Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What a pain in the neck!

That is what I have, alright, a massive pain in the neck. Yup, at 35, I have arthritis (mild, they say -- if this is mild UG!) in my neck, which causes stiffness and pain and HEADACHES. So, I started Physical Therapy today, and have been forced to take it easy (since I find it hard to move and all) and haven't gotten the dyeing done I wanted to this week. I have also had to take it a bit easy on the knitting front, so I have been going slowly on the Big Ball sweater. It is quite heavy now, as Gina had mentioned, and I have to keep a decent track of where I am in the yoke decreases, so I am only doing a few rows at a time. I decided to cast on my Booga Bag so I would have something mindless to work on that I don't even have to look down at. I'm loving the colors so far, but have to say it is smaller than i thought it would be. Nevertheless, I really think I am going to like it and I intend to use grommets for the handle holes, since I have a bunch of them in my sewing stash.

Of course, none of the pain has come in the way of stash enhancement (retail therapy!), which came in the mail last week in the form of this GORGEOUS 100% cashmere sport weight from POSH in the colorway -- get this name -- Tah-dah! I love it!

And then today I got my first installment of Spunky Club Fiber today (yippee!)
Great colors and superwash merino, too. This is so going to become something for the BOY -- he's all about yellow and bright green.

And on another note, Lilah has spring fever of the bunny kind. She is feverishly preparing a nest in her little hut, but there's one problem. No daddy, no babies. Apparently she missed that day of class in bunny school. Anyone have a handsome German bunny boy they want to pimp out to my pretty little darlin'? I think she's gonna go crazy (or drive me crazy!) if she doesn't get knocked up!

Monday, March 26, 2007

I just love Knittah's

wow...Saturday was one of the best days EVER (discounting, of course the birth of my children, and the day I married their daddy -- not in chronological order...hehehe.) The ManchVegas Knitters (11 of us in all) converged upon York, Maine and the lovely and unsuspecting yarn shop, The Yarn Sellar, for a day of knitting, shopping and kvetching. Too. Much. Fun.

Seriously, it was awesome. Patti and her husband, Roger, the shop owners, were so friendly and welcoming and fun and accomodating and, and, ...well, they had chocolate chip cookies! lol They have the perfect table set up in the center of the shop for knitting -- a must for any good yarn shop -- and a great selection of yarn. I brought home some gorgeous Noro to finally make myself a Booga Bag, a skein of Lamb's Pride for making a hedgehog, some Berrocco Softwist for Adam's Dragon in the requested purple, and, since I can't justify buying sock yarn anymore or adding much else to the already overflowing stash (you may notice here that I have never done the ever-popular "stash reveal". Ummmm, yeah...hubby reads the blog), I bought a Lantern Moon knitting bag! I feel so stylish. LOVE IT!

The best part of the day tho was hanging with the friendly Mainers, esp. Patti, Roger, and Julie, the blogger friend that brought us there in the first place -- Julie of the completed Big Ball sweater that I am still plugging away at -- and the lovely Martha whom I had the pleasure of sitting next to and who is a fount of knitting wisdom, energy, and good will. Really. And Blogless Chris finished the sweater for his little soon-to-be nephew for the upcoming wedding. Can you believe this guy has been knitting for less than two years? A perfect sweater in every way.

Just such a great time.
I got hardly any knitting done tho!! ARG! I am working a new sock pattern for Sereknity that will be posted there shortly (I hope) and revealed at a later date, but it received approval from most in attendance, so that was good, and I did a few more rows on THE sweater. I attempted to knit in the dark in the car on the ride home from memory, and managed to put in one increase row too many in the bust area AND knit too few rows in between the increase rows, but rather than rip out yesterday I was able to drop down, take out the increases in the offending places, and re-knit, so I was quite pleased with myself. The arms are now attached and I am decreasing for the yoke. I do worry, tho that the sweater is too short, and I even added and extra inch to the body before attaching the arms. I never thought I did, but maybe I have a longer than normal torso? At this point, I am trusting blocking to work out any issues. Cross your fingers!

And finally, I was unable to post this last week as I left my precious little bundle at my sis-in-laws house on Thurs. (major withdrawls followed). It isn't the nicest spinning job, by far, but it is mine, all mine! And soooo soft. I present to you, Lilah...

Don't you just want to pet it?

Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm dye-in' hee-yah! (and a SHAMELESS PLUG)

The dyepot is cookin' and I should have some fabulous kettle-dyed skeins of merino/tencel and merino/nylon to list on Sunday.
Appetizing, no?

On the menu are:
Pink Lemonade
BLue Lagoon
Lilacs in Bloom
and December Beaches.

