Monday, February 26, 2007


So, naturally, I want to knit! And what started out to be 4 baby gifts turned into 5 with the discovery last week of yet another pregnant co-worker! And, pressure-pressure! Four of the babies are now here! The bomb has indeed gone off under my butt!

This is what I am working on currently since my last monthly Three Amigas (Jeanie and Nan- BIG TIME yarn enablers!) field trip to Noble Knits. I was familar with Nancy Queen's patterns so was delighted that we had a chance to visit her shop. She had a store sample of this baby sweater knitted in a light green, but I liked the thought of dressing a boy or girl in teal. Sometimes I think babies are stifled by all those pastels, don't you?

As for the buttons, well... I did overindulge a bit but they were so darn cute and I was just so darn indecisive!

As you know, I find Yarnstorm totally inspirational and have taken up her cause of squirreling away little bits of angora yarn to someday knit the diamond pillow adapted from Debbie Bliss's Home book. Years ago I happened upon an online sale for Belangor in which I purchased several balls of white angora at a rediculously low price "just because". I decided that I simply must give up ONE of these little fluff beauties to knit a pair of baby booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

It's a sacrifice of 33 yards, but what a sweet little gift this will be!

I would love to try my hand at knitting a Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket for one of the babies, but I am still so enamored by the Mason-Dixon book's Heartbreakingly Beautiful Baby Kimono because it is so easy and open to so many interpretations. Then there's adorable Cupcake Hat that I always say I'm going to knit, but haven't. So, what is my problem that I cannot commit to these Must -Knit projects?

I had myself another Sweater Dream-that's what I've begun to call them because I have bought yarn for several beautiful sweaters over that last 5 years and have yet to knit one for myself!

I got a fabulous deal a few months back on Debbie Bliss alpaca silk in this delicious shade of red. It is incredibly soft too! So, I'm considering Knitty's Tempting (without the dopey bow-not trying to offend the designer, but to quote Kay from the MD blog, on me it just wouln't look F.O.B.!). Also The Hour Glass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts has potential too!

The last time I went to class at Kraemer's Yarn Shop I brought home some skeins of Berocco to wed with the fall colorway of my various silky wools. I'm wondering how this would swatch for a shawl in the linen stitch? I would change colors every one or two rows, for a woven effect I think....not wanting a prominent striping but more blending of the different colors and textures. I wonder if i would lend itself to a ballband pattern or some other slip stitching pattern as well? A swatching I must go. But later, much later! Knitting for babies, church and husband's sweater(due march 31st! YIKES!)

An then there's that Mission Fall's yarn I picked up with the Amigas. The pattern is the Sleeveless Summer Top from the Start To Knit book and it could be cute as a vest with some type of Fair Isle motif near the neck.

I certainly hope with all the gabbing I've done about my knitting dreams that I've got at least something on or off the needles by the next post!

Friday, February 23, 2007


Today I am 51.... sigh.

So, it seems I have officially surpassed 50 and now embark on that journey known as "the second part of my life". Whatever that really means. All I know is I am very grateful I am here. Have many blessings in my life, in the manner of family, friends, co-workers, and am content with where I have ended up in my life. All this, and knitting too! Love you, Michael and Shaun!

I've been taking care to photograph more of the things in my world that are knitting related, with the hope that it will motivate me to post more often about my knitting projects, finished or not, and the things that interest me. Today I think I want to share my knitting library with you, Gentle Knitter.

Close up, you can see the titles of my favorite Just-Had -To -Have- knitting books. If I had to choose the best for all around stitch reference my pick would be the Barbara Walker Treasury series. Lucky me stumbled upon The Walker Treasury Project while I was blog hopping the other day. I agree that the black and white composition of the photos in her books does not do her swatches justice, so the project does us knitters all a great service by swatching in color! What great knitting humanitarians there are out there!

My progress in knitting 2 toe up socks on one long circular needle continues to delight me. Slow going due to knitting the both at once, but Look Ma! No Second Sock Syndrome! Note that the coffee cup is one of the raggedy chipped ones of which I am fixated.

Recent knitting acquisitions, courtesy of the Barnes & Noble 75% off table. I paid 5 bucks for each!

