December 31, 2007

Magic Carpet Ride Socks

The socks are started from the hand-spun sock yarn that dd, Alcariel on Ravelry, gifted me for Christmas. I decided to use Cascading Leaves for the pattern on ml #2 Addis. So far, I have the ribbing and first pattern repeat finished. The yarn is so soft .... am really looking forward to wearing these socks.

Today I need to kitchener the toes of the Mystery Socks from Socktopia that I've knitted for a coffee friend. Yes, I had her try on the 3/4 finished socks to check the fit before Christmas. Then I can soak and block them.

Other things that need to be completed as my New Year "intentions" ..... a knitted briefcase that only needs to have handles sewn on and then be felted plus making a lining for it ..... River Rapids socks that have the legs half completed ..... Thuja socks for dh ..... and a few other UFOs or WIPs, whatever you want to call them.

Happy New Year! TLGB

December 30, 2007


I decided to join the SAM 5 as an incentive to whittle down the sock yarn stash. I hope to get the ten pairs of socks done (three are already finished) for my coffee "buddies" and then add more to my socks inventory. I absolutely have loved wearing knitted wool socks ..... the first time in my life when my feet have been warm!

When our dd was home for Christmas, she asked me to teach her to crochet so that she could make shower puffs from dishcloth yarn. Well ..... it took all of about 5 minutes and she made three puffs before she went home on the 27th. I've made two so far .... haven't used either yet .... one was gifted to a retired teacher (she's 85 years young) who thought they were so beautiful. The pattern is available here.

One gift that dd gave me was some sock yarn that she had spun. She had me pick the roving earlier this year ..... Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino in the colorway Magic Carpet Ride. It is sooo soft, it's going to feel great on my feet. Will post a pic after I get it "caked." TLGB

December 28, 2007


Here's a pic of the Thuja socks I started earlier this month for DH .... not done for Christmas, so will probably complete them in January. They are knit from CTH Supersock in the Java colorway (dark & med brown, blue-grey, dark sage) on ml. I had DH try them on Christmas Day to make sure they would fit over his high instep .... they did, so now all I have left is two long feet and toes. I've really enjoyed knitting these although the dark color is easier in sunlight or bright light.
I just have to kitchener the toes on the Socktopia Mystery Socks that I knitted for a friend for Christmas. I had her try them on since her feet are a lot smaller than mine. They weren't going to be home for Christmas, so will get those to her on Monday. I used Fortissima Socka Jeans on #2 Addi with ml. I did increase the sts by 8 since my friend likes loose-fitting socks due to vein trouble at her ankles. These were the first mystery anything that I knitted, so enjoyed the "surprise" of what was coming, but didn't like the wait for each step. Will post the pic when I have them finished this week-end.
My December shipment came from RSC on the 24th .... beautiful yarn ....... great pattern. When I "caked" the yarn, I noticed several (12+) knots in just one strand ... one 5-inch place had three such "blemishes." My dd, Alcariel, said that I should contact BMFA because that wasn't up to their standards at all. Well, ..... this morning I sent an email that started out with my "love" of the socks club and then a description of the yarn. Within two hours, I had a reply stating that a new skein of yarn was being sent. JoAnn and Blue Moon Rock! TLGB

December 15, 2007

Last Minute Socks!

Unfortunately, the last minutes socks are for DH, so they will probably be wrapped as a WIP, that's what dd suggested. I took the stitch pattern from Thuja, but since I'm using CTH sock yarn in the Java colorway, I had to increase the sts to 72 from the 44 for wstd. I'm about 5 inches down the leg (both socks are on ml), so will at least get started out on the feet before Christmas comes. The sun is shining today, so should be able to get a good pic outside on the snow.

Oh, the spoiler to their completion is the fact that the high school where I teach decided to have semester tests before Christmas and finish the last 7 days of the semester with a "learning" experience left up to the individual teacher. Well, my classes are year-long, so I'm just continuing with the regular plans. It does mean, however, that I need to type my test this week-end instead of during Christmas vacation.

Today is going to be the finish getting decorations out for Christmas.... the last three years the dd has had to work (she's a nurse), so wasn't able to come home. We took Christmas to her .... even a 2:00 a.m. Christmas dinner for the floor nurses in 2004 and 2006. This year, SHE'S COMING, so I need to really get all the Christmas "stuff" out. Hopefully I won't forget or can't find something that she really remembers. Then .... there's a pile of gifts to wrap .... just about everything is purchased except for a couple of stocking stuffers.

Even with all of the "busy-ness" of the season, please remember the real reason for celebrating. TLGB

December 3, 2007

Just In Time!

The Uptown Boot Socks that I hoped to finish in November, weren't finished until the morning of Dec. 2, so I guess that they will have to be December socks for the SAM KAL4. There were finished, however, just in time for the coldest day so far this winter. The yarn and sock blockers were a gift from my SP11, tryintaknit on Ravelry. Now I'm finishing the Mystery Socks from Socktopia .... just have one more repeat on the foot and then on to the toe. They should be finished in a couple of days. Then I suppose that I should finish the River Rapids Socks from Sockbug that have been on the needles too long .... only have about 3 inches knitted on the top down pair.

Our trip to Branson was great ..... really puts one in the Christmas spirit. When we returned about 9:30 last night the temp was only 7 degrees above zero with wind-chills of about -11! We had left Branson with a gentle shower coming down with temps in the upper 40's. When we stopped mid-afternoon at Miller Pecan Farm near DeWitt, Missouri, the owner said that the temp had fallen 20 degrees in 30 minutes about mid-morning. It just became colder and colder the farther north we travelled. When we finally got home, we had about 3 inches of snow encrusted on top with about an inch of ice. Our neighbor was kind enough to clean off the drive and main sidewalk, so we just need to finish the rest. I spread a corn-based ice melt on the front step and sidewalk from there to the drive. Hopefully, it will be softened, loosened enough by the time I return home from school this afternoon.(it is two-hours late this morning).

