Sunday, January 31, 2010

Long, cold Saturday

Yesterday, Mr. Daisy and Youngest Child went to Polar Camp with their Cub Scout pack. They left at 7 a.m. and came back about 5 p.m. Since I got up to usher them out into their long, cold Saturday - I had plenty of time to get all the cleaning done by noon, drive two daughters about the Twin Cities, hit up a yarn store and pick up a knitting book over at the Textile Center.

Come 5 p.m., however, we mostly just wanted to settle down in a warm clump on the couch and watch reruns of "Dirty Jobs." Hence the Sunday Seven.


But, first, I'd like to show you the two lovely yarns I picked up for my next weaving project. I'm making (another) variegated yarn scarf and this time I'm  using Ella Rae Classic Superwash and Louisa Harding Liberty Boucle. Both lovely soft blue colors - very soothing.

Knitwise, I'm still alternating between the endless brown scarf and my Ruth Shawl. I can tell you definitely that I don't like working "big to little." I don't feel like I'm moving along at all! I also pick up the Classic Socks every so often but I haven't worked on them so long that they are going to make my Ravelry Olympics list!

For those of you not in the know, Ravelry is the social networking site for knitters/crochet lovers. We list all our projects there and every four things, during the Olympics, have our own version called the Ravelry Olympics. Things like WIP wrangling (finishing up works-in-progress) or Sockput (making a pair of socks.) Silly, silly, silly - but very challenging. I'm on Team Minnesota and on Team Tardis. I guess it's like having dual citizenship . . .

Yesterday's Saturday Seven? 

Four pairs of boy pants, two shirts and an apple slicer. The world's worst apple slicer. Since GFMelissa gave me a new one a few years ago, this one has languished in the utensil drawer. Off to St. John the Evangelist's big sale where it will find a home with a less discriminating apple eater.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nothing to wear here - only to eat*

Today isn't about knitting at all - just good things to eat.

That's my mother and grandmother up there. Most people don't know I am of Italian heritage. My last name is German and my maiden name was English.  I don't look very Italian (blonde/brunette, blue eyes) and my children don't either (except for Youngest Daughter - but even she has blue eyes) so there aren't any visual clues to go by.  Influenced by GFMelissa, we even like to play at being Swedish when we pull out the Santa Lucia day costumes.

Despite that, I have the proof. Tasty proof. Pizelles. My Nana used to make these crispy anise-flavored wafer cookies and send them back with us when we visited. She didn't make very much Italian food - she wanted to be an American! - but she did make these for holidays.

Youngest Child had "Family Tradition Day" at school so we pulled out the family pizzelle iron and went to work. I think my mother has an electric pizzelle iron now and I know why. Lots of standing up at the stove top! YC did help me mix them, though.

But I had to do the actual hot iron cooking.

Youngest Daughter helped me peel the cookies out the iron - let's just say the first few were "testers."

We didn't really get going until Irish/German Mr. Daisy stepped in and started cranking  them out. He was the BMW of pizzelle production.

Since we were sending them to school, we only got to taste the broken ones. And they were yummy!
Today I'm making the less traditional Chocolate Pizzelles. Maybe I'll get a few as a reward?

*This refers to my Oldest Sister (so very, very old!) who asked what I did with all the knitted stuff I make. She thought we all went around bundled up in scarves, hats, mittens and sweaters. I give it away, of course! Except for my small problem with shawls. Those I keep!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not making years like they used to

Or making weeks! Things have been flying by here at Chez Daisy - knitting, weaving, school projects, birthdays . . .  on and on.

My title came from a quote by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It was used in a newsletter from Schoolhouse Press - according to her daughter Meg Swanson. According to her, EZ used to say "They aren't making years the way they used to." And I think it may be true.

One thing that did brighten up 2009 and, now, 2010 is my new Beka Rigid Heddle Loom. And my mystery project was . . .


I made the Variegated Yarn Scarf from "Weaving made Easy" by Liz Gipson as a holiday gift from GFMelissa. Lucky I was so far behind on the gifting that I was able to utilize my Christmas loom.

Today's Saturday Seven is a simple set of books - I finally cleaned out the car diaper bag. Yeah, Youngest Child is six so I'm pretty sure I don't need one of those again.

I'm going to donate them to my church's youth activity bags.

