Archive for February, 2005

Monday, February 28th, 2005

Cable-Eight with me!

But before we get into that, I have some Valentine’s Day gifty business to attend to.

I have packaged, stamped, sealed and addressed most all of the Valentine’s for which I have received addresses. They will most likely be sent out today. To those of you who are abroad, you are addressed, stuffed, and waiting to be hauled off the the post office, but postage has not yet been affixed. Here is a list of addresses I still need, and while there is no deadline for you to email me your address, I will assume after this post that if you don’t respond, you aren’t interested. And that is completely fine. No hard feelings. I’m just saying, officially, that I’m not going to beg. :-) .

the other Karen

The rest of you are going to receive your gifties soon. And Carrie, Mary Sunshine’s doll’s twin is heading to you! (Once I finish her, so you’ll have to wait a little longer than everyone else. Sorry). Congratulations!

Now, the knitalong.

This is what we are knitting…


It’s the Cable-Eight top from the Spring 2005 Interweave Knits magazine. UPDATE- there’s an errata!!

This is the nifty button Nate has made for us…


Please copy it to your own server.

To make it easy on me, please comment to this entry, or send me an email to join the knit-along. I have some scattered comments and emails over the past couple of weeks expressing interest, and I’m sure I’ll miss someone. Here’s who I’ve got so far, but I’ll wait for a confirmation before putting you in the sidebar-


Let me know.

I finally have my yarn.


It’s Plymouth Encore Colorspun, in a really pretty creamy-tan color. I know it will have a completely different look and feel than the cotton the pattern calls for, but this was about half the cost of most everything else I could find, and I was able to use store credit, so here we are. I like the color a lot. If I like the finished sweater enough, perhaps I’ll save up for that GGH Aspen and make it again. Maybe.

So tell me if you want to join, tell me what you’re making it with…. and remember, Fridays are knit-along days around here. If you’d like me to link you or show your progress, I’m happy to do it. Just email me before Friday and let me know.

Fabulous! I guess we’re all set! And while you’re at it, be sure to tell Nate what a neat button he made. He’s an artist, you know. They like that.

Sunday, February 27th, 2005

fingers and toes

You wanna see it. I know you do.


This is the pretty little Koigu sock that is giving me grief. I say that because my grandma’s foot is 9 1/2 inches long. My foot is 10 inches long. The sock, thus far, is 6 inches long. And when I put it on my foot, it looks like it’s perfectly ready for the toe decreases. This makes no mathematical sense. When I tried the sock on my mother-in-law’s foot, which is 9 1/4 inches long, it looked exactly the same as it did on my foot. I know this because one 6 inch sock was on her foot, while the other 6 inch sock was on mine. I have no idea how long to make the dumb thing. Other than starting the toe decreases right now, because it certainly looks like it’d work either way. But I’m telling you, the sock is only 6 inches long right now. How does that figure?

Ok, I know it stretches. I got that. But it still seems weird.

Guess what else I’ve been doing. Well, lots of things, but the fun one is this….


Recognize it? Probably not, because it is a pathetic indoor flash picture. That, my friends, is my own pair of fingerless mitts (to replace the ones mom swiped while I was in Oregon last week), made with my very own Manos del Uruguay that Nate bought for me awhile ago. Hee hee. Acknowledging that the picture is lame, I’ll just tell you that it’s gorgeous. The colors are stunning. The yarn is soft and warm. I have added an extra inch and a half to the length of the pattern and I want them now.

Also, I’ve been working on Poor Pete’s Bag. I say Poor Pete, because he requested said bag in August, and it’s practically March. BUT, it’s almost done. I knit a little Italian flag, by request, and I’ve FINALLY felted the tie-things. I still need to decide how exactly to attach them, but all the pieces are done. I spent at least two hours yesterday morning sewing velcro into the “secret pockets”, and I’m glad that part’s over with. For all of this complaining, I do have to say that it’s looking pretty nice.

Remember that our Cable-Eight knitalong starts tomorrow. Nate has made the COOLEST button! I can’t wait to show you.

Friday, February 25th, 2005

Health Group- week 37

Good morning! Another pathetic week for me. I have my list of excuses, as usual, but to say it outright, this week was a bust. Now, in my defense, I made efforts to eat healthy. Like, on the drive down to Oregon and back, I made sure to pack healthy food and snacks as opposed to fast-food-gut-bombing-it. I was so glad I did. No exercise occurred, however. And I am menstruating, which has to count for something! (I told you all I wasn’t pregnant).

