Saturday, April 28, 2007

Wanna help?

Burger King is doing something I feel is pretty neat. They have decided to give away $100,000 to non-profits in the New Orleans area, splitting it up with $50,000 to the top named non-profit, and splitting the rest incrementally so that the top ten nominated non-profits will each recieve something. If you want to help here's the web site. I had no idea big corporations were still interested in helping out around here, and I think it's a really important step towards regaining a solid footing. We've come a long way, but there's just so much more we need to accomplish.

What would my non-profit of choice be? Well, I've been nominating our hospital, Ochsner Clinic Foundation. It's been a big part of my life, especially recently, with PeeWee's medical issues. So you can nominate your favorite non-profit or mine! And spread the word if you will, you can nominate once each day, through May 15th. Then the finalist voting will begin June 5th. Thanks ahead of time for taking the time to vote and make a difference around here!

...back to knitting now...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Well, it has been a year.

Hard to believe! So happy anniversary to me. It's funny about blogs, a lot of times you have no idea if you're even being read, but if you slip off the radar for a while, people start to worry about you, people you have never even met! I think that's a great thing about the internet, blogs, and knitters in general. So thanks to all of you who have read the blog, posted comments, emailed me about posts and generally been supportive of this adventure.

So, what's in the bag?

Well, I went back to the yarn shop during their big sale and bought up ALL the Classic Elite Two.Two yarn they had left. Mark asked me for a blanket. So I decided to indulge him. He was saying how they always had knitted blankets around when he was growing up and wanted one now. A few years ago I crocheted a giant full-sized blanket that Big Brother has adopted as his own. Mark's grandmother was a prolific knitter, quilter and crocheter. Unfortunately only one or two of her things survived. That I do not understand, except my father in law is just not attached to anything, and I think when his mother passed away, he was more than happy to give away the things she made that meant something to people who asked for them. So they were spread thin. The last of her quilts he still had was eaten by Katrina funk flood waters.

The thought of knitting a massive blanket like that had me hesitant, but I figured out that if I knit a bunch of squares then sew them together, I can work on it on the go. So, he's getting his big blanket. I am knitting six and a half inch squares, each skein of the yarn makes two, in a sampler style. Lots of different patterns, some of my favorites, lots of different colors. It'll probably be on the silly side, but that never deterred me.

My Hurricane Party socks are coming along nicely. I accidentally altered the pattern and had to write out exactly what I managed to change so it will not be a problem down the line when they are shipped off. It was a very simple mistake and the pattern was written to confuse, I think. At least it confused me. This has become a fun little project, because I am knitting something I most likely would not have ever thought about. A good lesson in exposing myself to something new.

I am also part of the 1000 people signed up for Sockapalooza 4! I haven't gotten my exchange info yet, that is sure to be on the way soon. Amazing that 1000 people signed up for it, isn't it? Allison did an amazing job organizing this one.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Well, I think I am at such a knitting block because I need to organize myself. I have a whole bunch of beautiful new yarn but I have it all stuffed in grocery bags- the way I brought it home. I want to take tomorrow to do some tidying up and pick out some patterns and pair them up with some of these new yarns. Start project planning.

I finished Michelle's cotton socks! I like the way they turned out. I hope they are going to work! I am happy with the Widdershins pattern. I thought I read an error but it was my imagination, they worked out very well. There was nothing I found awkward about either the casting on or the heel. I'll knit this pattern again. And I am happy with the Cascade Fixation. I am keeping it in mind for future preemie hats. And probably a few pairs of summer socks. I used not quite two balls, knit with size 6 needles, in a knit 6, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1 pattern which was fun and quick and didn't require too much thought. I stopped them maybe shorter than I normally would have knit top down socks for fear of the tightness sometimes found with casting off, but am happy with the height.

So, now I am down to the HSP socks. (remember I don't count Big Brother's ginormous socks, they are the black hole of knitting) I like knitting them. I set them aside for a few days, but am ready to finish them up now. I scored the magazine the pattern came from for my swap recipient. It was total chance, I was going to send along my magazine, but it's a little worn and I happened upon the copy in a back copy stash sale and snatched it up! I am so happy for that little bit of luck, there are a few other patterns in there I think she may like to knit. I also have started to snatch up little things for my package. I love doing these exchanges. I really have fun searching for just the right little something extra I think my recipient will be happy to open her box and find.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Field Trip!

