Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Hat Brigade

Thanks for all the well-wishes! The good vibes from all of you hit their mark & helped me have a peaceful & uplifting week. And the great equalizer - knitting - also did it's job. I delved right into my pattern queue & selected a few hats I've been wanting to make. The result is the array of hats at the top. From top to bottom - Felicity made from Mirasol Yarn Akapana; Slouchy Beehive Hat made from Araucania Nature Wool Chunky; Claudia made from Berroco Blackstone Tweed; and Garter Ridged Hat made from Ester Bitran Hand-Dyed Andes Wool. All were great fun & best of all made from stash yarn. I plan to gift them all to co-workers who have been hinting all year about wanting something handknit.

Still have a few more last-minute items to knit-up for the family. Today starts my winter vacation (aka knitting-at-home-in-pjs). Won't go back to work until the first week in January. D.C. got the first real snowfall today so it really feels like hibernation time. First, I need to get the tree decorated and all the trimmings together for enjoying the kids & grandkids next week.

Happy knitting & happy holidays!

P.S. Forgot to mention that I did finish my Warmer/Capelet. Came out wonderful!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting In Balance

I am usually the calm one in high stress situations. That went out the window last night when I was struck by a minivan while crossing the street at an intersection near my home. My angel (and the Lord) was looking over me. At the middle of the crosswalk, the sound of the engine accelerating made me step back. But not quick enough - the van ran over the front of my foot. I have never experienced the level of rage that I felt towards the driver. My spirit still feels out of balance.

Emotions have gone full circle. From fear, to anger, to shock, and back to anger after learning that the driver was not issued any citation. While she was extremely apologetic - not giving your full attention to driving; striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk; and not heeding the right-of-way should have circumstances. While the police officer was very polite, it is unnerving that he was more concerned with conveying the insurance reporting procedures to me than sending that message to the driver. I won't vent about the hazards of the "sue them" or "get paid" mentality that prevails in this society. The popularity of shows like Judge Judy, Joe, & Alex attests to that.

The swelling has subsided, the limp and the bruising will eventually go away. The opportunity to get paid doesn't interest me - having drivers who are not distracted does.

Maybe meditation & more knitting can get my spirit back in balance.........

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Home For The Holidays

Yesterday, the girls and I participated in Fannie Mae's Help the Homeless Walkathon that raises funds to support organizations working to prevent and end homelessness in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. I've been walking this one since 2003 and it's one of my favorites because 100% of all registration fees, donations, and sponsorship contributions go directly to the Organizations that provide services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Plus it's such a family-friendly affair - lots of moms, dads, kids & dogs (yes, even doggie donations in the name of your pet)...... This year there were more than 14,000 registered to walk on this bright & sunny day. Here's a few pics:

After the walkathon, it was home & back to knitting. I finished the cap for DD#2's SO. Used the "Regular Guy Beanie" pattern and Frog Tree Alpaca yarn for a super soft finish.

Started the "Hot Chocolate Warmer" by Eline Oftedal last week. It's a beautiful capelet that's knit in the round from the bottom. Leaf pattern at the bottom designed to resemble the leaves of the cocoa plant. I'm using my stash of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in a beautiful blackberry colorway..... so mine is a "Blackberry Warmer". Have finished the body and now working the shoulders. My only modification will be to drop the contrasting neck color. Very nice project.

Have fallen in love with several patterns from Twist Collective - Winter 2010 edition. If you haven't checked it out - run, don't walk - to the website. In case I don't get back to post this week...... Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Knitting to all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yowza Saroyan

Saroyan by Liz Abinante (free pattern at
One Skein (560 yards) of Miss Babs Yowza - Whatta Skein
Colorway: Russet
Began - October 20. Finished - November 5

I'm in love with this pattern and this yarn. The pattern is one piece from start to finish and can be adjusted to different yarn weights & lengths. My modifications were 9 leaves on the increase & decrease and 12 leaves in the center. Have another skein of Miss Babs in Plum that just might become another Saroyan.

