Saturday, December 30, 2006

Yarn PAPER Scissors

OK. So, in this modern day and all, paper is a matter of perspective, yes? I'm reading a book called No Plot? No Problem! It is how-to book and kit, directing would-be novelists in a writing adventure. At the end of a month's time, those taking advantage of the kit -- its method, progress charts and these lovely things called "onerosity" coupons -- will have completed a 50,000 word novel.

I'm thinking of actually trying this novel-writing thing. But, I'm also thinking that the method this silly little book uses to get lazy novel-writers actually writing (and not playing computer Scrabble) are worthwhile.

If I were to use the methods for say, sock knitting or crafting that silly little art-canvas scrapbooking dealy that I've been thinking of... just think of the results. This just might be a new-year resolution...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year!

My knitting resolutions for 2007-

1. Knit a pair of socks each month (finishing the three outstanding pairs I have going counts for January)
2. Enter in the fair again.
3. Knit a complicated sock pattern.
4. Knit something lace.
5. Knit something with fairly complicated cables.
6. Knit from existing stash more often than with new stuff (I realize this isn't much of a yarn diet, but let's be realistic here)
7. Teach all the new Naughty Knitters to purl.
8. Organize my supplies better.

Happy New Year everyone! I will be away from the blog until Tuesday. Maybe Carey will entertain you in my place.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Giant socks

I love my husband. He has big feet. I love him anyway, however, when I get the loving urge to knit him a pair of socks, I should realize knitting two size 14s are like 3 regular socks. His feet are 12 inches long.


This is sock number 1. Yes, three days late for xmas, and he does have two feet, so I have to start another one soon.

Trouble is it is black. I don't see well, especially at night, so I have to knit them in the daytime. In good lighting. The sun is shining right now, but I'm blogging so Tracy will have something to read, and to prove that I did actually finish the first one.

Since it is black, my dear readers, you can't see that there is a nice row of cables up each side of this sock. And for you technical people out there with loved ones with size 14 feet, it is made with Knitpicks Gloss (wool/silk) one skein (I bought extra in case), size 1 needles, 72 stitches around (socks for me are usually 64).

When it is too dark to knit this baby, I have been knitting on my Lucy sock. I have now completed my first ever short row heel since I'm trying them toe up. Santa brought me the prettiest Socks that Rock (Rocktober colorway) and I'm anxious to start those.

More pictures next time.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I quilt too

Every once in a while I drag out the sewing machine and sew something. This particular time I made Tracy a santa quilted wall hanging. I hand-embroidered a santa (can't remember where I found the pattern, I had it for awhile) in red on muslin. I added red and white strips to the edge, then free-motion quilted the whole thing. I thought Tracy would like it because she likes the vintage look type things.

I have been known to have very little self control in a fabric store, almost like a yarn store. Fabric came first actually, and almost completely over-wrote my brain's addiction to yarn, in fact, I didn't pick up a knitting needle for around 10 years while I always have had at least one sewing project going.

Up until Carey mentioned "I want to knit something" I was perfectly contented being a member of the quilting guild, taking classes at Quilter's Paradise, and feeding my fabric addiction. I even was a Alex Anderson groupie at the Quilts in the Garden quilt show in Livermore.

Now, I still like a good fabric store, and can imagine several projects I have to make every time I walk into one. However, I am finding it very easy to pass over the quilting magazines in favor of each and every knitting magazine, and wish my boxes of fabric would magically disappear so I would have more room for yarn. Knitting suits my lifestyle so much more, it is easily portable, can be done in the stolen moments of life, while waiting, etc. and doesn't involve dragging out the machine and supplies only to have to put them away again before I am done.

I feel a little guilty that I abandoned my quilt addiction so quickly in favor of knitting. I can't imagine doing that to knitting when some other craft-of-the-week becomes popular. I know I can do multiple things, and I have been known to bead things, and decorate a cake now and then, but it is much easier to specialize, especially when it comes to storing the supplies for these hobbies.

