Saturday, March 31, 2007

Skinny Linny

I finished my linen stitch scarf - finally! I love it. I think I'll wear it to work on Monday... I haven't written up the pattern yet; that's next. Although, it is a very simple pattern, knit length-wise on large needles with a linen stitch. I used 5 colors of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk - it was wonderful to work with! (Plus, there's lots left over to make a hat if I want.) It will be a store sample at 3 Kittens, and we'll probably have it as a free pattern with purchase of yarn to make it. Plus, I might do a class out of it. I used an interesting cast-on for the scarf - a chain cast on done with a crochet hook and a knitting needle (although any cast-on would probably work, I liked the look of this one for the project). And, I did the cast-off in a different way as well (once again, the normal cast-off would probably work, too). Plus, the linen stitch, while fairly simple for those who have used slipped stitch patterns in the past, can present some problems for newbies. So, I think it could be a fun class to teach.

Now, I have to decide what to do next - work on the Sunrise Circle jacket or start a new sample for the store. I brought home a beautiful orange Berroco Touche today to crochet the Curtis sweater. But I still have the crochet sweater from Happy Hooker to do as well. Plus, of course, there's always the 7 year afghan and the Macalester College scarf and...
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wrists & WW

My wrist is sore! UGH! It started hurting yesterday as I was crocheting in the car on the drive from Tucson to Phoenix. It's been hurting ever since. I've never had carpal tunnel symptoms, and I'm hoping that this isn't the start of that. No knitting or crocheting for me today - and I am wearing a brace; however, I have been on the computer much of the day which hasn't really helped!

Started Weight Watchers again today - and I'm a complete witch! Just ask my family. God, the first few days of a "diet" or "food plan" or whatever you want to call it are HELL. But, after seeing some of the photos from our trip and trying to fit into my summer clothes from last year, I realized I have to do something. Not to mention, that I would like to run my next marathon (Twin Cities in October) a bit faster, and the only way to do that is by losing weight and training better. Anyway, I've completed one day, and I'm going to keep at it, One Day at a Time. (I am still sugar free - tomorrow it will be 3 weeks!)

By the way, on our trip we did some geocaching. My sister-in-law, Kristin, had recommended it and brought along her handheld GPS. It was a blast. Basically, you go to the geocaching website, enter where you are (via zip code or latitude/longitude), and it will tell you the lat/long of a hidden cache near where you are. Then you go find it. Here I am trying to find our first one:
It took us quite a while to find the first hidden treasure (an Altoids box in a plastic bag), but we persisted. The "cache" is always a waterproof container with a log that you sign. People leave things in the container, and you can take something from the container if you wish as well. I left my business card in a couple of them. We found a cool thing in one (that's Kristin):
Can you tell that it's a Team in Training logo? Actually, it's one of the temporary tattoos that we put on our faces or arms before the race. Cool, huh?

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I'm visiting Tucson until next Tuesday, staying at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort (which makes you pay to access the wireless internet - jeez, as if we aren't paying enough for our rooms!). Anyway, I decided to go visit a local yarn shop today. Unfortunately, I left my camera with my husband so he could take photos of the kiddos in the pool, so no pictures for you... I visited Purls North (they also have a larger store, Purls East). It was a fairly small store with a decent selection of sock yarns, novelty yarns, Prism, Encore, and (drum roll, please) Habu Textiles kit. I so want to get Habu Textiles at 3 Kittens! They had a to-die-for sweater in the store made out of steel and wool yarn! It looks better in person than this photo. I wanted to buy the kit for myself, but I held back. I would really like to also try their paper yarn. The manager of the store said that one of her co-workers at the other store made a sweater out of a Habu Textiles paper yarn and when worn, it sounds like wind whispering through a pine forest! Cool! Maybe we can get a few kits in the store even if we can't get a lot of yarns... Anyway, the store was a nice little store, and seemed quite busy. I only bought a crochet hook, and I was given a 10% discount because I was staying at a local resort, which I thought was a nice bonus.
I've been knitting a lot on the linen stitch scarf this trip, so I'm almost done with it. Then, I plan on working on the Sunrise Circle jacket - I have to get that done!!

