Thursday, September 28, 2006

Presenting - SANTA

I know it's kinda early for christmas, but it doesn't hurt to be ready. So may I present - tadaah, Santa, the big brother of Barbarossa. I finally got him all done. He is taller than Barbarossa, just to see how the variation of the bigger pattern worked out. I think he turned out pretty cute too. Must run in the family. I hope he'll be the one to get me my first customer on etsy. I'm getting a little frustrated about it, but I guess we artists go through that phase. Hey, we ARE artists. We are able to create things other people have to go to stores for.

I also found another cool place here on post for me. I just happened to stroll into our local crafty souvenir store. Anything to do with this unit here, the army, americana or just plain crafty is welcome there to be sold on commission. I think that would be another market for to sell my items, I would just have to alter my style a little to fit their theme. We'll see what I come up with, but it is definately opening the door for more possibilities.

Now that I got Santa done I have more time to work on my stole with Keri and Erica again to catch up with them. I know Keri is way ahead of us, but the way I am procrastinating, I'm sure I'm the one finishing last. I know it's not a competition, but it's better to keep up. That's the point of doing it together! I need to focus and work on this so I can finish this. That's what my husband always complains about. I have too many projects going at the same time. Hey, I just have too many ideas and by the time I get one done, I'm afraid I'll forget about the other ones. I guess I should invest in stock with sticky notes, because I'm gonna need them, so I won't forget them. Well, I better get going and get those needles clicking again. Later ...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Look at these feet. Aren't they cute? No, not the feet, just the socks. This was my 5 year old yesterday. He insisted on wearing my hand knitted socks to school - in 85 F weather with shorts and t-shirt. Hey, if that doesn't spell love. Actually I think he wore them because he 1. ran out of white socks and 2. found them easier to put on. It's sweet though, that he wore them to school. I'm so touched. By the way the heels are grey too.

To keep you all posted, my stole I'm knitting together with Keri and Erica is up to 26+ repeats = less than 8 to go, yey!! (deep breath). I'm getting there, slowly but surely. I also started another one of my gnomes. Sorry Catherine, I adopted them to be mine now :) Like promised the next one is going to be a Santa. That's what happens if I can't sleep and get up at 3.30 am and I am done folding all of yesterdays laundry. Oh well. can you think of a better way to kill time?.... Didn't think so. Also, cross your fingers for me (if this is humanly possible while holding knitting needles). I'm applying for a job today, I mean a real one, not just a "welcome to .... how may I help you" job. So far, every time I was here in the states, I either had little kids, so I stayed home, or it was just one of those less than 10 bucks part time jobs. Let's see how this one goes. Don't feel bad for me if it doesn't work out, that would just mean more knitting time for me. Right now I just feel there must be more for me out there than just cleaning up after my family. I guess you all know that feeling. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Little Gnome

Well, what do you think about my little gnome? I think he turned out really cute. I have to admit after knitting all the pieces I thought this was going to be the only one I ever do, but I changes my mind about that, when he turned out to look just like I wanted him too. You have to excuse the orange beard, but I wanted to save the white for Santa and yellow or black wasn't my favorite choice. So, here he is, ready to be admired. What do you think?

Baby Blues is over

Ok. the pictures might not be very flattering for the blanket, but I wanted to proof that it was finally done. I think it turned out all right and I learned a lot of things in the process, like don't sit on the machine, when you are pissed off or after a cup of coffee. That's when you grab your handknitting and let all your frustration or caffein out. Anyway, the one with the border is a little light, but I just wanted to show off the border with the little trim. Turned out ok. I think. Now I moved up to other things.

Besides the stole I started on a little gnome. It's a tester and if he comes out presentable, I'll introduce you to him. Then he'll have a little brother too. I'm planning an all male family of them in the future. I guess you could also call it a litter? I also had another inspiration yesterday. I have boxes of clothes that are cluttering my closet and are going into the upcoming yardsale. Lots of them are fairly new jeans, handed down from my sister and sister in law. Sister = too short, sister-in-law = too small. But they are still good for one thing that benefits me: I can cut them up and sew them into a jeans rag blanket. I don't want to call it a quilt, because I won't put a batting, much too warm and too heavy, not to mention the stress on my poor sewing machine (which I by the way like a lot more than my knitting machine!!!!). I can imagine the different shades of blue and the raggy, fraied edges. Now it's just the matter of doing it. Please don't let me forget it, or it will be left on my to-do-list and will never get done and crossed out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I've been tagged - outch

Thank you Keri for tagging me. Now I have to reveal my most embarrasing habits? Well, let's see. I asked my husband for input, but his list was too long (and some more weird and doesn't need to be mentioned). Here are my top choices:

Like some of you, I also have a body part I don't like touched. It's my feet. Don't touch them, I kill for less. I guess it's a childhood fobia. I was always afraid my mother would cut my toes off instead of clipping my nails.

