I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

she's better, too!

Crafty Girl slept for almost 12 hours and I skipped the doctor this morning.
She has a big cold.
I talked to my dad this morning, and he sounds good, though a bit rattled with the whole experience. He is planning to read up on the whole thing and get prepared in case it ever happens again, which the doctors said it might.

Meanwhile, I joined a new KAL, don't know what possessed me! It's the 52 pair plunge which starts tomorrow. A pair of socks a week, for one year.

Feel free to visit there sometime!

Friday, March 30, 2007


My dad is home. They checked him out from head to toe and back, and kept asking him how old he is because he seemed so much younger. Arteries clean as a whistle. A brain that works like it should.
But the inner ear! That tiny little space in there. Evidently, some deposits/calcifications came loose and caused the vertigo and thus the nausea.

Whew. Big sigh and breath of relief.

I get to talk to him tomorrow, to get the story directly from him.

Meanwhile, I need to tend to my Crafty Girl who is in bed right here, right now, with suspected strep throat. Going to get the test in the morning...

Thank you all for being there. It definitely helps.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

today's news

Sand Mandala being made here in Albany this week.

First, a huge thank you for everyone that took the time to write to me.

I don't know. Call it premonition. But it's good to know you're out there, hearing me!

My sister called me from Germany this morning (--- for those of you who don't know, I have no family of my own here, all my family and relatives are in Germany where I grew up ---) and told me that my dad had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. He tried to get out of bed this morning and couldn't due to intense dizziness and nausea. From what I know now, they checked out his heart, and it's fine. They checked him for stroke symptoms, and he's fine there too. Right now they are doing what my sister called a Computertomographie, and I do not rightly know how to translate that. I will have to bookmark one of thos online medical dictionaries soon...but it sounded like a brain scan.

My mother is a wreck, of course. I am forcing myself not to look at travelocity for flights right now because I do not want to give in to too much worry.

The whole thing feels like a really important dress rehearsal. Except I don't know where the script is and I forgot my lines and where I am supposed to stand on stage. I wish I had a manual in a drawer that I could pull out and follow. Sure I could book a flight; it's spring vacation here soon and hubby and kids would be fine without me. But do I go now, or save it for when there's "really" something serious going on? The big What If has crossed my mind more than once in the past. All I can do from here is listen to my sister, and wait by the phone, and wait some more.

And then, at the end of our conversation, she tells me that my dad's life long friend died yesterday. I remember that guy really well. He would do chin-ups in the door jamb where he had installed a bar. He was a rock climber and always exercised. The two men would go skiing or hiking or climbing. My dad rides a mountain bike, for crying out loud. (He's 69).

Anyway. This long time friend had a series of horrible strokes that confined him for the last 10 or so years, well cared for in a home, but nonetheless. It was always very hard on my dad to see his formerly athletic buddy completely conscious but completely unable to move or communicate.

He passed away yesterday, which by most would be considered a blessing.

But I want to bet the farm that my dad is having a sort of a breakdown after the news. He's a mostly calm, quiet, deep kinda guy, steady. Usually, nothing rattles him much. But then something happens, and it hits him hard, and then something happens to him. (I've seen it before.)

Thanks for being here with me. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


OK. I am finally curious enough to do this.
How many are out there, reading this blog??
Will you leave me a comment already?
All you have to do is click on "Comments" (for those of you who have never done this), and the rest is easy. You'll get walked right throught the process.
When you click Submit, your comment will be saved for me to be "moderated".
That's all.
So c'mon, say hi!


Estonian Socks, part 2

Here are some beautiful colorways some of the other workshop participants decided on; Stephanie somehow managed to match the sofa she was sitting on!

Here's Nancy, talking about REAL, authentic, bought at an Estonian market, stockings.
I later grabbed them and attempted to count the sts/in.
The white part above the colorwork measured 11 sts/in.
The part below the colorwork measured 16 sts/in. I think. I was getting all crosseyed! And the color work itself? Not a chance. But so, so gorgous.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Estonian Sock Knitting workshop, part 1

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to participate in our annual knitting guild retreat. We had a really great time. Our workshop leader this time was Nancy Bush, Queen of Estonian Knitting.
On Saturday, we learned how to make an Estonian inspired sock. Usually, the gauge for these socks is a lot smaller than what we were working on (at least 8 sts/in vs. our 6 sts/in). But for the sake of a 6 hour workshop, we worked on Dk weight yarn and size 3 needles.
We started at 10 am, had lunch, dinner, and other munch breaks, and I actually managed to finish my sock at around 8 pm.
Here's a blow by blow of how my sock grew.

