Friday, March 31, 2006

Whipping out the WIPs

I'm taking the bull by the horns. I'm showing my yarn and knitting who's boss. I'm in control, not the stash. I'm a knitter, hear me roar. I'm not going to let the fiber win. I'm going to stick it to the man. *Hey, aren't I sounding a little like RM here? I guess I've got my own brand of crazy.* I'm serious. I've got a lot of yarn pointed at my head (literally, as I've been beaned by my own stash in my closet while trying to rummage around), and I'm asking myself if I feel lucky. Actually I do feel lucky! Like I mentioned in my last post, I joined up with the Stashalong, and am taking the Yarn Focus challenge which coincidentally is the reason I now have a ticker in my header. I also took up Elspeth's challenge to show all my WIPs today. Now, I don't have a lot, just four. I'm actively working on 3 of them. I'll show those first. First up, we have the infamous Clapotis that I'm knitting with the yarn I dyed last week. I'm loving this project. I have noticed one problem though. Even though I dyed all my yarn together, the skeins aren't quite the same intensity. this is noticeable as I've joined the second ball of yarn. I've decided to consider this a design element, and quirk as hey, I hand-dyed the yarn. In that same picture I have my socks. I meant to try to learn how to do magic loop, but I cast these socks on the day after my grandmother died. Emotional time + new technique = cursing and gnashing of teeth. I went back to the DPN's and threw in a simple ribbing from the pamphlet ribbing plain and fancy. I'm dubbing them my Easter Peep socks. Ok, next picture features my third active WIP. This is my fourth square for the KTC Warm the World afghan. These squares also count for my 40 days for others project. This particular square uses a basketweave pattern. I'm using Wool-ease. The other red and gray feather and fan thing... yeah, well that's a blanket I started 2 years ago, when I was first learning to knit. It's still on the needles. I got super bored with it, and shoved it in a corner. Plus the sheer amount of knitting I would have to do to finish it scared me as a beginning knitter. I have since traded away, given away, or used all of the Wool-ease that I bought to make it. All that's left of the materials for the project you see here. Why don't I just rip it out? Well, that would be a lot of effort. I'm thinking of just casting off and giving it to the cats.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Random Wednesday... on a Thursday!

Try as I might, my posts have been feeling a bit scattered of late. It's a hallmark of an overtaxed mind, I think. So what randomness do I have for you today?
  • Elspeth has challenged us all to show all of our WIP's tomorrow on our blogs. I actually don't have that many, as UFO's give me hives, but you'll actually see some knitting pics on the blog.
  • Signups for the Knitting Vacation Swap end on Sunday night, so email me at craftylilly AT yahoo DOT com to sign up if you're interested! It's a one-time swap with packages to be mailed by June 1st. $15 minimum to spend. It's a great way to hear about all the fun vacations people will be enjoying this summer and sending along a little knitted gift and other goodies to accompany a friend on the way!
  • I joined the Stashalong for 2 months, starting April, and I have to plans on what part of my stash I'm going to work on. Maybe I'll commit to working through at least 10 balls of yarn by the end of the Stashalong. That, and not buy anymore yarn for 2 months. What did I just sign up for?
  • On my way home After dropping my son off at school today I found myself at a stop sign behind a large white van. The van was one of the ones with no windows on the side of the van. The vanity plate on the back of the van said "Pimp Daddy." And it had a bumper sticker that said "My other ride is your mother." I was embarassed for the 3 20 something men in the van. I was also embarassed for their mothers. I better not find that kind of car swag on my son's car when he grows up. There will be hell to pay... hell to pay.
  • Here is a link to a fun little video that my kids love and I think is hilarious. This is especially for Chris.
  • Here is another Link for anyone with intimate knowledge of Ebay. You know who you are. Did I mention I joined the Stashalong?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The blog meme

