Friday, March 31, 2006

Picky Pants!

Picky Pants - Caribe
Originally uploaded by earthchick.
Well, they are finally done. My first longies! I am insanely proud of them. Tiny Dancer likes them too. Click on the pic to see my flickr set, including Tiny Dancer striking some poses. As soon as he got them on, he started dancing around. I think he loves them!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Knitterly Knastiness

Oh. My. Word. I had no idea - I mean, truly, NO idea - how horrid Red Heart truly was. I mean, I just had no occasion to find out, since I'm pretty much a natural fiber kind of girl. I just thought, eh, acrylic, some people like it, and some people have good reasons for using it, so fine, but it's just not for me. And that was that.

Until I saw some sweet little pics of Jan's Easter eggs on KH. And they were just so doggone cute. I really like the look of variegated yarn for eggs, but I didn't want to keep using the good stuff (Manos, Malabrigo, and some stuff I was looking at buying just for this project), because that seemed like a waste of money for something that wouldn't even be worn. So I thought I should try me some Red Heart after all. I went to Hershnerr's online and ordered some, in pink, in Monet (variegated, just like Jan's), and in Pinata (also variegated). It came yesterday. And, well, GAH!

I am just almost without words for how much I hate this stuff. If sandpaper were a yarn, it would be Red Heart. If Brillo pads were yarn, they would be Red Heart. People use this stuff for BABIES? Why not just swaddle them in some of that awful, rough, industrial toilet paper they used to give us in my college dorm? That would be softer than Red Heart - and at least natural.

I really don't mean to be a snob. I know being elitist isn't nice, or becoming, or whatever it is I'm supposed to be. I know there must be some appeal to this stuff for someone out there because it certainly seems to sell. But when I tried to work with it, it was like my hands suddenly couldn't even remember how to knit. It was nuts! I cast on, tried to knit, fell apart, and frogged, about 3 times before I gave up. Now I have three huge skeins of this nastiness to unload somehow.

In the meantime, I've made good progress with unraveling and reknitting the longies and hope to be done sometime tonight. My hands are thanking me every time that sweet sheep's wool goes gliding through my fingers....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


blog button
Originally uploaded by earthchick.
So this is the fun little thing I mentioned last night that I'd be revealing today - my new blog button! Isn't it cute? Julie, another khblogger (and an awesome knitter) did this for me - isn't she sweet? Thanks, Julie! I know people have been just dying to have a button for my blog on their own blogs, so now here ya go. ;)

In FO news, my dad received his socks this weekend and he likes them. Yay!

And in WIP news, I did something both typical and stupid. I'm in the process of knitting my first longies (LTK Picky Pants). This pair will be for Tiny Dancer, in Manos Caribe. They've been going really well, and I've been surprised at how quickly they've been knitting up (which could have something to do with how obsessively I've been knitting them). Anyway, I bound off the second legg a couple of hours ago, leaving only the gusset to be seamed and the i-cord to be done for the waist. I tried them on Tiny Dancer. They are quite cute. For capri pants.

Yep, that's right, they are a full two inches too short. I swear I measured him before I knit the legs. But I am notoriously slipshod at measuring (My Old Man calls me "Miss Approximate"). I briefly considered trying to pass them off as what we used to call "clamdiggers" but have decided against it. So it looks like I'll be unraveling the cuffs and adding a few inches before I'm done.

Which will be hard since I got yarnmail today - the yarn for the boys' Easter bunnies, which I'm itching to start on. And of course I need to do more eggs. And there is my To Dye For sweater for myself which I'd probably be done with by now if I hadn't been knitting eggs and clamdiggers....

Monday, March 27, 2006

And... eggs.

felted eggs
Originally uploaded by earthchick.
I felted them all. Now I have more WOTA on the way to do more of the same. Am I a woman obsessed? Um, yes.

A couple of sick boys (again! and with a husband out of the country! and a sitter who's sick too!) and a sore throat myself means I'm on my way to bed soon and have no more time to write (of course I'll still knit a bit more). But tomorrow, I have something fun to reveal....

Friday, March 24, 2006

Yes, more eggs

my little felted Robin's egg
Originally uploaded by earthchick.
Because I'm obsessed. And because I have actual work to do that I can't bring myself to do (meaning I am using knitting as a form of procrastination).

But isn't this little egg sweet? I knitted it in light blue Wool of the Andes and then felted it. I was surprised at how long it took to felt, but I liked the results. Especially because now you can't see how odd the top of the egg looks. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I'm having the same problem with every egg.

