It's been awhile and I didn't take notes.)
Modifications - Only with the cows. I made some of them almost fully black and brown. In the pattern, all the cows look the same.

This is the second time I've made this sweater and it comes out super cute. You can't tell in the picture very well, but some cows are black and some dark brown. The buttons are little tractors except for the top (a cow) and bottom (a rooster). I've made several patterns from this book. The patterns are for newborns through age 5. I know I will make more in the future (including the cow sweater!).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like wools and wool blends, alpaca, some cotton - more traditional yarns. Most Rowan and Debbie Bliss yarns, Koigu, Mountain Colors, Blue Skye...I don't like many novelty yarns. No acrylic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I use a plastic storage box that pulls out like a drawer. I bought it at Target and it's worked well so far, except that it's nor very portable. I just pull what I need and keep those items in my knitting bag.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for about 16 years now. I took a class at a yarn store when I was in college. In the beginning, there would be times when I didn't knit for a couple of years here and there, but I've been pretty consistent for the past ten years and I plan on knitting forever (as long as I am able). I consider myself to be an intermediate/advanced knitter. There is still a lot I can learn. I just learned to do cables a year ago, which are very easy, I just never learned. And then there are socks - I made a baby pair in a class, but I haven't finished an adult size pair yet. But I plan to soon!

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No - I keep it all in my head.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I love candles and bath products. I like a variety of scents - citrus scents (orange ginger, grapefruit, lemon), lemongrass, lavendar, flowers, vanilla - pretty much anything goes except for food smells like chocolate chip cookies (I'd rather that scent was coming from the oven!).

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes! I have a weakness for homemade cookies and ice cream. I don't eat much candy, but I love chocolate, especially milk chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I've done a little scrapbooking - I like all the paper products and stickers. I love to cook and bake - I'm always trying a new recipe that I saw on Food Network. I don't spin. I won't let myself take on another fiber related hobby. I'm happy to just knit.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like rock and alternative rock. I think U2 is the best band of all time. Even the Beatles (who I also love) didn't have the career span that U2 has had. Pete Yorn is a favorite. Also Radio Head, Cold Play, the Killers - I could go on and on. And yes, I can play MP3s on my computer.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
My favorite color is red. When it comes to yarn I like earthy tones rather than bright primary colors. I'm drawn to blue/green colors a lot, like teal, indigo blue, sea green. I really like all colors, just not bright ones. I also like neutrals - black, white, cream, taupe.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married, no children yet but we're trying. I have a male cat named Nikko who's going to be 15 this month.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I like them all. There isn't a huge need for them here in Southern California, but we do have chilly nights and mornings in the winter. And my husband and I like to travel, so I like to wear them if the weather permits.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Sweaters. I especially like to make baby sweaters because they knit up so quickly and they're so darn cute. Lately I've been making a lot of fingerless gloves and a couple of scarves.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A baby hoodie for my one year old nephew, a felted tote bag - I have a small collection of UFOs, and I'm trying to decide which sweater I want to cast on for myself next.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I like both - it depends on the project. Sweaters are usually easier with circulars because of their size and bulk. I use a lot of bamboo, but I'm beginning to lean toward Addis or something similar - again it depends on the project. I don't like the metals dpns because they're slippery and fall out leaving loose stitches behind.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No. Can you believe I'm still winding my yarn by hand? I use the cardboard tube that's in the middle of the roll of paper towels. It works, it's just slow. I intend to buy a winder and swift, but I always buy yarn instead.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 8 years! Its a cardigan designed by Annabelle Fox. It has intarsia flowers along the bottom border and then a leaf lace pattern on the top. I got stuck on the pattern and put it away for a long, long time.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving and Christmas. And my birthday. :)

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Not really. I keep all my knitting magazines and have several pattern books. I like antique dishes - china, depression glass, especially little sugar and creamer sets, but I only have a couple so it's not really a collection.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I'd like to have the Treasury of Knitiing books by Barbara Walker, Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, anything by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I don't have any subscriptions to magazines - I buy Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits regularly.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to learn Fair Isle and conquer making socks.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I'm a wannabe at this point. I haven't quite taken the plunge and committed to finishing a pair. But I keep buying sock yarn! So I will be some day. My foot measurements are 9 1/2 inches long and 8 1/2 inches around the ball of the foot. I wear a size 8 shoe.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
May 22nd

Monday, October 09, 2006

Yarn Crawlin' on the Westside

Saturday a group of us from the Pasadena knitting group met up with 3 gals from West LA and did a yarn crawl in West LA and Santa Monica. I had been looking forward to this for weeks, since the first yarn crawl we did in the Valley was such a great time and the second one in OC was cut short for me. It did not disappoint. What's more fun than spending a day with friends (some old, some new) who share the addiction, um, I mean passion for fiber, visiting yarn store after yarn store?! Anyone? Anyone? I can't think of anything either.