I continue my love affair with the Mason-Dixon Ballband Dishcloth by branching out to yarns other than the Sugar & Cream cotton.

I selected this Berocco Aran for the background, and Taos for the color contrasting. I am enjoying working with this wool very much, as it has a pleasant softness about it, but obviously it is not suited for a dishcloth.
I am considering a headband, but may pick up stitches along one end and straight knit, purl or rib a hat top and seam up the sides instead. I just love these colors, don't you. I purchased this yarn at Knitwitz and Sew Much More in Hellertown on a dreary, cold, and damp rainy day, and it was the perfect yarn pick-me-up!

Still have not discovered the identity of my mysterious yarn benefactor!

My pal, Maggie, denies any culpability, and I haven't heard from anyone connected to Secret Pal 10, which closes it's sign-ups at the end of the month, I believe. Jeanie, and Nan deny it too!

Thank-you to whoever you are, my darling Yarn Fairy!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


So, Kringle and I are curious as to the identity of my mysterious yarn Benefactor! I know yarn doesn't grow on trees, or just suddenly appear in a knitter's mailbox, so I am delighted and perplexed at the same time!
As you can see, a bag of sock yarn awaits my knitting pleasure....Kringle was floored, as was I!

Could this be the work of my Secret Pal 10? I had only just joined, and surely, yarn doesn't travel that quickly, does it? Does. It? I did notice that there are lovely shots of pink throughout the skeins, and I did happen to mention my desire to use more pink in my wardrobe. HMMMMMM....

Well, from wherever or whoever it came from, it was a wonderful surprise on this cold and snowy day! So, thank-you, Yarn Fairy! I love the colors and with 10 skeins I'm thinking it wants to be a shawl.

Any suggestions from the Knitting gallery?

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I am looking forward to being a part of this exchange. So, I'm told I must post my answers to these questions on my blog for my sender Pal to learn about me. Here goes.....

The Questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarns to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I've been collecting Belangor, Bouton D'Or , and Schulana 100 % Angora balls to eventually knit the diamond pillow in Debbie Bliss's Home book. I also love Morehouse Farm Merino and Blue Sky Alpaca yarns. The only yarn I have issues with is Muench's Touch Me, because it worms like crazy! But, it's a dream to touch! How sad for me!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Well, when I was at Stitches East 2006, one vendor displayed her needles from a canvas over- the- door shoe bag and I thought that this was just genius! So, I do the same and it hangs over the back of the door to my Yarn Room. I has room too for scissors, rulers, etc.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I started knitting in the early '80's, but was more of a crocheter till 1999 when i became more serious and consistant about it. I am self taught, and through the grace of my knitting mentors over the years, Eileen and Jeanie, I consider myself to possess intermediate skills, and on a really, good day, say, like when a Haley's comet-like event occurs, somewhat advanced!

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

No, put that can be easily remedied! I'd consider KnitPicks!

5. What's your favorite scent?

I am partial to vanilla, gardenia, and clean cotton scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

If Weight watchers is reading this-ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Seriously, I must truthfully admit my favorite sweet in the whole wide universe is Chocolate Covered Strawberries, followed by Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I possess a drop spindle, roving and my spin factor is very low, I must admit. I gave up finally when I was unable to spin my collie's fur! Can do homemade CD, and I love to do this too! Musically, I like Kim Richey, Tobey Keith,Queen, and Springstein. I like to collect knitting books, dye yarn, collect Americana things, learn to make simple soaps (have some glycerine and molds to start this project!)rubber stamp cards, sew and knit little baby things (want to seriously begin quilting because have had the tools and desire for years), gardening, like to read Wallie Lamb, John Irving, James Michenor, and Stephen King. Love T.V. shows like Law& Order, Lost, 24, Heroes, The Nine, Jericho, My Name is Earl, and The Office. I like to garden and bake. I like making stitch markers. I'm starting to collect fabric. Not sew anything with it, mind you, but just collect it for the colors and pattern designs. Go figure!