I also did a cream egg with a light blue stripe, which sounds nicer than it looks. [You can see it here.] Maybe I'll felt it too....

Okay. Must do my real work now. Maybe.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Behold the egg

It is crazy how much I am enjoying cranking out these eggs. They are so fun, and so easy, and so quick (like 45 minutes!). And the pattern is just so elegant. I learned a new increase - Knit Left Loop and Knit Right Loop (in the pattern she refers to them as "paired lift increases"). Thanks as usual to Amy for her awesome instruction videos and clear explanations.

The only thing is that I wish I had a more suitable yarn. The first one was done in Manos (color Caribe - a variegated green and turquoise) on size 7s. The second was Malabrigo (color Indigo) on size 6s. I like the smaller egg better and wonder how the Manos would've looked on the 6s. The Manos egg just turned out a little bumpy. Malabrigo is also a thick-and-thin yarn to some extent, but not as much as Manos; I think doing it on the smaller needles helped it be a little more even. Still, I wanted mine to be as smooth as Curly Purly's. (She used Mosaic Moon - which looks soooo yummy).

The boys are going to LOVE these. They saw me making the first one, and Tiny Dancer kept holding it to his face and saying, "Awwww." That boy knows good yarn when he feels it!

Blogger Photo Problems. Again.

Okay, so I have some pics to show of my sweet little knitted eggs but blogger won't upload them. Argh. I hope it'll work later today.

Suffice it to say that I am freakin' obsessed with this little egg pattern and see a lot more of these in my future....

Edited to add: (Thanks, Becky) - they actually are already on flickr; I just really like to have pics all over my blog. Until I can add them here, check them out here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Must. Knit. Manos.

Oh, Manos, how I love you.

I have six hanks of Manos that have been languishing in my stash since November, waiting their turn while I've cranked out gifts and such. Three hanks are in this lovely color (Caribe) and three are in a delicious red (Flame). They were intended to be longies for Tiny Dancer and Little Buddha.

Even though I'm currently working on my spring sweater (finished the back in January, am now 2/3 done with the front), my hands are just itching to be working with Manos again. I know it's not quite as soft as Malabrigo (which I also have waiting to be knit). But Manos was the first wool I ever loved, so it has a special place in my heart. In addition to some longies, I plan to make some LTK Stripey Slippers with this yarn. And I am dying to make some of curlypurly's fabulous Easter eggs . I just don't know which to start first. Practially speaking, the boys need both longies and slippers. But those eggs are just so darn adorable - and they look super quick. Am thinking I can't resist much longer. I think I'll be casting on an egg tonight....

So the fact that there's a picture in this post means just one thing - my printer is working! I just now fixed it (and celebrated by snapping this pic and uploading it pronto, even though the boys are waiting for breakfast). I don't know which I feel more: relief or stupidity. Maybe both in equal measure. I had tried everything - check the power cord on both ends multiple times; unplugged everything, turned off the computer, and rebooted; pushed the power button repeatedly; searched HP help for answers. Well, I was just getting ready to try an HP customer service chat when I picked up the little power box that's part of the power cord (I don't really know what it's called - but do you know what I mean?). And suddenly I realized that one end of the cord had come loose from that box! I had totally forgotten there was even a connection there. So every time I checked and double-checked the power cord connection at both ends (the printer and the powerstrip) was in vain since the cord was disconnected in the middle. I'm glad it was so simple in the end.

And it looks like blogger is fixed. I cleared my cache repeatedly on Monday, but I still kept coming up with no sidebar. Then after my post yesterday, everything was back and all was right with the world.

So today is starting off well - printer works, blogger works, Manos has been wound into a ball and is ready to go, sweater is progressing well, small quick project is ready to be cast on, and I'm on the verge of placing a yarn order for some bunnies I want to knit for the boys' Easter baskets. Now if only I didn't have any actual work or parenting to do today, I'd be getting so much knitting, pattern printing, and yarn buying done!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Technical Difficulties Galore

The universe of technology must be out to get me. First, there's the problem of this blog. For some reason mine has been having problems for the last few days. For a couple of days, the page was just blank. Now it's back, but the sidebar is gone. I'm afraid I'll get booted out of my knitting rings since there is no link on my page! I don't know what has gone wrong. I didn't tamper with the sidebar at all....