So here goes it. I admit I was very lazy with the camera that day and now regret not taking a group photo at least. I have since, however, taken photos of my stash enhancement.

The first store we went to was A Mano. This was by far our favorite stop. Super friendly staff, great selection of yarn and competitive prices. The staff invited us to come back and hang out with them, knit and have lunch. I bought three skeins of Noro Kureyon in color 164 (green, gold, cream) to make a felted purse. The red yarn at the top is Cherry Tree Hill that was 40% off. I'm going to make myself a pair of socks...someday. (I have yet to make a pair of socks even though I continue to buy sock yarn.) And the orange and brown skein on the right are Cascade 220 from which I plan to make these felted pumpkins from last year's Knitty.

Our second stop was L'Atelier in Santa Monica. This store used to be a favorite of mine in the late 90s when I lived in the area. Over time, they started favoring novelty yarns which is not my taste, and I began venturing out and found other stores I liked better. Basically there are two options in this store - novelty - or their version of traditional....cashmere....which I absolutely love, but is simply not an option for me at 30-60 dollars for one ball! Needless to say, I did not buy any yarn here. I did buy the Holiday issue of Vogue and a Tahki (I kept pronouncing it "tacky") pattern book. The staff was very friendly - moreso than I remember them being in the past, and the manager stopped a couple of us to ask what we liked and didn't like about the store. She wanted us to be honest and we were. If they were to increase their inventory to include reasonable priced traditional yarns, I would visit the store from time to time.

Our third stop was Jennifer Knits in Brentwood. This was my second favorite store. The owner and staff were super friendly and they have a very nice, but pricey, inventory. The downside is that none of the prices were marked, so we had to ask each time we wanted to know how much something cost. Or look it up on the price list, which didn't work for me. See the pretty yarn in the picture? It's Prism 100% Angora. I carried it around with me the whole time I was in the store, like it was a pet bunny or something. I really liked it but I kept wondering what I would make with it. I didn't want to buy it, if I wasn't going to really make something. I can always figure out what to do with the different wools in my stash, but angora is different. I need to have something in mind. I looked this up on the price list - Angora 100% - 10.25 - Sold! Then the owner gave me a pattern for a ruffled scarf - perfect. Then I went to checkout and that was not the price my friends. It was much more. I could have told her I didn't want it, that I had thought it was only 10.25 per skein. But I had been carrying it around for an hour and had fallin for it already. I think this is the method to their 'no price' madness.

And finally, we went to Wildfiber. This is a very nice store - the space is nice, the inventory is good, the prices are fair. The service and staff are not. The owner was very snotty to me and another member of our group. It wasn't so much what she said as the way she said it. I bought the Noro Cash Iroha as a contrasting color to go with the other Noro I had purchased. But I won' go back. There are too many other options in our area. I would rather shop online than give her any more of my business. I think the owner is a little 'high on the hog' from all the publicity on her book that recently came out. She obviously doesn't need or want my business.

I had a great day and next time I'm on the Westside, I'll visit A Mano for sure. But there are other stores closer to me that have good prices and good service.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Beth's Baby Shower

Yesterday the Pasadena SnB had a baby shower for Beth. The theme was knitted items, since that's what we do together, and do it well. Here's the best part. We had it in a yarn store! What fun is that?! A private party in a yarn store. Heaven, my friends. We had it at Unraveled, thanks to Fay Lynn (who organized the event), Christine (who owns the store and allowed us to use it) and Sandy (who was Fay Lynn's right hand woman).

Here are most of us who were there:

From left to right: Jan, Marie, Joan, Beth, Fay Lynn, me, Mary and Jillian

You cant' read it in the picture, but Beth was wearing the sign that was on the door which said "Closed - Private Party".

Here is the basket of gifts (so cute!):

Beth with a crocheted Bear made by Joan

A profile with the cake

And finally-

An FO just in time for the event (barely). I was sewing it up the morning of - but it's finished! This is the Baby Hoodie from Special Knits by Debbie Bliss. I made it in size 12-24 months. I used a washable wool - an italian brand that I bought at the Yarn Lady Bag Sale. The sweater came out so cute. I'm now making another one for my nephew's first birthday.

I would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to Fay Lynn and Sandy for a wonderful party!!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I just spent lots of time uploading pictures and writing my next post. It was taking forever to publish. It seemed stuck, which happened once before. And then I lost my DSL connection.

Oh well. Maybe it will miraculously appear like it did the last time. If not, it will have to wait until tomorrow. Very frustrating. (We'll see if this one works.)

I guess it worked afterall. I don't know what happened.

Vegas anyone?

Yesterday I went to knit with the Pasadena SnB group. I always have fun, but this week was especially fun. Why, you ask?

