Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday - yes, Friday.

I keep thinking this should be Sunday. Holidays do that to you!

Not much going on here - just saw this and wanted to share. I was really glad my daughters never played against her - they both had long ponytails!

I think this girl needs a knitting . . .

Here is a link to the real story behind all that crabbiness.

Back to the knitting - I'm stalking a Hurry Up Last Minute Sweater pattern on Ravelry.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving means . . .

A Happy Blogaversary!

Actually, I started my blog slightly more than four years ago (on November 14, 2005) but I always associate it with Thanksgiving so I make that the celebratory date. 

I recently went back and checked out my long-ago blogging goals.

"To start writing what I've thinking about. And that's knitting. What's on the needles, what I wish I was working on and what I've learned in the process. Probably that there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish all that I want - and still get a nap."

If it's humanly possible, I'm thinking even more about knitting. I've been trying to finish up some longstanding projects - think brown sweater! - as well as some trying out some new ones -  I highly recommend the Bella Mittens! 

Foolish Middle Daughter - she's modeling the mittens but she's wearing shorts!

I also think my foray into two-at-a-time socks has been going well as well. 

"It's the other things that keep my projects creeping along. Husband and family, an active church life, as well as a growing exercise regimen (mostly swimming but also running and cross country skiing) plus reading and spinning are too distracting. Must Say "Time to sit down!" more often."

Well, with this cold for the past few weeks, I've had plenty of time to sit down. And lay down. My exercise regimen has completely fallen by the wayside. But things are looking up and since it hasn't really snowed yet (or snowed enough for cross country skiing with GFMelissa!), I don't feel too bad about it.  Who knows, I may become one of those odd people who go more often to the gym between Thanksgiving and Christmas than the rest of the year?! Husband, family and church life - they are definitely the same but since no one is being confirmed, graduating or breaking a leg this year - it's all good.

 "I am not a slow knitter, just an overscheduled one. I keep finding the next project - and starting it. Interfering with completionn of Baby Sweater #1 were one shawl, a pair of beaded mittens, cabled socks and a beautiful shawl from Kristmen's Design Studio called 'Glorianna.'"

Well, I finished that Babies & Bears sweater as well as the Beaded Mittens but I have no idea what shawl I meant. I think it was the Kiri Shawl which I was getting ready to knit for the Knitting Olympics in February 2006. I did enjoy making that shawl. I think I frogged the socks though - the Cabled Rib socks from Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave Press. I went on to make the Retro Rib socks several times as well as the Go with the Flow Socks so I don't feel too bad about that. The "shawl" was actually a scarf and it was frogged as well. I like the pattern just fine but it didn't seem to go with the yarn. Maybe I'll pull that patten out again this coming year . . .

Since 2005 I've had a lot of fun projects as well as a few epic fails. I'll be taking apart my sister's blue Mission Falls Bay Cardigan  and making it a bit smaller - possible the Bay Bolero? - sometime in the next year or I'll be hearing about it forever. Ditto the Big Brown Sweater, Aka., Mr. Daisy's River Grass Gansey. I just don't like the twisted stitch section at all

In celebration of all these goals - met and unmet - and of our anniversary over here at Chez Daisy, I'm setting up a little contest.  In almost a complete rip off of Knittymama's* anniversary contest, I'm launching the Pattern Review Contest:

Contest rules:
1. Review a knitting, sewing, spinning….any kind of pattern, really, on your blog. It doesn’t have to be detailed but, please, give us the down low. Hard to follow? Good charting instructions? Timeless? Trendy?  Worth buying or should we search out the free on-line version?
2. Leave a comment here leading to your pattern review. 
3. Post a link in your review that brings us back to the contest here. That way your readers will be able to read the comments section here and put in their two cents. Did they hate it? Love that pattern? Think you're crazy "but in a good sort of way" for attempting it?
4. After that - you'll just have to sit on your hands until the end of the month. The day after Christmas (December 26, 2009) is when I'll assign each of the pattern reviews a number and then toss you all into the proverbial hat - the random number generator - to award a prize. Two prizes actually. **
One is a copy of  Charmed Knits: Projects for fans of Harry Potter by Allison Hansel.

Remember this Sweetie?
One copy of 2-at-a-Time Socks: Revealed Inside. . . The Secret of Knitting Two at Once on One Circular Needle Works for any Sock Pattern!, by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

Fun Times x 2!

So let's see some pattern review, ladies and gents! I am sure you have some information to share!

*To be honest, her's was for book reviews. Mine is for pattern reviews. So totally not a rip off!
** Just love that Bold button!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Down go the rest of the dominos . . .

Well, I think I'm over my cold - finally - but some of the other members of the family have gone down today. So, I've been working on the Bella mittens and cleaning out some drawers. One pair of jeans, a sweatshirt, two teeshirts, a vest and two pairs of mittens. The mittens are new - I sewed them for a mitten tree at my church - but they are going off to charity.

Back to some serious television watching and knitting. Oh, and enjoying a little Twilight-themed chocolate!

Middle Daughter picked up a pack of these at the Big Bullseye store this afternoon. Mmm.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday again?

 Tuesday evening was the Minnesota Knitters' Guild presentation on Norwegian knitting. We were lucky enough to get Sue Flanders, one of the authors of Norwegian Handknits: Heirloom Designs from Vesterheim Museum along with Janine Kosel.  She gave a great talk and power point show about how they wrote the book and the designs. When we originally set up the program, we didn't know if we could get the authors so we decided to bring along something made from one of their patterns and steek it.