Maybe heaven allows you unlimited space for crafting, unlimited yarn, fabric, supplies, books, magazines (always a new issue), and time to do it all. Sounds good.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Knitting

Socks for Jean

Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style from Interweave Knits for Carey done in Alpaca with a Twist 100% alpaca. First, shown while blocking-

And shown after -

For Gary, a mock cable scarf (not bad for mock I think)

Here it is up close

I also made Tracy a quilted item that blogger doesn't want me to show you. More next post.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Christmas Express

This Christmas season has seen as much gingerbread as knitting. First Grace and I made cookies for her kindergarten class:

Then I got the brilliant idea to make the gingerbread train from the November issue of Family Fun magazine. Tracy and I thought it would be fun to do it with the girls.

It wasn't hard to do, just time consuming to make 3 batches of gingerbread, cut out all the pieces, bake them all, assemble with royal icing, and of course, shop for every candy known to mankind.

We got the girls together on Friday, the first day of vacation, and they decorated them. We had tons of candy left over. The girls had a good time, eating as much as they used to decorate.

Don't they look like they had fun?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm still here!

I haven't been posting lately because I'm busy knitting! Stay tuned for photos of the things I have finished. Any now would spoil the surprise for those who may be getting a handmade gift (Jean, yours was mailed today - How was the cruise?).

Preparations for the holiday are humming along with stress oozing out of my pores. We have been hit by the stomach flu bug around here and then I got a cold to add to my enjoyment. All this has put me behind with Christmas cards, and wrapping, etc. I also have some gingerbread construction to get done. I've been trying to carve out a little sanity here and there by making sure I have quiet moments to remember the pleasures of the season and make sure the spiritual is not lost in the flurry. Seeing Grace's little face singing in her Kindergarten class this morning was fuel for the soul. Seeing the other kids tonight at their program was sweet too. I get all misty when I remember those giant 6th and 8th graders when they were 5.

I am looking forward to Christmas vacation, after Christmas the pressure will be off and I can get to some projects I have been eyeing to start. I'm itching to start something complicated. Cables, lace, whatever. Santa may be bringing me some new books too. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Things you should know about Cindy

I discovered a silly site,, where you answer a bunch of silly questionnaires and can find out all sorts of things about yourself that you never knew. Did you know--

If I were a Brady, I'd be Jan.
If I were a work of art, I'd be be Farbstudie QuadrateBy Wassily Kandinsky (?)
My funky inner hair color is orange.
My aura is violet.
If I were a Sesame St. character, I'd be Cookie Monster (uncanny).
If I were a ice cream flavor, I'd be Rocky Road (how does it know?)
My boobs are named Thelma and Louise (I never knew).
I got 100 % on the 8th grade math test.
70% on 8th grade geography.
I'm 50 % weird.
I'm 70 % normal (must be a statistical variation).

I'm so grateful to the internet for saving me countless hours of inner soul searching to learn this about myself.

I wonder what Carey's boobs names are?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shelly can celebrate her birthday any month she wants. So there.

OK. So, I'm a tad slow sometimes. But just to be fair, I've not received my birthday gift either. I'm finished with Shelly's gift and am now prepared to give it to her. Shelly is my oh-so-creative-with-paper friend and this year I've elected to give her something to enjoy yarnwise. Did I mention her birthday, like mine, is in October? Anyway, here's a snippet of a glance at the belated but still heartfelt gift.

Just for the record, I DID get a lovely birthday surprise in today's mail. Jean, my delightful (but so far away) friend, understands that the birthday season can last a while. To find such a friend is a treasure.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

The gift of knitting

A huge thank you to Lisa, Natalie, and Tracy, for helping teach the junior high knitting elective during these past few days. The class seems to grow every time we meet, and they are now starting to get the hang of knitting. It is so uplifting to see girls who normally just try to act "cool" actually get excited to learn a new skill.

It would have been impossible to do this on my own, so my fellow Knotty Knitters, THANK YOU!!

