Monday, December 31, 2007

One final look at 2007 . . .

From the first blue sweater of 2007 . . .

. . . to the last warm hat and mittens, the final accounting is a total of 16 knitted items.

My favorite? Probably the Flower Basket Shawl. It was great fun and a learning experience.

My least favorite? Probably the Edged in Lace shawl done as a baby blanket. Too much garter stitch!

My favorite sock? The Lupine Lace socks. They became addicting.

So, Evelyn A. Clark won the knitting trifecta this year at Chez Daisy.

Looking ahead? I am going to finish the Back to School vest, my Interlocking Balloons scarf from Scarf Style, the red knitted bag from "25 Knitted Bags", my red cotton shopping bag, and, possibly, Andy's Big Brown Sweater. Oh, and the socks I am working on right now. That should hold me until about July, especially as I have to pop two baby sweaters into the mix. V from over at Spin/Knit is working on a sweater a month. I'm not shooting for that (I prize my sanity!) but I think I can get at least one project a month. Let's give a cheer for knitting - after all, it keeps me off the streets!

A Blessed and Peaceful New Year to you all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday Seven Rides again!

Just seven of the oh, about 20 items we weeded out of Oldest Daughters closet this afternoon.

Two tan skirts, a broomstick pleated "hippie" skirt, a pair of orange corduroy pants, a velvet shirt, a long sleeved red tee and a black and white sports jacket that she swore she had lost.

Along the way, she had a much needed lesson on how to hang up dress pants and why expensive new blazers should be hung on hangers and not on pegs on the door. I did NOT yell but I may tomorrow when I ask her to sort out her drawers. See what happens when vacations drag on too long?!

Knitting wise, I am toddling along on the EAC Go With the Flow socks. I think the yarn is Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in something like Autumn, possibly Indian Summer. For some reason, I just love the way her mind works. Once you dive into the pattern, they are very easy to continue with. I may even revisit some patterns of hers in the next year . . .

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Belated Merry Christmas!

And a relaxing New Year! That isn't me up there in the air - Middle Daughter, Dear Husband and the Fair Cousin Hannah are all such risk takers! - but the view from the ground was just as good. Our trip to Mexico was beautiful, relaxing and filled with laughter. Those of you with teenagers realize that that is a nearly impossible combination!

And look what someone left on my pillow!

Unfortunately, things were so relaxing that this is all of the Go With the Flow sock (an Evelyn A. Clark pattern, natch'!) that I started on my trip.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ready for a relaxing holiday break - Really!

I am winding down the blog for a short holiday break. We are traveling to warmer climates for a week and I have a million things to do before we go.

This weekend's Saturday Seven is only partially represented here. My church has a "Mitten Tree" started by the woman who taught me to knit. I made four pairs of mittens for pick up this week. I am hoping to make three more pairs for the Marvelous Mitten makers, the charity project for the Minnesota Knitters Guild. They are easy but I have to have my sewing machine out to get things accomplished. And they are truly a "give-a-way" because I have had this fleece for at least four years.

For a quick look at the Center Square hat in action, Youngest Child and Dear Husband went sledding yesterday. No injuries reported (this time!)

Now, back to deciding what knitting items to bring along . . . shawl? Hats? Baby sweater? Socks?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Star Boy wants YOU or Happy St. Lucia Day!

These early morning celebrations really put a crimp in my day. Especially as Star Boy was up at 5 a.m., asking if it was time. No, it wasn't.

After a little time had passed, we did all sit down to some saffron buns and coffee. Now, that's a holiday tradition I can take! Oldest Daughter was a reluctant Lucia but everyone wants that lighted wreath! As today is also my anniversary, let the partying continue! And keep those exclamation points coming!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Already stolen by the big sister . . .

I finished the Center Square cap the other day and Youngest Child promptly wore it sledding. Tonight, however, Oldest Child snarfed it and promptly stretched it all out. Back to the blocking board. I was afraid I would run out of the contrast color (the gold) so I did the top in stripes rather than a sold contrast color.