I took PeeWee on a field trip yesterday to Houmas House, a very beautiful plantation home about an hour away. It was a lovely day. We went with friends getting married there in June for the food choosing. (If that's even a word.) Everything was delicious, there was a nice breeze all day, PeeWee had a blast and I got to sit in the passenger seat and knit! I figured my friend could do the driving since he knew just how to get there. How convenient I had my bag of knitting in the car!

Here are a few pictures to make you happy, since I have no pictures of knitting. I have been knitting, just not documenting it. Since it's all gift knitting, I'm waiting until I have things in the mail before exposing the goods.

Lovely sculptures all around the property hidden in little nooks and crannies.

PeeWee appreciating a lizard sunning on a marble tub. Wouldn't a marble tub like that be luscious? I want one to USE, not have in the garden...

Look at that, there's a lizard in the mouth of that heron sculpture!

Want to see the images bigger? Give them a click and they ought to enlarge.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2007


The yarn PeeWee and I dyed turned out great. I left a gap of white between the colors, hoping for a good pooling effect. I hope when it knits up we have great big swirls. I think I may make hats out of this. It's Cascade 220 superwash. I just unwound it on the swift and we went to town. There's a bit of variegation in the colors, too, so it should have a lot of interest. Lately I have been into long color changes.

I am going to wait to start it because right now I have 3 pair of socks on needles. Oh my. Well, one pair does not count, it's those socks for Big Brother, who's now in a 14 shoe. So the giant socks have to keep growing. I am really sick of the yarn, too. It's muted greens, and very pretty but man oh man, 800 miles of stockinette is taking forever with these babies.

The other pair is Michelle's green socks. They are coming along nicely. The Cascade Fixation yarn is so comfortable feeling. It has a lot of stretch and squish. It's nice to touch. I hope I have planned the size correctly, it's hard to say with the stretch- I don't want them to have to stretch too much but I don't want them baggy either.

Sock 3 is for the HSP sock. This has been fun so far. And I am taking my sweet time working on it as well, kind of enjoying the yarn and stitching. Since I have only one to knit I am taking my sweet time. A change from my usual speed knitting. It's my relax knitting. I have been eyeing some goodies for my pal, too...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Can you say yarn?

I started the day off with PeeWee, dying some yarn with Kool-Aid. I told her it was magic yarn and she got so excited! It was pretty cute to see her face when the yarn came out of the microwave no longer white.

Since Mark is going off to deal with the other flooded house tomorrow he spent the day with PeeWee. So, I snuck off to the yarn shop, knowing they were having a good sale. I just had no idea HOW good. I guess when you get to the yarn shop and they give you a paper bag, tell you the first room is 50% off, the second 75% off, you do what's expected and fill those bags! That I did. Then I went to look through the non sale items. I was kind of hyped up from the sale stuff, but didn't do more than some sock yarn I have been looking for. And a book, Victorian Lace Today. It is SO beautiful! The photography is enough to make you want to leave it on the coffee table. Even Big Brother was looking through and ooo-ing and ah-ing.

Since I had actually gone to the yarn shop looking for the right sock yarn for the Hurricane Socks I am knitting and sending along, when I came home without it, I decided to go to the other yarn shop, the one right near my house and look. Well. April is THE month to shop for yarn around here. Another 75% off sale. Seriously! You know you did good when the receipt says over $200 off! She double checked- my total was $67, and no one thought that could be right. (the other shop was a mix, but let's say I saved serious money there, too) I came away with some lovelies, too. And on the way out, something very neat caught my eye. Ceramic yarn. It's cool to the touch- really! I may go back and get some. The colors were stunning. I can't remember who makes it-oops, I'll find that out. I've been thinking of it since I left the shop. And you know that means it's siren call will drag me back there to pick some up...

