Sunday, July 27, 2008

NEW Blogiversary Winner!!!

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker
Create your own glittery text at

A new name has been drawn in the blogiversary contest that was here. The prize to be awarded is 3 balls of Lang Sansibar yarn:

This prize-drawing is being held because the first person whose name I drew never contacted me in the past 3 months to claim her prize. So the new winner's name was drawn, and she is.......

HAKUCHO!!! So just contact me, Hakucho, at my email address with your mailing address, and I'll send your prize along right away :D

Thanks for being a regular reader of this pathetic blog that's all about me, heh! I hope you continue to read, I value your comments :) And that goes for everyone, too.

Have a great and peaceful Sunday everyone.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Recycled and New

Upcountry Maui....

I got 2 new knitting/crochet books today. First, I bought the 200 crochet blocks book by Jan Eaton.
I have been wanting this book for more than a year, and finally B & N had it in stock, yay!

Second, I saw this book for the first time, and simply fell in love with it.
There are some really lovely designs in it. For once, a book with more than one or two patterns that I'd make! So excited to get this :)

Recycling yarn is what I did today. After getting the car fixed, and the oil changed, I came home, plopped myself on the lounge chair, and spent a pleasant couple of hours unraveling a sweater for its yarn. This was my first attempt at this. Remember the blue sweater from this post? Not too shabby I must admit. But very time-consuming. This was probably not the best yarn to rescue, but I really liked the blue shading. However, being that it is a silk/nylon/rayon/wool mix, it has a strange hand to it--kinda dry, like cotton. I guess that's the rayon talking. I think next time, it'll be cashmere or angora or silk I rescue!

Anyway, it was full of pills and fuzzballs, but they have come off. I got a couple of longish hanks of it, and used the niddy noddy. That's the first time I've really used it--LOL, can't believe I couldn't get it at first! It's a stick, for crying out loud... :)

Now, I think I'm going to give the yarn a good washing, and hang the skeins overnight. We just came back from seeing Batman, The Dark Knight. That really was a great movie, as the reviews have stated.

I'll post pics of the new yarn tomorrow. I'll be pulling out the swift and ball winder soon!

Friday, July 25, 2008


South Maui, at Oheo Gulch....

I spent this morning changing this:

into this:

These are leftover cottons from my ripple blanket, soon to become part of a freeform crochet project, inspired by Maui. I have become interested in "scrumbling" and freeform crochet as new forms of crochet that I've never heard of before Ravelry (yay, Rav!) And so I'm organizing the stash of cottons for this, because it's a brainless early morning project that needs to be done! However, unlike housework (that also needs to be done), this is more fun--I get to run yarn through my fingers :D

I may not go to knitting tonight. I have not been much company lately, just kinda grumpy. My lace knitting is suffering because of it--I dare not touch it when I'm in this mood! So garterstitch and scrumbling, ball-rolling and spinning, here I come!

A glass of wine and my spinning wheel, yeah that sounds like a good Friday evening....although, I may have to run to the bookstore. I have been lusting after the fall issue of Vogue Knitting. I don't know if it's on newsstands yet, but I saw the most incredible mitten pattern on Ravelry yesterday:
Snowbird Mittensdesigned by Elliphantom! How cool is that?! I love these, can't wait for the issue to come out. I hope Vogue knows I'll be buying that issue solely based on the presence of that pattern! Way to go, Elliphantom!

Taa taa, happy Friday--(TGIF!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nice weather FINALLY!

DH is photographing a torch ginger on Maui's east side....

Here in the midwest now, we are so blessed with wonderful 80 degree warmth with no humidity to speak of. Aaaaah. I came home at lunch today, and knit on my patio instead of eating :) And then, I came home 5 hours later and got right back onto the lounge chair, and promptly fell asleep! I took an hour long nap in the early evening dappled sunshine. So lovely! Thank God for nice weather.

I am intensely knitting on shawl lace. Here's my progress: 's lumpy ain't it?!

It is getting pretty big! Only halfway done with the length of it so far--it's gonna be a doozy :) Best part so far?--I'm only one chart behind now...! I guess I'd better come up with some blocking wires soon--hmmm, where would I find some of those? Any suggestions?

Happy Hump Day (Dawner, I know you remember that! And also Sink Joseph...)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lace knitting and yarn acquisitions

A tide-pool discovery in Maui...(you must click for the cool big pic)

At risk of boring my readers, let me say again how much I am enjoying the Summer Sampler Study Lace KAL. I just finished chart #6 this evening, now I am starting the second half of the stole (there are 12 different lace panels!). It feels so wonderful in my lap, this featherweight cashmere wisp I am making. And the experience of knitting all these different lace patterns is awesome for such a lace newbie as I. What fun! Each segment is just long enough to keep my interest, then it's time for a new pattern. I'm so turned on to this project, that I just bought yarn for my next lace project....