I didn't find any yarn shops in Branson. Didn't really have time. We were sooooo busy going to shows ...... absolutely loved the three-hour Danny O'Donnell show, Mannheim Steamroller, and Shoji Tubachi. The other fours shows were enjoyable, but not as outstanding as these three. As the "youngsters" on the bus, the others had our three listed as their bottom three ... to each his own.

November 28, 2007

Uptown - Almost There!

The Uptown Boot Socks from Favorite Socks have really been an easy knit for me. I just haven't had as much time as I would have liked to knit the past couple of days. These are to be my November socks for the SAM KAL. The yarn is Araucania that I received from my SP11 .... in fact, here's the debut of the wooden sock blockers that SP11 sent me. They're patterned after some antique sock blockers. Here's my progress so far ....

Early Thursday morning, 5:00 to be exact, we board a bus to head to Christmas in Branson, Missouri. We will return late Sunday evening ... that's Dec. 2. I'm going to take a pic of the finished socks with the date, so hopefully they will qualify for Nov. These will be finished on the way down since dh has said that he's going to be sleeping .... don't think that will last the 12 hour trip, though. I haven't decided which other WIP I will take .... probably the River Rapids socks that are about 1/3 complete and Pam's chevron scarf. Then again, maybe the entrelac purse that I've just started ... only have the foundation triangles done. TLGB

November 26, 2007

Knitting News

Our dd came home for Thanksgiving and some fun knitting times. Since both sets of our parents are celebrating in heaven, our celebration is just for the three of us (plus our 3 dogs). The usual turkey, dressing, potatoes, yams, cranberry jello, and pumpkin pie was delicious .... even the leftovers eaten Sunday noon!

Saturday morning when dh went pheasant hunting, the dd and I headed to a small town about 40 miles away after busymomof2 on Ravelry alerted us to the existence of a yarn shop ..... I have to drive 75+ miles to get to the nearest shop ..... except all the on-line yarn goodness. The shop, Ewe-Phoria Yarns, carries a variety of yarns. The owner formerly had an on-line shop when her family lived in Denver. Now, she has come to northern Iowa, opened a shop, still maintains her online business in the backroom of the store, and dyes yarn, too! It was a very delightful experience for both of us. Across the street was a gorgeous quilt shop .... there was an overwhelming display of flannel .... didn't know they made that much flannel. Anyway, the flannel pjs (three sets) that I made dd while she was in college are losing their softness. I have two lengths of pj flannel to sew .... now I have three! The newly acquired 5-yards is in the washer, soon to go in the dryer.

Oh, the uptown boot socks that I'm knitting from yarn sent by my SP11, are progressing well. With two days free from teaching school, I was able to "power-knit." I knit both socks on magic loop, so I'm about halfway finished with the gussets .... once those are done, the rest is easy.

While dd was home, I was able to photograph the Norwegian mittens (my first pair ever made) and scarf, just used the snowflake pattern from the mitts on it. The scarf was knitted on a 16-in circ #3 and took 5 balls of Norwegian yarn (it is probably about six feet long). The set matches the colors (a dark plum and heather grey) of a Columbia cold weather jacket we bought for her when she was in college.

DH and I are looking forward to a 4-day bus trip to Branson, Missouri, to go to seven shows and enjoy the Christmas "glitter." It will be another short week at school.


November 23, 2007

SP 11 Rocks!

Today when dd and I returned from lunch at a local coffee shop, there were two boxes waiting for me from my SP 11, Cathy, also "tryintaknit" on Ravelry. In an earlier box, she had sent me some gorgeous Araucania yarn ...... she kept asking me about what pattern I was going to use, so she sent me an original (I think) pattern, Lacy Rib ..... I had already started to use the yarn for some Uptown Boot Socks that are about finished. I will use her pattern in the very near future. Also included in the box were wooden sockblockers, Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced & Cover in Cat Hair with a silver bookmark, a lot of stitch markers in a small tin, a small covered basket, tea (green and Earl Grey's Winter White), bath confetti, gingerbread man playing cards, a calendar, a Fall Foliage can in a tin, delicious orange/mango Ice Breakers called Sour Pumpkins, a pen, a post-it highlighter (I love these since you can highlight pattern sizes and use the post-it to mark the page), and a pink journal. Thank you, Cathy, for everything that made my first SP exchange so delightful. Sorry about the picture ..... it's a cold, not too sunny day here in Iowa. TLGB

November 20, 2007

Something to Satisfy Cravings!

Today when I came home from school, my dh was cleaning a pheasant in the garage .... he motioned over to the back step today and said, "You've got another package!" My upstream from the Ravelry Caffeine Addicts Exchange 2 gifted me with fabulous things.
When I saw the color of the yarns, I knew the perfect place to take the pic ... in front of some silk hydrangea flowers that my husband's Brittany hunting dog liked to eat last spring. We couldn't figure out the pieces of pink cloth that were appearing in the yard .... then I saw that Cozi had devoured one entire flower.
Included in the "haul" were two blends of coffee - Wishkah Blend and North River Blend - from the Coffee Bean Café and Popcorn Factory in Aberdeen, WA; a "to-go" appearing cup that was loaded with double chocolate espresso brownies mix (I'll make these this week-end when dd comes home for Thanksgiving); some Seattle Chocolates, actually truffles; a lovely cup with the saying "Nothing is Better than Friendship & Coffee; a tiny bamboo crochet hook that will be just perfect for picking up dropped sts on socks; Sugar 'n Cream Stripes yarn in "country stripes", actually greens and blues; some Crystal Palace cotton chenille for a face cloth; and Fly-Dyed Monarch yarn in a sport weight superwash in bright pinks. My pal, dblyouxwhyz on Ravelry, is great! ¡Muchísimas gracias! I've just started a pair of socks with yarn from my SP11 pal, but these will be the next ones on the needles for me!

November 19, 2007

More Socks!