I started another pair of socks while waiting to see if I can hit another shop today when we go to the French Quarter Festival to keep on my search for what I have pictured for those Hurricane Socks. (yes, I understand this is an excuse for getting my yarn shop "fix")

These lime green beauties are for my friend Michelle, who's allergic to wool. (they are greener than they show on my monitor here- a cleaner lime color in real life) I've never made cotton socks for anyone other than PeeWee, so I had never really paid attention to the yarn, I just remembered they had a stretchy cotton. It's Cascade Fixation and I really like it. Of course, they will have to be set aside when I find the perfect yarn so I can be sure to not jinx meeting my deadline for the other socks. These are toe-up socks because I have NO idea how this yarn will knit up. I've never been a fan of toe-ups because I found the heel awkward, but I am going to try Widdershins. It uses Judy's magic cast on, which was so easy (and not at all like a short row tow) that I will definitely be using this pattern again. I saw what I think is a mistake in Widdershins, but I think I know what to do to fix it- hopefully, we'll see. I like the way the heel is constructed. So, be patient Michelle, they may be a while coming, but they are on the needles, and that's a start! Can you believe I found lime green cotton sock yarn? These were meant to be...

Friday, April 13, 2007


I am not sure how well this is going to show up, but here goes....


How cool is that. I am dropping everything to knit up some glowing socks. Oh yeah. I am so excited about this new find I got from Woolstock. It is softer than I thought it would be, kind of like a cheap acrylic. Good for stripes or an intarsia section on a sweater. Not a whole garment, although I might be tempted...

It really glows well, it's hard to photograph because I just don't know enough about my camera to be able to set it slow enough to gather the little bit of light it was emitting from the 3 seconds I let it "charge". I threw it in the cabinet, in a bowl, ha ha, to try to find a dark enough spot to capture it's oh so fancy green glow. Sorry for the funky quality, I was too giddy to get out the tripod for a steady long exposure. Ooooo! I can't wait unti the kids seee this!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hurricane Sock Party 2007

Here's my questionaire! I am glad to be part of the Hurricane Sock Party!

1. Repeat after me "no hurricanes, no hurricanes, no hurricanes" . Okay we just had to get that one out of the way first. We needed to created a bit of "good weather karma"! GRIN

2. If your pet(s) wrote a paragraph about you to describe you to us what would they say? (If you have no pets then just pretend you husband or best friend wrote it! This is a 3rd person writing exercise that is always fun.)
No pets, the husband speaks
She's a little fickle and distracted by shiny pretty things. She knits all the time, I steal her socks, I think she knits them a little big just so I can. She's busy but I have no idea doing what. Yarn arrives here from far away places so often I wonder about the UPS man. I question her sanity when she's knitting with mohair (see, I pay attention) in August though.
the kids speak (teenager first)
You are NOT knitting in carpool line...
Oh pretty pretty string! Mommy is the lady attached to the bag of yarn. She takes me to the playground so she can sit on the bench and knit, but she never gets to, I keep her busy. She's become a speed knitter so she can still play with me and keep me from diving off the couch on to my head.

3. What is your favorite hurricane supplies snack?
Chocolate- you had to ask? I think last time I ate 400lbs of the stuff.

4. Do sock patterns normally fit you "as written" or do you usually modify them for size in any way? (other than foot length)
I have thick ankles but usually don't alter patterns, I haven't had a problem yet.

4a. What are your foot measurements, not just shoe size? (Measure the length of your foot from heel to toe, then the ball of your foot. ) heel to toe is 9 3/4", around the ball of the foot is 9" These are loose measurements, I usually knit with negative ease.

5. What one city abroad would you visit and why if money was no object? (and terrorism was non-existant)
That's a hard one. I think I may travel all over the world. I'd like to see India. I think I would go to some ancient ruins in Turkey though. Or St. Petersburg. My next place I am going to is Ireland- one day. Those aren't cities though. oops.

6. Do you wear socks all year round or just during the winter? Do you prefer them tall or short or regular height?
I wear socks much more in the winter than the summer. I make them from 3-5" tall above the heel. I like lace socks and patterns, too.

7. The last time the power was out during hurricane season (or bad weather of any kind) did you knit by lantern or were you lucky enough to knit to the humm of a generator? Or did you knit at all?
I knit by the hum of the generator then the gas was shut off so I relocated. Now I knit by candlelight, or flashlight. I made a pair of socks while watching Katrina blow by- we were where there were hurricane proof windows, that was so neat.