I'm finally getting around to the blog meme that JenLa tagged the world with. I'm enjoying reading others answers and have found some new blogs so I hope to add to the body of blog knowledge. I'm sure you know the rules but here they are again. Rules: Your finds must come from knit blogs. -You may not use a blog for more than one item -all items must come from different sources. -Finds can come from current entries or archives. -You must post your answers with the title of the blogs they were found on and a link to the blog/item (permalinks where appropriate) on your blog. If no permalink is available, give us the post date. -Do not steal anyone’s bandwidth-which means you should not hotlink pictures. -You need to comment and let us know when you have completed this meme. 1. A blog which you think people have not discovered. Ok, I found Zarah's Blog Beauty School Dropout just recently as she is organizing the hand dyed yarn swap. I love the name of her blog; she's super nice, and she takes some fantastic photographs, especially of flowers. 2. A blog whose author lives close to you physically. Just get as close as you can, it’s all relative. Carrie K of My Middle Name is Patience lives 5 minutes from me. 3. An unusual or weird animal picture. Why do you allow such indignities, Carmen? Check this out at Knit together, wonderfully made. 4. An entry that made you laugh and got you strange looks from family or co-workers. I almost snarfed my soda while reading Knit and Plenty's Knitting Oscar nominees. 5. An idea you wish you’d thought of. Alison of the Blue Blog's Sockapalooza 6. Something you’d like to knit. Take a look at Winnie of Knitting Escapism's Forecast! Gorgeous. Zarah, if you're reading this, take a look at this sweater. It'll make you want to knit it even more... 7. A picture of something you consider beautiful. Jane of Yarnstorm takes gorgeous pictures and is so creative. Take a look at her connection between food and knitting. 8. A blog whose author you’d like to one day meet in person. Hmmm, to tell the truth, I'd like to meet loads of people that I read and have *met* online. I'd probably like to meet Chris at Bits of Knits. I can relate to a lot of her blog posts. 9. A blog of someone you have already met in person. I haven't met many bloggers in person. Other than Carrie K I have, however, met Sharlene of Mommio knits, and Lu of Maglia. Whew! That's a lot of linking. Oh, and by the way, I've added more to the bargain bin. Lots more yarn there, and some cross-stitch kits. I know most of you are knitters, but you may know a stitcher. Let them know!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I have lost my fragile grip on reality

Remember when I said that after I finished my sockpal's socks that I would have nothing on the needles? I did get a couple comments and emails expressing shock and wonderment of what I was going to do about that problem. Well, the answer is, add to the problem and make plans for five projects all at once. Now, I'm a 2 maybe 3 project at one time knitter. Give me more, and I start getting twitchy. I begin to try to find ways to knit every spare moment because, well, all the projects need to feel a little love. When I don't get to a project, I feel a little uncomfortable like it's hanging over my head. I knew I was in trouble when I retrieved the three skeins of natural wool of the andes and started picking out Kool-Aid to dye it with. You see, my sockpal's socks were done, I was marking time between projects until something grabbed me but I needed to work with fiber. I decided to dye in my stew pot instead of the microwave as I had so much yarn to dye and I wanted it all to look like the same dye lot. Five packets of Strawberry and 5 packets of Grape later and I got this gorgeous yarn in shades of deep purple, lavender, magenta, red, and pink. I love it. It's the most successful Kool-Aid dyeing I've done to date. It's the reason I signed up for the Project Spectrum hand dyed sock yarn swap. Hey, I told you I lost my grip on reality! Anyway, back to my lovely dyed yarn. It needed a project. I know that I want to cast on another pair of socks (which I did immediately, I've been meaning to learn magic loop. Yes, I know the socks you see in the picture above don't have circs in them. They're DPNs. I've learned that one shouldn't learn a new skill when having a bad week). I want to make an lovely burnt orange Rogue for the April Project Spectrum. I have my yarn and needles all ready for the Mountain Stream Scarf. I have completed two of my four squares for the KTC Warm the World blanket and was halfway through the third. However, my Berry Fountain Soda yarn(as I've now started to call it) was crying out to be knit. I started a Clapotis. I've lost it people. I really have.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wild Sock Kingdom