I finally decided the sock pattern I'm going to use for the Araucania sock yarn from my SP 11 ..... Uptown Boot Socks from Favorite Socks from Interweave. I didn't do the 2+ inches of ribbing, only 1 1/4" instead. The pattern isn't at all difficult ..... I just need to remember to always have a cable hook with me until I finish them. I've completed the first pattern of 8 rows and plan to try to do one pattern repeat each day. The colorway includes a medium denim blue along with pink/purple ... really like the way it is knitting up. Here's a pic so far.

I'm over halfway on the Chevron scarf that's a gift. I usually knit on it while I'm roaming the large study time that I supervise at school ..... last thing in the day. A few students are always checking my progress, so that keeps me going with it. I plan to start another Chevron after the holidays ... this one for me.

I can smell that's the coffee is finished .... time for my first cup of the day. TLGB

November 13, 2007

Ravelry Scarf Exchange Sent!

Last Saturday morning, dh and I carried four boxes into the local post office to mail. Included were my gifts for SP11, Caffeine Addict Swap 2, and Ravelry Scarf Exchange. My scarf was made for Pixie. I had a nice Ravelry message waiting for me when I came home from school this afternoon. What an uplift after riding herd on 115 teenagers! Here's the pics of the scarf .... they are really quite a bit darker than the scarf, I think.
Pattern: Faina's Scarf by Faina M. Letoutchaia
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden - colorway 47 six (?) balls
Size: 68" long
Needles: #8 KP Options circ
The pattern actually calls for a sock yarn, the other one I knit last year as a Christmas gift was with Koigu RPPPM in a dark rose/burgundy that almost appears black. My coffee friend who received it loves to wear it with her black leather coat.
Hope that my other downstream pals receive their boxes soon.

The fourth box was to my scarf exchange upstream pal. I found a little statue that I wanted to send her ..... it was going to cost $36.23 to just send it, so I got a flat rate box that I filled for $37 postage. Hope that Hreow on Ravelry enjoys the thank you gift.
Suppose I'd better get upstairs and get busy knitting. TLGB

November 5, 2007

Ravelry Scarf Exchange

Today when I made a quick stop at home after an appointment at the chiropractor, I spied three parcels from my Ravelry scarf exchange spoiler, Hreow on Ravelry. Here's the pic of the entire grouping. It was more than I ever expected.

Here are pics of the scarf .... the neck and then the ends detail. The yarn is a rose/purple/light pink colorway. It is beautiful and long .... the way I like scarves.

Next came three balls of a Shetland Ultra yarn in strawberry crush colorway and a pattern for a New Shell Scarf. I can't wait to knit with it .... may have to wait until Christmas gifts are finished. Also in the pic is the pewter brooch that she sent.

Also in the parcels were a 2008 calendar with recipes on each month. I'm anxious to try several of them. She also sent a Scots magazine that I'll enjoy reading.

Last, but not least, were all the goodies she sent. Enough to last me for a while unless I eat them all at once. Not a good idea since I'd probably be sick from too much sweetness.


November 4, 2007

KAL October Socks Done Late!

Started these socks early in October and had every intention of finishing them early. However, due to increased workload at school, didn't quite make it. I finished the last 5 rounds on the toes on Nov. 1 and then kitchener stitched the toes today.

Pattern: Bubble Wrap Socks from Sockbug
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug
Purchased: Among the Pines, Baxter, MN
Colorway: Popsicle
Needle: 47" Addi Turbo #1 on magic loop

October 28, 2007

A Chevron Scarf, Finally!

I had ordered some yarn from BMFA earlier to make a chevron scarf for a friend who is very particular. Well, I just didn't feel like starting something that she might not like. Then this past week when DD visited, she knitted on her chevron scarf while we at "coffee with the ladies" and my friend really like hers. So ...... we looked at my boxful of BMFA yarns trying to determine what I had ordered. I knew that the black onyx (shaded black/grey) was one but couldn't decide on the other. DD remembered that it was STR Love-in-Idleness (blue, fuschia, green, burgundy). I did about 3 repeats and didn't care for that ..... used STR Rollin' Stone instead ..... same thing. I then tried Rollin' Stone with Lunasea (Silkie) .... didn't like it. Finally, I did the Lunasea and Love-in-Idleness. Here's the first 3-4 inches. The different isn't as subtle as the pic shows. Not the best sunlight today. TLGB


October 21, 2007

Sunshine Is Back!

After 12 days of "non-sun" the last couple of days have been bliss - sunny, that is! Of course, the overcast sky of the past week was usually dropping rain on us. I can be happy, though, that it wasn't snow! We'd be buried in drifts of the white stuff.

The DH took his Brittany down to the farm to "practice" finding pheasants --- pheasant season here opens next week-end, the 27th. The little one, my miniature poodle, was laying around all the time. Then, when they returned, she went wild to get outside to see Cozi ..... you'd think she'd been gone a month. Well,.... then the two of them were lying side-by-side for the next hour or so. Should have taken a pic, but alas, didn't.

The Bubble Wrap socks are coming along nicely. I've finished the heels and am working on the gussets. Maybe I'll get those finished today. I usually am walking around the study hall I monitor with my knitting ... the students are always checking to see the progress. I love the project bag that my SP 11 sent me ... it really works well. Maybe the students' vigilance in checking will help me finish all three pairs I have going.

October 9, 2007

Awesome Package!

What a joy to see a package waiting for me when I got home from school! Tuckred, my dishcloth swap pal from Ravelry, sent great "stuff." I received some coffee, wild huckleberry jam, a chibi w/needles, a clover stitch holder, some point protectors, a lovely dishcloth, two "scrubbies", and a bookmark with scripture. Pic is coming ... just need to download it. Thank you so much!