Monday, March 19, 2007


I can't believe it's been 5 days since I last posted!! EEK! I haven't been knitting or crocheting much, so I suppose that's why I haven't felt like posting anything. I am working on a linen stitch scarf for the store. Here's a small detail photo of it (sorry the quality's not very good):

I wanted to do a long, skinny scarf from side-to-side (vs. end-to-end), so I cast on 433 sts, and started in with the linen stitch - two rows with the first color, then switch and do two rows with the next color, etc. I'm using five spring-like colors of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk which is a dream to work with except for the fact that my balls are falling apart (I have a yarn bra on one of them, but the rest are on their own). Each row takes about 15 minutes to complete. I plan on putting a nice multi-color fringe on each end. This scarf should wrap around the neck a couple of times with plenty of length at the end to hang down. We may use this pattern for one of our "Tie One On" scarf classes at 3 Kittens.

We're also planning a KAL at the store for Sally Melville's Einstein Coat.

I've wanted to do this coat for a long time, and now I can get other people to do it at the same time. I love garter stitch - it's great fun to knit and has wonderful construction possibilities. I've picked out and ordered my yarn - Reynolds Rapture. Rapture is a silk and wool blend which will be perfect for a fall and spring jacket. I figure I'd better get my yarn all in hand if I'm going to be leading the KAL. I think we'll meet each month for 4-6 months, then at the end we'll throw a party and fashion show.

I'm off on vacation in a couple of days - Tucson, Arizona. I'm not sure if I'll get around to posting on the blog until I'm back around the 27th. You may get lucky though...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Harry Potter FO

I finished the iPod cozy that looks like Ron Weasley's sweater. The pattern is from Here it is drying on the sweater drying thingie (very technical, I know):

I like it, but I'm not completely happy with my intarsia technique. Then again, I haven't done any intarsia in a really long time. Also, I'm not sure I will ever use it - although maybe for my trip to Arizona next week for spring break with the family.

I've been very busy at work. I worked from 8:15 am to 8 pm the last couple of days. It's nice to be home tonight! But, I wanted to let everyone in the Twin Cities know that we're having a Luck o' the Leprachaun promotion from tomorrow (Thursday) through next Tuesday at 3 Kittens Needle Arts. If you spend a minimum of $30, then you get to draw a lucky coin from the pot at the end of the rainbow (actually a rainbow-colored moebius bowl). Your lucky coin might be for money off your purchase or something else.

O.K., now that I've got the business out of the way, I must apologize for being lax on my blog the last few days. Not only have I been working alot, but my 4th grade son is participating in a Medieval Feast tomorrow at school, and I've been working on an archer costume for him rather than knitting or crocheting. Here's a photo of his hat and tabard:

They're nothing special, but they took surprisingly long to make. SIGH! I just hope they hold up tomorrow!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007


My husband took my camera to Florida to a car show, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, where he was showing a customer's car, so alas no photos today. That's o.k., though, because I don't really have any knitting news today. I have finished my first project for the Harry Potter KAL, a iPod cozy in the shape of one of Ron's sweaters. It was supposed to be a cell phone cozy, but it's a bit large, and since I have a 20G iPod, it will fit that perfectly. Otherwise, I haven't knit much in the last couple of days. I've been busy with kids and finances instead.

What is it with tax season? My accountant wants my information every year by March 15th, and I know that every year. Yet, consistently, I'm scrambling to put it together at the last minute. Last year, we ended up filing for an extension, because I just couldn't get it all done in time. I'm afraid that's going to happen again this year. And, the sad thing is that it's not even because I'm a disorganized person. Nope. I keep all of my charitable receipts and various other necessary items all together in a file so they're all available come tax time. I keep up with my finances with Microsoft Money, so I can easily print reports at the end of the year. But, yet, I still can't get my stuff done on time. SIGH! Oh well - at least I have an excuse this year - too busy with 3 Kittens!

I took my 14-year-old daughter clothes shopping today. A depressing experience for me... She's got a great figure - long legs, thin. Clothes are made for her body type. That's not what was depressing. And, it wasn't the money either - she's a bit of a tomboy, so she doesn't care all that much about clothes and only wants the minimum... No, what was depressing was seeing my frumpy old self in all of the mirrors. UGH! O.K., I know this is all compounded by not working out much lately, but still. I'm much better off if I don't look in the mirrors! I also know that I can always look better with nicer clothes, but I have really gotten into the habit this winter of throwing on my jeans and a hand-knit sweater and walking out the door. Very little thought about fashion and how things actually make me look. Anyway, it was not a very fun experience.