I remember the person who taught me to knit, Marie-Ann. She was my host mother when I was an exchange student to Sweden. I actually knit at least two sweaters while I was there, and I only lived with them for three months! My first project was a sweater. I began with the ribbing too, so that meant I had to learn knitting and purling right off the bat. The needles were small too, a size 4. She did it very matter-of-factly, like starting off with ribbing on a sweater was no big deal. I didn't realize I could have started out a little more slowly.

Anyway, I think of Marie-Ann often, and mentally send her a thank you every once in a while for giving me the gift of knitting. I hope that me passing on that knitting gift to others is a little way of thanking her.

Spoils from the party

goodthings spoils

Here is what we came home with from Good Things. Everyone did such a good job of packaging their cookies, as usual.

Nolamom's stand in


Here is the photo of Chrissy opening Mom's gift that Blogger wouldn't load to save its little life.

It was funny how we all stole with no mercy except for the teapot which was designated as Mom's and then no one touched it. I thought she only held that kind of power over her daughters. (just kidding, Mom)

Christmas at Good Things

Our annual Christmas is a Good Thing event happened this year with one unwelcome visitor -- the stomach bug. Carey and Mom were stuck home tossing their cookies while I guiltily carried on the exchanging of cookie festivities for the three of us. They got the visit from the unwanted virus from us - blame kindergarten- and I am just barely over it myself.

I tried to document this the best I could so they could be with me in spirit.

First, the before photo:

These are my cookies in the boxes (I made Raspberry Eggnog Swirls and Italian Fig Cookies), my gift exchange gift (penguins) and my little favor things (mini knitted things I bought at Cost Plus because they were cuter than what I could make easily for this many people during the crazy virus filled Christmas season). Also included was a plate of the cookies to taste on Wed. night.

I took Mom and Carey's items and off I went with the loaded car to Chrissy's.

Chrissy decorates a house for Christmas. Wow. She needs to be in a magazine. Seriously. It is incredible.

Here is the cookie table. Chrissy also had some munchies for us to avoid anyone going into a diabetic coma from tasting 10 cookies.

Doesn't it look nice?

While partaking of calories, we played games. Chrissy always has done her research, and seeks to find which Good Thinger is the smartest. This test concerned Christmas Carol Titles and Geography. We thought we were going to get to eat and be merry without using our brain cells! Ha! I did manage to win one of the games due to skillful guessing (and only a smidge of cheating).

Finally, the presents! The stealing! The sport! What we wait for all year! (Or at least since June, the last time we did this).

Here is the before photo of all the gifts:

I stood in for Carey and Chrissy stood in for Mom.

Chrissy opened a santa teapot for Mom (so perfect)--

And then as usual, the merriment started happening and things got a little goofy, including
Cheri wearing a bow on her head, Snowman appearing, and then getting acquainted with one another, and all sorts of goings on.

Finally, I was weak and opened the last gift, putting a stop to the stealing.

Then it was a quick dash to exchange the cookies and relieve the babysitter (Pops who, having just overcome the virus himself, wanted to go to bed).

Blogger stopped uploading my photos so I'll try again later.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Santa Knits

Here is what I have accomplished in the past few days:

Some stripes

that are "soaring",

some dots and v's and circles

that transform into green fuzziness.

My boys are off playing in South America while I knit. I miss them.

Time to knit more.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One lone sock

I finished the Trekking sock. Just one, because I needed the needles for other, more pressing socks for gifts. I haven't been very excited about this sock since I messed up on the gusset decreases a long time ago. I was determined to finish it, however, and now I did just that. I actually like it much more than I thought. I made it a smidge longer to accomodate my fat foot and it fits nicely. I wish I had another, to make a pair, but sacrifices have to be made.

On another topic, today I begin teaching the knitting elective at school. I have 17 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Yes I have started to panic, and yes, I know I'm crazy to volunteer for such a mission. I have a real problem saying no, especially when it comes to spreading the knitting karma to the world. It is fun to see how many kids (or grown ups) I can teach to knit. I wish I would have kept track of them all, but at this point, I have taught the elective 4 times with approximately 10 or so each time. I have repaid my knitting debt to the universe.