And the plug?? SEREKNITY IS NOW OFFICIALLY AT THE URBAN KNIT! And dig this...both on-line shops that carry Sereknity yarns were just featured in the Lime and Violet pod-cast. (One Planet Yarn and Fiber was also mentioned, which has been carrying my yarn and fiber and just listed a bunch of stitch markers and orifice hooks.) How cool is that???
(the dye fumes must be getting to me.....)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

oh, Babe-y!

Oh, yeah, we're really rockin' now. This, my friends, is my new best friend -- my FOUR SKEIN ELECTRIC SKEIN WINDER from Babe's fiber garden. THIS will make production much faster and a hell of a lot more enjoyable. Since I don't have to dread winding yarn any longer, I can really enjoy what I love -- playing with color! I presently have a ton of merino/tencel and merino/nylon to wind, and a bunch of Falkland and sport skeins, so I am going to be a dyeing fiend. Plus, the awesome Kendra cranked out a bunch of bags that I'll be listing soon. She is even designing some great totes of her own now that I can't wait to put on the Sereknity site -- problem? (other than the unfinished site??) She needs a company name now! Any suggestions?? She's kinda a glam, high fashion sense sort of gal and often goes by Kay. There you have it -- the perfect name please!! lol
As for my site, the fabulous Chris, of guest writing fame at Armed with Pointy Sticks, has pledged to aide me in my hopelessly inept attempts to figure out the whole payment-processing THING at the site, my only real obstacle to getting it up and running. (That and a lack of yarn must. dye. yarn.) Keep your fingers crossed!
Speaking of yarn, I kettle-dyed some of the most GORGEOUS colors this week! Lilacs, aqua blues, and fun green called Martian, pink and yellow lemonade...mmmm. But no pics -- why? Took them to knitting practice, and of the 11 skein I brought, I came home w/ one. One! lol I'll be heating up the pot again tomorrow, and hope to have some for etsy by Sunday. And then you can buy and download Gina's awesome head-band patterns from her site (I already did!) and make something fun to welcome in spring.
As for knitting news, I have one FO to report this week. No not the Big Ball sweater, although I have finished the body decreases and am now working on it exclusively. I put it down for a few days to finish another commitment...TRA-LA-LA!
Captain Underpants!

(pattern here) Makes for one happy little girl (and a little boy who now wants one as well). This was fairly fun and quick to knit, but don't try it while chatting with other moms at karate. NOT good for shaping. The only mods I made were to knit the arms and legs with 12 stitches instead of 8. I found 8 to be very fiddly on dpns. Mine was knit entirely of Lion Brand Wool-ease, and I should have enough for Cpt U #2.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Well, Lilah has been sheared.

I did get her a t-shirt this time. It is one of those little newborn side-snap shirts. Works like a charm! She doesn't even seem to mind it, well, not in comparison to her misery over loosing her lovely fur anyway. 3.5oz of prime angora, plus the second cuts and the massive amount of fur from her underside that filled the dustpan to overflowing.
Also, I did forget (how, I don't know) to give the Jason update -- my other disappointing news of the week. His tour has been extended another 40 days, meaning he won't be home until mid-August. He is still healthy, tho, so your prayers and good vibes are working. Keep it up, please!

Excursions in Frustrationland

I so did not like this week. Not my favorite. This week was fraught with aggravation, frustration, anger and worry. Ultimately, all appears to be good. Here's the short list...
1. Although being a Brownie leader for two years (having dutifully passed in all required paperwork), my council had NO record of my existence. None. What does this mean? NO cookie-crack for the troop. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW INSANE PEOPLE GET ABOUT GIRL SCOUT COOKIES?????? After many days and e-mails, all is resolved, cookies have been delivered, and I am once again a full fledged human in the eyes of the GS. Let us never speak of this again.
2. In the midst of the never-to-be-mentioned-again e-mail frenzy, while hubby was away in CT for work, I preformed my routine on-line check of my bank accounts before bed to discover that "someone" had charged $1000 to my personal business account. Not me. Not hubby. Not good. Called bank. YUP. Fraud. ARG! Horror. Help? Yes. Stopped the offending debit card, filed reports. Resolution? Let's hope so. I'd really like to have that money back. I was also very afraid to use my laptop until hubby got home to check for viruses and spyware in the event that is how the offenders got my account number, which is why I have been incommunicado for so long.
All was not a loss, however. There were some great and happy events of the week as well. Tuesday, my friend Stacy and I took our children to the NE Aquarium as there was no school in our town that day. What a fantastic time! Having once worked there and being a Marine Biology major and a woman of stunning amounts of energy, Stacy was our own personal tour guide and enthusiastic teacher for the day. Seriously, this woman should have her own TV show. Steve Irwin (RIP) has nothing on this chick in enthusiasm! The weather was in the 60's, so we walked to Fanueil Hall for lunch and copped a squat outside for a gnosh. The kids were just thrilled to be in the fresh springlike air and friend Sadie and my Rachel made a delightful spectacle of themselves dancing in the square. So much so that a group of Asian students on tour requested to take a picture of our delightful little ones! And who wouldn't, really?

