Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Noro Kureyon Blanket and life after ...

You can click the pics for a better view, and yes, I'm sure you can find some dog hairs, they are everywhere!

Edit: Micaelarauch left a comment and wanted to know how I got this defined ridge. There are several ways to do the decreases. I wanted to have a most visible ridge so I ended up with doing : slip 2, knit 1, pass 2 slipped stitches over.

Yesterday afternoon, the sun came out and I was on the move with my blanky. Let me tell you, this wool blanket soaked the sun right up and even as I was walking back inside with it, it gave back the heat - wonderful. Of course now it's going to be too warm to use it, but the next winter will be back for sure. So here are the specifics:
yarn: Noro Kureyon in the colores # 150 (17balls) and # 126 (15 1/2 balls)
for the border: Patons Classic Wool Merino , 4 times 100g balls of Old Gold (# 204)
needles: 4.5mm
size: 53 x 87"
start: April 2006
finish: March 26, 2007

As an knitting addict I had to have a quick fix, and that's why I had to cast on for this Traveller's Stocking from the book (I told you I would knit from the books I have) "Knitting on the Road" by Nancy Bush. I've finished the first stocking last night. Hannah's "Shetland Shawl turned Vest" is on hold until I get the right needles or until I finished the second sock, whichever comes first. ;o)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


picture by Cindy
Cindy of Knit for Joy had a Blogiversary contest and I won this gorgeous yarn! It's Trekking XXL, wouldn't you know it, one of my favorite sock yarns, in this lovely colorway, and if that wasn't enough, there's also some Debbie Bliss Merino DK to make something matching with the socks! I'm so excited and happy. That's me doing the happy dance!
Thank you Cindy, you are very generous!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Shetland Shawl turned Vest!

I just finished the Noro Kureyon Blanket, but can't take pictures yet, we are having a thunder storm and rain. So that has to wait. But, I've cast on for my first project out of Lace Style. It's the Shetland Shawl turned Vest (what a title). I'm using some cotton blend from my stash. I cast on and knit the first row with my new addi turbo lace circs. They are wonderful! A must have. I wish I had them in all sizes, because now, I have to change to a larger needle size and I don't have it! What a bummer!
Well, I'm off. More later!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Room for improvement!

First rounded corner
I've used the knitted on sideways border once before, but it was with my Pinwheel baby blanket, which was knitted in the round. There I had a narrower border with only 10 stitches wide, and over 500 life stitches to work with.
Anonymous asked how this works, so I'll try to explain, for those who don't know yet:
With this blanket, there are no life stitches. That's why I have to pick up stitches as I go along, with a separate strand of yarn and a double point needle, I pick up between 20 and 25 stitches. With a different strand of another ball of yarn (same color though), at first I cast on (in this case) 16 stitches. This is a garter stitch border, so I knit the sts and when I come to the last stitch I [K2 tog] the last stitch on my right needle with the first stitch on my left needle, which is the needle I picked up the stitches with. Turn. Knit 16 stitches, turn, knit 15 sts, K2tog and so on.
Of course, eventually you'll come to a corner, which needs to be rounded, in the truest sense of the phrase. You do that by including short rows. As you can see, I made some progress with my corners. My first corner had not enough short rows and is turning up it's nose at me. There's one rule, the wider the border, the more short rows it needs, but with corner # two and three I used the same amount of short rows, they still don't look the same. Why's that? It also depends on where you place the short rows.
So you see, I'm still trying to figure out the best way, still have one corner left to improve, but to be honest, the third corner already looks good to me. ;o)

Second rounded corner

Third rounded corner

Last night, my arm hurt to much to keep on knitting, so I decided I would go through my knitting books and make two piles. The smaller pile is the one, where I've knit at least one project from, the way bigger pile are the books, I've knit nothing out off yet, but that's about to change. I've noticed that there are 4 sock knitting books, which I like, but still didn't use so far. I had way too much fun designing my own patterns. Anyway, that's what I'd like to do in the future, knit from my knitting books. That should be interesting ...
Have a nice weekend!

And yes, that's still my pumpkin from last fall. Still going strong! ;o)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring is here!

want to have a closer look? click on pic
This is one reason why I don't like this time of year.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Drive - by - Post

I had to share my good fortune with you! Look what was in the mail today. Lace Style, which, I'm sure all of you know by now. It's wonderful. There are a few projects in it, which I want to knit for Hannah, and some she wants to knit herself. There's the gorgeous "Never Wimpy Wimple" by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, just lovely, and the "Lacy waves top" by Norah Gaughan, and the "Ooh La Lace Dress and stole" by Shirley Paden, just beautiful, and "The essential tank top" by Laura Zukaite, and "Lily of the Valley shawl" by Nancy Bush, and the "Just right wrap" by Mari Lynn Patrick. I'm breathless just listing all these beauties, and there are many more. A book well worth it's prize.