Madge showed up with some major loot! She had placed a group order for Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts and was delivering our goods.

Here's mine. The top color is called Highway 30 and the bottom is Sherbert. I have yet to finish a pair of socks other than a toddler sized pair that I made in a sock class. Now that I'm accumulating sock yarn, I guess I better start.

And then there's this! Madge made this beautiful felted pumpkin bowl and raffled it off to the group and I won. I feel my luck is turning around....

And then there were several FOs to share -

Marie made this adorable Pea Pod sweater for her new Grandson.

I wanted to leave with this. The other Marie made the Lady Eleanor Scarf/Wrap using Rowan Tapestry. It's very soft. Perfect for cuddling up in while watching TV.

And I was coveting this too. A lace shawl knitted with Handmaiden Sea Silk. This yarn is really special. It drapes beautifully and it feels like silk.

Two more projects on my wish list. What's on yours?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tag, your it!

10 Knittery Things you didn't know about me...

I've stolen this idea from Grumperina (with her permission). I'm not sure if I can come up with 10 things, but I'll give it my best shot.

1. I prefer knitting with traditional natural fibers versus novelty yarns. Although, once in awhile, a fluffy or nubbly yarn will intrigue me into using it (like the shrug in the previous post).

2. Overall, I tend to like more muted, earthy colors rather than bright primary ones. Again, there are exceptions from time to time.

3. I am a process knitter. I start many more projects than I finish. I do eventually finish, it's just that I've started 5 other projects before I finish each one. Do the math on that! It could get scary.

4. If a project is a gift for someone, it has a better chance of being finished in a timely manner (i.e, someone's birthday, baby shower, etc.). I honestly think I have only knit two sweaters for myself in the 16 years that I've been knitting. One of them is mohair, which is usually too hot to wear here in SoCal, and the other is from the cursed yarn I spoke of here. There is something wrong about this. Maybe I should make a new rule for myself. For every project I cast on as a gift, I must cast on one for myself. Oy.

5. Rowan is my favorite brand of yarn and has been since I started knitting. If I ever have a daughter I might seriously consider naming her Rowan. Although, it's not bad for a boy's name either. Hmm.

6. Vogue Knitting is my favorite knitting magazine - with Interweave Knits being a close second. I'm usually at my local bookstore the day they are released to the public. Then I read them from cover to cover while drinking a latte or a glass of wine.

7. I love the look and feel of textured fabrics - cables, seed stitch, moss it, love it, love it!

8. I like visiting my stash every so often for inspiration. Even if I'm not going to use it to start something new, looking at it and touching it makes me happy!

9. I am very enthusiastic about teaching newbies how to knit. If I know you and you are not a knitter, chances are I've suggested getting together for wine and I'll bring yarn and needles (thinking about it now, mixing wine with learning might not be the best plan). After years and years, I finally convinced my mom to learn and she admits that she enjoys it much more than she thought she would. I encouraged my mother-in-law to take up the hobby again. Several friends haven fallen for the sport. I've been working on my sister. She's been a little resistant and hasn't taken to it....yet.

10. I've met some genuine, cool people via this knitting hobby of mine. There's nothing like bonding over yarn, patterns, UFOs and praising the FOs. If you're reading this, chances are pretty good that you're one of them! : )

Okay, so now it's your turn. I'll be visiting your blogs to find out 10 Knittery Things about you that I didn't know.


I thought I would share most of my WIPs with you. These are not all of them, mind you. Some are buried deep in the stash bins. I'll get to them someday.

Over the summer I came down with some strange conditions. First there was Wobbly Tote-itis:

I finished one side, but have yet to cast on for the second.

Then came Fingerless Glove-itis:

Same story. These are the Rib-and-Cable Mitts from the spring issue of Interweave Knits. The Wobbly Circle Tote pattern is in the same issue.

On the needles, I have:

A baby hoodie for my nephew Anthony. I hope to be introducing you to him very soon. He is so cute!

A shrug that I need to recalculate. The pattern was very vague. I love this combination of yarn!

And a simple seed stitch scarf I lost interest in once summer came around and other projects began calling my name.

Looking at these projects again is making me want to work on them. I think I'll go knit. I hope to have two FOs to share with you very, very soon!

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Sad Story

I like to think that I learn from my mistakes. That after I realize the error in my ways, I emerge a much wiser person. One who wouldn't make the same mistake twice.

Sigh. This is not always the case.

This story begins in 1991 (yikes!). When I set out to make this:

An oversized cardigan from the Spring/Summer issue of Vogue Knitting 1991. I bought a beautiful teal blue cotton. I think it was a Rowan yarn, but it's been so long ago. I was a brand new knitter and this was going to be the first adult sized sweater I would make for myself. I had made a couple of baby sweaters succesfully. I knew what I was doing. Or so I thought.