We also have encountered a new fad in our house...Webkinz. Heard of these? We were introduced by my cousin, and apparently these sold out in stores quite quickly -- we were only able to find them in a store in Burlington, MA -- 45 min. from home. They come with a code used to open an on-line account for gaming and caring for the pet, ala Tomagachi. The kids are having a great deal of fun, and the pets can be interactive with other friend's pets, so it will be a nice way for them to stay in touch with their cousins in China. Here is Rachel with Webby,

and Jacob with Stomper.

This week also saw the completion of my Spunky Hand-spun socks! Do you think I love them?? YES, I DO! Warm, comfy, beautiful...mmmmmm.

I have also completed the sleeves of the Big Ball sweater, and have cast on the body. I am well aware that Gina was heading to A Knitter's Garden to purchase the required 24" size 9 addis for the body. MUST. KNIT. FASTER. lol
And today, after the wonderful spring-like weather enjoyed earlier in the week, we are oncce again snowed in. (Gotta love New England.) On the docket for today is snuggling, knitting, and a good shearing. See pretty Lilah?

Get a good look. She won't look that fluffy for long! mmmmmmmmmm Fibery goodness. (She, btw, has accepted the new condo and has even ventured upstairs. yay!)
Happy knitting!

Friday, March 09, 2007


Two FOs to post today for FO Friday. The first are my Cervina Calzetteria socks, simple stockinette, in the Naples colorway. I started these quite a while ago, and kept getting sidetracked, but now that they are done, I allowed myself to cast on sock #2 of my hand-spun socks. These socks are quite soft and comfortable to wear, and I expect them to soften even more with washing, and they have nylon in them for strength, which is a wonderful thing. I wore out the heel in my Embossed Leaves socks already -- only got a few months out of them. Now I know thet my heels are rough, but come on! I ended up felting those and sewed up the heel and Rachel wears them now and they are super soft and cushy.
FO #2 I knit a few weeks ago and forgot to post, partially b/c I don't like it! Not on me anyway. It is Calorimetry from the last issue of Knitty. I was desperate for a quick project and saw this one on this blog and did a little stash diving. I had it done with-in a day and it was rather fun and easy. Many bloggers have commented that knit as the pattern states that it comes out HUGE -- and they are right! I knit mine in a DK (Jaegger Matchmaker dyed by my Jacob) on size 6's, rather than the worsted on 8's recommended, and it was still too big! I will say that it was a great thing to put on one's head however when running out of the houe with wet hair thrown up in a clip! I think this suits folks with lovely curly locks much better than those with bone straight hair like myself, or folks like Mary here...

...who could model a potato sack and have the world clammoring to adopt the look. The wrap is going home to Ireland with her. (Mary is the sis of my sis-in-law, visiting from the homeland. I heart her -- could you tell?)
And the lovely Sinead (the aforementioned sis-in-law) discovered an alternate use, should Mary tire of the house frau look...

Sexy, no?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why yes, Julie, I do have Big Balls...

Yeah baby! Tuesday afternoon, the postman delivered my fabulous package from Spunky Eclectic. My yarn and pattern for Amy's Everyday Chunky Cardigan (otherwise known as the Big Ball Sweater), custom dyed in her Red Maple colorway. I cast on that night! I was hoping to catch up to Gina and Julie, who got their yarn and patterns at SPA and are alos knitting them right now, but trying to catch Julie is obviously futile. This is where I am today...
...one sleeve down, and one begun. This should be a pretty quick knit tho and I really want to get it done NOW so I can wear it before the warm weather arrives. The pictures do the color no justice, and as I progress I'll try to get a better picture outside, but I warn you -- I am a wimp. I hate being out in the cold!
In other fiber news, I will have a few FO's to post tomorrow. Nothing earthshattering, unless you consider the fact THEY ARE DONE to be earthshattering, which I do. I also could not resist the lure of the roving sent by my pal (which, incidentally, EVERYONE who sees it ooohs and aaaahhs over), so I did some pre-drafting on Sunday while awaiting some friends and sat down to the wheel. A few passes over the bobbin and suddenly ka-chunk! The footman connector broke. Damnnit! I have ordered a replacement from the Woolery but no spinning until then. And of course I have the bug something terrible, esp. after going to the Daughters of Liberty spinning and knitting get together Saturday in Hampstead, sponsored by my spinning group, the Island Pond Spinners. (Other folks in attendance were Cheryl, Terry, Julia (I was so thrilled to meet these last two lovely ladies for the firt time),Joanne, Martha, and a whole host of NETA members.) I didn't bring my wheel, opting to knit instead, but everytime I do this all I want to do is go home and spin, spin, spin! So, I wait...
Not much else to report, other than a wonderful family trip to the SEE Science Museum in Manchester, NH with my good friend and her girls. If you are ever in the area, this is well worth the stop with youngins (Lora was there on Saturday and says the same!). If you get there before May, you can even see the special exhibit of robotic dinosaurs. Very fun.