And the other book is "The Natural Knitter" by Barbara Albright. That is one interesting and wonderful book! I just browsed through it, it takes time to get it all in, but I know already, that there are many projects I really, really like! There are too many to list them here, and besides, I'm off reading now! Bye! ;o)

Oh, I almost forgot the addi TURBO Lace circulars I've got as well! (and it's NOT even my birthday!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Noro blanket update!

The last time I told you about this blanket, it was about to be put away until next fall. As I realized that it wouldn't take that long at all, to finish it, just an enormous effort to knit nothing but this blanket, I decided it would be done within the year I started it. Here you go - this mess is my FINISHED Noro Kureyon blanket! YES! I was knitting maniacally over the last week or more, solely on this blanket. Yesterday, as I was nearing the end, I was ready to throw up on it! At the moment I just can't stand to knit another mitered square! Besides, I might have gotten myself a "tennis elbow", my right arm really hurts, and I need to cut back on knitting a little bit. (yeah, right!)

Of course it's not DONE done, I've got some finishing touches left to do. Weaving in the ends, naturally, but not that many, each row has one in the beginning and one at the end. And there's the border I'm knitting on sideways. I've already rounded the first corner. I use Patons Classic Merino Wool for the border, will have to get some more. So far I'm liking it a lot. More pictures to come as soon as it's really DONE.

Look what the best daughter ever brought home from her trip to Nova Scotia. A ball of Opal's variations of Hundertwassers art. What lovely colors. I'm looking forward knitting socks with it. This colorway is # 637A "Wartende Haeuser". Thanks, Love!

Hannah also finished the Monkey socks on her trip. They look great! But they are on their way to a lucky friend of Hannah's. I hope she'll be smart and hand wash them. Look what happens, if you don't!!!

I made Hannah these Jaywalkers some time ago, and even with my warning, she threw them into the washing machine. I felted them down some more, I thought I could get them so small, as to hang them from my key chain. I guess they have to go into the hot water some more. Not quite small enough yet. ;o)
It's the same yarn (knit picks), and Hannah sent this picture with her package as a warning.

Biko is doing fine. The last several days, her limping was ALMOST gone, not quite, but much, much better. I'm a little pissed off because my Vet didn't respond to my messages at all. No input after the first two visits. I'm surprised and not at all used to this. So far he was quite helpful, but this time, he didn't even ask after Biko's well being. Well, as long as she's O.K.

Yesterday we got some fresh snow, and today we were out and about enjoying the last of it. Both dogs are doing fine. Thanks to all of you, for asking about them and for your advise! I appreciate it!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


For days now, I can't get this out of my mind. It's always coming back to it, and I wonder why? It's about an old man, I didn't know. This is his house, you see. It's a little story, which began when we moved here, almost eleven years ago.
He lived a few houses down the road, he no longer does.
It must have been over a week ago, when my son came home, telling me, that he saw the paramedics at this house, bringing someone out on a gurney. This someone must have been the old man, since nobody else was living there anymore.
There are lots of houses on this road, most of which I don't know anything about. This house and it's occupants stood out, because there was a dog living there. When we first moved here, a couple was living there with a little white dog. We would see them working in the garden. On sunny days they would sit on lawn chairs, and sometimes even fancier ones in the open garage, with the little dog on a long leash lying in the sun beside them. We would give a friendly nod, and a smile, and sometimes a "Good morning" or only a "Hallo!", that was it! The man smoked a lot, even walking his dog, he had a cigarette in his mouth, and he was tall.
When we would walk our dogs by this house and the little one was outside, he would bark his little head off, as long as he could see us. Even though he wasn't there anymore for over a year now, our dogs always stick around their heads expecting to see and hear this little white dog, they don't forget.
I don't know exactly when, but some day I noticed, that I never saw the woman anymore, only the man would sit in his lawn chair, and smoke, and stare, still keeping his front yard tidy and neat.
Then, he would sit there alone! I was sad for him, but soon I figured out, that his neighbors took care of his dog now. They've moved away though too.
So, it all came down to this old man, living alone in his house. Of course we think, he might be in a home now, but a couple of days ago, this gigantic blue bin appeared, and I think it's so sad to see, that somebody just let workers toss out the furniture and whatnot! He was living there for many years, happily or not, and all his things mean nothing to somebody else. Soon this house will be sold, I'm sure, and life goes on. But still, it's very depressing to see something like that. Makes me wonder, why we accumulate and hoard so many things. Of course, if there are children and grandchildren, some things might stay in the family and be treasured - or not!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thank you!

Biko is happy with her new chew toy!

Thank you all for your thoughts and advise on my "Biko" problem. Biko is only 5 1/2 years old.