But even more frustrating is that my lovely printer has seemingly died. It's an HP Photosmart 8450, only a little over a year old, and I *adore* it. Yesterday morning, my wireless mouse needed new batteries, so I plugged my regular mouse back into my Mac till I could get a chance to install the batteries. When I plugged the regular mouse in, though, I got a message saying I had removed a device improperly (what? the wireless mouse?). And then I noticed my printer was just - dead. It feels like it was a result of the mouse removal, but I don't know why. Nothing I do will make it turn on. Which is a problem for several reasons:
1 - I do a lot of my work from home, and I have to have a printer to do much of it (esp. since My Old Man will be out of the country this week so I will have limited opportunities to just run up to the office to print, unless I'm willing to haul two toddlers with me).
2- I use my printer to import photos from my camera to my computer. I guess I can find my old cord to connect directly to the computer, but I'm not sure where it is. So it could be I have a photo-less blog for a few days.
3 - I don't delete pics from my camera until I have printed them directly from my printer. If I wait and just upload them to the computer to print later, I'm not able to print to the special paper I like to use (a matte finish). I've never been able to get the printer to print directly to the printer tray (which holds 4x6 paper), only to the regular tray (which holds 8x10 and then can be cut down). So this means that even if I upload pics directly from my camera to my computer, I won't be deleting them yet and my little disk is going to get full (it's already very close). Argh!

Okay, enough blog ranting for one day; it's time to go work on my sweater a bit. I'm so glad that knitting itself is not technology-dependent.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dad's Sensible Socks

Here are my dad's socks, done in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, in navy. It was hard to judge the fit, because My Old Man wears smaller shoes than my dad, and of course I made the socks to my dad's measurements. Apart from the foot size, though, I'm afraid they seemed a bit slouchy.

As usual, I enjoyed the process more than the product. I'm glad I like the actual act of knitting so much, but I do wish I didn't always feel let down and critical when I'm done. Oh well. Maybe dad will like them.

I cast on for the front piece of my spring sweater (To Dye For from Stitch 'n Bitch) yesterday, and I've got about 6 inches done. I wish it was done in the round, or that I knew how to convert to the round, because I'm already dreading sewing it up. Still, it's fun to finally be working on it again, after a two month hiatus.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


At last! It's a whole week late, but my dad's socks are done. I'm so happy that I can get them in the mail tomorrow and start working on something else tonight! Wheeeee! Will post pics later tonight once I can get My Old Man to model them.

I ended up with almost a whole ball of cashmerino left. Am not sure what I'm going to do with it. I'm thinking maybe a kerchief for my hair. I can't think of anything else that would only take one ball that I would want in a dark navy....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I apologize for my silence this week. I like to keep my blog a little more updated than this, but it has been a heckuva week. A death (a friend, a parishioner, a mother, a knitter), company from out of town (My Old Man's daughter and son-in-law), a major decluttering venture (of course, since we were having company and our house is a perpetual mess), and now, exhaustion and near-laryngitis. A bit much for one week, but I like to do things big, ya know? Some days this week I have only gotten about 20 minutes of knitting in, and even that little bit only happens because I insist on getting up before dawn, even though I'm so, so tired. Dad's birthday has now come and gone (yesterday) and his socks are not even in the mail. I did turn the heel yesterday and am now working the gusset. In the homestretch now. Must... press... on....

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Just another Saturday night.

It's late. Today's work is done. I am coming down with a cold. I should be in bed. But here I am, sitting in the dark, wandering around the web....

I finished Sock #1 for Dad this morning and unraveled the original Sock #1 tonight. I hope to cast on for #2 tomorrow, but we have company coming on Monday and there is so much to do. I never realized what ginormous feet men have, but these socks are just huge. I'll be glad to be done with them and get back to knitting things that seem a more normal size to me.

I think someone has been trying to hack into my blog. Does that sound paranoid of me? There was a weird non-picture picture on here the other day (you know, the kind that shows there is supposed to be a picture but there's a little x in the top left corner). I had not posted a picture there and am not sure what happened. Then tonight I had an email message from Blogger support saying this: This email is a response to your request for information about your Blogger account. To regain access to your account, please click on the following link.... But I didn't request info about my account. Is someone trying to get into my account? Should I be taking some kind of precautions?