Since we are getting ready to go to warmer climates, we had to make a holiday shopping trip for swim suits today. There is nothing worse than buying swimsuits with teens. And I mean that! When I was checking out Middle Child's shorts and teeshirt situation, I was able to pry out of her drawers the following Saturday Seven: a pair of pajama pants, a pair of shorts, an unfortunate polo shirt choice, two never worn cute (or so I thought!) teeshirts and two swimsuits. And she never even noticed!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Necessary Things

Well, since we've had our second big snow in a week, I've progressed from knitting mittens to working on the hats that love them. After I made a cute little pair of black and orange mittens for Youngest Child, I planned on making a simple black knit cap. But, he said it had to match.

So, I found the gorgeous, yet simple Center Square cap by London Nelson in the Winter 2006 issue of Knitty. This has been lots of fun! I doubled up the remaining Nature Spun orange and used some yellow Nature Spun as the second color. I used this color as an embroidered accent on the Youngest Child's mittens - I'd show them to you but I think I would have to fish them out from behind the radiator.

Perhaps I've mentioned this secret shameful love of Nature Spun before? Remember this? It comes in handy to have an obsession sometimes!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lookie here, look at what I got!

I had a lovely time at the No Coast Craft-o-Rama on Friday. There was a real variety of items available and I was able to do quite a lot of Christmas shopping. GFM found some gorgeous clothing for her daughter and I was able to score some hair jewelry for the Girls. The rest of the items will have to remain anonymous until after the holiday! I bought this dark yarn from AishaCelia for a Sand Dollar Shawl from Knitting Lace Triangles by Evelyn A. Clark and the pink yarn from Green Apple Yarn for a pair of mittens for me! Okay, so they are both for me. Call it my birthday present to myself!

I had to clean out my closet in order to free up some room for hiding presents so I was able to round up two sweaters, a lace poncho - one I usually wore as a shawl - a pair of running shoes, two tote bags and a Pokemon. I actually don't know how that little guy got in there! Off the Saturday Seven goes to charity!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Christmas present finished or "vor die Hunde gehen"

I must be on a roll as I've knocked out the second knitted Christmas present in a row. Dear Husband (or Mr. Daisy as he is sometimes known - not by his friends or anything but . . .) saw the pair of mittens I knitted for the MKG's charity, the Marvelous Mitten Makers, and requested a pair for Christmas. His hands are large but as freakishly large as they appear in the photo!

In order to give a little better perspective, we called Zelda the Wonder Hunde over for a photograph. She was a muggins and wouldn't cooperate so Mr. Daisy wrestled her into submission.

It sounds like we'll be needing mittens this weekend - snow, glorious snow is finally arriving this weekend! I've got some skis that need to see daylight!

Also, Good Friend Melissa and I have a date on Friday to beat the snow and go to the No Coast Craft-o-Rama at the Midtown Global Market. We had a great time last year and I've been saving my Christmas money for just such an occasion! I highly recommend you stop by this weekend!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A full pair at last!

Sometimes, my working on socks can drag on for months - I could only wish that they all went as quickly this pair. I think I just get bored and have to put them away for awhile. I must not be a sock knitter because they just don't fly off the needles for me. But then, all that gorgeous sock yarn calls to me and I can't resist. I only wish that I could find sweater yarns dyed half so beautifully as that produced by independent sock yarn dyers.

On this project, I just broke down and ripped back every time I made a mistake. Even last night, I was just about to do the toe decreases when I made the yarnovers for the right side pattern on the wrong side. About an inch of absolute wrongness. So wrong, I must have been knitting in my sleep. Perhaps all that cold medicine caught up with me?

The Saturday Seven came about when I looked long and hard at my closet and pulled out seven things that I have no idea why I was keeping. All were very nice items but NOT me. Over to St. John the Evangelist's Big Sale.

We are all now officially sick - except for Youngest Child. He is fine as frog hair, full of energy and ready to wake up at 6:30 a.m. Unfortunately, we are not. So, this is the messy week at our house - lots of dust and dog hair and used Kleenex - but I can handle that for the time being. Now, it's time to sleep!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Monster and Me

After one last day fighting the Monster Virus from Pre-School, I ended up with this lovely prize. One set of blue and red mittens made with leftovers from my yarn stash - Nature Spun, I think but there weren't any ball bands left. They were actually a pair for the Minnesota Knitters' Guild's quarterly charity, the Marvelous Mitten Makers, but I didn't get them finished in time to give them away at our meeting last night. The pair took one day of on and off again knitting to complete.