Keeping peace in the family. DD#2 liked the hat & gloves I made for DD#1's boyfriend - so I've started another set for her boyfriend. Using Frog Tree's Alpaca Sportweight for this one. Pics coming soon.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Full Knitting Mojo

Good thing I need my job to afford my yarn habit. Feeling like I could just spend my days knitting, knitting, knitting. Maximizing my daily commute time (knitting), my Saturdays at the grand kids football games (knitting), Sundays watching NFL (knitting). Best of all I'm getting projects finished! The proof - hat & fingerless gloves for Martin ........
Getting it in the mail this week for overseas delivery and will follow-up with another care package of socks and a scarf.

Started the Saroyan Scarf designed by Liz Abinante. I tend to shy away from patterns on Ravelry that has been done by the masses but couldn't pass on this one. Using Miss Babs "Yowza" yarn in Russet. The pattern is simple, yet interesting, with its leaf edge and the yarn colorway is beautiful. Haven't decided if it will be a Christmas gift or a keeper. The deciding factor may be if there's enough yarn for a hat...... then it's all mine.

Since I missed the Rhinebeck Festival (again!), a trip to my LYS, Fibrespace, was a must. Last weekend picked up another skein of Miss Babs Yowza in Plum; a skein of Madelinetosh Merino Light in Clematis, and a skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Forestry. All three colors were shouting my name (lol) as I roamed the store.

Looking forward to a roadtrip over the weekend and yet another chance for dedicated knitting time (not driving, of course). Happy Halloween & happy knitting, y'all

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

30 Day Wrap-up

Sooo glad the weather has changed & it's fall. Been crazy-busy but the knitting Mojo is in full effect. Maybe this will be the year that I accomplish my plan of knitted stocking stuffers for all this Christmas.

After a quick trip to Ohio last month, I visited daughter just in time for the 10th Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Tasting Festival. What a blast! Delicious wine, swinging band, and plenty of fun-loving patrons.

Saturdays have been filled with cheering on the grandsons at their football games. Nothing cuter than those ankle-biters running the field. Watch out NFL! Been trying to become a "regular" with the Sunday Sit-n-Knit group at A Tangled Skein. I get so much motivation from these knitsibs. Everyone has such great WIPs. Thanks to Thella for encouraging me to try some colorwork. Her projects are beautiful and she knits and spins with no-fear (lol). After all these years of knitting, I had never tried color stranding. For my first project, I finished the Sheep & Wool Hat by Emily Spence.

Super simple project with great results. Need to master the "float" but have definitely added a couple more stranding projects to my queue. Lastly, started my gift knitting with Jeff's Mitts by Lorraine Ehrlinger. Named mine "Martin's Mitts" because they're for my daughter's boyfriend who's been deployed overseas. They will be matched with the Regular Guy Beanie by Chuck Wright and a pair of Man Socks by Hannah Fettig. All great traveling projects I can do on the metro during my daily communte. Hope to finish up in the next week or so.

Happy knitting y'all.

Monday, September 6, 2010


My que of projects on Ravelry represents my wish list of everything I'd like to knit if I had a gazillion years of "me" time. Since that's not the case, deciding what to make next is always a challenge. This summer I was on a cardigan binge where I started the Cotton Crane Cardi, the Oriel Lace Cardi, and the Tempest Cardi.

All of them beautiful - none of them finished.

While at Stitches Midwest, cousin Jen gifted me some great sock yarn. Of course, in the hotel that night, I started a pair of toe-up socks with the gusset on the bottom (my new favorite sock technique from Wendy Johnson).

As I finish-up the first sock (do I really need 2?), my attention is drawn back to the que. This time it's hats & scarves for fall. Someone please send the knitting police to issue me a citation - I must finish something soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stitches Midwest 2010

I enjoy all types of Yarny Events - from the mega Maryland Sheep & Wool Fest to the local Homespun Yarn Party. This past weekend, I headed up to Schaumberg, IL for the annual Stitches Midwest expo. My cuz, Jen, lives nearby so it was also a chance to hangout with fam & fellow knit-crazy.