On the subject of anxious, paranoid ideations, I think Tiny Dancer may have crawled out of his crib tonight. When I went to turn their light off (I always leave it on for an hour so they can "read" before they fall asleep), I found two stuffed animals in the middle of the floor. We never put stuffed animals in bed with them, and these particular two live on top of the bookcase, which is 5 feet high (and, thank goodness, bolted to the wall). My Old Man doesn't think he got the animals down for any reason. So we are thinking TD crawled out of the crib, climbed up the bookcase, got the animals, played, and then climbed back into the crib. I can't imagine how he would do all that without us realizing, but I also can't figure out how else those animals got in the floor.

Unless my blog-hacker is also a stuffed animal stalker!

Okay. Enough already, right? It's almost Sunday and I better get some sleep....

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I can't believe it. I was right on track to get my Dad's birthday socks done in time to put them in the mail on Monday (his birthday is next Wednesday) when I decided to try them on My Old Man tonight. As I was knitting I kept thinking they looked ginormous, even though I checked and double-checked my gauge. My gauge was right on, but my instincts were right - these are socks for a giant. They are not too long but they are too loose. And the yarn is too nice (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran) to be knit into socks that don't fit and won't be worn.

So even though I was in the homestretch of finishing the first sock, I'll be starting all over again tomorrow morning, with a smaller set of needles. And my dad's birthday present will be late. And this means several more days before I can finally get back to the spring sweater and capelet I was knitting for myself, which I laid aside almost two months ago to begin making a series of birthday gifts. Phooey.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


The anniversary sweater. Finally finished. I'm pleased to have my first sweater done, but I was disappointed in a few things here and there (like my ghastly underarm seams, and the fact that I've decided that sweaters made with bulky yarn look a tad too homemade for my tastes).

Pattern: Little Turtle Knits Raglan in the Round, adult size L (pattern runs from infant to XXL)
Yarn: Knit Picks Sierra, in Lettuce. Pattern called for 1200 yards, I bought 1210 and had 330 leftover. Go figure.
Time: Knitting January 16 to February 17 (also started KO socks on February 10). Did the finishing (seams, weaving of ends) on March 2nd.
Lessons learned:
1 - I can trust my intution about some things. I discovered two fairly big mistakes in the pattern that I was able to correct myself with my own calculations. I also had problems with the sleeves ending up too long (don't know if that was my fault or the pattern). I should've double-checked these against another sweater before joining them with the body.
2 - Bulky yarn may go faster, but the trade-off is that it does not look as polished, at least not in this particular sweater.
3 - I do not like seaming.
4 - Regardless of the pattern, always make the neck bigger. We are a bigheaded family, and this sweater barely fit over My Old Man's head, or even mine. I definitely need to remember this when I get ready to knit a sweater for Little Buddha, whose head is already 20 inches (and no toddler pattern I know will have that measurement for a neck!).
5 - It is possible to knit an entire sweater in front of My Old Man without him ever wondering who it's for. Until I have a meltdown and reveal all.

Friday, March 03, 2006

&*^%$ elongated stitch scarf

This has been on my "to knit" list since October. I finally did one, for a coworker's birthday this week. I was fairly pleased with the final results, and she seemed to like it (plus it looked cute when she wore it), but man was it not fun to knit. First experience with ribbon yarn = rude awakening. It took much longer to finish than I expected (and boy do I hate making fringe, especially with this yarn.)

I have half a ball of this particular yarn left (Numei Stained Glass, in moonstone) - and then three more balls in other colors. Enough for several scarves, which I now think I will not be knitting. At least not anytime soon.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Reveal!!!!

So about 50 of us from Knitting Help engaged in a covert operation to make an afghan for Amy, KH's beautiful and talented founder. The project was launched in December and it included a secret website where we talked with each other about color choices (there were four options), stitch possibilities, and the possibility of purchasing a small island where we could knit all day while cabana boys waited on us. A great group of folks met on February 11th for a seaming party, producing a ginormous afghan (7' x 6' !) and four pillows. It turned out soooo beautifully. And finally, yesterday, Amy received the package!

I was so thrilled to be a part of this cool project. The folks at are some of my favorite people on the web, and it was a privilege to be invited to join them in this effort to honor and thank Amy for what she means to us.

As you can see above, my humble little square was the "Om" - a symbol of how knitting has become a kind of mantra for me, a way of meditating, a door to my deeper self. Thank you, Amy, for helping lead me down that path. Thank you, KH'ers, for being such great companions on the journey!

Edited to add: I can't believe I failed to link to the pattern. I'm so grateful to Talitha for the great "Om" pattern. I recalculated it to make a 12x12 square and was pleased with the results.