Tracy described Biko's condition perfectly, and I'm going to talk to our Vet about it. It has been going on for some time now, and gotten worse, that's why we went to see the Vet.

Even though we might not be able to do something about it, I'm glad, when at least we can understand what's going on.

Thanks again, I think it's incredible that one can ask and will receive help in this blogger land community! ;o)


Biko is hogging both new chew toys, Sam yawns, as if he would give a damn. She's the boss man. (His favorite is the white plush animal. As soon as he gets to it, he'll hide it!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yarn study, and asking for advise!

click on picture to enjoy it fully
If you are waiting to see a finished object, you'll have to wait, oh say, maybe a couple of weeks? I think I'm mad. As soon as I've decided to knit up to the tenth row of my Noro blanket (scroll down a bit) and pack it up and put it away (until next fall), I was wondering, how long it will actually take me to finish it. I've started it April a year ago. I did not touch it throughout the summer, and only sporadically throughout fall and this winter. Did I really want to wait till fall to get it out again?
At this rate it seemed endless to me. I did some simple math. If I did five squares a day, it would take me 20 days to finish the blanket, that is the planned 20 rows, plus a border. Twenty days??? It's not even THAT warm in the next 20 days, so that would be doable, right? I looked around, nothing else exciting going on right now. Of course, there's the even longer project (Magic mosaic blanket), and the Milanese Lace scarf, which I think I just cast on to get me going again on the lace socks. I'm not even sure I'll finish it!
It seemed to me, that I could do it, and so I started knitting feverishly mitered squares. I did 10 squares today! Ha, if I could keep that up, I would be done in 10 days! Unbelievable! The blanket could be done for my one year blog anniversary! Woo Hoo! O.K. maybe not, because these ten squares were killing me. But it's a possibility, right?! I'm going to give it a try, and hope that my mind will not change the course of my knitting over the next ...... days. I really would love to finish the blanket. Anyway,
what has that got to do with these yarn pictures? Nothing, really. I just think they look pretty. The orange yarn is not self dyed, it's Regia sock yarn.

Now, here's where I need some advise from pet(especially dog-) owners.

See Biko here? She's limping. Nobody knows why. She was a the Vet's twice. She had her blood work done, everything is fine. She had 6 x-rays done, perfect skeleton, perfect joints, no arthritis whatsoever, nothing wrong there. If we touch and squeeze her paw, and leg, up to her shoulder, it does not seem to bother her. Both our Vet's could not tell us why she's limping (right front leg), sometimes she's yelping when getting up the stairs or on the sofa. She tries to put NO weight on this leg, as well. She comes limping out of her bed in the morning, only when playing outside is she O.K., but as soon as we go inside she's limping again. Now I know she's just not feeling it, because she's excited about playing. She hardly limped at the Vet's office, because she was excited there too.
What do you think? What else could it be?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Aha, Aha, I like it!

Finally some socks that got the stamp of approval from moi.
After feeling a bit blue lately, I managed to finished my Lacey Socks! Woo Hoo! I absolutely loved working on them, at least until the second sock was at the heel. For reasons unknown, my knitting mojo got lost, and I was (not feeling, but being) crappy all day. Many irritated people in this household can attest to that. So, before I finally got in gear again, I had to cast on something else. Weird, ha?! As soon as I've cast on for my Milanese Lace scarf ( knit with Jojoland Melody) and knit about 50 rows, I was all zen again, and could pick up my sock once more to finish it! What was that all about?

Here are some specs for you:
yarn: Artyarns Ultramerino4, color # 120, 2 skeins with a few yards left over each.
needles: 2.25mm
pattern: my basic sock construction, with two stitch patterns from two different stitch pattern books.
size: my women's size 10 1/4

The color is almost solid, you have to look closely to see some variations, oh, how I like that!
These socks feel very comfortable, and since they are so lacey, I can wear them even now, that spring is on it's way!
Below you can see some exhausted socks, after the photo shoot. Still looking good though! ;o)

you can probably click on the pics to have a closer look

And finally, a sneak peek of Hannah's (Cookie's) Monkey sock (, she's working on right now. I just grabbed it, because I'm so pleased, the girl's getting good!
I've used this yarn before (Jaywalker) and had the most terrible pooling going on, not so here. I'm happy for her.
(Have to protect my stash from this new knitting maniac!)

Friday, March 09, 2007

A few more snow pictures before spring arrives!

This is one of my favorite photos of Sam. It's almost like a painting, because of the light that day.

Can you see Biko on the move, in the back ground? ;o)

Below, Biko is looking up to catch the green tennis ball. I've circled it red. Even though it was a dreary day, we had lots of fun in the snow. Oh, and the tracks through the pool are Biko's. She's always taking short cuts.