October 7, 2007

Socks Started

I've cast on two pairs of socks on ml this week-end .... both from Sockbug. One of my coffee friends had "ooed and awed" over some KP Memories yarn (dc'd now) in the Carnival colorway, so I started the Riber Rapid Socks for her. I'm about halfway into the second pattern repeat (16 rows) and have to do three, I believe, for the leg. This summer when in Minnesota at my brother's lake cabin, I purchased some Jitterbug in the popsicle colorway, a lot of bright, basic colors. It is being knit as the Bubblewrap Socks for someone .... may even be me. I've just knitted about 1/2" in k2,p2 rib, so don't have much to show. Maybe some pics will come mid-week .... that is if the sun is shining for good pics.

Today after church, dh and I took off for the nearest yarn shop ..... about 70 miles away ..... ugh! Their fall hours are Wed. through Fri 10a-6p and Sat 10a-5p..... not open Sunday at all! I do have enough yarn, but just wanted to get some more Addi circs for socks. I tried starting a pair of socks on dps, but just couldn't get going on them. Guess the SSS was already attacking me. We did visit two WalMart in the area and I was able to purchase some items I wanted for school and a few other things, too. Suppose I'd better get some more papers corrected. TLGB

September 30, 2007

Scarf Exchange

Yippee! The scarf I'm knitting for my downstream on Ravelry Scarf Exchange is done .... that is except the fringe and blocking it. I have plenty of time to do that, so probably will work on some socks and a couple of wips in October.

I decided to attempt to finish the Mystery Socks from Socktopia ... I'm finishing the first repeat going out on the foot ..... am knitting them for a friend who's a size 7 1/2, so won't have to go as far as for my size 10s. I hope to have them finished by the end of the week. I want to knit a pair of Monkey socks for another friend and then some RSC socks for me ... the September sock ..... a lacy cuff (I'm not the cuff-type person) that I'll use the pattern for the leg of my top down socks on ML. Hope they turn out okay.

I'm determined to get a couple of items (a briefcase and a Sophie bag) felted also during October .... how tough can that be with a washer that does it great. I just have to put the items into the washer, huh?

Hope this finds everyone happily knitting. TLGB

September 22, 2007

Yarn Shop Visit

Today I took off to visit a yarn shop new to the Iowa Great Lakes area, northwest Iowa. The shop is actually a branch of The Yarn Basket in Carroll, and is located on the east side of highway 71 in Okoboji, just south from the McDonald's. It's located in a small stone house next to a small strip mall. Beth, the owner, was in the shop today with a class of three knitters, I believe. I asked for a DK yarn to knit the upcoming socks for the Six Sox KAL. I ended up with some soysilk and also some bamboo. We are to have a contrasting color for the socks, so I choose two colors of the soysilk (blue and rust) and a variegated (green, blue, brown, and rust) plus a solid brown in the bamboo. I really like both of the yarns, so just need to decide on one when the pattern is posted. I also purchased a book to send to a downstream and some light blue yarn to knit booties and a cap for a grandson of one of my coffee friends. I was thinking as I drove to the shop that I should try to get in contact with a knitting friend that lives in the area, but didn't do anything before I left. I turned around in the shop and who was coming in the door but Jean. She was there with a couple of knitting friends (they knit together once a month). When she lived here, we were part of a knitting circle that met weekly in homes with dessert and coffee served. That was almost twenty years ago ..... wow, how time flies when you are knitting.

I started the last pattern repeat for the scarf I'm knitting in the Ravelry Scarf Exchange. It's going to be a surprise, so suffice to say that I think it's awesome. Hope Humglum will, too.


September 20, 2007

Awesome Packages!

Yesterday as I was driving between schools, I listened to a voicemail from my dh informing that TWO boxes were awaiting my arrival home from teaching. I could hardly wait! I had signed up for four different swaps on Ravelry ... Caffeine Addicts Swap, Ravelry Scarf Exchange (to be completed by December .... I'm 75% done), Christian Knitters Dishcloth Swap, and Secret Pal 11.

Here's what was in the box I received from my Caffeine Addict spoiler. Two bags of coffee from a local roaster in Jackson, Michigan -- one an organic, fair trade coffee Mexican H. G. Chiapas (which I'm drinking as I blog post) and the other called Black and Tan which is 1/2 Ethiopian and 1/2 Mexican. YUM! and so appropriate since I teach Spanish. Also included were two matching mugs, one purple and the other green. DH suggested that we try them out after supper last night .... he chose the green one which is his favorite color. A lovely coffee picture .... almost shadow boxlike rounded out the "coffee stuff." Then the candles - one in a "believe, Faith, LOVE" tin and the other a three scent pillar of pure vanilla, sugar cookie, and cinnamon roll. The yarn was gorgeous - Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Alpine colorway and Sinfonia in the Matizado Azules colorway. The latter is a 100% cotton sportweight yarn from Mexico that I usually double-strand for dishclothes. This one, however, will be single-strand in a Garterlac dishcloth. Also included was a small notebook which I needed since I had just emptied the one I keep in my purse for "lists." Thanks to scorpiongoddess from Jackson, Michigan.
Next was the padded envelope from my SP 11. Its contents included pens (a small set of 5 colors, a Statue of Liberty pen, and a Post-It highlighter complete with little marking tabs), ladybug playing cards, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (YUM for both dh and me), a 14 month mousepad,a lovely journal notebook with a note from my SP, two tubes of "stuff" for the bath, a Coke key chain, and two end of line bookmarks. Now for the yarn stuff - some Araucanía sockyarn in the Ranco Multy colorway (already caked and ready to knit!), a needle sizer, six stitch markers in a lovely bright pink tin, and a small project bag with a yarn grommet in the zippered top. Thank you to my SP from Georgia ...... at least that's on the return address.

September 16, 2007

My Blog's One Year Old

Wow, it doesn't seem like it has been only a year since DD, Alcariel, suggested that I needed a blog. She helped me get started Sept. 16, 2006 .... one year ago! Happy Blogiversary to me!

September 14, 2007

More Accomplished!

I have completed the Mystery Socks from Socktopia through the heels ... now I just have to continue the pattern on the instep with stockinette for the sole. This part was just posted today. I'm doing both socks on ml, so didn't want to have to frog just in case something different was done. Maybe I'll be able to get it done this week-end. The pic isn't the greatest .... we really haven't had a lot of good light here in the past week.

Started the scarf for the Ravelry Scarf Exchange .... my downstream doesn't want to know that pattern or yarn, so it is going to be a surprise for her, I'm about halfway finished .... about 20 more rows. We don't have to gift them until early December, so there's plenty of time.

This past week, I have been plagued with the "bug" that's going around school with a few seasonal allergies mixed in for a miserable experience. This is the first day this week that I really didn't feel completely drained when I got home.

Tomorrow it looks like it will be canning time for tomatoes and grapes. We usually make about 60 quarts of grape juice, but this year the grapes aren't as plentiful. That's okay because we have a few quarts left from last year. We've already canned 19 quarts of tomato sauce/juice, mainly to be used in making chili, so will be making this batch for the DD. With a frost predicted this week-end, we need to take care of the produce.


September 11, 2007


I've either caught the latest "bug" being passed among the students at school or allergies have shifted into high gear. I'm miserable. Woke up at 3 unable to sleep. Took a hot bath and am feeling better ...... a little!
The dishcloth for an exchange is finished, I have all the "stuff" to send my SP11 (just needs to be packaged), and I'm almost finished with the gussets on my Mystery Socks from Socktopia. The next step will be published tomorrow, so I'd better hurry.
I frogged some socks for a coffee friend (we sat next to each other in glee club in high school) and am going to make Monkey socks for her. That's all for now.

September 4, 2007

Scarf Exchange

I signed up for a scarf exchange on Ravelry last month. Well ..... finally the pattern and yarn have come together and the scarf has begun. We are to complete them by December, so that won't be any problem. I asked my upstream pal if she wanted me to post progress pics .... haven't heard back yet, so none here. No pics! Just heard from her and she wants a surprise! Her scarf is all I knitted on last night, so it's progressing well. I did frog and went from a #6 US to #8 US .... the thicker part of the yarn stay soft now.

I'm starting the gusset decreases on the Mystery Sock from Socktopia. I had to take the one sock off the ml and do the heel flap, heel turn, and gusset pickup on dps and then tranferred back to ml for the gusset decreases. The next step, probably the foot, hasn't been posted yet, so I can be a little lazy, huh?

Better head upstairs to get something done before bedtime beckons. TLGB

September 2, 2007

Mystery Socks

I'm just three rows short of knitting the heels for my mystery socks from Socktopia. I've been taking a picture of each part, so will post one here later today.

We went to the movie "Stardust" last night. My knitting that I usually take because it's a jacket in reverse stockinette slipped about 4 sts off about 5 minutes after the movie started. I shoved it in my bag and watched the movie. It was bad to not be doing any knitting.

It's a couple of hours later ..... the second step of the mystery socks is completed. I modified the pattern by adding 2 sts to each side of the cable ..... increasing sts knit each side from two to four. The left pic shows the lacy pattern that goes down the front and back of the leg while the right one should show the cable. Time to get back to the socks and start step 3 - the heel.

August 29, 2007

Socks Done!

The Central Air socks are finally completed. The knitting was finished last week, but I just wasn't in the mood to kitchener the toes. Well, it took all of about five minutes today when I got home from teaching. I actually started these socks last spring on dps, but the going was sooooo slow, I never knitted beyond about 4 inches down the leg. When I joined the SAM KAL on Ravelry late in July, I decided that these were going to pay a visit to the frog pond, to be resurrected on ml, knitting both socks at the same time. The knitting went a lot faster.
Pattern: Central Air by Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Needles: Addi turbo #1 47" for ml
Yarn: Trekking XXL Colorway 100
Size: Ladies Large
I'm knitting on the mystery sock from Socktopia ... I'm really enjoying it. I'm halfway done the leg, 2 more repeats of the pattern to do before starting the heel which was just posted. I'm knitting those on #2 Addi Lace with ml. I don't like the "bump" on the needle when sliding the socks from the cable onto the needle. I could see how these needles would really be helpful with lace work ... they have the bump to catch on the yarn and also aren't as slippery as the other Addis. I'll finish these socks, but will put the lace Addi away to use for only .... lace.
I'm going to start on Pomatomus for my September socks for the SAM, but haven't decided on the yarn.
Suppose I'd better get busy knitting so I have finish another repeat of the pattern on my mystery socks.
Happy Knitting! TLGB

August 26, 2007

Knitting Update

Yes! The August RSC envelope was in the mailbox on Saturday ... Alcariel, my daughter, had received hers on Friday. Lovely yarn and pattern .... don't think I'll knit the yarn in the pattern ...... thinking about Pomatomus ..... will probably do the pattern in lemongrass that I had purchased earlier this summer.
I just have to kitchener the toes on my Central Air socks for the SAM KAL on Ravelry. I plan to do that this evening.

I joined Socktopia earlier this month .... decided Cheryl from DSM was enjoying it, so why not! I have started the secret socks from there in Fortissima Jeans. The first part is a twisted rib for 1 1/2 inches and then a 14 row pattern is repeated 4 times. I've just began the pattern. I joined so late that I couldn't knit any of the theme socks, but Sept. will be different. As with most patterns, I'm modifying a bit because of my high instep .... just added 8 extra sts by adding 2 more st sts to the pattern either side of the cable .... do st st X4 instead of x2. Hope it turns out all right.
Back to knitting.

August 23, 2007

Back to School!

What an exciting day at school today. Midway through my morning classes, the electricity was lost because of a thunderstorm going through the area ..... northern Iowa has been blessed with these the past week. The first time the electricity went off, it was for about 20 minutes. It's a joy to keep 20+ freshmen students entertained on their first day of high school. The water fountains do not even work when the power is off. I am in a newer addition to the high school that has one section of lights that are battery-powered in situations like these ... the small bathroom in the area had light in them, too. The power stayed on all of five minutes when it was gone again .... this time for 15 minutes ..... back on for 5 ....yup, off again for about 15. Then ..... it was finally back on to stay for the rest of my classes. Most of the students said that this was one way to remember their first day at the high school.

On to knitting ..... I did take some different pictures of the market bag today, but haven't downloaded them yet ... maybe tomorrow. I started the toes on my Central Air socks .... yipes, they are my August socks for SAM KAL .... I'll get them finished in time. I did sign up for Socktopia .... rather late in the month, so am only planning on knitting the mystery sock .... we have the pattern for the twisted ribbing and leg so far, but are patiently (???) waiting for the next clue, probably the heel.

I also about 4 inches short of decreasing for the armhole on the back of my Somerset jacket. I knit on it usually in the car when I don't have to concentrate on the pattern and can just knit the reverse stockinette "Braille" method.

Sorry, no pics ... next time. TLGB

August 18, 2007


I purchased a pattern last fall to learn entrelac ... a felted bag knit with Noro Kureyon ... I'm using Silk Garden. Well ..... somewhere I read to start with the Garterlac dishcloth from Criminy Jickets. I started it yesterday and it's done! It took about 3 times longer than most dishcloths, but I did have to frog several times on the edge triangles when I did the wrong kind. Well .... it's done and here's the picture. Don't know if I'll make more or not .... will see how well they wear before I decide.

Also worked on the Central Air socks .... they are my August socks for the SAM KAL, so they need to get finished. I wish I had smaller feet! I should be close to starting the toe this week-end. Teacher in-service days for school start on Monday with classes beginning on Wednesday, so I won't be doing much knitting during the day.

After vacation, I finished the market bag out of Sugar 'n Cream - haven't used it yet, but I did get two large sofa pillows stuffed into it for the picture. If did get the Plymouth yarn the pattern called for while on vacation, so hope to start another one soon. The one that's completed doesn't have a lot of "substance".

August 16, 2007


I just found some old pictures taken at our family Christmas celebration in 1983. Here's my daughter in a sweater I had knitted her at age 2, probably was a size 4. You can check it out on , on June 29 entry, .... just to see how it fits now. It came from a book of top down fairisle sweaters for the entire family ... no one else received one, though. Also a couple afghans that I had made for a niece and nephew. The pattern was one a friend had hand-written from her copy and surprised me with it at school one day. Whenever Jean was subbing, she was always pulling out her knitting in the teachers' lounge.

August 14, 2007

Secret Pal 11

Hope I haven't forgotten anything. Here it is!
The Questionnaire
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Wool/silk/alpaca - any combination - prefer those with multiple plys. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Fuzzy ones - mohair, angora - too tough to frog.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have my needles in a drawer of the cocktail table in the living room right next to my knitting chair.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Since the age of 10 .... that makes 48+ years. My mother taught me for a Girl Scout bag I was working on .... a yellow, garter stitch scarf. Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? Advanced
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No, I get all my knitting books from Knitpicks, usually saves $$$. Occasionally, I do pick up one at Border's. Those on my "wish list" from Knitpicks include #30805 Cables Untangled, #30922 Fitted Knits, #30826 Victorian Lace, #30897 Lace Style, and #30859 Felt It.
5. What's your favorite scent? My body chemistry reacts with a lot of scents .... sorta turns them all to a vinegary smell, so I don't wear many. Some lighter scents from Bath and Body Works do work. 6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Yes, don't we all? Favorite candy? Lindt truffles, especially white chocolate, caramel, chocolate mint.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Sewing, small quilted projects. Do you spin? No, but my daughter does .... I may have to learn after retirement, four years from now.
8. What kind of music do you like? Easy listening music - classical, Christian, country, but not too twangy/ Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Yes.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Blue, rose, purple, red. Any colors you just can't stand? Green, orange, gold
10. What is your family situation? Husband, adult daughter living 200 miles away. Do you have any pets? Toffee, a miniature poodle, and Cozi, a Brittany spaniel who is my husband's hunting dog. 11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes, yes, yes, and no to ponchos.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Norwegian snowflake mittens, socks, shawls, any charity knitting project
13. What are you knitting right now? Two pairs of socks (I always have at least 2 pairs on needles), shawl for a friend, jacket for my cold classroom.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Circs and dps. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Bamboo, rosewood
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes to both
17. How old is your oldest UFO? 3-4 years
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
19. Is there anything that you collect? Willow Tree angels, small nativity scenes for Christmas decorations and of course, yarn.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? Oops, just ordered two patterns from TLE - see #4. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Interweave Knits and Knit 'n Style
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?Entrelac and practice with more lace knitting so that it becomes "easier."
22. Are you a sock knitter? Yes What are your foot measurements? Size 10 with high instep. I've found that the top down heel flap with 18 sts to pick up along the edge works best for me.
23. When is your birthday? February 11
24. Are you on Ravelry? Yes If so, what's your ID? Mamateja
Wow .... now I know what my students feel like when they are taking the 150 multiple choice semester test.

August 12, 2007


The Central Air socks will be finished by Friday ... just finished the last of the gusset decreases. Now to just work the foot and toe of each. I just cast on Jaywalker, my first try at them. My daughter has made 2 or 3 pairs, so thought I'd try one. I have 9 pairs of socks to complete for my coffee friends by Christmas, so socks are going to my first order of business .... that is after school stuff, since that is my job. Then, another week, RSC shipment should be coming ... suppose it will be some autumnal colors. Can't wait!!!

August 11, 2007

Central Air Update

Since I joined the SAM KAL on Ravelry, I've been vowing to finish the Central Air socks I started last spring, I believe. Well, ..... the knitting was going slow for me on dps, so I decided to frog and use ml to relieve any sss that I was experiencing. Last night, I did get the first round after picking up the gusset sts. Hopefully, I'll complete the rest this week so I can say that I finished my August socks. The socks are definitely going to be fraternal ... there doesn't appear to be any similarity between the two other than the colors. This is my first socks out of Trekking XXL and my daughter has said that it does "funky" things.

August 7, 2007

Stash Acquisitions

Well .... my yarn diet was definitely broken within one day of being on
vacation. We arrived at my brother's cabin on Gull Lake northwest of Brainerd, MN last Friday. On Saturday, my sil and I went into Brainerd to see the newest yarn shop there, Between Friends. It's located in a corner store in the downtown area of Brainerd. I picked up some yarn for socks - Tofutsies, Plymouth Dream Baby, and SandnesGarn Mandarin Petit, and a couple of Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks. I also found some Plymouth Fantasy Naturale to knit another market bag since I just used some of the Sugar 'n Cream dishcloth yarn I had and I don't think it will hold up as well of the FN. When I was ready to check out, the owner asked me to draw a popsicle stick from a bowl on the counter. Well, I drew the only 50% off of the most expensive item you have, so the Tofutsies was only $8.50 ....
what luck! We also stopped at Among the Pines in Brainerd where I picked up two hanks of Jitterbug in the popsicle colorway and two cakes of Malabrigo worsted in the saphire magenta 239 colorway. I picked both of these for my daughter who couldn't make it this year due to working the week-end of July 27-29. When I spoke with her, I told her that she would have quite a bit of the second hank left over since they only have 295 yds ..... then I thought to just go in for another hank and we can both have a pair of socks. When my dh and I went into town for some fishing "stuff", we stopped at shop to pick up another hank. Well,.... the dh was really missing his hunting dog, Cozi, by this time. The owner's very old, very arthritic yellow lab was strolling around the store. My dh got about 10 minutes of a "dog fix" that seemed to last the rest of vacation.

On Monday, my sil and I went north to Nisswa (no yarn shop there but a very good coffee shop/roaster) and Pequot Lakes where we found Unraveled, a new yarn shop that opened after the first of the year. I had already done enough damage, so just purchased some BSYC Wildfoote in the brown sugar colorway. Oh, could I have done more damage .... they even had sari silk. The owner asked how I did my socks, I replied that until the last pair I had always used dps, but since I did the June RSC socks on magic loop, that's all I want to do if I can make the pattern work. I didn't have my current socks with me, so on Wednesday my dh wanted to see Nisswa (actually to get a pizza fix at Rafferty's Pizza, a family pizza restaurant) and Pequot Lakes. He didn't even object to stopping at the yarn shop so I could show the lady how ml works. I even said he could go in the bookstore next door to the shop, but he came in with me. What a sweetie!

August 4, 2007

Back From Vacation!

After a week's stay at my brother's cabin/bunkhouse, I'm back home ..... and from the kennel are our two lonesome dogs. Took some gorgeous pictures, this was the sunset the first evening at the lake. Also a pic of my db and dh with one day's catch. Fishing was great .... this year! Last year, my dh hardly caught a fish a day. Weather was very warm during the day but with a breeze most of the time ... nights cooled off enough that sleeping was comfortable with a fan.
While in the Brainerd MN area, I was able to visit two new yarn shops ... one in downtown Brainerd and the other about 15 miles north in Pequot Lakes. Both shops have sock yarn - both wool and non-wool (yes, I did break the yarn diet), basic wool, and lovely specialty yarns. I will definitely go back to either. I also paid a return trip to Among the Pines, along hwy 71 in Baxter/Brainerd. Some trendy clothing has been added to the front of the shop, but she had added Malabrigo, Jitterbug, and a couple other yarn lines since Alcariel and I visited last year. The other yarn shop in Brainerd is part of a quilting shop but I didn't go there .... did plenty of damage at the three I did go to.

Finished the second Broadripple sock from Knitty ... one Christmas gift for the coffee girls done, eight to go!

Since returning home, I've worked on Central Air from BMFA in Trekking. I had started the socks on dps, but after completing the Solstice Slip socks on magic loop, decided to frog the one sock ... I almost had the leg completed. I've been working since returning home on Friday evening and am about 4 inches down on the leg. There wasn't any chance of matching the stripping on both socks, so I guess they will just be fraternal.

July 25, 2007

A Special Shawl

A friend from church lost her husband to cancer earlier this summer and I decided that I wanted to knit her a comfort shawl. My daughter found the perfect yarn in Omaha .... Mountain Colors in the Indian corn colorway. I have started two different shawls, but didn't care for either one .... just didn't seem right for Joanne. Well ...... I have found the pattern ... Moonlight Sonata Scarf/Shawl from Elann; a free pattern. Here's the pic of the set-up 12 rows and the first pattern repeat of 12 rows ..... need to do a total of thirteen and I'm just about to the end of my second. The yellow dots are pin heads. I really like it!

I hope to get a couple of pattern repeats on my Central Air socks this afternoon. That happens in between trying to get things ready to take off for a week of fishing at my brother's cabin on Gull Lake near Brainerd, Minnesota. Last year, DD and I did a yarn crawl in the area and also taught DSIL to knit .... dishcloths. She was thrilled. Maybe I can get her going on something else. There were rumors of a yarn shop opening in Nisswa the first of the year, so we'll probably check that out for sure. My DH and DB can do the fishing. SIL and I will knit, shop, and drink coffee .... yes ..... she likes flavored coffees, too.

Better get busy ..... TLGB.

July 24, 2007

Last Squares Mailed!

This morning the final group of squares for the Greensburg KS afghans was sent. It has been an enjoyable and rewarding project. Thanks to Laura of El Dorado for giving me this opportunity.

I'm working on ML to knit Central Air out of Trekking. Thought I'd avoid SSS by doing them this way. I'm about 2 inches into the leg. Yes, I'm a top down person mainly due to a high instep.

At night, I plan to knit on the jacket that I've started for school this fall ..... or winter ...... or spring. Whatever??? It is reverse stockinette, so will be mindless knitting.

Should get back to work on the Peacock Feather lace shawl from Fiddlesticks. Better get back to the needles. TLGB

July 23, 2007

Knitting Update

Here's the last five knitting squares for Rebuilding Greensburg KS - One Block At A Time. The DD and I will have sent a total of 57 squares since Memorial Day week-end. Each afghan will use 56 squares. We were going to stop at 56 but then my husband wanted to go to a movie last night, so I started #57 just before leaving so that I could knit in the dark of the theatre without any problem. Both of us are tired of the garter st squares, but have felt it very fulfilling. May God bless the people of Greensburg as they receive the afghans made by many knitters/crocheters from throughout the USA and the world.
I'm starting on the pattern st of the Central Air socks on magic loop. I had started my first sock on dps with Trekking XXL on dps and had the top almost down to the heel flap when I decided to "magic loop" them. The main reason was to avoid SSS because the yarn is so fine. I'm enjoying it knowing that both socks are at the same stage. I've chosen them for the SOM KAL on Ravelry for the month of August since I'll have free time to knit at least until I have to be back at teaching on Aug. 20. The KAL is just to finish a pair of socks each month through Dec. I have the first Broadripple sock finished in Knitpick Sock Garden - hydrangea colorway, so will probably finish that second one for Sept. Then, there will be another RSC selection here for October ... oh, my, there will be a lot of sock knitting in this house. Better get busy. TLGB

July 21, 2007

Old Knits

I have knitted many sweaters for Christmas gifts years ago, but would have to find the old pictures and scan them ... quite a problem since I have no idea where the pictures are at present. Well, when purging our basement of some of its excess stuff, I found this sweater that I probably knitted for my daughter (now 26) when she was about eight years old. It was out of a bulky Lion Brand yarn, I believe, and was usually too warm for her to wear. I also found three smaller sweaters that I knit for DD, the white infant sweater that she came home from the hospital in, a white/blue/pink pullover w/placket knit from Phildar Luxe yarn, and a fairisle pullover knit from heather yarns from Brunswick yarns. The last one can be viewed on , I believe it was posted June 29. Yes, my daughter actually put the small sweater (children's size 6) on and Violet took the pic. She did show me the sweater, though, and it was still okay and not stretched out too much.

The other sweater I had is a vest with cabled pockets that I knitted my mother about 20 years ago. It was in her favorite color, baby blue. Dad always said Mom's eyes were "buttermilk" blue and that's the sweater's color, too. It was from a pattern (Unger) I believe and also was a soft Unger yarn. Here's a close-up of the pocket, too. Mom has been in heaven with Jesus and my dad for almost 7 years. TLGB

July 18, 2007

Greensburg - Here We Come!

I've just returned from the post office after mailing the 4th package of afghan squares for the people of Greensburg, KS, who lost their homes to a tornado in early May. Last weekend, Alcariel and I talked about sending enough squares (56) for an entire afghan. She had just purchased yarn on sale to use for that purpose. Well, with the squares I sent today, we are at 48 .... that leaves just 8 to finish before Aug. 1, actually July 26 for me since we are leaving for my brother's lake cabin near Brainerd, MN, the next day. Guess, I'll try to knit one every other day ... that should make it. Here are the pics from today's package.

The Central Air socks are on the magic loop and I have about 1/2 inch of the ribbing completed (I always have about 1 inch of ribbing at the top of my socks) . I'll be glad to get a little more done since the loop will "hang" better than it is now. The socks will be a bit different since after splitting the large cake of Trekking, the colors weren't close at all ..... too much would have had to be pulled off but that's okay.

I also need to get some rows done on the shawl for a recent widow. It is working out okay now that I've changed patterns and am alternating the Mountain Colors every 4/2 rows. Will try to get a pic when it is a little farther along.

July 17, 2007

Central Air to the Frog Pond

We purchased a new central air-conditioner a couple of weeks ago, and the weather this week is going to put it to work .... 95% yesterday and 97% today with a lot of humidity.

I have been working on Ravelry, a new knitting/crocheting community where you can "scrapbook" your knitting projects, display your stash or knitting library, and make wishes for future projects. There are many groups that you can join and communicate with fellow knitters from everywhere! I've really enjoy it, but had to wait about a month after my daughter, Alcariel, told me about it and I put my name on the list. Well, I'm glad it's summer and school isn't in session because I have been spending entirely too much time on Ravelry. Now, I think I've located all of my "dozing" projects and stash containers that I want to publicly claim .... sorry, but I'm not going to stash cheap acrylic yarn.

My daughter and I have been sending afghan squares to the Rebuilding Greensburg, KS, project, so worked on those the past week to send another dozen (4 dozen so far). Each afghan takes 56, so we hope to do eight more before Aug. 1. At first, only 20 afghans were to be made, but we've (all the knitters who participate) surprised Laura and she has raised it to 40 and maybe more by now. It has really been "mindless" knitting, but very gratifying.

One project that I had forgotten about was the RSC 2006 Central Air Sock. Here's what it looked like when I found it and took a pic by a new coreopsis named Creme Brulee ...what a appropriate perenniel for a caffeine addict like me.Anyway, I decided that tonight I was going to grab it to work on .... in Trekking XXl (colorway 100). Well, I noticed a mistake about 4 rows down, started to just frog to that point. Then I remembered what a joy it was when I knitted the Summer Solstice on magic loop, so I frogged the 4 inches and CO with magic loop. No need for second sock syndrome.

I'm also somewhat startled by the amount of sock yarn I had accumulated one or two hanks at a time. Well, .... I decided that the less expensive KnitPick yarns don't thrill me as much now, so I'm offering them for sale. I just show them in two containers, but plan to take individual pics tomorrow perhaps and put those on Ravelry. Check it out.

Better get started on the Central Air. TLGB