Saturday, January 31, 2009

Busy, busy day.

Today was a busy, busy day. Husband was gone and coming back today and daughters were both scheduled to the hilt. Daughter #2 was going to a Bat Mitzvah in the morning that I was also invited to and wanted to attend, but it wasn't exactly possible given the day's transportation needs. So, I dropped her off and then started running the other daughter around. Spent the entire day dropping off and picking up and then picked up Husband at the Marta after he arrived back in town. Then we went shopping and had some fun.
It was suggested that I let Daughter #1 learn to play the guitar to accompany herself when she sings. So we got this lovely pink guitar and a teach yourself to play book/cd for her. It's a cheap (very cheap and not necessarily in a good way) guitar, but if she actually puts some effort into it, I will consider buying her a nicer one. She's been playing with it all afternoon, but that doesn't mean it will ever be picked up again.

Daughter #2 has wanted one of these for a long time, and I've said no that she was too young. But there have been about a dozen times since the first of this year that it would have been so nice if she'd had one. There were three times this week that I needed her to have one and two more today. So, she now has one and if you call me sometime, I will give you her number.

This is the harvest from my greenhouse this afternoon. The bigger fruit is a passion fruit from my Lady Margaret plant and the smaller one is from Amethystina. They are both full sized and ripe. The Amethystina fruit is soft & squishy and the Lady Margaret still has a shell rather like an egg. (Lady Margaret is red, Amethystina purple)

And this is my daphne odora getting ready to bloom. It has flowers open - one or two in most of the bunches. It's lovely, but the very best thing about it is the fragrance. It's delicious and delightful and will only get better and stronger as more flowers open. I've lost several of these plants, but these two bushes (two right together) are very happy where they currently are and I hope they stay that way.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Our Blog in a Wordle

This is how Wordle sees our blog.

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Credit to:

Wordle: Untitled

Well I finally finished my afghan. Its prettier in person. The camera doesnt do co;ors always true. Any way now am working on other ubfinished stuff.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Early Birthday Presents

I bought myself some early birthday presents!

I have always wanted to have all of Elizabeth Zimmermann's books, and I think this is the last one that I did not own. So, I bought it for myself - Happy Birthday to me!
I also have knit a couple of things from the old newsletters that she wrote and was trying to decide which ones I wanted to buy. Everytime I tried to pick a few, I ended up picking enough out to make it worthwhile to do the buy them all and get them cheaper deal. So I did just that.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New and Improved Turquoise Hat!

Ok, so you remember that I made this hat and this scarf for myself, right? Used some lovely Malabrigo worsted. Well, the scarf is really pretty and as practical as a scarf can be for someone who doesn't wear scarves. But I didn't really like the hat - not the way it looked, not the way it fit and not the way it felt.
So, after reading the Yarn Harlot and seeing the picture of the hat and mittens she made her daughter I decided to remake the hat. I found a bit of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Bulky (or maybe super bulky) behind the bed. Then I had to rip out the hat that had already been knit - started that yesterday evening.
I knit the Cashmerino into a strip using moss stitch and when it was big enough to go around my head, I sewed it together and picked up stitches along the top edge. Since the cashmerino was bulkier than the malabrigo, I picked up more stitches and used a needle one size smaller. Then I knit from the strip to the top of the head - tried it on and when I thought it was big enough did my decreases. Afterward, I picked up and knit four rows on the bottom and then bound off. I didn't like the curl, so I undid the bind off and two rows and purled a row and then bound off in purl and now it lies flat.

I really like it - it's comfortable and as attractive as a headwarming hat can be on someone who generally doesn't like hats.

What do you think?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pretty, pretty . . .

I decided that I didn't really like the way the cable hat that I made fit, so it's becoming the yarn for a new hat. I'm adding some white Debbie Bliss Cashmerino bulky as a strip in the middle because I wasn't sure I had enough of the blue Malabrigo. We'll see how it looks when it's done. I'm not using a pattern, just the same concept that the Yarn Harlot used for the hat she made her daughter.