8. Make a wish for your favorite sock yarn that you've already used once. What would it be? ? Dont be shy about listing an exact colorway or two if you'd like.
Hmmm, I like Lorna's Laces a lot, Cherry Tree Hill, and Colinette.

9. What is it about sock knitting that keeps you wanting to knit more and more socks?
I wear them out. The more I have the less often they need darning. And I can stuff a sock in my purse and go.

10. Make a wish for a sock yarn that you are dying to try but haven't bought for yourself yet. (be specific,even colorway if you'd like)
No real wishes, I am kinda dumb when it comes to sock yarn, really, there's SO much out there.

11. What size needles do you knit socks for YOURSELF with the most? Are they circular or bamboo needles? What brand?
I most often use size 3's, sometimes 2's. I knit two socks on two circs, my favorites are addi turbo's but I do like to throw in bamboo dpn's every once in a while. If I am using 1's or 0's I use aluminum needles and knit them one at a time. And they take about a year so I don't do that much.

12. If you could only take 3 yarn related books and one previously knitted project that you love with you when you evacuated what would they be?
Oh shoot me now. I would take Anne Budd's book of sweaters. I would take the perfect summer skirt if I were leaving tonight. The other books? Whatever I was working from at the moment or whatever was at the top of the stack. I lost all my books in Katrina and have replaced most already.

13. What knitting notion do you wish you had that you just keep putting off getting for yourself?
Some good fun stitch markers, a yardage counter for dividing sock yarn into two equal balls instead of working from both ends of a ball, a row counter- the clicky thing.

14. What is your favorite tv show?
These days I love My Name is Earl. I might have withdrawals without the History Channel though, but not war stuff, the archaeology.

15. Do you want a lacey sock or a "solid fabric" sock from your hurricane partner?
I'm liking lace lately. I'd like to try a fun new pattern

16. It's midnight and the power has been off for two days, its hot, and you have a craving for something sweet! What would it be? (This is a FOOD related question ladies! LOL)
Oh food? Well, knowing the power is off two days, I am not wanting anything else. I'd probably be ready for some lemon ice. (Particularly from Brocato's for you New Orleans knitters.)

17. Tell us a story about any of your hurricane weather related experiences.
Well, I remember sitting on the front porch when one came through and I was younger- maybe 10 or so?, it must have just turned out to be a tropical storm. We evacuated when I was pregnant, we didn't evacuate for Cindy, we did for Katrina. And boy am I glad we did. We had 18"-2' of water in the house, a baby, a teenager, and 80+ year old inlaws to worry about. We moved to the mountains of North Carolina through the first school semester then came home to a rental and finally 10 months later a partially finished home. It's almost done now. I would evacuate again, this time planning for a vacation for real. I did leave with all my knitting needles last time!

18. What was the one thing you wish you had remembered to get last year for hurricane supplies that you swore you wouldn't forget this year?
Some art. My husband announced he thought Katrina was serious, he had a bad feeling, and I better take all our papers. So I did. I was glad to have them. Now I keep them in my evacuate plastic bin. I was surprizingly prepared, but I had no shoes except the ones I was wearing. All my favorites were by the front door- and flooded.

19. What color sock would you like to recieve from your sock partner? (if you don't have a pref just say so otherwise give us a hint!)
I so wish I could find a real red yarn. I like pretty much everything except olive greens and browns and mustard yellows. bright is good for me

20. Well surprise, this one isn't a question at all, it's a THANK YOU for filling out this questionnarie and posting it. Also, don't forget to send (in a private email) your snail mail address to Christy for later when the packages are mailed

Aqua, aqua, everywhere

I jump started myself out of my rut. With what? Socks of course! I made a lacy-cabley-ribish cuff and stockinette on the foot. These are a little wide for my fat feet, Mark has them on right now and says "comfortable, very comfortable" PeeWee pulled one off and is fighting him for the other. She snagged them and brought them to me, saying "that Mommy's" Good girl. Oh wait, she has them on now. And she's skating down the hall trailing them off her feet...

Colinette Jitterbug yarn. I like it. I didn't even pay attention to that pooling. The knitting gods like me and pooling I guess. And there is a right and left foot with this pair, so I really lucked out.