Our meeting was about becoming a Master Knitter from The Knitting Guild Association. It sounded very interesting but nothing I would start until Youngest Child is in school full time. Intense but in a good way . . . I guess. I have a few knitting issues that this program would force me to solve and that's probably a good thing.

I really enjoyed making a simple pair of mittens again, however. This pattern used doubled yarn and I think it makes the final bind offs at the tip and thumb too pointy. I like all the rest, though. It's the Family Mittens by Lucy Rogers from "Homespun and Hand knit." My husband forced them onto his XL hands (they are supposed to be Adult Small) and asked for a pair in Black and Orange. Halloween for Christmas, I suppose.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thomas, we hardly knew ye!

This Saturday Seven was a light romp through the movie aisle at our house. I am more than thankful for these to leave. My Oldest Daughter loved watching "Thomas the Tank Engine" on television when she was young but Youngest Child was entertained for about 12-24 months. I will offer the train DVD to a friend's son and the rest go to a rummage sale.

Since Youngest Child kindly passed his cold around the house, I've been spending a lot of time sitting and then falling asleep. In between, I've been spending time with the Second Sock. This one is much easier to follow - I've only had problems with the purl edge stitches that border the instep portion of the lace. They tend to fall off and then I find them, unravelled down two or three rounds. Grrr! Ow, that hurts my throat. Time to find some Throat Coat Tea and a quiet spot to read my book group book, "Straight Man" by Richard Russo. So, far, I'm not seeing the humor . . .

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sock One - friend or foe?

I made Middle Daughter take a few moments away from her strenuous television schedule tonight ("Pushing Daisies" - we had to wait for a commercial!) to model Sock One of the Lovely Lupine Lace. Lucky Lulu to have such a luscious looking - er, sock. I could only go so far the whole alliteration thing.

I won't block the socks until I have a pair so the whole pattern is pretty lumpy looking. I am satisfied with how it turned out despite the numerous ripping back. Hopefully, the second sock will take less time. Wonder if Lulu wants them for Christmas?

Oh, and on my way to correct spelling, I had a sidetrip to I couldn't pass up the word of the day:

flaneur \flah-NUR\, noun:
One who strolls about aimlessly; a lounger; a loafer.

That sounds like a pretty good lifestyle to me. Maybe in about sixteen years?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A New Year for a New Baby!

Happy Birthday Oldest Daughter!

I wished I remembered more about the birth of First Child but it was 18 years ago so I'll be forgiven if I forget a few details. Welcome baby!

Youngest Child insisted that we play "birthday games" so we made our own "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" game. Duped by a four year old - he won!

Saturday's Seven was another matter of cleaning out closets - three pairs of pajamas, a tank top and three pairs of underwear.

Now, back to our birthday evening's entertainment - the complete "Firefly" television series DVDs!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lupine Lace review

Well, I could have been at the Guthrie, watching "Jane Eyre" with the rest of my book group but . . . real life interfered. Instead,
DH and I hired a babysitter for Youngest Child and spent the rest of the evening ferrying teenagers around to their various school social functions. Swing Dancing for Middle Daughter. Senior Scavenger Hunt at the Mall of America for Oldest Daughter. Billiards for Youngest Daughter. Good Grief! I would be willing to take a few classes to get this kind of social life!

Knitting time has been a highlight in my week. Youngest Child has spent the last three days at home with a flu/cold - it all blended into lots of sofa time for him - so I've been spending some time with the Lupine Lace Socks. Once again, ripping out was painful, but necessary. I've begun to memorize the pattern - but since the pattern is only the instep now, I sometimes forget the "rest" round in between Lupine Lace rows.

I think I'm still off on my row gauge so I only did four sets of lace repeats instead of the five outlined in the pattern. They are still very long socks. Hopefully, I'll get to the toe tonight!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

In honor of Misses Lime and Violet and That dance!

Oh, if only this were true. It would really make carpooling easy!