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I 've notice that over the years my home's palate has evolved into white walls with red/ burgundy/maroon and navy or light blue color accents. Some green thrown in with mauve here and there. But, I love all colors. Been trying to incorporate a bit of pink into my wardrobe lately.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Have darling husband, delightful son, 2 elderly cats and one adorable collie who sheds fur when I just look at him!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I seem to love hats on everyone but me, but that doesn't make me give up my search for the perfect hat for me! I have knitted myself all types of scarves, and want to make some colorful mittens for myself. I just felted my blue/gray white striped poncho because i thought that the size of the wool(chunky) and the stripes made me look like a house. So, I want to knit an elegant poncho next time.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Wow, that's a tough one! Ideally, a sweater for myself! Or a shawl. But, I guess I most like knitting the Mason-Dixon Ballband Dish Cloth the most because I have and continue to knit so many of them suckers! I've completed only two sweater for myself because it seems I am always knitting for others, you know, birthdays, shower gifts, hostess gifts, just becauses...

13. What are you knitting right now?

Mason-Dixon Log Cabin blanket, dishcloth, baby hats and booties, husband's sweater that he's been waiting to wear for FIVE YEARS!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I adore anything handmade that anyone was taken the time to make just for me!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

No needle preferences.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I love my ball winder and am fearful of all swifts! just have the worst luck with unwinding skeins, no matter how I attempt it! I always wind up twisted! So I just go at it slowly by hand! Less trauma, for me and the yarn!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

I would truthfully say The Husband's Sweater. So many false starts and frogging/tinking along the way.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

I love to collect all colors of 100% Angora balls, buttons, fabric, knitting books and needles, old and new, Fenton Glass Lincoln Inn table wear
and Primitive Americana.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I am interested in what lies between the covers of the Harry potter inspired Classical Knits book due out in May. Jill Vosburg's Pacific Cove and Heartbeat Sweater patterns from Just One More Row. I covet Brittany ebony needles. I. Truly. Do. I am enamored by Morehouse Farm's Monet Yarn-Steps at Vetheuil to knit a scarf or shawl.
I subscribe to interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, and Have been toying with the idea of adding Knitters because I always end up buying the latest issue anyway!

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I just learned how to knit 2 toe up socks on one long circular needle, courtesy of
so I believe now I am approaching the self actualization level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Knitting Needs! I am at peace with that knowledge.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

See above. Yes, my sock yarns take up 2 dresser drawers in my Yarn Room

23. When is your birthday?

Too soon, if you ask me! February 23rd! I'll be 51. FABULOUSLY 51! Need to keep saying this out loud. But not in a scary way!

That's it for my Knitting True Confessions! A peek into my Knitorious Soul!

Friday, February 02, 2007


What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
Take this quiz!


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Usually I don't do these sort of things, but my knitting spirit had a burning desire to discover what fiber aura I give off. I'm not sure I'm happy with the end result, as it says I am kind of warm and fuzzy, and as anyone who knows me can attest, I am anything but!

So, being the compulsive person that I am, I took the quiz several times in search of a truer me, and I conclude that I am a blend, on any given day, of the following fibernality types, the good, the bad and the Yugly. ( ugly yarn- just made that one up, guys!)

You are Shetland Wool. You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a little on the harsh side. Though you look delicate you are tough as nails and prone to intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are widely respected and even revered.

17245 times, 18%


You are Acrylic. While you are very versatile, your plasticky countenance can be offputting. You are very good with children but can become a pill if left alone with them too long. You are very flexible but don't give in to manipulation.

5641 times, 6%


You are Mohair. You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.

24079 times, 25%


You are Dishcloth Cotton. You are a very hard worker, most at home when you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly born to clean. You are considered to be a Plain Jane, but you are too practical to notice.

25282 times, 26%


You are Mercerized Cotton. You are always very crisp and neat. You are very playful and are happiest while outdoors in the sunshine. You are sometimes accused of splitting hairs, but in the end people find you pretty easy to live with.

4166 times, 4%


You are Novelty Eyelash. You are very of the moment, hip, and happening. You are often seen wrapped around someone's neck. Some see you as too flashy and ultimately shallow, but you are having too much fun to notice.

3282 times, 3%


You are Merino Wool. You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.

13612 times, 14%


You are Cashmere. You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful people and you don't let anyone forget it!

2100 times, 2%


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Could this be the explanations for why I am so enamored with all the yarn in the universe? I could maybe write a book entitled "The Yarn Inside Of Me". One needs to know what kind of fiber they are made of, don't they?