So I got out the books (of which I have quite a collection) and was looking through my much depleted yarn stash and decided on the poncho on the cover of Vogue Knitting on the go series Ponchos. I'm using up the Classic Elite Two.Two yarn I bought on sale a few weeks ago. I know I don't have enough of any one color to finish in solid so it's going to be a striped huge cable poncho. Uh... we'll see. I like it so far, but when the white runs out and I start with the purple... well...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Reason 8, 492 I love Big Brother

"Mom, do we have any string or something like it I could use around here?"

Friday, April 06, 2007

May as well start young...

I've got nothing on the needles right now, and no idea what to start, so I decided I would wind some yarn and see if I could get inspired. PeeWee was watching the swift spin like crazy and decided she wanted to give the ball winder a whirl. I figured that untangling the yarn would be well worth the smile on her face so I let her. And she did really well! After two balls though, she decided she was over it and went to take a nap...

My kids make me laugh. She was up there "hawshew, hawshew, hawshew". It made my day.

So, any ideas what to knit? Maybe I need to keep with the preemie hats for a while. I've finished 3 so far. I'm just not feeling the love. I need to get inspired. I need a trip to the yarn store. Or maybe I just need a day off.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Only a mother...

At about 6:30 this morning Big Brother, at the perfect age of 13, which should explain a lot, announced he needed an Elizabethan costume for tomorrow's Elizabethan feast at school. And it's being graded. Well.

I had to get on the internet and google Elizabethan clothing. (Should I admit that? And, what did we do before the internet?) I realized nothing in this house, which is very full of costumes was going to even begin to cut it. He wanted blue pants rolled to his knees and tights because all his friends are wearing that, but it seemed too Colonial to me, so I thought I would stop by the fabric store and at the least check the costume patterns. I was thinking a tunic would be fairly simple to crank out, but was hoping for a pattern for those poofy shorts they wore with tights. I grabbed a pattern on sale for one whole dollar and ran out the door to an appointment. As soon as I got a chance I ran to another fabric store (this kid is lucky I know how to sew) and grabbed what I needed and raced home for a two hour sewing marathon.

And the results?

Not bad for someone with just the vest pattern and thankfully some knowledge of how pants are made. I actually had bought a diffferent material but when digging out the sewing machine the striped fabric was right there on the top of the machine. Just waiting to be Elizabethan poof pants. I mean really- what else was I planning on using that wide striped shiny green and blue fabric for? I guess I could have made the legs a little tighter, they are too loose to stay up on Big Brother's skinny legs, but all in all I am happy with the whole ensemble. And man oh man is he a good sport. We like dressing up in this house. (He better get an A.)

Can you see the inverted pleats taking advantage of those fabulous stripes?

All this AND knitting? Why yes, I am Supermom today. I made a preemie hat last night and part of one today. I am writing the patterns out as I go since I just make them up. I am still trying to get it all down for the knitting guild. I do aspire to greatness (or foolishness, or way-too-much-to-do-ness, or serious delusions)

And here are the socks I made the other day. Man are they comfy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Wow, those socks were super speedy. I finished them last night.

I'm figuring out what to start now, since I have mended my whore-ish knitting ways and am faithful to only one project at a time these days. I will admit it's weird to not have a doen things lying around the house waiting to be picked up and worked on. But it feels so good to complete projects that are actually being used!

I think after all the selfish knitting (me me me!) I'm going to do some knitting for others. It's been a long while since I sent hats to the NICU and I think I am overdue for some.

I'll update later with sock pictures and my idea for the preemies!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Busy busy bee!

The skirt is finished and I am very happy with it. I am phtotographing an outdoor wedding in June and it's going to be hotter than you-know-what and I am hoping I am not going to be a bucket of sweat and the skirt may be perfect for staying cool. It's cool and breezy and not clingy at all, just the way I like it.

Want to knit it yourself? Here's the the pattern!

When I put away the skirt I felt the need to start something new right away! It's been about 2 weeks of tiny needles and cotton so I decided some house socks are the ticket. Nice cozy bulky socks in fact. I have almost finished the first one. Started in the afternoon and talked to the painter (yes, I gave up getting it done myself and called in help) for a bit before I realized I was done with the cuff already! What a difference just a few stitches and larger needles makes! Even though these are bulky socks the color shouts spring! Not that I wear socks much between now and November though...