My sockpal's socks are fini! I really like the look of them. Working with Fixation takes some getting used to, but I like the end result. I can imagine making more socks out of Fixation in the future. The only pause I have with the socks, is that one sock is much more stripey than the other one. The balls came from the same dyelot, but the finished product does look a lot different. I suppose this kind of difference is par for the course for variegated yarns. Right? Anyway, I hope my sockpal likes them. Project Stats: Pattern: Lacy Socks off the Cascade Website Yarn: Cascade Fixation in the Harlequin colorway Needles: size 4 aluminum DPNs Time to complete: I never know what to say here. Two or three weeks? Maybe more like two because these socks went super quick. What I learned: When working with a yarn with a lot of spandex, you can't pull to hard on it because the tension gets really screwed up. Also, do your best not to drop a stitch. A dropped stitch is really hard to catch. Again, spandex... Cascade Fixation is a great sub for someone who is allergic to wool socks, but the texture doesn't lend itself to some patterns. Work with needles that are smaller than you think. If you've never worked with Fixation, keep in mind you may have to knit the same first inch about 4 times before you get into the Fixation groove. I also received a package from KTC's Mystery Swap. Melanie aka Teabird sent me a fabulous package with two mysteries, a fun Nancy Drew Journal, and a fun pink small tote with a couple skeins of pink fun fur, pink Lionbrand Suede, and Hello Kitty Gear. I am so excited about the mysteries she sent me. One is actually about a beader that solves a crime, and the other is about a needleworker/detective. I love it! Thanks Melanie! And my last news of the day, I've added even more to my Bargain Bin There's some good stuff there! P.S. Some of you commented on my piano in the background of my Angelica pic. That's my piano from when I was a little girl. It's a beautiful Yamaha that my children will use when they take piano. Music is so important to be exposed to, I think.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lots of little things

I don't really have one cohesive theme for this post. I have just a lot of little things for you all. I received a lovely package from my Felted SP on St. Patrick's Day. It came the same day as I got the sad news of my grandmother's passing, so it was doubly apreciated. She sent me three skeins of Big Kureyon in a lovely red and purple colorway, and a little set of adorable stitch markers made by Good to Be Girl. Thank you SP! In other swap news, we have 12, perhaps 13 members for the Knitting Vacation Swap. Sign-ups go to April 2, so there's plenty of time to sign up if you want to! I'd love for the group to reach 20 participants. We have a good group going and I've been spending some time gathering links for ideas of what to make for our pals. Again, if you're interested email me at craftylilly AT hotmail DOT com. I'm almost finished with my sockpal's socks and I will officially have nothing on the needles. Nothing. I'm feeling a bit adrift. I have lots of options. (Don't we all.) I want to knit Rogue with the lovely pumkin spice orange Jaeger shetland aran yarn that RM got me for Christmas. I was thinking that would be my April Project Spectrum project. I joined the Mountain Lace KAL, and want to knit the Mountain Stream scarf. I've decided on some lovely dark purple Karabella Lace Mohair gifted to me by my SP5 pal, Lu. I'm also itching to learn how to knit socks using the magic loop method. I'm thinking of just using some self-striping Knitpicks sock yarn and the simple basic sock pattern and giving it a go. Of course, the Sexy Knitter's Club has decided on two sweater to knit for April and May, the Somewhat Cowl, and Orangina. I've got yarn for both of those sweaters in the stash, but am thinking maybe I should stick with the Rogue. I have a feeling that I won't be able to continue knitting wool pretty soon. I'm also trying to decide what I'm going to do with my small stitch marker biz. I'm contemplating wrapping it up soon. I've been knitting way to much to make many new markers. When I do get a chance to bead, I'm more interested in doing some off-loom beadweaving and stringing projects. When I finally make my decision, I may be offering up some stitch markers at a discount. I'll let you know. Oh, and I've got some yarn going up in my Bargain Bin late today. There'll be some GGH Esprit, some Cascade 220, and some better quality acrylic going up. I'll edit this post when I finally get the pictures taken and the post up. Thanks for all the kind comments about Angelica! She was a fun knit! Oh, and pardon Ashe in the SP gift pic. He can't seem to stay away from new yarn. EDITED to add: I've got the yarn up on my bargain bin blog. Take a look!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Angelica in Autumn