I swatched, knitted and sewed the sweater together. It was the beginning. I wore it a couple times feeling proud of my accomplishment. I made this sweater. I picked out the color, the pattern - I knit every stitch. I was proud. But then I began to notice that it was stretching. It seemed to be getting bigger. Now let me remind you that I was very new to knitting. I didn't know a thing about blocking. I knew it was very important to swatch in order to get gauge. And I didn't mind swatching. What I didn't know is that I should have washed and blocked my swatch to see how the material would react. So I washed the sweater thinking it would revert back to the size it was supposed to be. Nope. Nada. Nyet. It grew bigger! The sweater was like a mini-muu muu. Unwearable. And so the mini-muu muu sat in the closet for years and years.

Fast forward to 2006. I wanted to start a new project and had a lightbulb moment. Why not rip out the old sweater and reuse the yarn to make a sweater I could actually wear?! Brilliant! Afterall, I love that yarn...the color, the feel. It's a disgrace for it to sit in the dark closet and never be worn. I wanted something simple that would be a casual everyday sweater. So I chose this:

From Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch. It was simple. Casual. Comfy. And should be a breeze to knit up. I was excited! A new project. Old yarn that seemed new again. And so I began ripping and winding, eager to start...

And I swatched to make sure I would get the right gauge.

But I forgot to wash and block my swatch!!!! I didn't think I needed to because the yarn had already been washed in the form of the mini-muu muu. Lack of foresight.

Now I'm blocking and the sweater is 3" too long! It's already a loose-fitting oversized sweater. Now it's a dress. My first reaction was to throw it out and be done with the darn thing. This yarn is cursed! After I calmed down, I admitted that it was my fault and not the yarn's. The yarn had kinks in it from being knit up the first time. It really should have been washed before being knit up a second time. If I had washed and blocked the swatch, I would have realized it was going to grow (again!).

So I made the same mistake twice. And I can't qualify myself as a beginning knitter anymore.

I came up with a solution (because I am not ripping it out and reknitting it). I'm going to rip it out from the bottom until it's the right length and reknit the bottom edge. Hopefully, it won't look funny. Wish me luck! I'll post the finished product when I'm done.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Knitting Companion

Meet Nikko, my very loyal knitting companion. He'll be 15 next month and he loves, loves, loves to lay beside me when I knit. Sometimes he'll play with the yarn. When he's feeling neglected he'll sit next to me with his paw on my arm until I put my needles down and pet him. But most of the time he just purrs, sleeps and looks very cute.

I've had cats all my life and he's definitely the best handsdown. He's a "people cat" - he loves being with people (strangers included) and loves to be petted a lot!

Here he is after a visit from my friend's two kids.

He's a good sport. Yes, his tooth sticks out. It adds to his character.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Falling behind...

I'm already falling behind my quota of having 10 posts by the 30th. I'll kick it in high gear now.

Today I went to knit with my Pasadena SnB group. They are a great group of women and I always have fun knitting with them. I learn a lot too and often come home inspired to try new things.

Today Mary was working on a beaded purse. There's a picture of it on her blog. I've never knitted with beads before but this project is definitely on my 'to do' list. She's using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. It's so soft!

And then there is Beth:

Who is making the cutest baby blanket for her soon-to-be-born baby boy. I love the stitch pattern and the color combination. The stitch pattern is from one of Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns books - but I'm not sure which one. Another project in my future.

Here's a closeup:

But first I must finish some existing UFOs. I will not start a new project before I finish one that has already been started. I will not start a new project before I finish one that has already been started. I will repeat until the urge goes away or I fall asleep. (The one I started today before I wrote this doesn't count!)

Monday, September 18, 2006

The pressure is on...

Secret Pal 9 ( is starting very soon. I've never participated in a secret pal exchange, but some of my knitting friends have and it looks like a lot of fun. I'm going to do it. One of the rules is that you have your own blog (which I now have)...but there has to be at least 10 posts by Sept. 30th! I betta get busy!

Needless to say, some of my early posts will be short and sweet. There might be some double posts on the same day. A little eye candy here and there. I promise to try to keep it interesting...or entertaining at least.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


My name is Annette and I am addicted to yarn. And knitting. And anything related to the two...magazines, pattern books, classes, yarn stores in any and every city, websites, designers, and people of a kindred spirit who understand this addiction firsthand.

It was the yarn that drew me in. When I was in college I had a summer job around the corner from a yarn store. I passed by the store as I walked to and from work. At first, I simply admired the yarn displayed in the window as I passed by. Then I actually stopped and looked at the display, stealing a peek at the cubbies filled with fiber inside. Eventually, the yarn lured me inside and I began fondling. That was it. I was hooked.

So. Is it (a) a problem that needs to be cured? Or (b) a highly attractive personality trait? I'm a perpetual optimist, so I'm going to go with 'b'.