Thank you to Lisa (thank you thank you thank you) for letting herself be persuaded to help me this afternoon. The thought of teaching seventeen teenagers to cast on by myself had me more than a little on edge. Where is Tracy when you need her? I am hoping some of the girls are repeaters from last year, and maybe they can be helpers today also. I have purchased seventeen pair of knitting needles, and many skeins of learner yarn, so wish me luck!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Yarn Paper Scissors Frosting

That is the extended title sometimes, right?

Soccer cake time. As usual, I ran short of time and ended up baking at 6 am for the lunchtime party. Not cutting it close or anything, but had to be at the game at 10:15. I realize I need therapy for my self-infliction of stress. I also had to get the trophies, since I was the official "Team Mom" this season.

The cake turned out pretty good. I count my blessings when I use my wireless printer/scanner/copier. It has an enlarge feature, and I found a soccerball pattern on Google, enlarged it on the copier, and used it as my pattern. I love technology. Especially when it works.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm Back!!

My internet was down for a few days. The horror of it all! I now realize the extent of my internet addiction. No Yarn Harlot! No Wendy! No email! Yikes! It was bad, I tell you.

I even read a book.

It was about knitting, in fact it was Knitting, a novel, by Anne Bartlett. It was pretty good. It did have a lot of knitting content, in fact, the writer used to be a professional knitter.

One thing really struck me, and I thought it was profound. (If you plan on reading this book, you may want to skip what I'm about to say) Throughout the book, one of the characters, a woman who was a little "quirky" to say the least, kept carrying around these three large luggage/carpetbags. She took them everywhere, wouldn't let anyone touch them, and would only let them go under rare circumstances. She was a very good knitter, and a perfectionist. About 3/4 of the way through the book, it was revealed that the bags contained every knitting mistake she had ever made. If she made a mistake and couldn't correct it, she stuffed it in the bag, and then had to carry it everywhere she went.

How would you like to carry all your knitting mistakes around with you? Forever? How many of us carry our mistakes around with us like that in our invisible bags? Profound I say. Anyway, it really struck a chord with me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I'm thankful for lots of things, my family, my three beautiful kids, all of my blessings, and at this particular moment, the internet.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I just registered for Stitches West! I went to the market two years ago, but this Feb I am going for the entire thing, classes, banquets, fashion shows, rolling in yarn, you name it. I am very excited. The only thing I wasn't too happy about was that lots of the good classes were closed by the time I figured out registration was open. I registered this morning and later today I got the brochure in the mail telling me registration opened November 9. Did other people get theirs earlier? Did they just sense it? Curious.

Anyway, I registered for a class on cables, a class by Nancy Bush on Vintage Socks (I have the book), a class on fancy stitches, and a class on knitting lace. I will be there four days. Four. Knitting. All day. Wow. Do I seem like an obsessed woman? Yes.

Carey and Mom will meet me there over the weekend to go to the market, but I'm feeling a little lonely. I need to recruit a partner. I'm usually not the brave one to do things on my own. I know I will be with my "people" so it will be fine. Right?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Don't Josh's ears look warm?

Here's Josh and his new favorite hat.

Bobblilicious babe and the birth of a knitter

Okay, the secret is out - I made Tracy a Noni bag for her birthday. I started on Friday afternoon, and three skeins of black Cascade 220 later, I had the base bag knitted. That was Sunday, about midday. Then I took this--
Basically this was my entire stash of Cascade 220, a few purchased with the purse in mind, some leftover from previous felting projects, even some leftover orange pumpkin yarn. I discarded the dark green because it wasn't interesting enough, and I came up with around 8 colors. The pattern called for 16 different colors for the bobbles. I don't think you could find 16 different colors of Cascade 220 in this city, so I went with what I had.

The pattern called for 4 bobbles in each of 3 sizes in each color. I initially doubled that to account for fewer colors, but after a few hours and only one color done, I decided that unless I wanted to be buried in bobbles, I could reduce the amount of bobbles in half and still have plenty.