Rachel trying out the momentum chair...

Jacob on -- what else -- a computer...

Genna getting a shock...

Mikayla going for a moonwalk...

and Marion doing what Marion does...

and all the kids putting on a puppet show...

But where is the fiber connection? You know there had to be one! Manchester was once a very busy mill city, and home to the Amoskeag Cotton Mill. The SEE Science Center has an enormous Lego replica of the area and the mills, including this...
Lego cotton carders and roving processing machines!

You knew I'd find some connection!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Look at my yarn!

I love it when I see pictures of my yarn all knit! I rarely get to knit with it myself. I have a killer stash from pre-dyeing days to work through, and only limited time to dye for the various shops (not to mention limited knitting time!), so I don't like to take product that I know will just languish in my basket until I can get to it. I was thrilled to see this pic on the Townsend Sock KAL group...

Not only is it my Breakfast at Tiffany's yarn, but it was knit in my pattern, too!
Also, seam-mistress Kendra, the most fearless knitter/crafter I know, brought a skein of Shiraz home the other day and knit this wonderful little sock...

Can you believe the first thing she ever knit was the helmet liner?? And then she went straight into socks? Man, I love this girl. :)
I need to figure out how to make a gallery on sereknity.com. If anyone has any pics of either yarn handpainted by Sereknity or yarn made from our rovings, I would LOVe to see pics. You can send them to heather@sereknity.com. I'll get hubbywebmaster to help me figure out the gallery thing.
Lots of good things in the mail this week, including something wonderful from Spunky eclectic -- more tomorrow. YAY! It's knit night!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Of packages, pals, projects and perfection

First, let me thank my wonderful Spin to Knit pal, Chris, (now happily revealed!). A very busy lady who took the time to visit my blog and spin me some simply GORGEOUS yarn, although I fear Rachel may try to abscond it. It is a wonderful mix of deep pinks and purple, very bulky/chunky, and oh so soft. She and her children also had some great fun dyeing some roving with koolaid which she included in the package.

VERY fun colors -- orange, green, grape -- that I think will make some fantastic mittens. Chris you were a great pal -- thank you! And now I can haunt you on your blog!
And I can't believe it is once again time for FO Friday! It has been vacation week here, and with the kids home, shop work is next to impossible (not to mention I have been plagued with headaches a few of the days. grrrr) so I have managed to crank out a bit more knitting. I completed a hat for my nephew, Adam, in Regia 6 ply on sz 5 needles (co 90, rib brim, stockinette) that I tried a pretty neat 5x raglan decrease that left a little pentagon design at the top. Nice and quick, and a good thing, too. After big sis got her hat, Adam began demanding to know where his hat is? Sheesh! Don't 21/2 year olds get the whole knitting takes time thing?? lol

While babysitting the little rugrat himself on Wed., I grabbed the multi-directional scarf gifted to his mom for a quick photo shoot. You really can't tell from the pic, but there are some lovely shades of purple in there, too. Why oh why is it so hard to capture purple and blue on camera?

I also have a few new projects. I know, I know! I said I was going to clean up the UFO's -- and I'm still working on them! I am! But hubby was beginning to think he would never get his scarf, and commented that winter is almost over, so I had to cast it on. I spent a few nights pouring over stitch patterns that were interesting, but not busy enough to get lost in the marled yarn (my handspun llama/baby alpaca), that would be quick and easy to knit, and classicly masculine. I settled on a rib stitch -- it may be mistake rib? -- that I found in a washcloth pattern, and I really think it is the perfect match for the yarn.

Hubby likes it, so I'm good to go. I still have to finish plying the rest of the yarn before this ball is gone, tho! I hope 8oz is enough.
Lastly, even tho I had two lonely single socks for me, and a single for Rachel languishing in the basket, I couldn't resist the call of my Brain Freeze Handspun (roving courtesy of Gina, dyed by Amy King). It is ALL Gina's fault! Not only did she give me this amazing stuff, but she spun and knit her own pair from Spunky roving and they looked soooooo gooood...I couldn't help myself! And here is sock perfection -- sock knitting nirvana...omg, I am soooo in love...

so in love, in fact, that I wore this one lonely sock around the house today with another lonely (Cervina Naples) single, just because I had to. I'll finish the Cervina sock that is on the needles before I knit Brain Freeze #2, tho. I know I'll knit it that much quicker so I can get to the real goal!