This week! This week will be better! I’m going to do mahhhhhhvelous THIS week! I swear. I realize I’m going to have to prove it to you, because you’ve heard this before, and I will.

I’m still 218.5, which can only mean I’m losing muscle mass. But I can fix this.

How was your week?

And thank you all for the info on the parsnip yesterday! I had no idea it would be such a popular topic. I enjoyed reading all of your emails and comments. Thanks!

Friday, February 25th, 2005

What is this?


A friend of mine gets a box of Organic produce every week, and since she’s been out of town, she gave her week’s allotment to me. I have two bags of these, and I have no idea what they are. I thought they might be pale carrots, but I don’t think so. I’ve bitten the tip off of one, and it tasted sort of like a carrot. If anyone could help me, and while you’re at it, tell me what in the heck I’m supposed to do with them, I’d appreciate it.

(As I’m looking at the picture, it looks like a stubby carrot. In person, it’s incredibly pale. I’d say it’s tan. and they’re really short and stubby).

Today is Hayden-along day. Anyone have anything? Vampy has made a really nice swatch. As for other knit-along news… I don’t know what in the world I’m going to knit Cable-Eight with. I think I’m going to surf for Aspen right now.

Oh, and one more thing… I was going to post a picture of my sock progress, but I can’t for the life of me get Photoshop to save the file for web. I cropped, resized, (adjusted contrast), and the dumb thing won’t save to a .gif. I’ll keep trying.

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

I’m coming home!

It’s been a lovely visit. Soon, we will begin the process of hunting and collecting, trying to find every little sock, toy, dpn, ball of yarn, etc. that will be hiding all over the house. Over the past few days, I’ve happened to come across these items between couch cushions, under beds, and stuffed in corners everywhere. Kids are busy.

Last night, I worked on Grandma’s sock some more. It is coming along nicely. I’ve finished the gusset and am starting down the path to the toe. The other one is still as it was in the picture. Koigu is so pretty.

I am leaving my finerless mitts with mom. She thinks they’ll be great for work. Anne got the thrummed mittens. (I’d link them for you, but WebTV is no picnic to navigate, and you have the sidebar for reference). I’m glad she likes them. She hadn’t seen them on the blog. Anne gave me a hat she created, I’ll post a picture when I get back.

Now for the local yarn stores….. They’re both pretty cool. Gossamer Threads is small,but they have a lot of GGH, which I haven’t seen up in Seattle, or I hadn’t noticed at least. Very friendly. I found a yarn I think would look fabulous as the Cable-Eight top we’re knitting along here in a bit. It’s GGH’s Aspen. I need to find some online. I liked almost every color I saw there. The second store, Juniper Fiberworks, was bigger, and had some lovely yarn, but it was all laid out by color. I HATE that! I find it very frustrating when looking for something specific. I tend to go into a project with a yarn, fiber content, and weight in mind, NOT a color. Color is my last criteria, usually, because I’ll choose the right yarn and then look to see what colors they have available. It just seems so inefficient to me. BUT, they had Koigu. LOTS of koigu. They had a color I was drooling over, and the saleswoman took that as an opportunity to tell me about Sally Melville. She had been there recently, holding workshops, and she had apparently been wearing the Koigu gauntlets that are in her Purl Stitch book. I hadn’t looked through that book. Now I am dreaming of Koigu fingerless mitts. I must make some. Although, the pattern, (which I don’t have) uses stockinette stitch, and I would prefer ribbing. Maybe an uneven rib, such as 3×1 or something. Anyway, I was excited to find another use for Koigu that would only take a couple skeins.

I’d better go. See you all from home tomorrow! Oh and one more thing, Nate has had to bump up my bandwidth two or three times in the last week. I suppose I’m getting read more, but I’m also wondering how to tell if I’m being hotlinked. Can anyone help with this? We have a page we can look at to see what’s being requested, and I haven’t seen anything particularly strange, but I really don’t know how to tell for sure.

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

It’s done, and my sister wants it

Remember the Kathmandu shrug?