I stack the dishes when we are done eating out in a restaurant. My husband always tells me the waiter gets paid for that, but why make their live any harder. They have to put up with enough.

I ask for input from my husband just to turn around and end up doing what I wanted to do in the first place or take somebody elses advise before his. Drives him nuts.

Sour cream and sugar. No, I'm not pregnant or something like this, I just happen to like it that way.

I hate it when I buy something and on the way home I see it on sale somewhere else. I sometimes go back and return it, just to go and buy it for a couple of dollars cheaper. Sometimes I bet the gas is more expensive than the savings.

I don't like to order a drink for myself, I just scavange of the family. Hey, the refills are free right?

Oops. Did I overshoot? My bad, can't keep my mouth shut again and another thing, I tend to let my mouth work before engaging the brain. Sometimes that's funny, sometimes it's not. Sometimes things get lost in the translation too, so if I happen to write down some funny sounding phrases - that's just straight translation of a german phrase into english. Hey, I thought it was funny too when I found out cats and dogs rain out of the sky.

Now since I know most of my contacts through you, it's kinda hard for me to tag too many other people, but here I go. Short list. I tag Anja, Karin and Michelle.

Keep it going, it's intesting and good to find out, that no weird person is alone.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Before and after

I just wanted to show you a before and after shot of the sweater. How do you like it? What's on the cone on the left is what's left of the other sleeve. It only took me a couple of minutes to wind it up. Bless whoever invented the wool winder and give him a bonus. This was a 100 % cotton sweater. Note the 2 very thin strings hanging off. That's how thin the yarn is. Even for the knitting machine I'll have to at least double it. I'll wind the 4 parts on seperate cones, so when I deside I want to knit something from this I can always take two cones at one time and make it a 4 ply yarn. I think I would have to take all four cones at once, if I even attempted to knit that thing up by hand again.

On another note I finished the mauve/hot pink heart socks and I'm still working on the stole of course. I'm on 12 reps now. I know, I'm slow on that one, but there are so many other things going on at the same time I want to try out and there is really no deadline on it. Exept if Keri and Erica get done way before me, then everything else has to be put on the backburner. I also surfed the net for a couple of other finished stoles like that. I found some that were knitted all the way in one direction and they looked great too. So that's probably what I'm going with. The baby blanket is still pinned to the floor awaiting my desition wether I want to try to machine knit, hand knit or crochet the border around it. Any suggestions are welcome. I'll take them in consideration.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Progress Report

Ok, here is my progress report on the new baby blue baby blanket. Like it? I guess I'm finally making friends with my machine. At the end of this we were getting along pretty good, just didn't know where to pack the blanket once it started touching the floor. I ended up having to roll it over the comb. Anyway, it measures about 24 x 29 inches. For all you non-inchers, take a calculator and multiply by 2.54. Maybe I could have gone longer, but when the sides rolled in it seemed so much longer than wide, so I stopped. I even got the cast off right at the first try. Karin would be so proud of me! I'll crochet a border around it to hide all the little mistakes at the edges (did I just say that out loud?) plus I don't want to ruin it by messing up with a border I've never tried. Better play it save this time. I only used 3 packs of yarn, about 150 g. That'll leave me plenty to make more blankets. Actually, I was thinking of making a matching hat, similar in shape like the one Catherine just posted on her blog.

Right now I'm multi-tasking. I'm working on the pink heart socks, the stole together with Keri and Erica, the baby blanket, and I'm going to try to unravel and recycle two cotton sweaters I got from my sister (way too big and way too pink/purple). Hey, I just can't deside what to finish first and if feels so good when you can finish a couple of them right after each other. The bad thing about it is, that some of them end up with the aliens and turn into UFOs.