I cast on the Miss Babs (forget the color name, but I like it) socks for my husband, but since he's in the doghouse, I've decided they might become mine. I really like this yarn - it feels nice and the colors are nice.

Miss S made me buy her some more of the Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande to make more hats. This variegated pastel yarn is for a lady at the school who has been very helpful to both girls this week - I'm talking way above and beyond the call of duty.

This is actually a dark blue, but not even navy. The camera doesn't like dark colors very much. This yarn is for the girl to make her father a hat. He wants his just like the girl's own hat and the one she made the boyfriend but I said it had to be different. It would be totally uncool for your father to have the same hat as you and your boyfriend, right?

This is some Mountain Colors Bearfoot that I saw and liked. And I had a pattern that wanted something with some different colors in the variegation. So it followed me home and I was ok with that . . . .

And finally, took the broken child to the doctor after she'd had the brace on for just over the 3 weeks that it was prescribed for . . . and found out that it didn't do the trick. The arm hadn't healed enough and probably should have been in a real cast from the get go. So, we came home with this (and yes, black was her choice), which we get to keep for the next two weeks. Glad I didn't listen to DH and just take the brace off and assume that everything was hunky dory!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A little knitting in the cold . . .

. . .
It was so cold here this last weekend, and the girls had both Monday and Tuesday off from school, so we headed south to the beach. It was cold there too, but not nearly as cold. We were able to get out and take walks on the beach and even sit poolside in the sun comfortably in shirt sleeves for a while. But it wasn't hot there, and so we spent a lot of time in the house and I got a lot of knitting done.

I did knit on the red and black norwegian sweater, but I'm at or near the point where I need to start the steeks. That means I need to make a decision as to how I plan to do the sleeves - either pick up stitches on the completed sweater body and knit them down from the top or knit them and sew them to the body. If I do them top down, I can just keep knitting to where I think they need to start and then start the steeks. If I do them bottom up, I need to knit them now so I know how wide the tops are and how big the steeks need to be. It always takes me a few days to actually make the decision and do whatever calculations are necessary before I can move forward.

Meanwhile, I decided that before I make my own Elizabeth Zimmermann ribwarmer from that lovely purple Brooks Farm yarn, I should try a smaller one to see how they work. So, I found this Baby Bear Ribwarmer pattern through Ravelry ( and followed the directions exactly to see how it works. It's simple, easy and ingenious. And now the Monkey has his own little vest. (I didn't have any contrasting worsted weight yarn with me to do the I-cord edging so it may or may not get added later.)

And, I started on the Monteray socks for that daughter of mine. They seem to be a quick knit, but I'm not letting them fool me yet because I know there will be a good bit of finishing given the way they are made. We'll see if I ever finish them.

And just for grins, this is what the girls ate for breakfast at the beach:

I was astounded to find them eating open-faced cereal sandwiches! Yes, that's a piece of bread slathered with a thick layer of Nutella and then covered with cereal flakes. Can you say 'eewwwwe'?

And this little plant has been blooming in the greenhouse - second flower on it. Unfortunately, I also discovered that some eggs or caterpillars also came in with the plants. I found two perfectly beautiful but totally dead butterflies on the floor today when I went in to water the plants. I hope there are no more eggs, caterpillars or chrysalis out there.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mom's House

These are my pictures of my children and grandchildren and loved ones. I have my digital photo frame that I got from my favorite daughter. All the photos my grandson hung for me around my window.

And my fireplace for sitting and knitting in front of. All of my children are invited to join me by the fireplace.

And, if you look closely, you will see on the wall by the door the clock given to me by my son and daughter-in-law. It tells the time, day, and both the indoor and outdoor temperature. Notice that it is below freezing outside (at noon). That is why the fireplace is going inside.

Friday, January 16, 2009

If you came looking for patterns . . .