Which "Firefly" character are you?
created with
You scored as Captain Mal Reynolds

It's your way or the highway, but for some reason your friends stick around anyway. Probably because they know no matter how harsh you might be sometimes, you'll always have their back (or come to their rescue) in a sticky situation.

Simon Tam


Shepard Book


Captain Mal Reynolds


Kaylee Frye


River Tam




Inara Serra




Jayne Cobb



(I was actually hoping to be Zoe so I'd look better in a dress, but, whatever!)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Going, Going . . . Gone!

Remember this? I knitted this top down "V" neck sweater for Oldest Daughter a little more than a year ago. She never really took to it even though I knitted just what she asked for. This year, she's looking for a cardigan and she suggested that I just take the old sweater apart. So, I did.

It didn't look much better after a year of being worn as sleeping wear.

It did look nice on the swift, however.

I spent Friday ripping it apart and winding up the wool on my swift. By the end of it, my arm was tired! Luckily, I had two discs from Netflix, Season one, Disc One and Two of "Highlander", and with judicious fast-forwarding, made it through the evening. I am pretty sure I won't be getting any more of that television series! It was ridiculously bad - every "New Yawk" accent was tinged with Canadian vowels and that side-kick boy - oh, he must have been the 80's eye candy! Bleh!

I stayed up late last night, washing the wool with "Soak" and hanging it up to dry. I think I'll start looking at Elizabeth Zimmerman's aran sweaters. Oldest Daughter likes the cables!

Today's Saturday Seven was easy - Middle Daughter had to clean her room and she cleaned up her closet as well. Unfortunately, I do remember when she just "had to have" at least two of these items. By the way, I just realized that I've been doing this "Saturday Seven" business for over a year now. I started in August 2006. It is a great idea started by Earthchicknits and it's been very easy. Sometimes, too easy. It really makes me think, "Do I really need this?" and my closet has gotten quite a bit emptier. I only wish my kids could figure this out! Give them time, I guess.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's all about the bones . . . and some real Halloween scares

The Youngest Child was determined to be a skeleton this year so I put my cutting and glueing skills to the test making him a suit of bones. Luckily, it was chilly out so I just layered him up under a black sweat suit. He had a great time walking around with the older kids and saying, "Trick or Treat!"

Unfortunately, Middle Daughter and two friends (one boy and one girl) were on their way to the local hyper-decorated Trick or Treat house when they ran into a group of middle school bullies who decided to make a grab for their backpack. We had heard from other trick-or-treating parents that there were some kids taking candy from the little ones but the girls had never seen that aspect of innercity living before. It wasn't quite a mugging but it wasn't quite "kids being kids" either. They all had some bumps and were pretty shook up. It was a pretty scary Halloween for them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lovely Lupine and her seven little leftovers.

There is only so much I can do with alliteration but I try.

First off is a glimpse of my lovely lupine lace socks. I've had to reknit a few times because, while the pattern is easy to memorize, the non-pattern rounds are easy to lose track of. As I have numerous times! I finally bought the Lace Triangles book by Evelyn A. Clark and I think I am going to use it for some Christmas presents. Or, possibly, Mother's Day presents! Just give me time . . .

Secondly, the Seven Little Leftovers are from the closets of my teenaged daughters. Luckily (or unluckily) for me, Youngest Daughter needed some dress clothes for church and school so we went shopping today. Three stressful hours later, success at last. That means, out with the old. four tee-shirts, one pair of sports shorts, a hideous hoodie and one too-short plaid skirt. Shh, don't tell her about the skirt!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day'

And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

I don't have any real connection to Saint Crispin's Day, which is today, October 25, but I heard this story recently that made me pull out my copy of Henry V.

Supposedly - and really, why would they lie? - a professor at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania read the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V to inspire the college's football team before the big game. And it worked!

Just rereading that speech tears me up. The 1989 film version is excellent. Say what you may about Kenneth Branagh's real life behavior, he is one fabulous director and actor here.

I didn't do anything so interesting today but I did get to see Crazy Aunt Purl at a book signing tonight. I had a very busy day and even missed a meeting but I managed to get there just a few minutes late with GFMel. Aside from a busy-body guy in a Steelers jacket who couldn't believe we were all there to hear her read about divorce and knitting, it was a lovely crowd.