Well, I spent most of yesterday working on it. I thought that once I sewed it up, it would get shorter, so I made it really long. In actuality, when I sewed it up, it grew. Once again, I frogged the garter stitch edge, ripped an additional 8 rows, and re-knit the edge. And hallelujiah! I have a shrug. It is very neat, and very warm. I’m going to wear it today. During one of my many trips to the bathroom mirror as it was nearing completion yesterday, my sister shouted out, “I WANT A SHRUG!” She seemed somewhat astonished at herself, and claimed to have Tourettes. I don’t feel bad, though. She is so stinking cute in every way…. Yesterday as we were standing in the kitchen, I kept looking at her and thinking, “yes, that’s why I want to be thin, so I can look like that!”

(At this point I need to tell Nate that I’m saying this light-heartedly. That in fact I know I’m beautiful. And I know you love me just how I am).

He gets really upset when I’m critical about myself.

And right now, this same, cute, sister is telling me that I need to make sure you all know that she’s the sister that taught me how to knit. We are discussing possibly picking up a disposable camera while we’re in town today, so I can take a picture of my mom’s sweater and the pretty, silk sweater I made for my sister almost two years ago.

The snow has stopped, but it’s still cloudy and cold.

The two yarn stores in town are called Juniper Fiber Works and Gossamer Threads. I’ve never been to either of them, and am looking forward to it. There’s no sales tax down here! Hee hee. I wonder if either of them sell spinning wheels and drum carders! :-) .

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

I am lame

Remember the laptop that Nate spent hours getting ready for me to take on my vacation and thereby post from? Well, it’s sitting on the couch back home along with Veronica’s bag and, worst of all, the digital camera. I am so bugged,

Fortunately, I can post from mom’s WebTV. She says she even has a USB port on her WebTV unit, which means I REALLY should have packed the camera and its accompanying cable in a bag that actually made it into the truck!!!

So I’m going to have Nate back home upload a picture for me of Grandma’s socks that I have on the computer up there.


That is both socks, the back of one, and the front of the other. I’m about to start the gussets. This is the first pair of socks I’ve made using a reinforcing thread, and I’m anxious to see how they turn out and how they wear.

(And Grandma, like I said, if you don’t like them, I’m happy to make you something else).

Despite all of this, we’re having a good time. My knitting basket made it down with us, fortunately, or I’d have to be hitting the yarn store down here (which I’m going to do anyway- hee hee). A vacation without needles and yarn just wouldn’t be a vacation to me.

It’s snowing down here, I think it’s very strange that I’m more excited than my kids are. My brother, who has no business looking as old as he does, (in my mind, he’ll always be nine), is grooving on the guitar until he leaves for work. Mom is making breakfast… It’s just fun.

Sunday, February 20th, 2005

I could use some input

Cher is selling one of her old Fricke drum carders.


It is very old


and very dirty.


She is asking $50 for it. I found the website of the guy who bought Curtis Fricke out in 2000, and is manufacturing the current Fricke/Strauch drum carders. He also refurbishes the old ones for a price, of course. So, here’s my question…. ok, I have two.

1. Is an old, semi-rusty drum carder salvageable? Can I clean it up and use it?

2. Is it worth it to buy it and ship it off to Virginia to have Otto Strauch refurbish it for about $300 when I can afford it, sometime in the future?

ok, there’s a third question, too.

3. While we’re on the topic, does anyone have any opinions they’d like to share about other carders that I’d be better off with?

Thanks in advance.

I’m heading off to Oregon to see my mom. The kids and I will be gone until Thursday evening. I am taking the laptop, my camera, and everything I think I’ll need to post while I’m away. It is possible that nothing will work and the blog will be stagnant until I get back, although Nate has been a peach and spent most of Sunday night getting it all ready for me. He dug out our old, orange iBook, charged it up, installed OS X, and set up bookmarks for me, as well as my new email accounts. So we should be good to go so long as I can find somewhere in Central Oregon that has a wireless network. I’m just warning you ahead of time, considering I haven’t missed a day since the birth of the blog back in May. (Except for my regular break each Sunday). I’d hate to worry anyone.

Maybe Nate can re-start that R2 scarf he was working on and post about it while I’m gone!

But if not, here’s what you have in store… I’ve been knitting on some wonderful Koigu socks that I’m making for my Grandma, provided she likes the colors. They are sooooooo pretty! If all goes well, I’ll be able to show you pictures tomorrow!