Here, you can see the Double Start Cast on, and the braid called Kihnu Vits (a braid from the island of Kihnu):

Next, Roositud patterning or inlay begins on the sides of the sock, and mock cables down the top/instep:

Completion of the Roositud Patterning; what looks like embroidery, is worked in as you go; on the right side of this part of the sock, you can see the 1x1 rib that is worked down the back of the sock.

You can find descriptions of all these techniques in Folk Knitting in Estonia. All charts are (c) Nancy Bush.

My finished sock on my phat leg; the heel is what we now call a Dutch heel. The toe is a Round Toe (please refer to Folk Socks).

Top of the leg/instep shows mock cables. They stop before toe shaping.

Ain't it a beauty? Now I must go off to make the second one....
More about Nancy Bush and her work in a later post.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Tonight's the night I get to pick up Nancy Bush from the Albany airport. I can't believe it myself. I get to have one of the most prolific knitters, designers, and knitting historians in the car with me, alone, for a whole half hour, before we reach our destination.
This weekend is the annual knitting retreat of our guild, organized by LYSO Stephanie Olivo. Stephanie always performs miracles, and due to her organizational skills I have had the good fortune to be able to take workshops with such knitting luminaries as Lucy Neatby, and Candace Eisner Strick. (I missed the one where they had Judy Pascale...)

This weekend, we will delve into Estonian Knitting (6 hr workshop on Saturday), and all manner of heels and toes on socks (3 hrs on Sunday).
I plan to have all my Nancy Bush books autographed :)

Of course, due to the fact that I let myself get sidetracked by knitting 12 hats, I did not make much progress on my socks from Knitting Vintage Socks.

I did, however, finish this:

A birthday present for a friend.
200 stitches on a size 10.5 needle, Lily Chin Nolita (?) and debbie bliss cashmerino aran (black). Alternating stripes of garter and stockinette, the black st st recedes in between the colorful novelty. I added little ruffly edges.
I have to run now and go grocery shopping, you know, stock up for the family so they won't starve, and get packed. The knitting is the most essential thing, of course. At least this time, I'll know what to bring along:
I'll see you all Sunday night.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

12 hats finished!

I am in a rush to post and run these to the post office, so the pics ended up being in reverse order.

Here are all 12 hats.

These are the 6 I made from Sunday through today:

That was fun. Now they are on their way to the Big Apple!

Monday, March 19, 2007

knitter, interrupted

So yesterday, about 15 seconds after I posted about the hats, I went into the basement where my stash also lives, to get more yarn, for more hats, you know? Water on the floor. Water heater busted. (The stash was safe.)
After a lot of yelling and running around and taking a very cold shower, some phone calls, lunch, phone calls, and more phone calls, we turned everything off, gas, water, heat, and went to our son's concert. He plays the violin with the Empire State Youth Orchestra. Of course I packed a ball of yarn and the needles, cast on while we waited for the concert to start, and I got done with the cuff of the next hat.
I finished that one last night, and that's all I got done. Somehow my streak feels like it's over....in limbo, waiting for the Water Heater Guy to come over right now....but I must make more hats. Must.
After all, they are needed by people who don't even have a water heater to complain about.

Did I tell you that I am doing this because Stephanie Pearl-McPhee inspired me to? What I am pledging to do is:

After I am done with the dozen hats for NYC, I will make two hats for every stop on her book tour.

I figured, I'll be an armchair travel companion, and make a hat on each flight and one at each appearance. It takes me about an hour to make a hat, so this is totally doable.

I am waiting to hear if more hats will be needed in NYC, if the yarn shops there will still accept them, or else I will donate them to the Dulaan Project.

( I also donate to local shelters and homes all year round, in case you are wondering why I am not giving the hats here.)

So....who's in?