Even Miss GFM had a good time!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh, when hobbies collide.

I've been swimming much more strenuously with a Masters Swim group - and it is definitely making me stronger. And sore-er. Okay, more sore. Especially my wrists and ankles. Flexibility is important for an efficient swim stroke BUT - now it hurts to knit. And to blog - that typing thing really hurts! So, I'm taking a day off, reading and avoiding knitting. Swimming usually feels good so I went to practice tonight.

In the meantime, enjoy this:

Gummy Bears

You may be smooshie and taste unnatural, but you're so darn cute.

What is funny is that I love Gummi Bears! And Swedish Fish and, my absolute favorite, Orange Slices. I like that they don't really taste like fruit, just some approximation thereof. Also, they are so sweet that I only eat a few at one time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Photos to follow - so they say!

I'd have love to post something yesterday but No Photos make for a Dull Post. And it's not even my fault! I generally have very few problems with Blogger but yesterday's "unable to post" message drove me away from my computer.

Luckily, the sun came out yesterday for a few hours and it brought back the autumn that we know and love here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, today was the day we went to the pumpkin patch but - it was fun anyway.

Knitting-wise, I'm chugging away on my Lupine Lace socks - that means I ripped it out and started again - but I am enjoying the pattern right now. I just don't think I am a natural sock knitter. Now, Guinifer over at Halfway Down the Stairs, she's got the sock mojo. Visit her if you want to see something get done right!

I also need to buckle down and finish the "Back to School" vest. Unfortunately, after doing the right side of the vest, the instructions just say, "Reverse the directions and finish the left side." I hate that! It really slows me down. Designers, stop that silliness! You have a whole book to chart the stuff out!

My Middle Daughter had her class play this week so our schedule was really crazy. She was Hippolyta, the Amazon Queen, in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." I have a hard time imagining "Miss Hair and Nails" as an amazon, but, it is the theatre! Unfortunately, she is looking a bit peevish in this photo ("Peevish in Pink"- the sequal to "Pretty in Pink!") but my photo ops were very limited. It was a well done performance - give a bunch a teenaged boys the chance to goof off in the "rude mechanicals" scenes and they always run with the ball!

The Saturday Seven is always easy when Youngest Child is growing. Jammies, sweat pants, shorts and tee shirts - off to Baby Karl.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In honor of book club - or, why I don't get that much knitting done!

I haven't quite got the hang of knitting and reading at the same time. Despite this, I recently joined a Yahoo Group for readers of S.M. Stirling. He writes long, involved sci-fi/fantasy novels that are aimed very much at men. Despite the fact that I am not a member of that group, I found this great quiz. I may be the least military minded reader of Stirling's "Alternative Histories" but at least I'll have some useful skills (knitting and spinning to clothe my family!) when the revolution comes . . .

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wild Wisconsin Weekends - Part Deux!

Yep, once again the Monday Night Book Club took its tacos, margaritas, books and movies to the wilds of Wisconsin. Since we didn't continue setting off the smoke alarms, everything turned out fine!

I started off the festivities a little early by checking out a few of the local yarn stores featured in the Y.E.S. 2nd annual shop hop which began Friday, October 12. The theme of this year's shop hop was "Tools of the Trade" and every shop gave out a small knitting-related tool. I only managed to get to three of the seven shops - 3 Kittens Needle Arts, Zandy's and the Yarnery. I keep hearing great things about the Coldwater Collaborative but I just couldn't fit in any others before we left on the Wisconsin Book Trip.

I did buy a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Firefly to use in a pair of Christmas socks. I'm working on a pair of Evelyn A. Clark's Lupine Lace socks. Good Friend Melissa said, "Should I have stopped you?"

This weekend's Saturday Seven was pretty easy. Seven outgrown pairs of shorts, sweatpants and a teeshirt - all Youngest Child size. Or what was his size. Not quite-a-baby Karl will be getting some hand-me-downs this week! Now I have to stop and get back to reading my book club selection for the month, "Frankenstein."