But isn't it almost spring? Yes, it is dear friends. I'm talking about my Angelica tunic that I completed last week. I didn't get a chance to take her picture until this weekend. We finally had a break in the rain and general unpleasantness. I like her quite a lot and will be wearing her a lot this spring. I think she will be perfect for next fall too, the Indian summer time for sure. So without further ado, here are the specs. Pattern: Angelica Renaissance Tunic by Stephanie Japel Yarn: Cotton/rayon/silk blend handpainted by Over the Rainbow Yarns in the Autumn colorway Needles: I used size 11 circ for most of it, and a size 8 circ for the keyhole Time to complete: Once I got started, this sweater took about 2 and a half weeks, give or take. I don't keep real complete records on when I start a knit. What I learned: Most of the skills needed for this sweater, I'm already familiar with. I have to say, that I did learn a bit about how to attach a crochet loop for the button. I crocheted a rather long chain, and ended up tacking it in several places behind the sweater. This makes for a more stable buttonhole, and makes the finished product look more tidy. I also found that even though my yarn as advertised fit the intended gauge of the sweater, I achieved a much more drapey fabric than many of the other knitters who've made this and used wool, or even the Hipknits silk suggested. I can only surmise that this has to do with the fiber content, and the needle size I had to go to to achieve gauge. I rather like the extra drape. I also found that Over the Rainbow Yarns makes a fine dyed yarn. This colorway is gorgeous and knit up really nicely with minimal pooling. I want to thank everyone who left such supportive comments about the loss of my grandmother. It has been a difficult time, and I really appreciate the concern, thougts, and prayers.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Irish Eyes

When I was about 8 or 9 my grandmother taught me how to crochet. We didn't get beyond single or double crochet, but she did teach me how to make a chain and a little purse. When I was in high school, she told me to go through her yarn stash, and pick out several colors because she wanted to crochet me a blanket. I picked the craziest colors ever, mostly because I thought each one was pretty. I didn't think of the overall picture. However, my grandmother didn't say a word, and crocheted me a beautiful blanket that I still have. In many ways she introduced me to fiber before my mother did years later. She was also the person who introduced me to stamp collecting. The stamps didn't stick with me, but collecting sure did. She also once stood in a line for several hours just to get me a Cabbage Patch doll when they were all the rage and every store was selling out of them. She always had Fudgesicles in her freezer. Her garden had the most delicious fig tree and strawberries that I ate right off the vine. My dog Rosie loved her, and the two of us had a good time with her and my stepgrandfather when we stayed with her. I remember her at my wedding wearing a pink dress and being very happy. Even though she and I had a very difficult relationship in my adulthood, I still loved her very much and secretly thought that maybe we could somehow resolve some of the issues before her passing. That unfortunately was not to be. My grandmother passed away this St. Patrick's day. I'm Catholic, and half Irish of which she had lots to do with. I like to think that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland helped to welcome her home. I like to think that she knows that no matter how difficult our relationship has been that I love her and see a bit of her in my own daughter. I meant to do a fun post for St. Patrick's day, but perhaps this Irish blessing is more fitting today. May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go, and guide you in whatever you do-- and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mrs. Strangecraft: or how you know kid gates should probably come down

My house currently uses a very complicated gate system. SWB at almost 4 doesn't need the gates, but PQL at 19 months, is still in need of some fencing. We are getting hints of the end of our gate life, however. For the past couple of weeks, my children have been getting up early. SWB loves to get up and go into the next room to visit with his little sister. Usually this works well and buys me a little extra time in the morning. That is it used to until a couple of mornings ago, they broke down the gate that shuts PQL in her room. You see our house is two stories. I uses a gate in her room to discourage wandering, especially since the bedrooms are upstairs. Now, you'd think that I'd learn and bring the gate down and figure out another solution. I didn't though and still gated her in at night. This practice has resulted in scuffed walls, and gates being taken down by small children every morning this week. I think the kids are trying to tell me something. This realization came home to me this morning as heard the sound of running water upstairs and knew immediately that they had taken down the gate once again. I go upstairs to find this. Two kids brushing their teeth in a bathroom that the younger of the two should have been gated from. Good thing the bathroom is childproofed within an inch of it's usefulness. I also wanted to show you all the lovely postcard I received from Teresa from the Postcard swap! I love it! Thanks Teresa! I sent her a monster movie themed postcard. She posted it on her blog; scroll down her top post to see it. I'm glad she liked it. You never know what kind of reaction you're going to get when you send someone a postcard featuring Godzilla, you know?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The hop in my Knitalong...