Little Hearts - mini felted (or not) Hearts
Little Hearts - written in German (help me correct errors as I don't speak German)
Mala-Cable Child's Cable Hat
Knit A Rat - knit and felted rat pattern
Kool Aid Dyeing tutorial
Kool Aid Painting tutorial

The patterns are still here! I rearranged things when I discovered someone had copied and pasted the Little Hearts pattern onto their blog as though they had written it. I cannot make her remove the pattern as she just ignores all my pleas.

All the patterns are now in PDF format and can be downloaded for free through Ravelry. If you are a member of Ravelry, you can hop over there and find me as teresaknits. Or you can still download all the patterns from this site - just scroll down the right side of the blog and the links are all there - even added pictures.

There will be some new patterns coming as soon as I get a chance to type them up.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stitches South

Stitches South is coming to Atlanta in April. I've signed up for four classes. I wish you guys were here so you could go with me. Especially since one of the classes I'm taking is twined knitting. I taught myself from Twined Knitting: A Swedish Folkcraft Technique in 1980 when it first came out and Mom gave me a copy. I figured a refresher couldn't hurt since I only ever knit the one thing that way. Then we have to start the two end project we always planned to do. (Would you like me to send your copy to you, Mom?)

Fiendishly Difficult Stitches
Teacher: Saarniit, Merike
Skill Level: Intermediate
Description: Yes, these are stitches for the adventuresome knitter! Explore unusual stitch manipulations that create exotic fabrics. We'll look at what can designate a stitch as 'difficult' and find ways to understand and create those stitches efficiently.

Lapland Hand Garments
Teacher: Hansson, Susanna
Skill Level: Advanced
Description: These colorful Sami mittens feature an unusual zig-zag-like pattern that appears only on the top of the mitten while the palm-side is plain-they are not for the faint of heart. Begin by practicing the technique with worsted weight yarn, a clever way of keeping track of many small balls of yarn, and how to keep them from getting tangled. Your project will involve 11 small balls of yarn plus the main color.

Intro to Twined Knitting
Teacher: Beth Brown Reinsel
Skill Level: Intermediate
Description: Curious about the 400-year-old Swedish technique of twined knitting? Try knitting one of a pair of wristers while learning traditional cast-on, twined knitting, twined purling, and patterning (the "O" stitch, the Crook stitch). Must be comfortable working with two circular needles or double-pointed needles.

Latvian Wristers
Teacher: Beth Brown Reinsel
Skill Level: Intermediate
Description: Using wristers as a template, knit one of a pair to learn the following techniques which can be applied to mitten cuffs, sock tops or sleeves: a scalloped cuff, the herringbone braid and many subtle and beautiful variations of the half-braid. A choice of traditional motifs is incorporated in the main part of the wrister, as well as a picot edge at the end. Additional techniques to be discussed include knitting with two yarns in the right hand, two yarns in the left hand, or a yarn in each hand, as well as knitting with three colors and setting up the knitting for color changes in the braids.

Another Gadget

Show others how much you knit with a KnitMeter
KnitMeter is a widget that you can put on your blog or web page to show others how much you have knit
Its completely free and easy to use.
Here's how it works:
Create a KnitMeter account (all you need is an email address)
Add entries each day as you knit or as you finish projects
Add the widget to your blog or web page. Instructions are included and are easy to follow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


So, the red and black norwegian sweater is coming along, slowly but surely. The body is about half done and I need to start the sleeves so I know how big to make the steeks. I guess I could do the sleeves top down, but I'd have to reverse the pattern and I'm too lazy. I guess I could always do a different pattern on the sleeves but if it wasn't similar, that would be strange. Either way, I need to make a chart for the sleeves and do the math to figure out size and such and I'm feeling more like knitting than thinking these days.

And in my room is this big, overflowing basket of yarn. Well, this picture is a big basket overflowing with yarn, there are actually several more baskets and a lot of plastic boxes and one giant black cloth box full of yarn in my room too . . . but we can ignore those for the purposes of this post. (And we'll ignore the boxes and bags of yarn in the basement forever, thank you.)