I got some fun stuff at the fiber festival. But I went way past my budget and now I'm done buying yarn again. Can't keep adding to a stash that is not really getting smaller, ya know?! But, I can show you what I purchased:

Lace weight merino for my next shawl (pattern yet to be determined):

Handmaiden Seasilk in Peridot for a wrap or shawl (I've always wanted to try this yarn, and couldn't take my eyes/hands off it at the fair!):

Briar Rose hand dye merino worsted in the Legend colorway:
This is slated for the Cul de Sac vest by Elsebeth Lavold...Drool.

Miss Babs "Yummy" hand dyed sock yarn in the Rainbow colorway:
Got a small bottle of Eucalan to try, too.

Cotton clearance yarn on a cone, for $10, woohoo! And a variegated merino wool in colors I love:

Some Ingeo corn yarn, two hanks, purchased from a fellow mid-level practitioner from Iowa :)Look at the sheen on the pink one! I can't wait to try corn yarn...!

I bought two new coils of wool that were handpainted, for spinning into fun colorful yarns!

Yeh, see what I mean. I'm done yarn shopping except for buying the rest of the wool for the Moderne Log Cabin that is a Christmas gift. I have enough to keep me busy for quite a while! (And I'm gonna be real busy winding it all into balls--did you notice how it all came in hanks? What the?! Good thing I got a swift for my Bday this year!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vintage Owls

Here is a collection of my gramma's vintage owls. She is no longer with us, as of 2003, and sorely missed. My grampa has not changed one thing in the house since she passed, and I really feel her presence there whenever I visit. This pic is for you owl lovers out there--I think they are starting to grow on ME too!

I am so tired of the overcast rainy days we have had every day this July. Or it just feels like it's been everyday, since it's been the whole past two weeks. It is really hard to get out of bed each day with this gray ambient light in the sky. Awful. I never knew I would be such a sun-dependent adult.... Maui, here we come!

Wait, here's a pic of my shawl-knitting by the (sunny) lake on the 4th of July:

I am halfway done with chart #6 of Summer sampler (most recent pics here). It is much easier to knit this current pattern while watching TV. We watched two awful movies yesterday, one was The Langoliers by Stephen King, and the other was from Netflix, an old 40's B&W movie called 'The Shanghai Gesture'. Man, were they bad films. Bonus: I got much knitting done :D

Oh, BTW, I did some damage at the Fiber festival. I will probably not go to Stitches Midwest next month, because of it :) Unless I sign up for a couple of classes, which would be cool--I've not done that before. I got some Briar Rose wool yarn to make a Cul de Sac vest...can't wait to cast on for that project!!! I also purchased some beautiful wool to spin up, in extremely happy colorways :D And, some corn yarn--a must try! I'll add pics of those soon...

Happy Monday (think FISH FACE)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer Sampler KAL

A Hawai'ian weed....

I just started pattern chart #6 for the Summer Sampler Study Stole from BadCat Designs. I had a lot of fun with pattern #5, though at Friday night knitting, I thought I had really goofed up. This was just before I left for the night, and I was very pleased to see I had NOT goofed when I picked it back up today to work on it. And now I'm onto chart #6....

This is a really fun project. I am enjoying it tremendously! I may even be inspired by the time this ends, to pick up my Mananita lace and finish it too! That has been languishing for > 1 year...I like Kidsilk Haze, and have been tempted a few times to steal some balls from that mananita project, but I have held off on that urge. There's no way I'd be able to frog mananita, and besides, I don't want to. I guess I just have to come up with more kidsilk haze for other projects :D

I've been really good about not buying more yarn. But, as I stated yesterday, this is fiber fair weekend, and I think I'm going to give myself a small budget to purchase whatever takes my fancy! (I didn't make it to the fair yesterday, so I'm planning to go after church today). And in only a couple more weeks, it's time for Stitches!!! The bonus?! It's even closer to my home than in previous years! Wahooooo! So I'm expecting to break my buying moratorium...that's okay, these fests only come around once a year.

I'm also hoping to be inspired to start spinning again. I haven't touched my new wheel since early May...and that's just not right! Maybe I'll get inspired at the folk & fiber fair!

Seahorse at Maui Ocean Center.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fiber Day is finally here!