Besides this quest for self yarn awareness, I was pleased to stumble along some blogs where the knitters are doing and showing sample examples of what they do best. What a wealth of knitting talent there is out there!
First we'll drop in again at

hakucho: Look, see what I finished this week!

I really like the 4 Corners Dishcloth and she links to the pattern too.

This is the solution to all my yarn guilt, plus there's some legal yarn loopholes too!

I believe this is the brainchild of Wendy and her knitting friends. Bravo!

See the coolest socks... and the pattern is free too! I want to knit these, so added to the list!
Criminy Jickets: Basketcase Socks - revisited

And, isn't this adorable?
anny purls: A cardigan for Merry - Love this baby cardi and the cabling details! I need to dig out that Interweaves Knits issue! Add this one to the list too!

I must mention that old chum, Patty, now has a blog of her own. I look forward to her musings.... hopefully she'll post more regularly than I. She just learned to knit, I believe I mentioned in a previous post, so I hope she will post photos of her knitting on her blog. She is working on completing her very first scarf and even went on a yarn shop field trip with me to Knitwitz and Sew Much More, in Hellertown, Pa. ( Donna-please get your website up and running soon so I can link you, daaaaaaarling!) and Kraemers Yarn Shoppe in Nazareth, Pa.
Patty bought some nice yarns, bless her little newbie knitting soul!

Let's go offtrack for a moment.....

I would post more , but I don't always have anything that I feel is relevant to write about, I think. Today I do feel chatty, though!
I do need to master my picture downloading skills. Dear Michael has been doing it for me but I really need to get my act together and force myself to learn this stuff. I am so tech challenged!

Back to knitting!

Kay of the famous Anne and Kay Mason-Dixon Knitting Duo, and co-author of My Favorite Book of the same name posted her photo of the Abe Blankie on her recent blog entry. (Please forgive my shameless name dropping) She was so kind to respond with encouragement to my comment about my yearning to knit a queen sized-some-type-of-squares comforter for our soon to re-do bedroom because (A) I am not satisfied with the comforters that are for sale and (B) I've got a lot of yarn. I needed some motivation.
It seems like a daunting project, but I've been winding this around in my head for quite awhile, and need to get it out of my system. Working project title: " Big A** Comforter". Yarns have been sorted, needles pulled ( size 8 and 9) and revving up to swatch. Thinking a nice 10 inch square sure would be swell. Need to measure bed and do the math. Not thinking about joining all the suckers together! If do exclusively mitered it will be no problema, but I think I may want to throw in some different types of squares for some variety/novelty, and to prevent boredom. Ambitious knitting!

I had planned to write about how joyous I am because I finally completed the newest revisions of my Turtleneck Shrug/ Scarf thingy designed by Teva Durham for Scarf Style, a terific book that's been sitting in the UFO section of my Yarn Room for months. However, my joy was short lived once I put it on! Again.
It seems as if I have been playing around with this scarf for years, because I adapted the pattern to accommadate Alpaca Grande yarn from Plymouth and it's been problematic- not the yarn or pattern, but my efforts to redesign it to fit this yarn, which I love, and, also fit my 2x frame. It seems I am always cold at home, and this yarn is very warm and cuddly. I had to frog down to the shoulders several times. The neck was first too big and then too tight. The sleeves were too short, or too long, or the shoulder width was too narrow for my big girl bod. I think there's still too much ease in the shoulders and I need to reduce the neck circumference by maybe 12 stitches so the collar isn't so much cowl-like. Mr. B.'s take on this has been: " You look like you forgot to finish the sweater!" Minimal fashion design insight in play here, but he redeems himself with his computer savy! Despite the knitgistic problems I've been wearing it here and ther because it has been so cold lately. People have commented. Kindly.

Here is a cute hat that was an old sale item that still had a ridiculous price tag on it at Anthropologie that just begs to be knit by me with some alplaca in the stash. Adult, baby, or child sized? I will tweak this . There are several other swell cold weather comforts to Knit From Your Stash with! Good intentions, eh?

That's it for the Knitorious Peek at people, places and things of interest to me and maybe to you too!