Well, that's it for now, I guess. One more thing: I just won some yarn from a seller from canada on ebay. It's cashmere! I'm all antsy about that now and it'll probably take forever to get here, especially when I'm waiting for it. Remember the boiling pot? Same thing. That's why I need to keep myself busy. Later.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Next test run

Well, I'm not giving up. This time I'm using a 50 cotton 50 acrylic yarn to be knitted with 2,5 - 3 mm needles. That worked out a lot better - but so did the test pattern on the other yarn. No, I'm sure this will work out better. I just have 50g balls and have to make sure I don't run out of yarn in the middle of the row. By the way, the yarn is light blue and is going to be for the next neighbor that will have a boy. The one with the girl got a stamped cross stitch pillowcase and sheet set I made years ago an never used. It was perfect for a girl. I hope she likes it and uses it here in those temperatures. My neighbor ladies and I are putting together a giftbasket for the new mom today.

I also got 10 + repeats on my stole. Hey, I'm working on it. It's getting there. Now I have to start checking how long it was supposed to be or maybe I'll just go all the way in only one direction. We'll see.

That's it for today, playtime is almost over and the kids are on their way home soon.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Work in progress and more ripping

Ok, here is my stole that I'm working on together with Keri. I only have 6 repeats so far, got a little sidetracked with other things, but more of that later. Don't expect me do count stitches or anything. I have to say, the pattern itself is not bad. After only a few repeats I have the pattern down and don't even need the paper to look it up anymore. I just didn't like the grafting thing either. I assumed at first that I start at the middle, work my way out and then pick up the other side and do the same thing, but unfortunately that will make the waves run up the arm instead of down. Bummer. I did a similar stole for my MIL last year and the pattern was going all in one direction. It came out nice, but didn't have much of an elaborate border or anything, since it was my own creation. I just wanted to get it done and out of the house so she'd have her wish. ..... No need to add any more to that. Anyway, I think I have a little further to go before I have to deside what to do with it and then I'll see or better yet you'll see.

The side track was that I was going to make that blanket. Does anybody remember? No? Good, because that is a chapter that will be written of to experience. Walmart and Red Heart just don't go together with knitting machines. I thought I or the machine would die at some point. I survived and have a nice big ball of pastell yarn for my sister to crochet a blanket with and the machine survived without any more bent needles. As you can see we were getting busy and seeing eye to needle until I wanted to commemorate the moment and picked up my camera. Click. Good now off we go and the disaster happened - I picked up the wrong carriage and instead of knitting one row I ended up rearranging the needles for the next pattern part. Big mistake! And that was that. Savor the picture for the blanket on it is history. Loved the pattern, liked the color but absolutely hated the yarn. Would somebody please open a yarnstore in this @$&#$%* town? No answer to that prayer. Well, I'm off to my knitting again, trying to enjoy the last couple of quiet minutes in this house before the kids come home from school. I'll talk to you later, keep the needles going.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Latest projects

I'm currently working on two projects: I started knitting a shawl with Keri, which she is so much faster than me and even promised to knit something inbetween to give me time to catch up - and I really usually don't knit slow, and I have 1 of 2 (of course) of my girly pink heart socks done. Sorry, the picture is not very flattering, but that was just to have something to post. The heart border is not as stretchy as I wanted it to be, which is why they ended up being kids size, about a 2 or so. They fit my 9 year old son, which was not too happy that I used him as a model/tester. He honestly thought they were for him. That was my contribution for fair isle patterns in socks. I think it works better in hats, since they don't have to make it over a heel.

I also have a bunch of pregnant people in my neighborhood. Hmmm, how did that happen. Maybe it has something to do with husbands being gone for a year and coming home about lets say 6 - 8 months ago? Yeah, maybe. Anyway, we just had a baby girl joining our neighborhood yesterday and two more boys on the way within the next two or three months. At least that's all I know of right now. So that would give me a chance to try patching up the relationship with my knitting machine. I was thinking of trying a pattern for a baby blanket. Yes, I know, it's a big project, but the machine will do it for me (so I hope). I just have to put in the pattern card, thread the yarn and off we go. Do I live in a cloud? How did that thing go about the river in egypt? I hope it's that easy, but I guess I won't find out unless I try. At least I have my neighbors as lab mice to try out my creations. I don't think they'll complain if it is given to them? You never know.

Now I'm debating wether I should try out the machine with baby yarn from walmart or rather order some on the internet. I rather look at it to find out if it might fit in the machine. I joked the needles up with some cotton yarn the other day, it was just too thick. Baby yarn is about the only yarn I can find at walmart that is not worsted weight unless I want to drive 40 miles to make it to a real yarn store. Well, those are the not so nice things about living in Georgia's low country. Walmart is about IT here. Keri knows what I am talking about.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

How do you like those fuzzies?

It was raining all day today so I got cold feet. I desided to pull out my fuzzy socks. How do you like them? Cute, aren't they. The best thing about those was that I wore them to work one day and all they saw was the color of the sock - until I sat down and my pantlegs slipped up. Poof, there goes the fur. No, not hairy legs, eyelash yarn on the cuff of my anklesocks. That reminds me, I have to make a pair like this for my niece in Germany for her birthday. Hopefully they'll make it there by the 20th of this month.

See what I mean about having my socks match? I got it almost perfect, just under the toes, where I sew them together, I needed a little more yarn on one than on the other.

Botties anyone?

My brain might not be working to it's full capacity at the moment, but at least the knitting hands are not effected by that. I'm afraid I'm allergic to something here in Georgia. Last time I was stationed here I was sick with a cold all the time too. Wow, three years of this to go, FUN! Anyway, this is what I accomplished last night, somewhere around 1 to 3 am. I started on this booty last night, just so I wouldn't have to wind off the yarn of the ball to get to the next repeat in color to start the next sock on the same spot. I'm picky about this sometimes. I like my socks to look the same, if it's at all possible. So there is my inbetween project and now it's back to sock # 2. Can you make out the braid on the top? I guess that didn't come out so good, but it's there if you look real hard. All I need is a ribbon or a cord through the holes and it'll be done.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pooh and his friends

Say hello to my little friends! Hey, get that mind out of the gutter and say Hello to Pooh and his friends. They are made of sock yarn or baby yarn, which ever fit the color I needed. Aren't they adorable? I found the pattern a couple of years ago at Michael's and had to give it a try. Each of them has it's part, that holds up the process, but they are fun to make. Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore took about 5 days to make, Piglet only 3. I cut it down to 3 and 1 1/2 days one time, but my family had to go hungry those days or find their own grub. Anyway, what do you think?

I also got the Bluebonnet Sock done. It's an original pattern from Catherine and she has it for sale on her blog. It's really not hard, and once you get the hang of it, it moves forward really quickly. I still have to make the matching sock, but I didn't want to keep you and Catherine waiting to add this picture to her gallery. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Haven't gotten arond finding a spot for my knitting machine. My fingers are really itching to get started, but I'm still hesitating. It's something new and my craftroom still looks so cluddered that I don't even want to pull out something new. Do I need a even bigger house after all? I don't think so. I'm not moving again - at least not for the next three years, unless the army desides otherwise. Hey that's military life for you. I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about.

On another note I spent a few hours yesterday making lumpia. For all those that don't know, it's small phillipino style egg rolls. My husband is an island boy (ordered him from the catalog, military issue (don't take me serious)), so I learned to cook some recipes from my mother in law. Don't we all. Things we do to make them happy. Anyway here is a before and after picture of my yummy lumpias. I think you can guess which is which. I made about 100 of those bad boys. It really takes up a lot of time to make them, but they make for a quick and easy lunch for hubby, when he comes home. Serve with sweet and sour sauce and you are set.

I gotta run for now, I'll talk to you later. Happy knitting!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Added more stuff to etsy

I sat down today and added some more things to etsy. I dug out finished things and posted them. I have plenty of people looking at my shop, but had no buyers so far. Is that normal? I guess I'm trying too hard. I hear that a lot lately. I'm trying to get things going for me, I want to make lots of new things or can't figure out what UFO's to finish first. One, my mom's sweater, got done and the other one I ripped out. That's one way of getting rid of them. Now I can't figure out if I should make more little things for etsy, start something new for me, start pulling out my sewing machine and quilt something or set up my knitting machine and start experimenting with that one? I got the idea from Keri about dishcloths on the knitting machine and wanted to try that. I didn't know they were so popular over here. That would definately look promising. I also got a new magazine from her yesterday and found a lot of things in there I likes. Now I really have to go through my stash and find out which yarn goes with which one of the projects. Too many things, too little time.

Well, that's it for today. Just wanted to let everybody know how I was doing (besides being a little sick) and that I'm still out there. Maybe that's why I can't figure out what I want to do next. I don't feel right. Maybe I should just go back to bed today and start all over tomorrow. For today I think I'll just work on another pair of booties with braids to use up some of my leftover balls of yarn. That's the best way to use them. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and check out Catherine's new sockpattern. I haven't gotten around trying it out, but it sure looks like it rocks. Gotta make my husband hook up the printer first, before I can attempt it, but I'll send a picture, once mine are finished. Thanks. Later