Bobbles took me until Monday afternoon. Monday evening was stuffing the large ones, sewing them all shut and sewing them on the bag. Maurice cooked dinner, bless him.

Tuesday morning I had this-

Cell phone included for scale.

At one point in the bobble sewing, Grace said in all seriousness, "Mom, I don't think that hat is going to fit Tracy." At that point, Grace and Alex had to wear it around the house as a hat.

Tuesday morning Tracy tried to lure me into coffee with her, but I resisted--I had a bag to felt. On to Mom's to fuzz up her washing machine, and one quick trip through the machine, it was looking good.

Then on to find lining fabric and heavy interfacing to hold up all those bobbles (I saw that on a knit along somewhere). Joann's was a strike out, of course. Hancock had interfacing, magnetic closure, and zipper. After Grace's dentist appt. (life gets in my way), Grace and I went to Quilter's Paradise, keeper of all good fabrics. I found the perfect stripe, with black and multi colors, just sassy enough to set off all those bobbles, and black fabric with multi color circles to line the inside of the zipper pocket.

After school, I started the lining. Yes, the bag was still wet. Damp, actually. I lined it anyway.
Here it is with the lining pinned to the bag.

Watched Dancing with the Stars while sewing the lining to the purse, and got a little distracted by Mario Lopez, so I put off sewing the handles until morning.

I wrapped it and it was finished at 7:30 am. Knotty Knitters is at 8:30. Could I cut it any closer?

Fortunately, Tracy liked it. I'm glad. I think it turned out well. Thankfully, she is a felter too, so the fact that it is still a little damp didn't distract from it too much.

She's all smiles even before it was opened. Maybe she sensed knitted thing inside.

Still smiling. I'm glad it matches her outfit.

Happy Birthday Tracy! We Knotty Knitters will miss you while you are sailing the ocean blue!

We also witnessed the birth of a new knitter today. Suzelle joined our little group, and learned to knit today. Hooray! She actually had a short lesson one other time, but today we made sure it stuck for good. Welcome Suzelle!

Lisa finished her poncho. Aren't they a good looking bunch?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Humming right along

I finished Josh's hat. It is a bit big, Carey losing her raffia and all. (She tied a piece of raffia around his head to measure, and then "a giant gust of wind carried it away.") Seriously. Anyway, it looks good, and it should do the job of keeping his head warm. And it has CABLES!

Here is what it looks like modeled by the bottom of a metal pumpkin.

Here is what is looks like on the only human in the household who would model it for me. Maybe Carey could get a picture on Josh, hint, hint.

I actually finished the hat by Friday morning. Since then I have been knitting my fingers to the bone, and I can't even tell you why! It is super secret knitting! The best kind. I sort of should have started earlier too, because my deadline is Wednesday and the project is far beyond a Friday afternoon to Wednesday kind of project. It is more a month type thing. I always do this to myself.

I haven't had time to blog, or check email, or anything else. I have been knitting like the wind, and my fingers are sore. Knitting should burn more calories.

Stay tuned for photos. Hopefully it will knock your hand knitted socks off. At least that I did it in 5 days.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm not unique

I found a silly thing while surfing. Wanna see ?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Yarn goes Hollywood

I just found out that there is going to be a movie about knitting! Go check out this link:

Julia Roberts to Topline The Friday Night Knitting Club

The cool thing about Julia Roberts being in this movie is that she actually knits. I hate it when actors "act" knitting, and they do it all wrong. It amazes me that no one in the entire crew of the production corrected them, surely someone knits in the crowd.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Finding online inspiration

OK... so my crazy work schedule and my new romance has kept me away from crafting for a bit. By the time I get home from a crazy day making newspapers, all I want to do is talk to my sweetie and watch Dancing With The Stars or Survivor.

I need inspiration! So, tonight I went looking for it.

Check out these sites!
The samples on this site are just super, super cute and very well done.
Although I'm more of a blogger gal than a "buy me" Internet gal, there are knitting stamps here... so I figured hey, why not put it on the list?