By the way, I've gone sugar free - for now at least. 3 days down. Hopefully, more to come. To paraphrase my 16-year-old, I only have to not have sugar today. One day at a time...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Thanks, Dear Readers

Thank you to the lovely comments I've had about the squirrel. Maybe I'll have to make another one - after the bunnies and another hedgehog and maybe a sheep or two...

Also, thanks to all the sympathy for my poor health lately. I feel rather sheepish, since it's really only a cold. I can't believe how many colds I've gotten since buying 3 Kittens Needle Arts in October. I don't know if it's because I'm being exposed to more viruses in the store or due to stress or simply because I haven't been able to get my allergy shots on a regular basis. Probably some combination of all three! Anyway, my goal is to get back to taking my allergy shots weekly until I build back up to my optimum level, and combat stress by getting back to my karate and running. I can't do anything about being exposed to stuff at the store or through my kids - except wash my hands ... alot!

Here's the latest FO. I can't take full credit for all of it, since I had Rosemary Kosel (Janine's mother) do the cloth part, since my seamstress skills are limited at best (I can do a very uncomplicated archer costume for my son, but that's about it). It's crocheted - as if you couldn't tell - from a pattern from Candy Babies by Candi Jensen. The crochet part was really quick - it was a great first project after the ubiquitous crocheted scarf. (O.K., also after the Olivia's Shrug, but since I ended up ripping that all out, I can't really count that, can I?) I'm shipping it off to my new niece, Alex, tomorrow. She's the yawner in the photo. I haven't been able to see her yet, because she lives in far away Olympia, Washington, but her pics are really cute.
Anyone who lives in the Twin Cities, we have a fun couple of workshops with Kay Kaduce and Judy Jacobs of Whimsey & Sparkle on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17, and on Sunday, March 18. Kay and Judy specialize in wet felting and needle felting. The Saturday evening workshop is to make a wet felted flower corsage. On Sunday, the full-day workshop will create a one-of-a-kind needle felted purse. There are photos of the samples on the home page of the 3 Kittens website if you're interested.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Feeling Yucky

I'm not feeling so spiffy today. Actually haven't been for a few days. Just started out with being exceedingly tired, then stomach issues (no details...) yesterday evening, and now a bitter head cold. UGH! I don't even feel like knitting or crocheting - but I might tonight anyway.

I did finish stuffing the squirrel today. I ended up standing over the washing machine holding just the tail in the water to get it to felt up some more - it was way too big. I think it's pretty good now. But I think the hedgehog is still the cutest.

I'm thinking about making two Easter bunnies for my goddaughter and her sister. Can't decide between brights or pastels. We'll see...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Harry Potter KAL

I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. Have been since the first book came out. I've read all the books twice (well, the first one, I've probably read 3 or 4 times, and I may not have read the 6th one twice - yet), and listened to all of them on CD during drive time with the kids. I've seen all of the movies - multiple times. I took the kids to see the last one about a week after I had had major surgery, and right before Harry goes to fight his dragon, a blood vessel popped (I actually felt it), and I had to leave the movie and go have emergency surgery. (That was fun... not!) Anyway, you get the idea. So I've joined the Harry Potter and the Book Seven KAL, and am planning to not only read (or listen) to all of the books again before the next book comes out, but also to make at least one Harry Potter related item. The first thing I want to make is a Weasley Cell Cozy. I'm not going into the store today, so I can't pick out yarn, but on Monday, that will be one of the first things I do.

I have an FO to report due to our big storm (officially 13.5" plus the 12+" from the weekend before)... I made another of the funky felted chickens from the Toving Tema 11 pattern book. I don't have a photo of the new one, but it's orange with pink legs and a red comb on his head. I sewed some cute heart buttons on the front and a couple of green beads for the eyes. Customers at 3 Kittens keep saying, "What a fun carrot." EEK! I finally got a beak on him before I left the store last night. Hopefully that will give everyone a clue that it's a chicken. But it has given me an idea... I could make a carrot out of one with greenery at the top instead of the comb. It could be fun.