Not only do I have all the yarn in this basket, most of which is sock yarn, I have several new and very lovely sock books as well. So I wound most of the sock yarn into balls and then knit little swatches of each color to see what it would look like. Some of this yarn is for me, some for the hubby and some for the girls but who actually gets each individual color is up in the air for the most part. Hubby has claimed the two orange balls on the right side of the basket and even though one daughter would dearly love to steal it, he gets it. I have claimed the brownish ball in the front of the pile, but that same daughter is trying to steal it from me.

That daughter would like for me to make her the Monteray sock from The Eclectic Sole: Socks for Adventurous Knitters out of that orange or brown, but she's willing to settle for the Tofutsies in pink & yellow (no, I do not know the actual name of the colorway as the yarn was a gift from a generous friend). So I test knit a swatch of the pattern to see what it would look like in the yarn. The gauge is off and the sock construction is not normal, so I need to try to get gauge on a different needle.

That same daughter likes Hydrangea from The e Eclectic Sole. She was supposed to get one ball of the Numma Numma Toasty for Needlenook that I won, so maybe I'll make those for her in Shirley's Breakfast Blues.

The other daughter gets the Mountain Colors Bearfoot - can't remember the colorway, maybe Meadow? This yarn matches the Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool that I bought a while ago and made a diagonal sweater out of for this daughter. She's been too busy to look thru the pattern books and pick what she wants, but usually she prefers for me to knit her own inventions so we'll discuss that when I'm ready to cast on.

I want to make Rivendell from Eclectic Sole for myself. It would look good in the Numma Numma Toasty for Needlenook in the Lou's Brews or Shirley's Breakfast Blues if the girl decides she still wants the gray . . . .

That leaves the Malabrigo sock yarn in Stonechat left without a pattern, but never fear, I have other books that haven't been cracked yet . . . . .

And if you look at that basket of yarn, you'll see some more sock yarn that hasn't been claimed or labeled yet - some gray handspun, some green and some orange Elann, among others. The blue and white and the big hank of purple are for a knit along that is supposed to start in March - you guys might want to do it too as it's being led by Joyce Williams.

Trains and Flowers

The girls still get out the Thomas the Train trains and tracks every year. Usually they put a track around the tree, but then it ends up taking over the entire living room. This year, I made them move it behind the couch, and it's still there . . . Did you know they have a lot of new characters and train cars now? We discovered that last time we were in the store.

This is a very pale passiflora violacea that is opening in the greenhouse. Outside, they only stay open one day but in the greenhouse it can take two days for them to open and they often stay open 3 or more days . . . .

Sunday, January 11, 2009

After the storm and a little knitting

This is what the living room floor looked like today. Finally got around to taking down the tree and putting away the decorations. Somehow that always seems to take twice as long as putting them up and it's twice as painful as well. But now it's done and the tree is out of the house and Christmas is over for the next 11 months. Sorta sad . . . .

I tried to convince someone to wear this dress to the homecoming dance, but she said it was too big. It was too big, but not hugely so. I didn't really think it would have fallen off her, well it might have cuz it has absolutely no back . . . she might have made the right decision. It's a very cool dress tho, even if it weighs almost as much as the girl . . . those beads and sequins are HEAVY. (And the vertical stripes of color at the bottom are actually fringe in strings of beads those colors, so the end of the dress is where you see the white sequins before the fringe starts . . . .)

Darlin' Dog at the beach house trying to be friendly to the Hamsters. She LOVES to watch them and chase them when they are in their balls. She loves to look at them in their cage. She smashes her face up against the glass of their tank whenever she can.
Someone's got a nice little wind up jug band - very strange . . . .

And yes, Virginia, there has been knitting. I've spent a lot of time in the last week waiting . . . waiting at the car dealership, waiting in the hospital, waiting in this doctor's office and then waiting in that doctor's office and finally, all day Saturday waiting for the stupid cable people to fix both tv and the internet connection . . . enough waiting and the norwegian sweater is back to the same size it was before I ripped it back to the ribbing. The only question is, is it any bigger? Must measure it . . . .