Lisa's wrists will be warm now

When I learn something new, I tend to obsess over it for awhile and have to do it over and over until I move on. I do this with recipes which makes my family bored to death to have to have the same thing several times in a row while I'm happy as a clam making it again (and again). They should be excited that I am actually cooking for them.

Anyway, I feel that same obsession taking over with this cable business. I'm now done with Lisa's wristwarmer/fingerless mittens, having cabled the both of them.

Next up is Josh's hat. I only had a request for a hat, and I'm sure he would be happy with any old hat. But it is a blank slate, waiting for all sorts of cable possibilities. Since I'm new at this cable thing, I won't go too crazy, but he is getting a cabled hat now.

Let's see how many other things I can reconfigure to stick a cable right down the middle.

I've got my eye on the socks. Hmmm...

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Okay, now I'm obsessed with my new skill, cabling without a cable needle. It is knitting's version of a party trick. I'm practicing it a lot while doing Lisa's mittens (mitten #1 is done, all but the thumb) and I even showed the owner of Knitter's Haven how to do it on Friday when I was down there getting a sock yarn injection. (I'll take a picture tomorrow of my new stuff).

I even joined a new knit along. See the button over there? Click it soon, and you'll see me posting my cable things. They have to invite me so it might take a day or so.

If you go to the Warm Hands knit along blog, you can see me post there, too. In fact, I was the first one to post a photo. Isn't that exciting!

Yes, I realize I'm getting two knit alongs with the same projects. Maybe I'll branch out at some point. Or maybe I won't.

I'm starting to spend more time on the internet reading and goofing off about knitting than I am actual knitting. I've got to watch that. I know Lisa knows what it is like to hear the computer calling to you.

Right now it is telling me to go to bed.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Knitters keep each other in stitches

Today was Knotty Knitters. We witnessed:

NolaMom almost finished with the Christmas shawl.

The birth of a toe up sock (Lucy color that is becoming known as "Pool and Latte'" in my mind)

Natalie's first project in the bag (and her first trip to the frog pond with her second project-truly a right of passage)

And Lisa's computer hand warmers courtesy of ghost knitter Cindy, sitting on top of the day's headline in the local paper.

We keep each other in stitches at Knotty Knitters. We also keep each other in scrapbooking updates, 8th and 6th grade gossip, coffee, and iced tea with extra ice.

P.S. Happy 13th birthday to my Miss America! I love you!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! This what Maurice brought home from SF. Boudin Jack-o-lantern. Cute.

These are what I made for Grace's Kindergarten Halloween party. She helped make the spiderwebs. Alex wanted to be the official taster (of the entire batch).

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mitten right along

These mittens were a joy to knit. I want to make more. Anyone want some?

Here is what they look like modeled by Alex (who says "No one wears these, Mom!" Like I'm going to embarass him).

Here is what they look like without a model.

Next up is the Socks that Rock (shown wound).

I think I will try the Lucy colorway done toe up. I'm going to use a few tutorials I have seen on the web. This will be in honor of the end of Socktoberfest.

I need to start thinking about Christmas presents. Any requests?

Friday, October 27, 2006

More Stampin' Ideas

A long time ago, I ran into a group of gals in the Fresno airport. They had the crazed look of girls on the way to a Stampin Up convention. Long story short, they befriended me and have helped me come up with inspiration along my stampin' path all these years. These days I don't go to as many Inkertoys meetings as I used to because of my goofy schedule. When I do get to treat myself to a meeting, there's nothing like the burst of inspiration from creative friends. I went to one of Robin's meetings this week and the projects sure didn't dissappoint. Here's a photographic tour of the meeting:

These little cards were created by Robin. We created the little basket behind the cards, perfect for storing the notecards in a handy -- and cute -- place.

This swap card was super creative. Instead of a traditional fold, it was folded at the bottom. A notch cut with a circle cutter fits just so around a circle embellishment, giving the card a fun twist on the norm (and some extra space to write a letter). I've shown it open and closed.

My favorite project was a teeny little photo album. Here's the cover and a sample layout.