The road to Hana, fun drive (cuz I wasn't driving!)

Nice ocean view on the leeward side of the island.

DH photographing the giant vines--familiar houseplants in their natural setting (i.e, super-sized!!!)

The Midwest Folk & Fiber Fair is this weekend, and I'm going to go! Last year was the first year it was organized, and I loved it! I learned to spin there last year, care of Carolina Homespun from California...I hope they have a booth again this year!

I hope to score some mother of pearl buckles for the purse I plan on knitting (see this post). I saw those buckles at a booth last year, paused, then walked away. Wouldn't you know, the next week I found a pattern for this really cute purse I want to knit, and it needs mother of pearl buckles!!! So I've had to wait nearly a full year on that project. I hope that booth is there again--if not, I'll have to shop on-line for the buckles!

Well, I'm off. Also have a b-day party to attend later. Back to blog later in the weekend! Ta-ta!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unfinished Business

Remember that little blog contest I held back at the end of April? Well, only one of the prizes was actually awarded. Blogless Mairi whose name I drew as the winner of the yarn, has not ever left her contact information for me. I am posting this because I think enough time has gone by...I want to award the yarn prize, already!

I am notifying Mairi that, as of this post, if she does not contact me within the next week, the yarn will be given away to another winner of the drawing. I will draw another name from those who had posted a comment by the contest ending date. I feel cheesy taking so long to do this, but life has intervened, so I am getting to it now. And hopefully, the next name drawn will be someone who will read my posts and contact me with their mailing info... :)

Lesson learned: if you run a contest, be sure to get the contact info from people when they enter the contest!

There. A little housecleaning done. Ahhhh, that feels good :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Hawaii, More Knitting

The Maui coast, east side, view from a botanical garden....

Ooooh! Last night I finished chart #4 of the Summer Sampler Study! I came home at lunch and knitted the spacer chart (that strip of faggotting that is between all the pattern charts on her stole) and now I'm ready to start the next very challenging pattern. So far I have been winging it without having to use a lifeline, and although there were two specific instances that I would have ripped back if I had one, I have done alright. I can live with a couple of small errors, especially for my first knitted lace piece, and on such a large project.

BUT, the next pattern specifically recommends a lifeline, and I'm going to do so. I hope I won't run into difficulties, but if I do, it'll be there! So that is tonight's project.

I have been dying to try making some scrumbles, or free-form crochet. If you have access to Ravelry, look up the scrumbling group to get an idea of what I mean (or Google it...) I have a specific, hugely challenging design of my own in mind, and have been skating around the idea for about a month. But I think I may start soon. All I can tell you for now is that it's related to my Maui trip. Hmmmmm, that is one broad hint! :D

Hope everyone is knitting away...I must get in touch with some of my internet pals, Carola, Hakucho, Opal, Barbara, Shell--I miss all you guys. Thanks for visiting, and I'll soon be surfing at your internet doors as well!

Buenas noches ;')

addendum: I almost ripped my hair out on that first row of the new lace chart #5! Time to be done for the night...note to self: don't slip the 7 stitches as she shows on her website, it makes it harder to K7 together and doesn't look as good!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday face

Even the fish smile in Hawai'i...Ha ha haaaaaaa! What a face! I love it.

These fish were in the Maui Ocean Center's little pool outdoors. I kept clicking the shutter until I got this fish coming towards me (he moves fast) cuz I LOVE his mug. HA! You MUST click on this to view the big pic, and get the full force of his fishy smile....

This is the way Mondays make ME feel :P

I may come back later if I have anything important to post. For now, fish lips is all I've got :D

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday morning

Lahaina harbor from the sea....

Ah, finally, a beautiful day in the Midwest. The sun is shining, it's 70 degrees, and my patio needs weeding :)

Here is a pic of my progress on the summer sampler study . I pinned it out on the sofa this morning and was exceedingly surprised to see it pins out to 20 inches square at this point.
Because, I never pinned out the swatch like we were supposed to :) So I just figured it'd be a surprise what size it is in the end.

I'm lagging on this, due to family reunion weekend and other stuff. But Friday I started sampler chart #4 and just finished one repeat of that chart last night. I would like to keep going today--maybe I'll take my friend up on her offer of hammock knitting :)
This is a pic of a tiki at the Old Lahaina Luau. The blurriness on the right is where I removed an errant tourist from my pic. Not the best, I know, but it was my first try at this.