Today it's sunny and wonderful "warm" (-4). We decided to do a little yarn dyeing. I dyed the blue one, and Hannah wanted hers red. We used Easter egg colors and Knit Picks "Bare" yarn.

click on pictures to have a closer look

Spaghetti of a special kind. ;o)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I don't feel the love!

For some time now, I've got some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn in my stash. I've decided to start using it, and some other sock yarn, which I have been accumulating. No point in thinking how it would feel and look knitted up, and not doing it! I started with the colorway "Rainbow", see above, very colorful don't you think. I like color, and the skeins "spoke" to me.

toes and heels of these unfortunate socks, that's what I imagined I would get ...
But, alas, look what I've got instead!!!

I really DO hate pooling! The first sock did some kind of spiraling and after the heel it went crazy. From former experience I kind of expected that it would. I felt no joy in knitting this sock. First I thought, if the second sock would behave like the first one did, I would knit the heel with the left over yarn from the first sock, but to my surprise the second sock started out crazy! No point in adding more ends to weave in, and surprise # 2, after the heel it kind of spiraled again. Strange. By then I hated these socks anyway.

I DO however love this stitch pattern. I will use it with other yarn again. It's easy and fun to knit.

I will wear them, but I don't have to love them or even look at them, while on my feet. The yarn, by the way, was lovely to work with, it's soft and hopefully will hold up better than Koigu, since it has 20% nylon it it.
So, now I have two more colorways of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn in my stash. "Glenwood" which I fully expect to pool as well, and "Camouflage", where I don't care if it's going to pool. I like the colors in those skeins. I sure hope they will turn out better than "Rainbow".

I have cast on for another pair already. This time with Artyarns Ultramerino 4, a solid color. I'm loving it so far. Right now, I'm more drawn to solid colors, too much multi going on, and it's refreshing for a change.
There's also my blog anniversary coming up next month, and I'm feeling a bit blog weary at the moment. I hope it will pass.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

No sleep for me tonight!

It's actually 4:42AM right now, but I've been up since 1:30AM. The thing is, it's very, very cold outside. I have no idea how cold, but our walls make panging noises, like somebody puts a hammer to it. Weird and scary, so scary that Sam is flipping out. He was always afraid of loud noises, like fire works (or my blowing the bubble gum, as I discovered recently). It's his THING. But this is annoying. He runs around, rings the bell on the door, opens all the doors to everybody, he tried to jump into my bed (no sir), and as soon as I've calmed him down, there's that panging noise again, and off he goes again.
Tomorrow (today actually) is a busy day for all of us, of course it is. Sigh. Biko has to go in to the Vet's office for x-rays. She's limping and it's getting worse. The Vet couldn't find anything last Saturday. When she's excited she doesn't limp at all, but in a normal situation, she would get out of her bed, limp downstairs and limp throughout the day. So, hopefully the x-rays will tell us more.
My husband will be off to Europe again, but has to see the doctor one more time, before it's time to go to the airport and so on.
Funny thing though, since I've decided to stay up, not one pang coming from the walls. Everybody and their neighbors are sleeping, but me.
So I thought I'll show you something. I had to move my stash a few weeks ago (was it that long already?), while rooting through my closet I found this cardigan I made over 10 years ago (more like 15 years ago come to think of it). I totally forgot that I had it. My closet must be deep, you say. Well, there are corners I seldom go into. Just thought you would like to know, that I can knit garments if I want to. ;o)

Next up is my cotton bag, shown here by Hannah. I told you it's going to be big! And stretchy!

There are about 500g yarn in it, so that it's not just hanging there, limp like. I made the strap wider, so it can sit comfortable on your shoulder. Hannah thinks, it's great to use for over night stays. I think, if you put heavy things in it. like ten pounds of bananas, it will reach the floor. ;o)
This was quite fun to do. I started out, wanting it to be a rectangle bottom bag, ripped it (too small). The second try was a crochet round bottom, it just was not round, but very wavy. Rip it! The third time was the charm (as usual); the bottom along took one ball of the yarn. I've used 7 balls from the eight I had.

After I was satisfied with the bottom, I just started knitting, revising all the way to the top, in my head. Knit, knit, knit and suddenly I was done. As I said, it was fun.

yarn used: Gerifil Filati Fantasia Spaghetti, 7x50g (~ 90yds, it doesn't say if it's meter or yds), 75% cotton 25% polyamid. crochet bottom with 5mm hook, knitted with 5.5mm needles.

So, this is what everybody else is doing right now. Look at Sam's lip! He's snoring too! ;o) Biko sleeps like a lady, the right use of the pillow and all. Notice her ear? She's still with me.

Now, what else can I do early in the morning? My fingers still hurt from the sock knitting, I did late last night. That's going to be another story. I can tell you that much, it ain't pretty! ;o)