Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Pair of Monkey Socks Done

I think I'm done with Monkey, at least for now. This second pair was done with some Lorna's Laces in Bittersweet that I picked up from a knitter who was destashing. Gorgeous stuff to work with! The pattern is a breeze, and for the record, I worked it upside down. I have issues with cuff down knitting. I'm strictly a toe-up kid. But seriously, this is a great pattern for novice sock/lace knitters. It's a breeze to memorize and fun to knit.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Progress Report

I finally have a finished project! Over the weekend, I finish the hubby's scarf. Now I can move on to other things. I also finished spinning the berry colored wool for my sweater, however, I lost the pattern. Or rather, I have it hear somewhere, I just have to find it again. The only bad thing about the weekend is that one of the spinners was de-stashing and I couldn't resist and of course, just had to start on a new project using some of that wool.

Karen in northern MI

Monday, February 26, 2007


Here it is! I posted a picture of this as a UFO a few weeks ago, talking about how I was to the border and procrastinating because the idea of doing a side-ways knitted-on border wasn't exciting me. I mentioned the idea of doing a different border that was knit in a circle like the shawl, wondering if I could make that work. Well, I decided to go for it, and it worked splendidly! I'm very happy with the results. The shawl is done in 100% cashmere from, 3/28 heavy laceweight. It measures 64" in diameter and weights five ounces. The points on the lace edging could also be blocked to make softer scallops instead of points, but I thought the points went well with the spiral center so that's how I blocked it. This is my design, which I'm planning to write up and publish/sell in some manner. Feedback appreciated!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I have been home sick for the last two days. With all the knitting time I've managed to finish two small things! Woohoo! The socks are knit from some Opal I bought years ago. I knit the first sock on bamboo DP's and hated them so bad I put the sock away. I knit the second one with my favorite metal needles and it went much better. Makes me wonder why I waited so long! I'm not sure if I'll keep these or give them away. The scarf is Argosy from Knitty. I loved this pattern! In my cold medicine fogged brain, I decided thatMike, one of my dobes would make a cute model. He didn't understand why I was humiliating him but he was good natured about it!. The scarf will be put away as a Christmas present, I think.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Well, I have been hard at work. I have been working diligently on my shawl. I almost have clue 4 done and hopefully will have it done tonight. the shawl is the giant grey blob in the fist picture, You really can't tell what it really looks like yet from the picture. When It is all done, I promise to post a picture. Then I have a pair of socks for my daughter beside the shawl.
The second picture is of the completed pair of tube socks that was originally intended for my son, but I made them to small and they ended up being my 2 year olds. Oops. I promise him a pair of socks and I have some yarn on the way. hopefully to arive by the beginning of next week.

Happy knitting
Pam in Iowa
Mom to Autumn 7, Hunter 4 1/2, Trinity 2

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Spinning Weekend

Yippee, the kitchen is finally finished. Now I can start to work on my fiber UFO's. This weekend I'm going to a spinners getaway. My Mom's going to bring DH's scarf (yes, she's a spinner too) and that is first priority. Once I get that out of the way, I can work on my berry colored wool for my sweater. I'm going to take some other stuff also, but after that scarf I don't know how much more knitting I'll be up for.

Karen in northern MI

What Makes a UFO? (update) And Answers

Okay, due-dates help, right? So, the due-date for the "what makes a UFO" contest is now officially 3/3/2007. On 3/4/2007 I'll check over all the entries, put names in a hat, and have someone here (a cat, if need be) draw one. Prize: one lovely blank knitting journal.

Re the Oregon tote, well, okay, it's the Tote Around ... and you can see it here: But the pattern is published/written in Oregon, so it's an Oregonian Tote ;-)

The rich colors in my sitting room are actually due to (a) the husband wanting any color other than white in the house and (b) him mis-hearing me when I said "salmon would be nice" -- he thought I said cinnamon! It worked out well, though, with cinnamon walls and a salmon ceiling (aka coral). The gold sofa was my idea ... it brings out the gold highlights in some of the art on the walls. The other choice was blue, but I wanted the room to be warm. For more crazy sofa ideas, I can recommend FunkySofa.

Other colors: my office is lemon with my peach wedding robe (kimono worn over a summer frock) on the wall (no I'm not Asian, I'm just creative); the "belle aire" blue in the bedroom; and the dusky lavender in the hall. The kids picked Barbie Purple and Mountain Blueberry (can you tell, one girl and one boy) for their rooms. The kitchen is wood-paneled, white pine.


Yep, Amelia has won the mug shot contest :) She posted a pic of herself with some spinning FO's and out of five of you that did so, she's the one. can choose either yarn or spinning fiber for your prize and then either send me a photo of a colorway you particularly love or want or NEED or three of your favorite colors for me to use in your custom dyed yarn or fiber.

In other news, I'm in a serious UFO slump >:(

I was trying to get sick the other day (which I evaded by slamming Airborne and Vit C), and I couldn't focus on much so I putzed most of the day away by hand-washing a fleece. My silly scarf-vest is sitting on the coffee table staring at me but I can't seem to get into knitting right now at all! And I'm having the Big New Project Itch because I washed the darned fleece! I did it in a super slow, putzing fashion which I blogged about on my Yarn Tales blog and most people are horrified that I would do it that way but pffft on's fun for me!
I'm way more into spinning these days and it does go like that sometimes but usually results in me wanting to start new projects. I am NOT going to do that! Well, not until I finish at least ONE FREAKING UFO!!!!! Will it be the mitten? The shop ripple scarf? The scarf vest? I know it won't be the remaining Yukon Sock or the Mesilla tee...hahaha!!