When I was about 9 years old, I got a dog. She was a beautiful, and very spunky long hair black and white chihuahua named Rosie. When she was a young dog, she developed a luxating patella, or dislocating knee cap. It was in one of her hind legs, so when she ran around and the knee cap slipped out of joint she had this strange limp, or "hop in her getalong" as my grandmother called it. We got her the surgery to correct it, and she went on to run, play, and be the sweet dog she was for many more years. She remains the sweetest Chihuahua I've ever met. Chihuahuas I've met since haven't been as nice. When I was thinking about what I was going to name this post, the memory of Rosie and her "hop" gave me inspiration! Now onto what you're really here for, the knitting! I've gotten quite a bit farther on my sockpal's socks. I think they look great. I've checked the fit, and they work too. The size #4's did the trick. I think though, that the magic loop method or two circs would have been better than working with DPNs with Fixation. I've had to switch my joins several times to avoid laddering. I never have this problem usually with DPN's. I'm blaming it on the stretch. I should have a finished sock soon. As the second sock usually goes so much quicker than the first, I should have a completed pair in a week or so, just in time for the Sock a Month KAL! Also this colorway really reminds me of a zebra's stripes. I think I could count these socks as my Life of Pi project as well for KTC! Double Dipping, you have to like that! Angelica is speeding right along. I'd be done with her, if I didn't have the sockpal socks, and a big project for SWB's preschool that I'm madly working on. I'm halfway down the second sleeve, and picked out a fab button to finish her off. Angelica will mark the end of the Angelica KAL for me, and is my Project Spectrum project. Woohoo! Double dipping again! Expect FO pics soon! I've also cast on for the first of a few squares I'm knitting for the KTC Warm the World blanket. This is also for the 40 Days for Others that I'm doing. I'm planning on getting at least 4 squares done, one for each member of the family. Since I'm on the verge of completing a couple KAL's I ... ahem... joined another one (The Mountain Lace KAL), and of course started the knitting vacation swap. I'm done making excuses for myself. I like KAL's and swaps. I think I'm as addicted to them as I am yarn. Which by the way, if you're interested we'd love to have you join the knitting vacation swap! Scroll down for the post that discusses the guidelines, and shoot me an email if you want to join up.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Vacation swap details

Well, it sounds like several of you are interested in this small swap. I've worked up the details and created a Yahoo group to help me moderate it. Here we go: The theme of this knitting swap is Vacation. What is meant by this? Well, each person participating will be knitting a small project for their swap pal that can be used for the swap pal's vacation. Ideas include a small felted bag with a paperback inside for beach reading, a set of knit spa washcloths with some nice soaps or candles for spa theme, an ipod cozy and guidebook for an urban vacation, a handknit small project pouch with a pattern for a small project that can be taken along on a road trip, some felted slippers to keep toes warm and cozy for a camping trip. I'm sure there are other ideas out there! Finding out what your swap pal has planned or wishes for their "vacation package" will be important! This is a one time swap. Sign-ups will close on April 2nd. Matches will be sent out by April 16th. The swap package should be in the mail by June 1st, in time for summer vacations. The minimum spending amount is $15, which I think is reasonable for a one-time only swap and hopefully economical for people who'd like to swap. Also at least one part of the package needs to be handknit whether that is felted slippers, a felted bag, spa washcloths, a panta, a summer hat, socks, and ipod cozy, etc. Small projects are the idea here. So if you are interested, send me an email at craftylilly AT hotmail DOT com . Give me your name, snail mail address, and I will send you an invite to join the yahoo group. I have set up a database in the yahoo group for people to add in their preferences, so those without a blog can participate!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A New Look for Spring and feedback needed

What do you think? RM created this new header for me, and I love it! Please let me know if it looks funky to you, or if you the text is moving too quickly. RM says he can fix it if it becomes a problem. I am noodling around with a swap idea and want to know if anyone is interested. I'm thinking of starting a "Vacation Swap." My idea comes from the promise of spring and summer. I was thinking that we do a one time small swap of something knit that follows the theme of a summer vacation such as a felted bag with a paperback inside for beach reading, or a set of knit washcloths with some nice soap and potpourri for a "spa" theme. This would be a small swap, with a cost suggestion of $15 total, but the swap would need to include a knit item. I'm thinking that the date that the swap package should be sent by June 1st, in time for summer vacations. Anyone interested?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