Back to planning the New Year! I did the math today and I finished 18 projects this past year. I still have four outstanding projects (Mr. Daisy's Classic Sock,  the Encore Worsted 1662 Ladies Shrug, the River Grass Gansey and the Road Not Taken scarf) to finish up and three leftover projects (Saartje's Bootees, the Back to School Vest and the Interlocking Balloons scarf) which I have to decide whether to "fish or  cut bait" on. And, of course, the blue sweater remake. My sister emailed me to ask when it was going to arrive!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Time flies when you are incredibly busy

Yes, this is the never ending brown scarf. The Road Not Taken Scarf from A Fine Fleece. I've taking it along with me as my "on the road" knitting but as you can see from the photo, this is the Magic Ball of Yarn that never gets any smaller.  It still looks lovely but I am seriously thinking of finishing up. The only problem is that I still don't really want or need a brown scarf or the remaining ball of brown yarn. Hmm. I may just keep knitting to spite the Endless Ball of Yarn.

Youngest Child was home sick (ha! the faker!) one day this week and since that limits where I can go, I turned that energy into cooking.

 Pepperoni Rolls and homemade spaghetti sauce from frozen summer tomatoes.


I also had time to artfully arrange the Ruth's Shawl I'm making. Can you tell it will be a shawl? I'm thinking Victorian hair jewelry . . .

I also finished this! What is it? You'll have to find  out tomorrow after I give it to my friend. Let's just say I wished I had a television in my bedroom last night when I was watching Conan O'Brien and finishing the edging . . .

A Friday Film after all this time? How about this glimpse into Rigid Heddle Weaving.


Monday, January 18, 2010

So you thought I forgot, eh?

Saturday came and went but the photo remains forever. This week's Saturday Seven was all mine: a pair of khakis, a cardigan, three bags, a skirt and a vest.

I really put off this posting because I was hoping to get a picture of the Ruth's Shawl pattern that I'm knitting. Alas, since you start with the full number of stitches, all I have is a few squiggles of lace to show. Lovely and soft but tiny compared to the whole project. I'm thinking it's not the most exciting photo.
Theoretically, January is being labeled "Selfish Knitting Month" but I'm not all that excited about the shawl. I'm thinking of moving back to the The Classic Socks. When even that slow moving project seems interesting, I know I'm in a project slump!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Knitter's Delight

(With appreciation and credit to

I've been having more fund than I should on the Internet this morning. Now, it's time to get over to the gym for swimming. If Ladybug can do it, so can I!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Finding the sweet spot

Well, I never did tell you when I would be back in 2010, did I?

Since we last met, I've been knitting up a Wee Balaclava for Youngest Child. I used some handspun which I dyed way back in May 2006 when I was making a scarf of many colors for Shepherd's Harvest.

I used the green Border Leicester that was left over from this:

Luckily, Mr. Youngest Child asked for a roomy one!

"Just like a ninja!" he said.

I also threw myself fully into the weaving world using my Christmas Rigid Heddle Loom and instructional books. Looks like some people want woven birthday presents!

GF Melissa helped me warp the loom and since I didn't want to run out - we just warped and warped our way through 2 skeins of green Cascade 220. The weft (the red) was a skein of Blackberry Ridge fuzzy mohair. As Mr. Daisy is 6'4", this is my new holiday table runner. I'm setting up today for another scarf - I really want to figure out the plaid format!
Part of the weaving fun is choosing the yarn - I opened up all my yarn stash boxes (okay - four boxes is not that bad!) and sorted the stash. And sorted. I don't really have a lot but I really have a lot of "project" stash. You know - that's for the blue sweater or the bohus cap or Kate's vest. I've got to start working through some of these projects!
In honor of the new year and a new determination to use up my stash, I cast on with this Blackberry Hills Farm Blend. Alpaca, silk and wool and I'm using it on Ruth's Shawl (a Ravelry link) from Blue Lace Designs.

My only regret is that this is a pattern where you cast on all the stitches first and work your way back to zero. Not so fun.

I must admit that I've been going through a lethargic fall-into-winter. Between the cold weather and my several colds, I been thinking about a nap since September.

In this New Year, my aim is to get back into the sweet spot of exercising, knitting and blogging. That may mean new knitting projects (not just finishing up the hibernating ones!) and some new exercise options. Bike riding, anyone?
As for the blogging, I think I enjoy writing for myself better than trying to attract new readers. Most of the things I really enjoy - reading, knitting, swimming, etc. are truly solitary pursuits so when I spent a little time working on readership and it didn't work - it just made me even more tired.

In light of this, I may try that failed blog contest from the fall again in the spring - probably trying it into the Minnesota Knitters' Guild's Yarn Over in April or Shepherd's Harvest in May. Those are occasions when knitters and spinners get together so it might be easier to get readers' attentions at that time.

So, for January 2010- I recommend reviewing your stash (it may be bigger than you expected), your knitting skills (step up the projects!), your exercise program (let's get ready for bike riding season!) and your blogging habits (write when you are interested but don't worry if anyone responds.)

As Elizabeth Zimmermann said, "Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises."