Monday, April 16, 2007

Sometimes April Showers Bring...

A baby girl.

Four years ago today, my DH and I waddled our way to the hospital and said, "Take her out, she's done!" (Okay, maybe I shouted it. DH just sat there and agreed with everything I said. After all, he knew the drill, having been through it twice before.) She made it in to the world just in time to have dinner with the family. DS the Elder was thrilled to have a baby sister, telling everyone he saw that evening (including the high school kid behind the Arby's counter) that he had "wished upon a star for her, and it came true!)

DS the Younger wasn't quite so thrilled.

But he came around.

Now, four years later, my baby has become a little girl (a diva princess and tomboy all wrapped up in one tiny package) and will start pre-K in the fall. She is my last baby, and I am a little sad about it. Yet, I am also excited to see what kind of person she will become.

Happy Birthday Baby Doll! May this year be even better than the last. :)

"Mommy" aka Mel

P.S. For my Harry Potter Sock Pal, my feet are 9.5" when your measure from heel to big toe. However, when you measure from heel to second toe (which is longer than my big toe,) they are 9.75". I have to wear a 9 for the width. I can wear an 8 1/2 ONLY IF the shoe is available in a wide width. So there you have the strange story of my feet.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's All About the Potter

So, I signed up for another sock swap. This time to wait out the new Harry Potter book and the new movie. I needed to post the answers to the questions on my blog so that my house, Hufflepuff, would receive the maximum points. So here we go....

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

Hmm, think I just answered that above, but I'll go ahead and repeat myself: Hufflepuff!

2. Shoe size?

I wear size 9 tennis shoes.

3. Foot Length?

According to the wooden measuring stick I used, my foot is 9 1/2" from heel to big toe.

4. Foot Circumference?

According to the Magic Tape Measure, "practically perfect," however in muggle terminology, my foot is 9 1/4" around. (I did measure the bigger foot.)

5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.

a. 7" Boye, US size 2, bought at the local Hobby Lobby.

b. 7" Boye, US size 1, bought at the local Hobby Lobby.

c. Knit Picks circular needles, US size 2, 24" in length, set of 2. (I'm a bit of a rebel.)

6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?

Sure, why the heck not? No plastic (They grab too much) or bamboo (I have tendency to break 'em.) As for size, either US 1 or 2 would be great. Length would need to be 7" or shorter. As for brand, surprise me. :)

However, if you happen to stumble across a set made of holly wood with a phoenix feather enclosed inside, about 11 inches in length, I'd go for those too. ;)

7. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?

Hufflepuff here, so I shall move on to the next question....

8. Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal?

That's perfectly fine. Always interesting to see what other people use out there in the big, wide Muggle world.

Later daze,


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm King of the World

Or should I say Queen?

I've been playing Civilization IV on the computer for the last 2 weeks and am like totally hooked. I'm all about conquering the world and crushing the other civilizations. Heh.

At least I'm conquering something, cause the knitting is kickin' my arse, people.

I'm knitting birthday socks for DD, who turns 4 on Monday, but the party is Saturday. I'm doing a toe-up, which is really new for me. I've ripped out the toe 3 times before I had it right (my fault, not the instructions.) I'm using the Magic Cast On from Knitty (most excellent by the way), so no having to deal with short rows.

Everything is going smoothly. I follow Wendy's directions (from Wendy Knits) for the short row heel and nail it. I'm feeling confident now. I start the stockinette part of the ankle and notice that my gusset is gaping, even after adding the extra stitches between needles to fill them in. No prob. I'll just stitch them closed with some extra yarn. Continue on.

Do my 2 1/2 inches of 1x1 ribbing. Change to the lace portion of the sock for the turned down cuff. (I'm converting the Lace Cuff Anklets pattern from Favorite Socks to a toe-up version, so I am fiddling a bit.) Change my needle size for the 2x2 open ribbed lace and start knitting.

I am 5 rows into it when I drop a freaking stitch! Don't panic. I go back try to fix it and drop 4 more! Now it's an unholy mess. Fine. I'll rip back to the ribbing.

Nope. I've lost my marker for the beginning of the round.

So, I rip it back to just before I start the heel. It was the only way I could find the beg/end of my round.

I re-knit the heel, no prob and fixed the gusset gaps properly this time, thank you very much and am now finally getting to the 1x1 ribbing again. And this is just the first sock!

Think I can get sock 2 done in time and still rule the world?

Anyone know how to fold the time/space continuum?


Sunday, April 01, 2007

I Have Gone Off the Deep End

And I may never come back!

I have decided to give up knitting for good.

I have fallen in love with something new that will now take up all of my time. No more dropped stitches! No more gauge swatching! No more frogging!

What's this new passion of mine, you ask, that has caused me to throw out the old needles and set fire to the stash?


The dampness! The darkness! The bat guano! Anything is better than ripping out my design project for the six millionth time and re-knitting it.

I am off to go live in a cave. Don't wait up for me.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

::pokes head in and looks around::

Hmmm, I guess it's been awhile since I updated. Guess I better rectify that!

What's been happening....

10 Things Going on in My Life That You May or May Not Care to Know

1.) I won the blog contest over at Two Sharp Sticks. I am loving the book! Thanks guys! (There's a link in my side bar if you'd like to visit their blog.) Wanna see? Yeah, I don't see it either. The computer I use to download pixs went toes up, and DH hasn't reloaded the software on the new one yet after having to wipe the HD.

2.) Computer broke. Processor and motherboard went to the Great Big CPU in the Sky. Hubby fixed but had to wipe the HD in order to reset everything. Needless to say, he hasn't reloaded everything back onto the computer, and I seem to have the uncanny ability to make things freak out when I add stuff to his 'puter, so no loading programs for me. I'll wait until he comes home, and he can break it, thank you very much.

3.) Got a new bed. Queen size, pillow top. DH and I are in HEAVEN! Our backs are thanking us profusely and now, we have a tich more room for when DD comes shuffling into the room at 3 in the morning looking for a place to light because of bad dreams.

4.) I finished 2 socks (notice I didn't say a pair) and a hat for my niece. I started some Mommy and Me cardis for DD and I. I worked on the Smock Coat some more. And I've started to design a sweater vest for DS the Younger. I'd show you pixs, but see number 1 and 2.

5.) DS the Elder (who is dyslexic) is going to the state competition for the Reader's Digest Word Power competition. The winner goes to Orlando for the Nationals. Keep your fingers crossed.

6.) Both of my nephews are now out of the hospital and are thriving at home. Will, the smaller one, is a little further behind than Brady in size because he couldn't get the hang of eating from a bottle. So they put in a feeding tube, and he's finally starting to gain some weight. It's amazing that these 2 boys, who were born at 28 weeks gestation, are still here to fill our lives with smiles and joy. God is good. And sometimes, He answers prayers with the answer we are hoping for.

7.) I finished one fingerless mitt for myself. The other one is about halfway done.

8.) I caved and bought yarn that is not destined for socks. I am so weak. But, I do know what I want to do with the yarn, so that doesn't count right? Plus it was on clearance/sale! See, so it doesn't count.

9.) Bought a couple of new knitting books. A sock book and a book for baby hats and matching booties. There is an argyle hat in that one that I want to make for my nephews for next winter.

and finally,

10.) I've decided to try and submit a pattern to Knitty. I'm hoping to get the cotton vest I'm making for DS the Younger finished so I can submit it for the Summer Issue. (It's due by March 15.) I always find cute patterns for girls, but not very much for boys that aren't babies or toddlers. I wanted something that a young man could wear over a white t-shirt for casual or over a polo shirt or button down for dressier. We'll see if I succeed. Keep your fingers crossed.

Peace out,


P.S. March came in like a lion at 2 in the morning. Ask me how I know. Stupid Oklahoma wind and weather. If you don't like it, wait ten minutes.

Monday, February 05, 2007

How Did All This Craziness Start?

So I entered a contest over on another blog to win a new knitting book, (I'm such a book slut.) and now you all get to hear how all this craziness started.

I've been crocheting since I was about eight. My grandmother taught me and my other grandmother fed the habit by giving me a bag full of her leftovers so that I could practice.

When I was about 11, I bought a book on knitting that was designed for kids. I thought I could teach myself, but I couldn't figure out the pictures. That was my first clue that maybe I'm a visual learner. I needed someone to show me how. Unfortunately, neither of my grandmas knew how.

Fast forward 24 years later....

November 2005

I got invited to a local knitting group that meets once a week at Panera. For a couple of weeks, I came to just chat with the girls and work on the throw I was crocheting for my Mother-in-law's Christmas present. Finally, the project was done, and I asked Rachelle to show me how to knit. That evening, I learned to cast-on, knit, purl and bind-off. Then I went home and practiced.

After an hour or two of knitting and purling, I decided I needed to do something more challenging. So off I went to Michael's, found myself a How-To book and some magazines with cute patterns that I wanted to try. I also bought some more yarn and needles. I also googled the internet and found (a site I recommend to everyone who is learning how to knit.) After the holiday season was over, I had knit two scarves, a hat (I taught myself circular knitting on DPNs) and a poncho.

A lot has changed in the year and few months that I've been knitting. I learned how to knit continental, entered the Knitting Olympics and medaled, learned to knit socks, entered the Knitting World Cup (I finished) and have knit many, many more items. Now, I'm beginning to design my own knitwear for children with my kids and nieces and nephews as inspiration.

It's been a whirlwind experience, but it feels like I've been knitting forever now. I can't NOT knit. That idea is now a foreign concept to me. I don't go anywhere without a sock on the needles to work on or some other portable project. And TV watching time, is prime knitting time. The yarn is beginning to spill out of the bedroom closet, and the needles have multiplied like rabbits. I'm sure if I never bought another knitting book or magazine, I'd have enough projects in queue to last me the rest of my life.

But where's the fun in that? LOL!


P.S. Here's a knitting shot of what I've been working on for the last week.

The red thing is the back to Sizzle from The Garter Belt. The dark green in the upper right corner is the start of a cabled sweater for me. Three socks (1 for DH, 1 for my nephew and 1 for myself) and one finished fingerless mitt from the latest issue of Creative Knitting. The light green lace piece is a sweater for DD, and the brown seed stitch piece is the beginning of a sleeve for the Debbie Bliss Smock Coat for my niece. I am a little busy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Silent Poetry Reading

I saw about this over on the Yarn Harlot's blog and decided I needed to contribute too. This is one of my favorite poems. I have loved this since childhood. The idea that one doesn't have to be brave all the time, only when it REALLY counts, has always struck a chord with me.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon
by Ogden Nash

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called hum Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio daggers on his toes.

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful,
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival,
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.

Belinda giggled till she shook the house,
and Blink said Weeck! which is giggling for a mouse,
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound,
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around.
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda,
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,
And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright,
His beard was black, one leg was wood;
It was clear that the pirate meant no good.

Belinda paled, and she cried Help! Help!
But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp,
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,
And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed.

But up jumped Custard snorting like an engine,
Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon,
With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm,
He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

The pirate gaped at Belinda's dragon,
And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon,
He fired two bullets, but they didn't hit,
And Custard gobbled him, every bit.

Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him,
No one mourned for his pirate victim.
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate
Around the dragon that ate the pirate.

But presently up spoke little dog Mustard,
I'd been twice as brave if I hadn't been flustered.
And up spoke Ink and up spoke Blink,
We'd have been three times as brave, we think,
And Custard said, I quite agree
That everybody is braver than me.

Belinda still lives in her little white house,
With her little black kitten and her little gray mouse,
And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon,
And her realio, trulio little pet dragon.

Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs,
Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.

Maybe next year, I'll post one of my poems that I've written over my lifetime.

Happy Groundhog's Day Everyone! (Early Spring! Yay!)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

String and Sealing Wax and Other Fancy Stuff

It's been slow on the knitting front this week. Started a sleeve for the Smock Coat and then frogged it. (Surprise!) Knit a few rounds on Darling, but not liking the look of the increases so I need to email the designer to see of I'm doing them correctly, so that project came to a complete halt.

However, I do have a FO for you guys. Alert the Media!

Finished Object 2007 #2:

A Four Corners Dishcloth.

Made from Sugar N Cream cotton yarn in the Key Lime Pie colorway on size 8 DPNs (because I couldn't find my straight 8 bamboo needles and I was too lazy to go and look for them.) If you'd like to make one for yourself, the pattern can be found here:

I also got busy on Rachelle's socks, which I had to rip out completely because they were too narrow for her gigantic feet! I kid. Her feet are perfectly dainty. The pattern was screwy, and I decided to go with the River Rapids Socks pattern from Sockbug instead. See.

Yep, they're flashing and pooling at the same time! I AM GIFTED! Actually, flashing and pooling don't bother me, it's just the nature of the beast, or in this case, yarn. If it bothers you Rachelle, too bad. :P LOL Just be greatful that someone is finally knitting YOU something.

Now, I just need to try it on Rachelle's foot and see if they're okay. I'm a little worried. These socks now fit my gi-normous feet just fine. Now, I'm worried they're going to be too big. Hence, the needles still in the socks.

And finally, the reason why not a lot of knitting got done this week:

Zelda rocks! And it is so kickin' my butt! But I'm persevering with a lot of help from the game guide. :) I'm already to the desert section!

Peace out,

P.S. Anybody know where I got the title for this entry from? No googling to find out. Just curious to see if anybody else is as weird as I am with the Pop Trivia. First one to guess correctly wins a ball of Sugar and Cream yarn from my stash so they too can make their own Four Corners Dishcloth. (Yeah, I know. I'm a BIG spender.)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ice, Ice, Baby!

So it's been kinda quiet here at Chez KFR this week. I've been knitting; it's just that brown seed stitch and gray stockinette just isn't very interesting to show, at least until I've made some noticable progress. So, without further ado....

One back for the Smock Coat and...

Two sleeves for the Darling Coat!

Yep, been sittin' around listening to 2 days worth of sleet hitting the windows and knitting away. Very nice. Though I did attempt to do some organization of the stash yesterday, see.

Of course it's still a work in progress. I've got 2 cubbies for sock yarn, a cubby and a half for cottons, and the rest of the cubbies are for wool and acrylics. The bins are holding my cross stitch and needlepoint supplies. The two bins on the floor are odds and ends left over from finished projects. The tan object just to the left and barely showing in the second picture, is a soft-sided under the bed container that is holding all of my Red Heart yarn. Looks like I've got plenty to keep me busy for the year of knitting from the stash and finishing up the UFOs. (And I haven't even shown you guys the other 2/3 of my stuff which hasn't even made it into the closet yet, though this is about 95% of my yarn!)

Well, I'll be sittin' tight at home with the family for a third day of sleet and ice, so back to the knitting and the organizing. Keep your fingers crossed that we'll keep our power!

Ice, Ice, Baby! Bum ba da dum bum bum bum!

Mel :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

I've Discovered Something About Myself

I don't like knitting from charts.

Especially large charts with patterns I can't seem to memorize. Give me a written out pattern any day. I'd like to know what I am supposed to do clearly and concisely, thank you very much.

What sparked this revelation? This:

Knitting from the chart shows that the end stitch to be a yarn over. I had one extra stitch on the needle. Everything was correct. So, what do I do with the extra stitch. Does it tell me in the pattern instructions? No. So I combined it when I purled back. Going along my merry way, I kept at it for a few more rows when, I got to the final row.

Oops, I'm missing a couple of stitches now. Now what?

Yep, I frogged it. (That's okay, wasn't really liking the pattern in cotton anyway.)

I hate patterns that assume you've knit lace before, or are experienced at reading charts and know what you're supposed to do. Give me a break. Spend a few pennies more and be specific. OR give me written out directions.

Back to the grey blob and the brown blob. That is all.

Later daze,

Saturday, January 06, 2007

All is Forgiven

So I picked up the gray, wool heap from the floor, gave it a little hug and went back to work on it. See, I've started a sleeve!

Really, I had to do it. One can only look at dark brown seed stitch for so long before they start going cross-eyed. :)

And this was in the mail when I got home:

Brand new set of 32" KnitPicks cables. The ones that came in my set, would not sit in the needle tips properly, so I called the friendly folks at KP, and they cheerfully rushed out a replacement.

See, they work!

Later daze,

Friday, January 05, 2007

Seed Stitchin' Along

OK, so the project I was working on is still sitting in a heap on the floor across the room where I threw it during my little tantrum yesterday morning, and I still haven't quite forgiven it yet. Bad knitting. >:(

So I was sittin' here, bored out of my skull, playing game after game of solitare and trying really hard to ignore the laundry, when lo and behold, the postwoman arrived with this:

My order from KnitPicks arrived--14 balls of the new Swish Superwash Yarn. I am in love with the feel of this yarn. So soft, not itchy or stiff or scratchy at all. And that is a good thing, cause I'm knitting up my 1 year old niece her b-day present with it. All of that yarn is going to turn into this:

a Smock Coat by Debbie Bliss

and this:

the Pompon Beret, also by Debbie Bliss, both from her book Simply Baby.

So I cast on immediately for the Smock Coat and have managed to get this far since yesterday afternoon:

That's 5 1/2" of seed stitch for the back of the coat in dark brown yarn on size 5 needles. That's the second ball of yarn right there. Only 7 more inches to go and I get to decrease down a bunch of stitches. Time to go pop in another DVD of Battlestar Galactica and get to work. :)

Later daze,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I'm Throwing the Knitting Across the Room


That is all.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The First Finished Object of 2007!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read that right. I have a FINISHED object of knitting to show you....

Birthday socks!

These are for my niece, who's birthday is February 16th! She'll be 3.

Knit with the now discontinued Parade yarn from KnitPicks on size 2 needles using the 2 circ method. I don't know what the color is called as the name is not listed on the ball band, but keeping calling it Grape in my head, so maybe that was it. I used the generic sock pattern from this book: It is an excellent book. Two thumbs way up!

I did have to frog the first sock (big shocker) because my gauge in the round is tighter than my gauge knitting flat, so instead of 6 sts to the inch, I was getting 7 sts. Needless to say, the sock was a little too tight for the lucky recipient.

I began these on Saturday afternoon. I started to re-knit the first sock Sunday while watching Battlestar Galactica Season 1 DVDs and ringing in the New Year. (I'm such a party animal, I know.) Finished the second sock tonight. Now, they fit perfectly, if I do say so myself.

Off to go work on the next project waiting in the wings....

Later daze,

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

It's January 1, 2007, a time to look back and reflect on what I accomplished last year and what I want to accomplish this year.

2006 was the first full year of my knitting life. I started many projects. I frogged a few. And I even managed to finish some of them.

Finished Objects for 2006:

Pair of socks for DD
2 pair of socks for DS the Younger
2 pair of socks for DS the Elder
1 sweater for DH (a christmas present that he loved by the way!)
Hat and scarf for Mom
Hat and Scarf for Dad
2 matching cotton halter tops (1 for DD and 1 for my niece)
Poncho for another niece (this was crocheted, but it still counts!)
Striped tunic and hat for DD (this was my Knitting Olympics project)
Lady bug sweater for DD (this was my Knitting World Cup project)
OU Stocking Hat (My design.)
2 sets of Tiger hats and socks for my twin nephews
2 pumpkin hats for my twin nephews
2 baby hats and 2 pairs of baby socks
Sweater for DS the Younger
Lady bug short set for DD
Jumper for DD
Kitty and checks summer onesie for niece
Cotton cardigan for DD
Black and white houndstooth poncho for ME!
Baby bumblebee bootie socks for sister-in-law's new nephew
Strawberry Shortcake doll for DD (this was crocheted too, but it still counts!)
Head band and fingerless Fetching mitts
Sweater jacket for a little girl (I designed this myself.)
Long stocking hat for DS the Younger
1 sock for DD
1 sock for ME!

Hmm, I've knit quite a bit for DD. Of course she's small and her projects do go quicker (and they're cuter too.)

I have some unfinished projects that I need to finish up this month:

1 sock for ME
1 sock for DD
Pirate sweater for DS the Elder (All I need to do is seam the darn thing, but I hate seaming. Next time the boy is getting a one piece raglan from the top down!)
My first lace shawl
2 Baby cardigans (I'm designing these myself.)
Tote bag
DH's Aran sweater
Yellow cotton sweater for DD (Again, a seaming issue.)
Dragon scarf
Purple tank top for ME
and finally, Rachelle's birthday socks so that she will stop bugging me! LOL LOL LOL

I have lots of projects I want to do this year. I also plan on trying to knit exclusively from my stash a la Wendy of (Of course, sock yarn and any yarn purchased to use for a gift knit doesn't count.) I also vow to knit my hubby a complete pair of socks!

I would also like to do a bit more designing and get the stash organized. I also want to update the blog a little more frequently than I did this year. And just maybe, maybe, knit a little something for me:

Finally, a picture of a little something I finished a few months ago but never showed:

DD in her Tater's Cotton Cardi from Marie Grace's blog

It was a joy to knit and very quick. I used Sinfonia mercerized cotton yarn in Turquoise. I knit it a size larger because I wasn't sure how much it would shrink when washed. It didn't so she should get a couple of years wear out of it. The only change I made was I crocheted the ties instead of knitting them.

Happy New Knitting Year Everyone!
May your stash be plentiful and your gauge spot on!