An Ode to Project Spectrum

Yesterday Margene instigated a meme of red and pink. She suggested that Project Spectrum participants find red and pink in our homes and then post pics of all the red and pink goodness on our blogs. I'm rising to the challenge here. Having two wee ones, a boy crazy about superheroes and Star Wars, and a little girl, red and pink is not a problem. Take this pink hippo that was my daughter's Valentine's gift, and my son's Elmo. Elmo's big at Chez Craftylilly. You can barely see it, but the toys are on SWB's bed which prominently features Spiderman, another red superhero. Other than lots of red and pink toys and kid clothing, I also have some red and pink purses. I love purses and bags. It's a good thing I don't have lots of money or places to go. I would have quite a selection if that were true. The ones we have here is a little pink Vera Bradley purse. I love Vera Bradley... The other red purse is the little satin handbag my SIL gave me for her wedding. It's a perfect evening bag. Of course in my beading life, I've worked a lot with red and pink. This bracelet is something I designed a few years ago. It uses an off-loom stitch, peyote stitch. I used two colors of pink seed beads and
purple seed beads, and slowly transitioned from color to color. I finished it off with an
toggle closure that I made with silver beads and one lovely art bead that I bought from a glass bead artist, Val Cox. Pardon the cat hair in the picture. It's funny how I don't notice the cat hair until I take a picture. I really should clean my window sills. But I digress. Then finally, we have Angelica. I've finished with the body and am onto the sleeves. Again this isn't the greatest representation of the colors of the yarn. I had to take another dreary day pic. Angelica is turning out quite nicely though. The knit has been relatively quick, and so I hope to have her done soon. What about the rest of the Project Spectrum participants? Flash your red and pink!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The yarn should be called Vexation

Because I'm seriously vexed. I've finally decided on a pattern to use with the Fixation for my sockpal's socks. It's the free lacy sock pattern off of the Cascade website. I love this pattern. It's easy to memorize and looks really good with the colorway I've chosen. I'm happily knitting and about halfway down the cuff when I think to myself, "Gee, this is looking a bit big." I stop and try them on. All I can say is, "Wowza." I refer back to the pattern. Hmmm, no gauge is mentioned. Size 5 DPNs are indicated. Hmmmm... A ripping I will go. Now I've got to decide whether a size 4 or 3 would work better. I'm going to try a 4 today. The good thing is these socks zip right along with the larger needles. I am getting the hang of how to work with the yarn too. Don't pull too tight! Let the yarn flow but give it a little tension. Hopefully I'll have better news for you in a few days. Here's a picture of my efforts, the large cuff that shall be no more by tonight.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Field Trip, Man madness, and a book meme

I got a whole mess of random for you today. I'll start with the knitblogger backyarn field trip that I learned about at Knitting Interrupted. I'm a bit late, but I think we're ok. I'm going to show you around my rather small backyard. Now, my backyard is a mess. When we moved into this house a year ago, we discovered that we had some trouble with a couple trees and drainage. Nothing we did could save the lawn in the backyard. Add that with RM's lack of will and time to work on the backyard, and we end up with a mess. It's a mess that the kids can still play in, but it's not attractive. So the views I have for you of the backyard are heavily edited. We have a long and thin backyard. The previous owners have a lot of shrubs and trees that ouline a lawn in the middle, but the whole thing is at a bit of a slant, thus all the rain water ends up keeping one section of our lawn rather wet. I do like our backyard though. We did a lot of landscaping on our last house, which has quite a sizeable front and backyard. It's nice to only worry about this small space. We'd like to relandscape, take some trees out, fix the drainage, and redo the lawn. Eventually we'll replace the wood deck we have too. I don't have pics of that as it is covered in kid toys. All this discussion of the yard brings me to some man madness, specifically RM's brand of crazy. RM is a handy guy. He is rather good at fixing things. If he had more time, he could probably finish many home improvement projects. Now having said that, every home improvement project that he embarks upon always bring up problems that he doesn't expect. These problems bring about much gnashing of teeth. He then works even harder at making the project work because, "He's going to win! He's going to beat the (insert home project here). This weekend he's had a project he's been working on. Nothing has gone as planned. Gnashing of teeth has ensued. Querying children, curious about why daddy is holding a drill and has a crazed look on his face are told that he, "is on a mission from God." (Blues Brothers fans will understand this reference.) Please reassure me that I'm not the only one living with this brand of crazy. Please. And now for the book meme. I've read this meme on several blogs now and thought I'd share too! Feel free to answer this meme if you'd like 1) Name 5 of your favorite books: The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Byzantium by Stephen R. Lawhead, Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I could go on. I love lots of books. 2) What was the last three book I bought. Hmmm... I honestly can't remember. I've Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress recently. 3) What's the last book I read? I finished the Knit the Classics February selection, Woman at the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. Actually this may have been the last book I bought... 4) Name three books I've been dying to read. Well, I've got way more than 3 that I could list here. I really want to read Anna Karenina, Son of a Witch, and Outlander. Oscars are tonight! You know where I'll be while knitting.