I just cast on last night for the Moderne Log Cabin from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I only got 1/4 of my yarn so far, and figured I might as well start with that stuff. I love the color, it's brown sheep super-wash wool in worsted, 'Pecan Toffee' colorway. I like the richness of that color. Yay for garter stitch!

And finally, pics of my Maui shawl. I just got the rest of the Maui pics uploaded yesterday...This is the shawl I started on the plane, and finished on our 3rd day there, so I could wear it on our fourth.
And here is how I blocked it in our condo kitchen:LOL!!

You make do with what you have!!! Lucky for me I finished it in time to block it and let it dry prior to the anniversary dinner cruise.

Well, I'm off to weed, wash, knit, eat, shower, study the bible, and many other things! Taa!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Golly gee

My Goompa's Star Lap Blanket :) Happy 95th Birthday on the 4th of July, Goompa!

It's already July 12, and I've posted a total of once this month! Guess I'd better get a move on. Today's a good posting day b/c it is yucky and rainy, though the lightning show was great :) My puppy woke us up at 04:30 by jumping onto the foot of the bed due to his fear of the thunder....

I am finding I have to be in the right mood to knit lace. If I am at all grouchy, forget it! I have to put it down before I throw it through the drywall...But, I am getting ready to start my Moderne Log Cabin for a Christmas gift, so that should give me miles of soothing, brainless garterstitch :D

I have yet to pick up the Jaywalkers again. I tossed them aside while in Maui, and have not touched them since. They've even come partially off the needles in the bottom of my knitting bag, but I haven't cared until now. I think I might pick those back up this weekend.

We have a niece's birthday party today. Still have to get a gift. She requested a star blanket from me last weekend when she saw Goompa's birthday blankie (her baby bro was the recipient of the rainbow star blankie in April). She requested a star in a circle (hmmmmmm) and her color choices are blue, orange, yellow and red. Hmmmm. Anyway, there was no way I was gonna do another marathon blankie in a week, so I decided to make her one for Christmas. I'll have to get the other blankies on my list finished first!

My wonky square experiment. Not too sure I like it. Though the photo looks better than real life! I took it off the circular needles to really look at it. I think I'll let it sit for a while.

My friend invited me over to knit outdoors tomorrow: she has two hammocks in the shade of her back yard. I may just take her up on that--I'll have to find a suitable snack to bring with. Sounds like a rough day, doesn't it?! ;) But today is all about running errands: groceries, write some bills, pick up dry-cleaning, WEED THE PATIO, beauty appts, etc. Yep, I'm gonna be busy today.

Hope everyone has a most productive weekend! Ciao....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Camping by the Lake

Back into the groove...

We had such a nice family reunion over the weekend. It was a lot of fun to get together. The only fly-in-the-ointment was that DH had to stay home to sedate my puppy, and one bro couldn't make it. Otherwise, everyone was there. We stayed in a tent on my Grampa's property (we are, after all, just home from the trip of a lifetime to Maui, and paying off some of it still!) THAT was different--I haven't slept in a tent in about 20+ years. The tent I got was terrific; the first night we left the rain-fly off, and that leaves the whole upper half of the dome tent (which is screen) exposed. We were able to watch the fireworks display over the lake from inside the tent, and then sleep under the stars. That was really awesome, to see all that night sky from your bed!!! But the best part was to sleep on my own mattress again when we got home. I slept 10 hours the first night back!

Got some yarn-work done while there! My grampa's 95th b-day was on July 4th, and I made him a lap blanket. I started it June 29th!!! Just finished it by bedtime on his B-day, and got one pic of him holding it :) That photo to come...

I also took my lace knitting and worked on that while sitting by the lake, chatting with my family. That was fun! But I think the best part of the trip was the time I spent swimming in the lake. I think the latent swimmer in me has re-awakened since Maui. I had a blast swimming, and was often the only one in the water (like at 7:30 AM)! The lake was rather cold, but felt great when the sun was out.

I am having technical problems with my photo-uploading software. All of a sudden it has refused to stay running. I uninstalled and reinstalled it last week, but it keeps turning itself off in under 1 minute of use. I have no idea why--pics may be hard to come by in the next couple of weeks >:| I think I should have uploaded Maui photos immediately, I still have two full memory sticks to upload from that trip. Grrr.

That said, here are some remaining photos of Maui that have already been uploaded: first is our view from the lanai. It was so much fun to sit there and watch the marine life passing by in the water at the foot of our building! That is the island of Lanai in the background
Next is a view from the back entry of our condo (that's our pool out back). Look at those wonderful Maui mountains....

I hope everyone is having a good summer. I look forward to visiting y'all on your blogs this week :)