Ooh, ooh! before I forget, I FINALLY brought home yarn to make the Weasley sweaters! It’s so exciting! And I bought lots so I can make them big. I want the girls to get many years of wear out of them. Goodness knows HP will be popular that long.

Friday, February 18th, 2005

Health Group- week 36

Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad week! And I had just set a new goal, too! I haven’t exercised a lick, and I’ve been eating Valentine’s candy instead of meals. Not intentionally, it just happened that way. I did liberally share the chocolate with the girls, so most of what I ate was the fat free, sugary crap like gummy hearts and oversized conversation hearts, but bad, bad, bad.

Blah. I’m not being too hard on myself, but I am annoyed.

Fortunately, I haven’t gained any weight. This amazes me, but I’ll take it. So I’m still 218.5. It is my intention to kick by butt into gear this next week and do really well. The hard part is, I’m spending most of next week at my mom’s in Central Oregon. Vacations are never good for “diets”, but my mom eats healthy, and she has a treadmill now! Woo-hoo. So I have no excuse! The problem is that two of the four days I’ll be gone will be spent driving. You don’t burn many calories doing that, so my goal is to make sure I get treadmill time on both of my travel days. If I do it before I leave, both times, I’ll feel better and be more likely to get it in than if I wait and try to do it afterwards.

My body is doing way weird things right now. I think I might be premenstrual. First of all, I’ve been a bit snappy with family. Secondly, I’m literally BUSTING out of my bra. Hate it. Third, I feel puffy all over, and I’ve been unusually hungry for awhile now. No, I’m not pregnant. I think I’m just gearing up for a particularly hormonal cycle. I usually don’t have premenstrual symptoms, I’d say I only get this way, or some form of it, two to three times a year. Maybe eating all that blasted candy has magnified the situation. I feel yucky.

But we always try to end on a positive note over here, so while I totally sucked this week, and despite the fact that I’m going on vacation next week, I am optimistic that next week will be better.

(And I’m going to cheat here with some knitting content and tell you that I’ve started knitting my first pair of Koigu socks! I’m loving it. They are soooooooo pretty! This pair is for my Grandma, if she likes them, and I want one, too! I’ve finished the cuff to one, and am 2/3 done with the second cuff. Then I’ll move to one heel, then the other… one instep, then the other, etc. Soooooo much fun! Why did I think I don’t like socks?)

How was your week? I saw Miss Katie last night at knitting group, and although I didn’t notice, because I am lame, Julie brought to our attention that her (being Katie’s) jeans were practically falling off!!! Hooray for Katie! I’m so excited for you! You look lovely, girl. Keep it up. :-) .

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

Who’s up for it?

After hearing some interest, I’ve decided to host a knit-along for the Cable-Eight Top in the new IK (pictured in yesterday’s post). Anyone up for it? Nate will make a button here pretty quick, and I’ll get the sidebar ready. I have a lot going on for the next week, so it may take a little while…. How ’bout we set a start date for March 1st? Sounds like fun!

And while I know that spinning pictures are not too exciting, particularly if you don’t spin, I promise not to flood my posts with them. However… I wanted to show you something.

Here’s my first bobbin, spun two years ago


and here’s what I spun, with the same roving, on Wednesday


Well look at that! For those of you who don’t know, I spun three of those top bobbins two years ago, gave the borrowed wheel back without any intention of touching one again, but decided at the end of last year that I wanted to give spinning another try. I spent two and a half hours with a wheel a month or so ago, then took a 6 hour class on Saturday. It doesn’t take long to improve. Now before I get too giddy, I must remind myself that nothing has been plied. It all may very well fall apart on me, BUT, on the bobbin, it’s looking better!

We have some Hayden news! Carrie has posted a picture of her Haydens! Don’t they look like they’re having fun? I loved her commentary. Good job, Carrie!

My web host sucks. I’m so tired of them, let me tell you. Many of you will know what I’m talking about, as my site has been down for the last 12 hours, and they don’t have 24 hour support. It has been very frustrating. But for now, we’re back, and I think Nate’s irritated enough that we might do something about it.

And on a personal note- Hi Joey! I received your email/comment and was thrilled to hear from you. I’ve been trying to email you ever since, and it keeps bouncing back to me. I don’t know why, but I wanted you to know that I’ve been trying! Love ya, and congratulations!