This was my second year in attendance and another chance to support some of my favorite vendors: Signature NeedleArts, Miss Babs Yarns, Creatively Dyed Yarns, Habu Textiles, and Webs. My first Stitches event was Stitches East in Baltimore a few years ago. And although I enjoy the Midwest locale, the event didn't quite "wow" me like that first one. Either I'm getting jaded or just anticipating the Rhinebeck festival in October. Anywho...... none of that stopped me from enjoying some stash enhancement.

My favorite purchases by far were Signature's Sock Blockers (that feature the rare ability to hang over your shower rod) and a couple tshirts that tout my love for the hobby (I did say I am a knit-crazy......).

Jen and I both started new projects at the hotel on Saturday night (yep, knit-crazy)that should be done just in time for the trek to Rhinebeck. Until next time........happy knitting!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yarn As Decor

I am lucky enough to have a dedicated knitting room in the house. Well actually, it's a knitting-slash-guest-slash-exercise-slash-TV room. Since the TV is most often tuned to HGTV, the decor changes very frequently. But one thing never changes - the decor is focused on my love of yarn & knitting. Here's the latest layout.

My favorite part has to be the "yarn planters" and open baskets that keep my stash in sight. After last winter's snowstorms & the most recent freak thunderstorms, I've learned to appreciate the ability to shop from my own stash when the weather turns bad.

Speaking of stash - this week has offered multiple opportunities for enhancements. Knit Happens is closing its doors and A Tangled Skein hosted their popular "Friday the 13th" sale. Willpower kept me away from both events but I decided to use my Fibre Space birthday gift certificate from knitsis Ava for these goodies:
They are both Miss Babs "Yummy" HandPainted Sock Yarns. The first color reminds me of Mardi Gras colors & will make a great pair of celebration socks.

Coming up at the end of the week is Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, IL. Of course, I will be traveling to attend with my cuz, Jen. Meanwhile, still working on the Paper Crane Cardi. It's coming along nicely & with any luck maybe I can wear it to Stitches. Until next time - Happy knitting y'all!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Satchmo!

This past weekend was the Satchmo Summerfest in New Orleans, LA - the annual celebration of Louis Armstrong's birthday. What a blast! It's been a couple years since I've traveled to New Orleans & when my feet touched the ground (& the hella-heat hit me), I knew it had certainly been too long. Memories of Hurricane Katrina are still abundant but the city is looking better & better. After spending over 15 years traveling between DC and New Orleans on business, this city holds my heart.

The festival started on Friday night with the Club Strut - a grand party on Frenchman Street where you stroll from club to club listening to the artists. Unfortunately a late thunderstorm nixed the strutting but the talent was still fantastic inside the clubs. Saturday and Sunday's activities were on the grounds of the U.S. Mint with 2 stages outside, 1 stage inside, various dance lessons, and a series of seminars nearby at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe. The heat dictated the plan of the day.......listen to a couple of artists; make your way inside to suck up all the air conditioning possible; back outside for a couple more artists; then down the street to sit & enjoy a couple seminars (again - in air condititioned comfort).
Saturday night was White Linen Night - another stroll around the Arts District & the Contemporary Arts Center - wearing your best white linen fashion.

Best of all I got to catch up with old friends, eat loads of fantastic food, visit the French Market and of course visit the local yarn shop. Hard to believe after all those years in the city, this was my first trip to the Quarter Stitch. A wonderful little shop, packed with knitting, cross stitch, and needlepoint goodies.

Can't wait to go back to my home away from home.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sock Love

Made my first pair of socks back in 2008. Definitely a knitting accomplishment for me but I didn't catch the "sock bug". My knitsis, Debbie, told me about Wendy Johnson's toe-up sock pattern that features the gusset on the bottom (no picking up stitches). Ahhhhhhh.......I've been bitten by the bug. Not only is toe-up knitting the way to go but that gusset is sweet!

This pair uses Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in the Java colorway. Really like the Waffle Rib stitch from the Sensational Knitted Socks book so it's incorporated in the instep and leg. Definitely the first of many socks to come but for now it's also a diversion from the endless stockinette in the Paper Crane cardigan. I'm finally at the armholes - WHEW!

Back to the Sock Love so I can finish & return to the Cardi........Happy Knitting!