Sunday, March 18, 2007


After I read here (March 15th entry) that there will be Collecting of Hats going on in NYC, for the big Represent event, I decided to make a dozen hats over the weekend, and send them in before the post office closes on Monday.
I started Friday night, it is now Sunday morning and I am halfway there.

I figured, it's the least I can do. I will not be able to go to the meet-up or the event at FIT, but I can make some hats and mail them in.

More tomorrow, back to knitting!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

resolved: no affiliation.

I ended up emailing Sarah Bradberry, who owns www.knitting-and.com, upon Dawn Brocco's recommendation. Turns out I know Sarah from way back when on the knitlist...I must have had a faint memory of that in my subconscious when I decided on the name for my blog.

So here we both are.

Sarah said No Problem. Just add a disclaimer saying we are not affiliated.

Thank you Sarah for not making me change my blog name right now. It would have been a daunting task for me, believe me...

And now, back to our regularly scheduled knitting.

Monday, March 12, 2007

freaking out, a little

Today was going to be the post with some finished stuff.
But I am sitting here freaking out, a little.

I just came across this website: www.knitting-and.com

Very very close to the name of my blog.

Why on earth has nobody alerted me to the fact that that well established website exists? Blogger told me that the name I picked was available, so I went for it. I seriously did not know that website was there. I seriously do not want to step on anybody's toes.

Do I change the name of my blog? How?

Quick, tell me what to do!!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Crafty Girl beads me to it

The other day, I hear my Crafty Girl from her room: they don't say in the book that it takes a long time to do this!
This is what she was doing:
I have yet to bead some beads onto yarn, string, or anything else for that matter. 3 days after her 10th birthday, she beads me to it. She had received a kit of beaded spool knitting.

And promptly made herself a little bracelet. Just by reading and following the instructions. Half an hour later, she had this:

She also does this:

Adding color to my world, all the time.
I love my Crafty Girl.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Monday, March 5, 2007


I have emerged from under the baby elephant that was sitting on my sinuses the last few days. I finally slept so much that it must have gotten bored and left. Here are the finished Opal Lollipop socks.
That's all I finished. No, I don't bother to match up the pattern with self-patterning socks.

This is what I am working on now (while still working on all the WIP's I showed you last time.) It's the Child's First Sock from Nancy Bush's book "Knitting Vintage Socks". I have the shell pattern memorized now and am on a roll. The yarn I am using is Jaeger baby merino 4 ply, very soft and bouncy, like a baby. :) I am going to a knitting retreat with Nancy Bush in three weeks' time, and I figure I'll get some of her socks done! I also started the very first pattern in the book, called Madder Socks. I am using the new Tofutsies yarn for it. Not much there to show you yet, but I gotta tell you that yarn is slippery as all get out. I am glad I have my Brittany Birch needles to help hold on to the yarn.
The plan is to knit my way through that book. I love most of the socks, and can think of people who would like them, including me...

Thursday, March 1, 2007


After the excitement of the last few days, I have landed back on earth. However, it hit my like a ton of bricks that the month of February is over! Hey, I need a couple more days to finish these projects! See, at the beginning of the year, I decided to organize my knitting life and make sure I finish a certain number of projects each month. If at all possible, I would make one pair of socks, knit one charity project for a child, and make a sweater or a shawl. Plus keep working on the designs for submission.

This is where it's at:

This little pink sweater -- the eyesockets you see are pocket openings -- is not finished. Started in January. Size 4. Encore Worsted, size 8 needles.

This baby sweater for the little guy next door is not done. Started last Tuesday, artyarns, size 6 needles.

This colorful pair of socks, not done. Finished the first sock last summer. Found it all lonely in a basket, crying for a mate. Opal Lollipop, size 1.5 needles.

This purply pair did get finished, and delivered, yesterday. Started on Monday. Size 8 needles, so FAST! They're for A4A. Wool/alpaca yarn.
I am soldiering on. I realized that the ton of bricks that hit me is actually a cold that is sitting on my sinuses like a baby elephant. The pressure, the pressure! No wonder I would not keep my eyes open last night just to finish the Opal sock. No wonder I am telling you the projects aren't finished when you can clearly see that they are not.
I'll see you in a couple of days, when I've wriggled my way out from under the baby elephant.