Since I didn't have time to knit up one of their great sweater designs, I took the sleeve design from the book's kids Voss Sweater and turned it into a neck warmer design. Luckily, our author's program was excellent so I didn't need to break into a steeking song and dance. I finished the neck warmer this week anyway. I steeked it and picked up and knit a garter stitch border with buttonholes.

Today I picked up three buttons and - ta da! - I have a neck warmer.

I also started knitting a pair of Bella Mittens for Middle Daughter. I'll probably finish them before I get the chance to see "New Moon" - all those teen girls can go before me!

In honor of those mittens, take a peek at this Friday Film: This is a talented set of teens!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Almost a wool winder!

You may remember that GFMelissa gave me a fleece from Shepherd's Harvest. It was a spur of the moment gift to her from another friend who came to the festival for the first time.

And it was pretty obvious that she was overcome by the festival atmosphere - she bought the fleece off one of the sheep-shearing exhibition sheep. Instead of letting the shearer bundle it up properly with the cut ends outside, she just stuffed it all into a trash bag. Then it rattled around in that plastic bag for a couple of months. So it was pretty beat up and dirty when I pulled it out of the bag on Monday for a little fiber inspection.

Big and dirty. Brown, black and grey all in one package. To start with, I shook the fleece and most of the taggy (read: poo-filled) ends just fell off. I'm sure I sacrificed a lot of good fleece as well but my kitchen just isn't set up for that. The dog really loved that trash bag of poo/vegetable matter, though! Then, I broke the fleece apart into three separate sections where the fleece types seemed to differ.

Working with the sectioned fleece, I pulled it apart on table, pulled out locks and used a dog comb to comb out the ends. I wore a heavy plastic glove on the hand that held the locks because I kept combing my knuckles - ow! I layered netting in the plastic laundry basket and made little sausages of fleece locks  which I then rolled up and tied together.

I tried to keep the color division when I made the fiber sausages. One of the sections was grey/light brown; one dark brown and one very black section with coarse white guard hairs.

This last section was very pretty but very coarse.

All in all, I got cleaned half the total fleece. I didn't get around to photographing the washing process but it involved a lot of soap and water and several rinses. We'll see how it all turns out . . . Mr. Daisy really liked that brown color so I'll have to see how much I have when I'm done washing the whole thing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Small steps

After finishing my Sugar Maple socks last week,  I jumped back into sock knitting with a pair of Classic Socks from 2-at-a-time Socks. I've just finished the ribbing at the top of the socks and now I'm moving into the central pattern. I think I will try the Gentleman Socks again some time but time is short. I need to finish these socks by Christmas as well as one or two other holiday projects.

The Saturday Seven this week was more like a Saturday Nine. And I'm not sure how I feel about this. My book group reads a play every December and this was nine copies of "You can't take it with you." This lot is going off to another book group for their use. I feel a little conflicted because it's probably no longer covered under personal use copyright ( I bought the play book) - but it was quite expensively copied and I hate to waste the  work. Hmm. Maybe I should give then the original copy as well.

Now, it's off to the showers for me. We're going to the opera for Oldest Daughter's birthday treat. Never fear - I'll bring my knitting!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday, friday - time for a cup of tea!

One of my favorite websites is Fleur de Guerre's Diary of a Vintage Girl. She hasthe most amazing social life. She also has a great sense of humor to go with herdress sense! 

She led me to this:

Which led me to this:

Monday, November 09, 2009


Sugar Maple socks
Still wet and a bit lumpy looking but these socks are actually the exact same size and length! This has always been a problem for me and I really enjoyed Kitchener stitching them together at the toe last night while watching "Howl's Moving Castle" yet again.

And just a shout out to Oldest Daughter - her birthday is tomorrow and I always remember holding her and watching CNN about the fall of the Berlin Wall. A great memory.

Happy Birthday Kate!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A Saturday on horseback. Or,

those Swedes really know how to throw a party!

Today was the first  Julmarknad, or Christmas Fair, at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. 

The event, which will be repeated on November 21, is a combination of family activities, music, food, Christmas decorations, and shopping. GFMelissa and I and our respective children enjoyed the nationality rooms as well as the gift shop. 

Youngest Child especially loved the mechanical "ride on" Dala Horse.  GFMelissa says those are the rides outside the Walmarts in Sweden - I think (hope?) she was joking!

Earlier in the week, the GF and I dropped by Amazing Threads  in Maple Grove. They are collecting donations for the troops overseas again this year. It was really easy to drop something off, knowing they are working with Paradyszmatera to ship needed personal items to troops stationed overseas. And it probably didn't hurt that there was a shoppers' discount involved . . .

I think I'm almost ready to start another pair of "2 at a time socks" so I picked up as skein of lovely Pagewood Farm Yukon sock yarn in the Prism colorway. Soft and lovely! And right nearby was 

a lovely skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Berry color way. Hmm, maybe this will be the next pair of socks?

Sadly, the Saturday Seven this week appears to be two items short. Pants, turtleneck, boots, hat, tee shirt - ah, but wait. I already dropped off the two pairs of jeans. 

Somehow, they got stuffed in with last weeks S7 and were dropped off at the Saint John the Evangelist Sale already. I don't think I could ever go to that sale again. I think I may be involved with at least 25% of the items. And thank goodness they collect items all year long . . .

Friday, November 06, 2009

More Friday bites

Graveyard Book Cake - Top
Originally uploaded by twokingsconfections

It if tastes half as good as it looks - we're in trouble. This is the grand prize winner of the The Graveyard Book Dessert Challenge over at I didn't make this and (in fact) I didn't know anything about this contest but every prize winning entry looks delicious.

In honor of the contest, take a look at this: