Friday, October 31, 2003

We had a lovely evening out tonight! We had a family vote last night and decided on a "real" sit-down restaurant instead of Pizza Hut or a buffet. The kids usually want to eat at the pig-out type of buffets and to me, the food tastes all the same - just seems to become more unimpressive every time we go to one. This time we had service from beginning to end and the food was fantastic! The kids were very surprised that they left very full and content with good food. :-)

Had a good mail day today. Received the OOP books I ordered a bit ago. I've been looking for interesting books on making sweaters and found two that I had hoped would enhance my knitting library.

Knitting Sweaters the Easy Way was purchased with no real idea what it would be like. I couldn't find any information about it, but I did know that Farm Journal has fantastic cookbooks, so I took a chance. I am pleased with what came. Being written in the 80's, the sweaters are a bit dated, but nothing with the huge batwing or shoulder pad look. Many could easily be used now. I'm looking forward to trying some, and Becky is in love with a couple that she says she HAS to have for her wardrobe.

Classy Knitting is an impressive book. It starts out with the basics such as how to knit, but as you progress into the book, it's full of invaluable information. It is a basic step-by-step guide to making and designing sweaters. I am very anxious to read this one.

I did get a little knitting done on Becky's EZ Fit Tube Sock. She doesn't want me to change the pattern at all, so I guess I won't try to improve the pattern - at her request.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The sky was amazing tonight! I have never seen the Northern Lights like they were as darkness set in. We had a beautiful display of reds, gold, orange and white. Just stunning!!

I just put the finishing stitches in the Ladder of Life Socks. Hubby is anxious to try them out on Saturday morning. I hope they're dry in time. I'll probably put them outdoors to hang tomorrow if the weather is nice. That will speed them up. I'll post pics of the socks tomorrow.

We always take the kids out for dinner on Halloween instead of doing the "Trick or Treating" scene. They enjoy picking out a place to eat, and then we usually go shopping somewhere after dinner. I'm looking forward to not cooking dinner and having a night out, but I'll miss my knitting time. We usually are out late, and tired when we come home.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I've spent quite a bit of time going over the all the issues of Heels & Toes Gazette and there is just so much information in them, that it's just going to take time to digest it all! I want to try to knit all the socks in them, and I'm hoping to make that my goal for the next year or two. All the patterns are lovely, the instructions appear to be very well written and detailed. I'm so very pleased with this wonderful gift that Curt got for me. I'm lucky that he tolerates and supports my knitting habit (just wish he understood the obsession more!!)

I finished the first of the Ladder of Life Socks except for the Kitchener stitching of the toe. I decided that I needed a much quieter atmosphere to do it in, so I'm going to wait until the morning to work on that. What a lovely sock! My daughter now wants a pair for her wardrobe now. I keep adding more and more socks to the 2-do list these days!!! It's amazing to me that my handiwork is in such high demand. Certainly didn't happen when I was crocheting. No one cared for the texture of the sweaters/clothing and how many afghans can one use?

I needed some mindless knitting in front of the tv tonight, so I picked up the tube sock to work on for a while. The long awaited 24 had its season premier on tonight. I'm adicted to that program and just love Kiefer Sutherland! There was just no way I could count and concentrate with him on the tube.

Monday, October 27, 2003

It was such a cold and rainy day today. A great day to read a book, bake a cake or knit. After doing the kids' lessons, I took the day to organize some things - especially my knitting patterns.

The mail certainly brightened up the day. My shipment from came as well as my order from Dawn Brocco. What fun it was going through those packages!!!

I found Elann had Jaggerspun 100% wool in fingering weight in a beautiful plum heather. I bought a cone of that, plus Heartstring's Triangles within Triangles Shawl pattern to go with it. My Swallow needles were also in the package as well as some reinforcement thread and a couple leaflets.

Dawn's package was such a surprise! I wasn't expecting that yet, especially since I ordered it just a couple of days ago. I am enjoying reading the Heels & Toes Gazette and can't wait to try both the patterns and all the techniques. They are going to keep me busy for a long time!

Since the needles I needed for Curt's socks came today, I started his heavy socks. I decided on the Ladder of Life pattern from Interweave Knits with Plymouth Galway in a baby blue. I have just a couple more pattern repeats and then I'll be ready to start the heel. It's amazing how fast these socks go next to the fingering weight socks. I'm enjoying finally being able to do all weights of yarns for socks for everyone. One of these days, I'm hoping I'll finally get to make some for me. :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Can you believe it's the last week in October already?! I don't know where the time has gone. Seems like it's really flying these days. It blows me away to be able to look at my oldest eye to eye. I have just a couple of inches on him, and I bet within the next year he'll be taller than I am.

We had a nice day at my brother's farm. It's that time of year when all the leaves are down and everything is brown, but it smells so good. While the guys were out cutting wood, I went off walking through the fields and skimmed the woods, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the country.

I got a little knitting done. I'm part way on the second sleeve for the Weekend Sweater, and I've started on the second sock of the EZ Fit Tube Socks. I've thought about totally changing the toe on this one and giving it a traditional toe. I have a little time to figure out what to do. I started the sock from the second skein of the Colorways, and I'm not going to be matching the colors on this one. They'll be fraternal socks - so a good excuse to change the toe.

I checked my elann shipment and it should be here in the next couple of days. I can't wait! I love getting things in the mail, especially when it concerns knitting. :-)

I need to get back to the Lion Brand hooded sweatshirt, but I ended up dropping one of the needles and it rolled under the bookcase - right up to the kickplate from behind, so right now it appears the only solution is to move the bookcase - and to do that, I'll have to unload it. UGH!! There must be an easier solution.... I know, buy more needles! :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2003

The guys went hunting again this morning, giving us another day for just "us girls" to do our own thing. I made a big pot of beans and ham so that there were leftovers for today. We don't have to do anything, except enjoy today! We watched a couple of movies and the Mr. Ed marathon while we knitted. Becky is doing a great job on her shawl. I'm very pleased and surprised that she's been so diligently working on it.

I heard from Jay today. He says they didn't get anything, and than included no cold feet. YAH!!! The socks worked and kept his feet nice and warm. He also said that they were cushy enough to prevent his heel from hurting like it did last week. Sounds like I'll be doing a few more pairs of worsted weight socks.

I finished the first of the E-Z Fit Tube Socks, and I'll be honest. I was disappointed with the outcome. I had reservations, but thought I'd try anyhow. The sock patterning came out lovely and the are quite pretty. The toe left much to be desired. It's just a few rows of decreases making a star-like pattern and reminded me of a decrease for a hat. This causes a lot of puckering around the toes - especially the bottom under the toes. I wanted to rip out the toe and do a normal toe, but Becky said she liked the roominess of this new toe. I also don't think the sock will wear as well without a heel. Maybe I'm being biased, but I think the traditional sock is better. We'll see how these wear with shoes....

I really love the colors of the Colorspun. I think it would make a really pretty sock, and unfortunately the picture doesn't do it justice. The subtle changes in color can't be seen well. I'd love to get some more, but then again, there's so many lovely types of yarns out there that I have to try. Oh such hard decisions!

Friday, October 24, 2003

I thought I'd have time to work on the Weekend Sweater, however, I couldn't get rid of my son long enough today to get anything done on it. I think kids have radar and know when you are trying to get rid of them.

I did get a chance to work on the Easy Shawl. I'm not sure about it yet, though. It seems to want to curl on the edges. Maybe as it gets larger plus the crocheted edging will solve that problem.

I found the E-Z Knit, E-Z Fit Tube Socks pattern and decided to try them. I'm already about half way on the first one. It's going so quickly! I'm using Plymouth Encore Colorspun DK in a pink/purple/white colorway. I purchased the yarn when I first started knitting socks. It was on sale, and I had no idea what it would look like done up. It so much fun using those unknowns. Makes the sock more exciting to work on. I just discovered tonight that there was purple in the color scheme. All I saw were the pink and white colors - the purple is tucked inside the ball. I can't wait to finish and see both how they look and more importantly, how they fit.

Hubby and I were talking today, and he decided to let me purchase my own Christmas present this year. He said that he'd rather that I get something that I really want and can use instead of him getting me something that else. So he's getting me the complete set of Dawn Brocco's Heels & Toes Gazette. That is a fantastic present that will be used a lot! I love making socks :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Snow... yup, we saw our first flakes last night and today. They flew by just to let us know that they haven't forgotten us, and to remind us that they will be returning to stay soon.

I put the finishing stitches in the other Iowa Cruise sock. It is now washed and drying. My son is so happy with them. I'm not though. I checked my gauge, as it just didn't seem right - well, 2 rulers gave me 2 different gauges!!! So, it's either 5 or 5.5 stitches to the inch. Half a stitch means almost an inch difference there. So which one do I believe? Who would have guessed!!! Doggone it!

I placed an order with for some 5.0mm dpns. I will probably have to drop down at least a size to do the next pair.

I ended up contacting Plymouth Yarn Co. to tell them about the yarn. My second skein was worse than my first. They told me to take it back to the shop. That would be ok, but Wanderings is not out of business. So I wrote them another email, telling them the situation, and they said they'd look into the yarn lot and see if there was a problem. If they find anything, they'll let me know.

Tomorrow I get to sit down and work on the Weekend Sweater, now that my set of dpns are freed up. I have another sleeve to do before I can put them on the body and work on the yoke/sleeves. I'm anxious to get it done, since this is my first sweater that I've had the freedom to choose what I wanted to do. Yah, I'm from the old school that said you had to follow the directions, since the person that wrote them were much more knowledgeable than I. HA!!! How sad, isn't it?! All that time wasted when I really could have been having fun. Wonder what my mother would have thought, if she were here and could see what we could really do with those patterns.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I have been using a stitch marker that I received from Limited Editions by Renee. It is a beautiful, well made marker that is well balanced and very nice to use. Here it is in use on size 9 bamboo needles.

I wish the picture would have come out clearer, but it appears my auto focus wanted to focus on something other than the marker. I chose green and clear beads called Green Disc II. I'm going to add some more of these to my wish list! Another cool thing - Renee will have kits available to make earrings out of them.

I finally too a picture of my shawl. It didn't want to cooperate at all for the photo. Between the shawl and circular needle, all I did was fight with it to get it look like this. Hope it's not a sign of how bad it's going to turn out! LOL

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The forecast is calling for snow this week, and then a warm-up over the weekend back in the 60's. It seems unbelievable, especially with today being in the 70's.

I finished the first of the Iowa Cruise Socks tonight and started on its mate.

While working on it, it seemed sooo big and told my son that it probably wouldn't fit him, but his father. HA! It fits like a glove. I still look at it with amazement, because it seems huge. DS loves the way it feels and hubby keeps making the comment that he hopes he gets some socks soon. HAHAHA!! This is the guy that didn't want itchy wool socks.

I finally took a picture of the Spiral Rib Mittens with my son modeling them.

The books I ordered by the Fiber Gypsy came today. They are exactly what I was looking for! I now have the formulas for socks - cuff to toe, and mittens both cuff to fingertips, and fingertips to cuff. I like knowing exactly how these things are made, so I can adapt or change a pattern - or better yet, do it on my own. Man - this attitude is so much different compared to just a year ago. It feels liberating, and I'm gaining the confidence to do my own things. It's exhilarating!

Monday, October 20, 2003

Great mail day today! My Frugal Knitting Haus order came, and I'm so very pleased with all the free patterns and with the Simply Socks book.

I love how the patterns can be used for more than just socks. There are a number of sweaters that are shown using the sock charts and they are just breathtaking. I haven't been able to look at it as much as I'd like, but I do know this will be one book that will be used a lot.

I'm almost down to the heel on my son's heavy wool socks. I didn't do much knitting today. Was busy doing applesauce instead. The socks are on my #9 needles, so I can't work on the weekend sweater until they come off. Maybe I'll do the cuff between socks, so I can transfer to my 16" circular needles. I'm so anxious to get that sweater done. I love how it's coming along, and it's been a real treat to work on.

The needles came for my daughter's poncho she wanted. I'll be starting that after the sweater is done. That should go very quickly as it's worked with 3 strands held together on size 15 and 17 needles.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

I finished the Spiral Mittens yesterday. The are the strangest looking things when they are off the hand - but pretty cool looking on. I still don't care for how they feel, though, but my son is thrilled with them, so I guess that's all that matters.

My daughter begged to start working on the shawls, so we took most of the day to work on them, while the men were out hunting. My daughter is doing a great job, and is so excited with watching her shawl grow. She's only 10, so I'm hoping that I can help her continue that excitement. She started a scarf last year, and it didn't get very far before it was abandoned. She says this one is more of a challenge with the YO increase and she really likes seeing the shape change. She's also excited about the thought of being able to wear it soon. Cool!

After a long day of hunting and being out in the elements, the guys decided they needed warmer socks - so I'm to do a couple of pairs of heavy wool socks ASAP. I dug out the Galway and decided on the Iowa Cruise Socks pattern from Cottage Creations. I'm about 4" into the first sock, but would have been a lot further if the yarn hadn't been broken in places. One of the 3 plies would be broken in different places on the ball. I had to start a few times and then when it appeared that there wasn't going to be any more, I finally got he ribbing started and on its way, when another broken ply showed up. This time I decided to splice and continue. It's been quite frustrating. I'll have to give Plymouth a call or email tomorrow to let them know about the problem. I can't take it back to the shop, as they are no longer around. They officially closed their doors.

I'm considering doing the top with the Galway and the foot with Icelandic Unspun from Schoolhouse Press. That should keep the feet toasty. I'm not sure how the Unspun would hold up - probably not very well since it doesn't have a twist. Maybe the Unspun with the worsted? Will have to think about that - and then drop needle size if I do decide to do it? Would need to continue gauge... I have a couple of days to decide on this. I'll probably stay boring and go with just the Galway.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Frugal Knitting Haus is having a sale that lasts until Sunday. They are giving 20% off any order over $35 before shipping. You know I had to go have a peek and see if there was anything I needed. Simply Socks was on clearance, and with the percentage off, it became a better bargain that just begged to be put in my shopping cart. With a few needles and accessories, I made the $35 with no problem. I ordered last night, and according to today's email, it's already on it's way! They are fantastic about quick shipping. I also combined both orders, and got a bunch of free patterns coming, too. Can't wait to see them.

We took our son to the orthodontist to get his bite plate put in. Poor kid talks with a terrible lisp now, and eating is difficult. It'll be a couple of days, but he'll soon be used to it. After the ortho appt. I took a trip to the yarn shop. You know, it's sad. That place just doesn't have much, and there's hardly any items knitted up as samples. Heck, just a couple of swatches would be nice. They do have a knit-in yet, but the guild dissolved years ago. I was told there wasn't enough interest in it. Sigh....

I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest Shawl from Fibertrends and decided to get that with Jaggerspun wool/silk yarn in emerald.

It's a beautiful shawl with seagulls, evergreen trees, sand dollars, water, fish and shells. However, when I arrived home, and opened my bag, I found that the store clerk had put the Peace Shawl inside instead.

I was debating between the two, and we were going over both patterns together. She must have taken that pattern up, and I took the Pacific NW up, and the wrong one got bagged by accident. I couldn't call the shop, as it was closed at 5, so I thought I'd wait until tomorrow morning. About 9pm I got a call from the shop and she asked me if I had the wrong pattern. That was nice of her to track me down. She offered to send me the correct pattern, but I decided to keep the Peace Shawl instead. I'll be getting the Pacific NW later with another yarn purchase in the near future.

I'm almost done with my son's mittens. I'm on the last few pattern rows before shaping the fingers. I should be finished with it tomorrow. My daughter wants me to teach her how to knit something useful, so we picked out some acrylic at Walmart to make her a shawl. She loves wearing those things, and I'm hoping she'll like making it. We will be using the shawl tutorial from for her first attempt. I think the YO increases will be easier for her instead of the knit in front/back increases. I'll be knitting along with her with a similar pattern and the same yarn (she wanted mother/daughter shawls), but I wanted something that wasn't so long in the back. Found an interesting freebie that ties in front, so I thought I'd try that.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Yesterday was the monthly orthodontist appt. for both of the kids. Our daughter received the great news that they will be removing her braces on her next appointment. She's so excited and said the first thing she is going to eat is popcorn. Our son has about another 1-1/2 years to go. He loves popcorn, but the hardest thing he has to forego is caramel. Poor boy. He has to go back tomorrow to get his bite plate put in. Then he'll talk funny for a few days.

The new KnitNet came out yesterday. I was disappointed to see there was only one sock pattern in this issue, but there were a number of other great patterns that caught my eye, so I'll cope. :-) I did like the video lesson on the "afterthought" heel. I've read EZ's description on how to do it, but this really turned the lightbulb on for me. Now that I see it, I know I should have understood the description - it's as plain as day. What a cool idea - but then again, everything EZ came up with was way cool.

I've been visiting blogs and going over the patterns on Knitty, and am amazed at how different the group of knitters are now next to when I was growing up. It's a totally different ballgame - the designers and knitters are so young next to those I remember as a teen. Oh, I do envy this generation of knitters. To be able to go to college and sit and knit with friends because knitting is "in". Heck - that's what everyone's grandmother did when I was young. Man, I'm an old fart!

I still haven't found a knitting buddy here. Everyone crochets, but no one seems to knit. I'll have to join the guild and travel to find someone. There's a shop about 40 miles from here that has a knit-in (or at least used to), so I'll just have to look them up sometime. Being down to one vehicle makes it difficult to do these things. Hubby is a programmer that is on call a lot, so he has to have accessibility to the car on those days. As it is right now, they are the same days as the shop's knit-in.

I'm hoping to make a trip to the shop tomorrow. I want to pick up some new needles and finger the yarns. I'm hoping we'll make it from the ortho appt. before the shop closes for the day.

While wondering through Walmart yesterday, I saw a number of knitted and crocheted items. It appears they are "in" this year. But the prices - man! I can't make them for those prices! $3 for a scarf, $4 for hat/mittens set... I don't know why, but I felt somewhat discouraged. I said to my husband - why should I make this stuff when I can buy it for dirt?! He shook his head and made my day... he said, "Because yours is made to be here for years unlike that cheap sh*t that falls apart in a matter of days. Besides nothing there is made of wool, so tell me how much it really is worth!" Ahhhhh - he really does get it when I spend $12 for a pair of socks!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

I knitted so late last night that I was too tired to post. I finished the first sleeve of the Weekend Sweater. What a nice relaxing project it has been so far! I decided on a blouse type of sleeve with all the increases just above the cuff, so it would be easier to pull over other clothing. When I get the second sleeve finished, I'll post a pic of all the pieces together. All that will be left for next week is the yoke shaping and then weaving the underarms.

I ordered a subscription to Bonnie Franz's Stranded newsletter and I love it! Each issue focuses on a specific place such as Egypt, and all the patterns carry the same theme. Not only is it full of fantastic patterns, but it also contains reviews, hints & tips and is just packed full of information. When I subscribed, Bonnie even let me start my subscription with the first issue. I'm so glad she did!!! I know I'll be renewing next year.

Monday, October 13, 2003

That sock! I think it hates me. I've dropped more stitches on that, than I think I've done in my whole lifetime of knitting. I saw a mistake on the heel while I was trying to pick up three stitches, and decided to just rip back to the heel flap. Gonna try it again....

Great news! My needles and books came from Schoolhouse Press today - and what a surprise, because I expected it by mail and not UPS. I have been enjoying Country Knits 2 and Country Knits for Kids by Stephen & Carol Huber. I'm getting some ideas for my next sweater.

The first of the Spiral Rib Mittens is done. My son loves it, but I don't care for the feel. I do like the long cuff, but the pattern makes my hand feel like it's being squeezed together - even though it's not tight on it. I'll finish the pair since DS like them, but these won't be on my list to make again. Sad - because I enjoyed doing the spiral rib. I also crocheted a pair of mittens for my daughter to match her "Wizard Scarf" I made from a Coats & Clark freebie.

I'm going to try to cast on the sleeve for the Weekend Sweater. I'm anxious to get going on that again.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

I think this weekend has been one of the most beautiful weekends of the year. The colors of our trees are almost at their peak, and the temps have been in the low 70's. I don't think I could come up with a more gorgeous combination. I love fall.

Since the weather has been changing, it's time to knit up a few pairs of mittens. I decided to try the Spiral Rib Mittens on p84 of Homespun Handknit using the Plymouth Galway that I came a bit ago. DS picked the apple green color (DD calls it booger green). The kids like their mitten cuffs longer so I did 30 rows of ribbing instead of the 18 that the directions call for. I like the pattern - very easy and the effect that it produces really pleases my son. He says they "cool".

I hit a snag on DH's socks. I am working on the gusset right now, and tried them on him last night. The ribbing bunches at the back where the ribbing meets the heel flap. I'm going to continue with the gusset and see if it's just because it's not pulling equally from all sides, but it's possible that I'm going to end up ripping back and trying something else out. I'm at 2 possibilities so far:

  • 1. The ankle is too lose and I need to taper it some
  • 2. The ribbing just won't work with my choice of heel flap

    DH said to leave it alone and he'll deal - said he feels bad that I will have to rip out all that work. This is my learning sock. I'm going to learn how the construction works and what I need to do to fix the problems, so if I need to rip, no biggie. As long as he's ok with being patient

    I'm at the stopping point on DS's sweater. I have to wait for the needles to come in now. The sweater is going much faster than I thought it would and it's real pleasure to work on.

  • Friday, October 10, 2003

    I have a pre-teen in the house. Actually, I have 2 of them and am thankful for both. This week has been a challenge with my son though. He's been very unfocused doing things and yesterday, I had a hard time with it. For days he has been working on doing the dishes - an hour to an hour and a half and he still doesn't get them finished. I haven't been catching things up for him, but leaving them so he sees what he's not accomplishing. This makes his sister happy, as the more he goofs off, the more days she has off doing them :-) Well, last night, after an hour and a half, and only part of them done, I lost my temper and yelled at him and grounded him. I felt badly about it afterwards, and went and talked to him, telling him I was sorry for losing my temper, but something has to be done. He said he understood, said he was sorry and would try harder, then went to bed.

    This morning when I got up, DH asked me when I did the rest of the dishes. I didn't have a clue what he meant. I went into the kitchen and found everything washed!! Later this morning I found out that DS set his alarm clock for 3am and got up and finished everything!!! Not only that, but he's been doing all his chores around the house without being told! I have been in a state of shock all morning! Now there's a boy to be proud of. We decided that since he sacrificed sleep to buckle down - we removed his grounding.

    Sorry to have gotten off the knitting track - but I had to praise our son....

    Now, on to the knitting topic. I didn't work on DS's sweater last night, but decided to do DD's instead. I needed a change of color. I only have 2" to go on the front before I do the front shaping.

    Today I turned DH's sock. Here's what I did for the heel:
    K22, PM, K2, K2tog, K1, turn
    SL1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn
    SL1, K6, K2tog, K1, turn
    SL1, P7, P2tog, P1, turn
    SL1, K8, K2tog, K1, turn
    Continue until all sts are worked (24 sts remain)

    Now I'm ready to pick up sts for the instep....

    I've seen so many neat stitch markers out lately. You can get beaded, plain, round, hooked, etc. Yah - so were am I going with this? I ended up breaking my chain beyond repair on my ankle bracelet and thought how neat it would be to turn into a stitch marker. I took the little bit of chain left and looped it around and put it in the jump ring. I got a neat marker, but I'm not sure how the chain will be on my needles. Probably not good, but I don't have a jump ring large enough yet. I'll have to make a trip to Walmart and get some. Here's what it looks like now:

    Coming up with any ideas for yours yet? :-)

    Thursday, October 09, 2003

    Yesterday was a good day to knit. The sun was out and we are in the middle of Indian Summer, which means that the kids went outside after lessons and enjoyed the weather. That gave me some time to work on DS's sweater. I have only 3 more inches to go, before I get to the underarms and will have to stop until my needles arrive. I will probably finish it tonight then I can go back to DD's sweater. I should have both of them finished in a couple of weeks.

    I started the heel on DH's sock this morning. I'm doing a partridge eye/French heel so that he will have a nice cushion for his heel. I tried the sock on him yesterday to see how it was for length - and he made the comment that he couldn't believe it - that he really couldn't feel the sock. Said he didn't know if that was good or bad. Oh no! I think I'll have another convert by the time these are finished.

    If anyone wants the specs so far on the socks, here's what I did:
    DH's ankle is 11-3/4", and I had a gauge of 8sts/in, so I cast on 88 sts and worked in K2P2 ribbing for 7". Then I divided the stitches for the heel (44 sts) and have been working on the partridge eye (SL 1, K1, (repeat across) - turn. Then on the next row I SL1 and then purl the rest of the way across - turn. Repeat these 2 rows for 44 rows or until the flap is square.

    That's where I am now - still on the flap and hopefully will be turning the heel tomorrow.

    I was ambitious last night and decided to make an apple/oatmeal porriage in the crockpot for this morning's breakfast. I knew I was getting low on oatmeal, so I had purchased a box of it a few days ago. At 12:35 this morning, I opened the new oatmeal to put in the porriage, and I saw that some of the oats had green fuzzy stuff on them. I thought I was seeing things - as only some here and there had it. Maybe it was the lighting... so I turned on the overhead also - and ugh! It was green mold!!! I looked and looked and found that it was all through the package, and the plastic top (seal) had it on, too. YUCK! Who would have ever expected that?! Thank heavens I was paying attention, but now what?! All the ingredients except the oatmeal was in the crockpot, and I only had half of what I needed from the old box. I looked and looked and finally saw the granola box. Gee - that has oatmeal in it.... didn't have much to lose, so I subbed with that. This morning we had a really good porriage! Yipee!!! It worked. :-)

    Wednesday, October 08, 2003

    I had to call and place another order to Schoolhouse Press to get the 16" circulars I need. They also have Country Knits 2 and Country Knits for Kids by Stephen & Carol Huber on clearance with quite a few other good books. I couldn't pass the Country Knits up, so they will be on there way here, too. I bet by now you can't tell which online stores are my favorites, can you?

    With all the new knitting items coming into the house, I've decided to liquidate my cross stitch leaflets. I have so many, and I'll never in this lifetime use them all. It's about time to prioritize things and decide what is most useful.

    Tuesday, October 07, 2003

    We have 4 grocery bags of apples to take care of. I've been putting off buying an apple peeler, and now I wish I had one! This manual thing is for the birds! LOL DH brought some cider home so we should be making apple butter in the next couple of days, along with some apple sauce and apple pie filling.

    I really have been enjoying the process of the Weekend Sweater. This is my first sweater in-the-round, and it reminds me of doing a huge sock. I'm at the half way point on the body. Only 8 more inches to go before the sleeve holes.

    Monday, October 06, 2003

    What a wonderful field trip today! I don't know who enjoyed it more, the kids or the adults! The kids participated in the Young Eagles Pilot Program. They had a tour of a few WWII planes then they got to fly in a small private plane. Our children flew in a Cessna 172. DS was co-pilot and was actually able to try flying the aircraft on his own for a couple of minutes. He was soooo excited! The flight lasted for about 20 minutes. Now the kids want to go back again today! LOL Here they are getting out of the plane after their ride:

    They said they flew all around Wellsboro and saw the PA Grand Canyon from the air. We then took them to the PA Grand Canyon to enjoy it from the "ground". It's a beautiful spot - so quiet and so high up!! There's a wonderful lookout and trails one can take. If you ever venture to PA - this is a must to visit!

    Then we took the kids to NY for dinner and to visit Barnes & Nobles. They love that bookstore!!! We picked up a few books for homeschool and I found Socks Socks Socks from the Knitter's Magazine Contest. It is just amazing!! The book has 70 patterns and I've chosen many of them to make in the near future. It's one of those books I know I'll be using again and again.

    I didn't do much for knitting, just a couple more rows on the Weekend Sweater.

    Sunday, October 05, 2003

    I started the Weekend Sweater today (a day earlier than the Knit-along) because we'll be getting home late tomorrow. The kids have a field trip with our homeschool group.

    DS has a chest measurement of 34-1/2" and I needed some ease to the garment so I added to make 38". From there I used my gauge and percentages and came out with a cast of 154, but I wanted a K2P2 ribbing, so I decided add 2 since the ribbing is so stretchy and will be worn over other clothing. I worked the ribbing for 2-1/2" and then needed to increase 15 to get up to the number I needed for the body. I really am enjoying using EZ's percentages. It makes this sweater mine - but still guides me through the process. Way cool!

    DS picked out a yarn that my DD and I both don't care for, but DH likes it. Must be a guy thing. It's a camouflage variegated in dk. green, black, brown and tan. Anyhow, here's the progress for today:

    Saturday, October 04, 2003

    What a great mail day! My Plymouth Galway is already here! I'm pleased with the yarn selections that were sent. At least 2 of each color, so I have enough to do small projects. The needles that came are Plymouth Bamboo. I've never had a bamboo needle before, so what a treat to hold them for the first time. ahhh - how smooth and satiny feeling. Now, all I need is a project that calls for size 9 dpns.

    I broke down tonight and purchased a subscription to KnitNet. I've been stopping by and looking at the samplers ever since they went to a pay site. Well, I figured for $12, I still can't get that good of a bargain if I sub to a regular magazine. I like all the views of the projects and that's something that doesn't seem to come in a hardcopy mag. But then again, maybe I'm just reading the wrong ones - or at least did :-) The only one I'm getting now is Wool Gathering, and I don't really consider that a magazine, but more of a teaching booklet.

    I didn't touch my needles today. It seems like I did a lot of nothing today - nothing accomplished, but no time to knit. Ever have one of those days? No, we didn't get to go to the Heritage Days. It poured down rain all day today, and it was so cold, that we decided not to make the trip down. Most of the displays are held outside, and it was just to raw out to tough it out. Now we have to wait another year. Sigh....

    Friday, October 03, 2003

    I joined Dishcloth Exchange last month, and received my first exchange today. It's a lovely cloth from Shannon in OR called Clean & Shine from the LA leaflet Color-Splash Dishcloths. Along with the dishcloth, Shannon sent an adorable magnetic note pad that has baby tigers on it, a Lisa Frank pencil/eraser and a postcard of the Columbia River Gorge.

    Pretty, isn't it?

    I've been pulling my hair out the last couple of days because I couldn't access any of the search engines and it seems like everything I wanted needed a search engine. I should have known I picked up a virus somewhere. A sweet little Trojan called QHost If you visited this blog within the last few days and have found that you cannot access the search engines, you probably have picked it up here. Seems that Fortune City had a malicious banner ad. My sincere apologies if that happened. It amazes me that people develop these silly things for what? Think someone should teach them how to knit and redirect all that talent :-)

    I decided to go all out today and make a nice dinner including dessert. We had roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, harvard beets, and cranberry sauce with apple crisp for dessert. The kids kept commenting it was just like Thanksgiving. Hmmmm - sounds like I don't make many good meals, does it? LOL

    Tomorrow we are supposed to go to the Fort Freeland Heritage Days. It will be a nice field trip to add to our homeschool portfolio. The extra plus is, there is usually spinning and weaving, plus other needle arts on display. I love going there and seeing all the lovely crafters. It's amazing that over 200 years has gone by, and yet we still do many of the same things. It's so thrilling to know we keep our heritage alive!

    I am still working on the ribbing on DH's sock. He keeps wanting it longer, but he also seems very pleased with it. I've only done 5-1/4" but I really do like how much it stretches. The color is pretty as well, but since it's darker, I need good light to work on it.

    Well - It's getting that time that the bed seductively calls...

    Thursday, October 02, 2003

    The garden passed away quietly tonight. We are at 28 degrees F. right now, and I expect it to go lower before morning. We spent the day gathering the last of the veggies. It always saddens me to see another growing season end, but at the same time, it's a welcomed break. Fall is officially here now, and soon our trees will display the most breathtaking display - their final adieu before they slumber and refresh themselves. Winter is my time to relax and renew as well. It's my time to spend time doing the things I love most, as I finally have time.

    I worked a little on DH's socks, a few rows on DD's skinny scarf, and tonight I put a little over an hour in on DD's sweater. The front is at about the half-way point now. I've wondered if I could do the sweater on circular needles, but with the Lion Brand Homespun I'm a little concerned it won't hold it's shape well without the side seams. I guess I could always put in a false seam, but I still would have to figure out where the sleeves would go and where I would end before I started working the front and back separately.

    Sad news - Another yarn shop is going out of business. I called and ordered their Plymouth Galway package - they had 15 balls for $29 plus shipping, and also got a set of size 9 "wooden" dps. I'm anxious to see what will be coming. Then I placed an order at for Fiber Gypsie's books: Custom Fit Socks 1 and the two Custom Fit Mittens books. I need a good mitten book - and book one covers from cuff to fingertip, while book two covers fingertip to wrist. I wished I would have ordered them earlier now as it looks like I should have had some mittens finished already!

    Wednesday, October 01, 2003

    I spent quite a while today going through other blogs, and I'm almost embarrassed to update this one. My life is far from exciting and if it wasn't for being an online record for myself, I'd abandon it in a heartbeat. No, this blog is a totally selfish online published commitment for me to improve my knitting skills - what little I do have. I learned to knit years ago, but didn't continue it because my mother would knit all kinds of nice sweaters for me. This allowed me to explore other needle arts and I could still have gorgeous sweaters. She died 8 years ago, and I came to the realization that there would be no more beautiful sweaters unless I knitted them myself - ahh but knitting was so boring! I did a few baby items for my children, and then a sweater here and there, but nothing much until a couple of years ago. I would get frustrated with published patterns - because even though I'd match a gauge, the sweater wouldn't always fit right. Sigh... So I wouldn't waste my time doing adult items that didn't fit and I had no idea how to adjust.

    This year I found Elizabeth Zimmermann and my outlook on knitting has changed. So has my attitude towards fibers. I'm now considering dusting off my mother's spinning wheel and having a go at it. That will be a bit down the road yet, as I need to get supplies. My brother's sheep won't be sheared until spring, so I have to either buy my wool or just wait and read how to do things and get ready.

    I'm so drawn to learning the technical side of knitting now. Clothing construction has become interesting - learning how the percentages work and how one actually figures out how to construct things. There is finally a reasonable explanation of how things are figured out. Now if only I could find a rule of thumb for socks. I've been searching for a percentage system for them like EZ's, but still haven't found what I'm looking for.

    I got a little knitting in today - a bit more on DH's sock and a few inches on my DD's sweater front. DH's sock appears that it will be taking a bit more time than the others that I've done. The Kroy is finer, and the K2P2 ribbing is slower than straight St St. I'll work on the sock during General Hospital, and my Christmas presents at night after the kids go to bed. DD's sweater shouldn't take too long to do. I'm hoping the color combination will look ok - I'm not sure though at this point. Don't really have too much of a choice at this point tho. LOL

    I need to order a few circular needles so that I have the right size for the Dobbelmossa and the weekend sweater. I don't have any 16" circulars and they aren't to be found in the department stores here. Maybe I can sneak to the LYS over the weekend and see if they have any. Seems like whenever I go down there to get what I need, they don't have it. Maybe my needs aren't "normal" :-)