Friday, March 03, 2006

It's all about the red and pink, baby

Project Spectrum has started in earnest at Casa de Craftylilly. I'm working on my Angelica Tunic with this fantastic cotton/rayon handpaint from Over the Rainbow yarns on ebay. The yarn is just gorgeous. I usually find working with cotton to be a bit more uncomfortable than working with wool, but this stuff is quite nice. I took the photo of my progress yesterday, which was overcast and ugly, so you don't really get a good look at the beauty of this yarn. The colors go from red, to magenta, to a coppery green. The colorway is called Autumn, which it really does resemble. The rayon adds a nice sheen to the fabric as well. Angelica will be the perfect spring sweater. I've been noticing that we like the colors red and pink quite a lot at my house. Take the kidlets clothing for example. Lots of red and pink action here. Then of course there is my sock knitting bag. I bought this bag at Piddleloop, a fantastic little company that makes the cutest knitting bags and pouches. The overall color of the bag is purple, but there's a lot of pink in there too. Now my sockpal's yarn, the Cascade Fixation, is decidedly not pink or red. It is a rather subversive black and white. The yarn totally fits my sockpal though. I'm really enjoying reading her blog. She's a fun knitter, who definitely knits to the beat of her own drummer. I like a girl who know her mind! I wish I could share her blog with you. You'll just have to wait a couple of months! I'm using a free pattern using Cascade Fixation called the Spring Garden socks. I think the lace pattern will look interesting with this yarn. *EDITED TO ADD* I just spent the last hour trying to work with this pattern and yarn. Ummm, I think I'll be choosing a less complex pattern for this yarn. Fixation is going to take some getting used to, and all the YOs and twisting is too much. Wish me luck. As a final note, I usually don't advertise about my bead stitchmarker and jewelry shop over at, but I've been getting some emails from people so I thought I'd just mention that I also do special order stitch markers. If you let me know what colors or themes you'd like for your markers, how many you want (I usually do sets of 5 or 10), and what size needle you'd like them to fit, I can work something out with you. I haven't updated my store in a while, but am working on it. I hope to have some new sets up by the end of the month, but feel free to contact me if you have something special in mind.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My children are in cahoots

with the cats. I mean look at them. They're trying to crush me in this picture. I've stepped on countless toys today, and slipped on one. The fall was not pretty. I fell right on my rear end in my daughter's room trying to put her down for a nap. After I fell I look up at my daughter and she's looking at me like "Whoa... What happened?" Of course this is the same child who managed to shut my computer down 2 times, the wrong way. Plus, SWB just finished up a round of antibiotics a couple of days ago and now has pink-eye and is complaining about his other ear. Putting eye drops in a 3 year old's eyes are not fun. Not even bribery with the little Easter themed marshmellows is working. Where is the good health angel when I need her? Now, my three cats are laying low, but I know they're in on it. They can't fool me. They're probably working up a really good hairball, or have plans to chew on some knitting needles. I just know it. I'm just about to cast on for my Sockapaloooza socks with the Cascade Fixation and was wondering, does anyone have any tips for working with this stuff? The ball band has this crazy stretched and unstretched yardage. Say what? Does that matter when using it for socks? Any help would be appreciated.