I'm actually thinking of ripping out the Mesilla tee, which is almost finished but I, that's tough for me. It doesn't help that all my handspun is sitting out in a basket winking at me like a two-dollar hooker all the time, and one of my favorite skeins is sitting in front of the basket on a shelf wanting to be Mrs. Beeton cuffs.

I did finish my Dad's other Christmas sock a couple weeks ago...did I even mention that? I know I updated my list :) He loves those things, Mom says he wears them everyday. They're worsted weight Bernat Aspen and LB Wool-Ease (mostly acrylic with some wool) Hmmmm...I know what to make him for Christmas next year, eh?

At my shop's fiber group Saturday, my Mom said she doesn't have UFO's because if something is sitting there not finished she just rips it out so it doesn't make her feel guilty! I was flabbergasted!!! Are you KIDDING me Mom???? She does have one UFO she can't tear out and it's a reversible cable scarf in angora/merino. That's it. I couldn't believe it. think I'd have picked up some of that devil-may-care gene, wouldn't you?

I have finished a couple spinning UFO's so that's not all bad, right? I plied up a huge skein of some over-dyed alpaca (it was light brown and I over-dyed parts dark green - photo shows the unwashed skein) BUT there were some singles left on one bobbin and I found a little bit of fiber left over in a bag soooo...I'm going to finish spinning that to go with. I suppose that's just a half-a*$%ed FO. I did ply a little store sample of some romney/mohair off a spindle yesterday. That counts!
And then I spindle-spun some baby doll southdown and jacob roving ~ just a teeny little one ounce maybe ball I got from a friend to try...of course, there's no more to be had so I spun this pretty fine. I really love these colors's a blue/dark grey/white. I thought about plying it with something else but I don't know...why shouldn't it join my collection of teeny sample skeins wanting to be something? I really want to see how this feels anyway plied with itself. I wish it had just been the southdown on it's own. I have almost-lace-weight ~ I spun it with a long draw, which took me forever to get down on a spindle but I really love doing it with the right fiber. Not sure how much it will poof but it'll probably be fingering weight when it's plied :)

That spindle is one of my very favorites ~ pretty light and it spins forEVER...I got it on Ebay because a lady's dh was giving it all up since he was allergic to the sawdust from exotic woods. Bummer, because that guy is an amazing spindle makin man! It's zebrawood.

Ok...enough rambling. Enough avoiding UFO knitting, or dyeing, or finishing the laundry or vacuuming the floor or cleaning out the rabbits' area of the garage cuz BABY, IT'S GONNA BE 33 TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

RUFO ...

And then there's the rediscovered UFO. Really! Wow. Long story, lots of coincidence along the way ...

Coincidence #1 -- I was reviewing old journal entries and noticed alot of references to a "lost" project, spinning shetland locks from the lock into singles, to preserve the color variation in the locks (white to brown) in the yarn.

Coincidence #2 -- my computer has been SLOOOOOW. Did I say slow? slow. slow. slow. IE7, a few other software upgrades -- all had it on its knees.

Coincidence #3 -- the kids' computer died. And DH's old computer turned out to be dead on the table too, once it was dragged out and plugged in.

So, I got a new computer. But, as with all things new, I was short one converter-cable. Wait, I thought, I might have this. So I went through three boxes of the about 10 boxes I still have left to unpack (but, since I've run out of storage space, I've left them packed. All nik-naks, really, or extras, so it doesn't hurt) hunting for old cables/converters.

No cable-converter. But an old spindling project! Yes, you guessed it, the locks-into-singles project can now be resurrected. I started this way back when I was first learning to spin -- it might be 2 ounces total -- so it won't be the hat I originally thought, but it would be a cool part of a hat.

And the bonus find were my skeins of undyed Optim yarn -- yay!!! why they weren't packed with the other yarns, I'll never know. But now I have them again. Yay!!!

No, I haven't fully resurrected the UFO -- I've been working hard to get my new computer set up! And I have cleared the old one of all software except a web browser, in preparation for handing it over to the kids; it's behaving alot better, too, in its reduced state. Now I'm itching to reorganize my office ... I know what I want to do, it's a small matter of turning everything off, unattaching printers, power supplies, etc., and shoving boxes around under tables, tables around, & etc. What fun! Then maybe a treat, some time with that RUFO!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Spiral Rose Pillow Finished

Here's a FINISHED OBJECT -- the spiral pillow in candy apple colored Cotton Fleece, to which I decided to add a knitted rose. Pillow and rose are all my design... should I start an afgan to match? (Is this a group to encourage finishing old projects, or enabling the start of new ones???).

I don't know if I'm too late for this or not, here's a picture of me. I was going to get one of my children to get a shot of me knitting or spinning, but that didn't happen, so I've pulled this one off our family portrait from just before Christmas and filled in my favorite color in the background.
Now, onto my definition of a knitting UFO ... when two of the following conditions are met:

another project is begun
the project is not touched for two weeks, and other projects are

the project is taken out of the main knitting bag to make room for something else

a problem/design decision causes the project to be put on hold

More yarn, or different needles are needed but haven't been ordered/purchased
My spiral shawl hasn't been touched lately (I told you the transition-to-border would do that!), but someone on one of my yahoogroups this morning asked whether or not a pi shawl with feather and fan in the last section had to have a border, and a light bulb went off in my head -- maybe inside of knitting on a sideways border I could end this baby by increasing and doing several inches of a lace pattern that scallops! I'll have to see what the old pros on the EZasPi group have to say about the idea, but I'm sensing a design idea change...
I've spun the singles and done half of the plying for the remaining yarn I need for my handspun sweater. I also took the red skein of Lambs Pride bulky that my 22-month old son kept stealing and petting and turned it into a hat for him. He seemed to like it, but still wants to make off with my yarn and needles!
That's it for now... knit on!
- Melissa

Friday, February 16, 2007

What makes a UFO for me

Hi everyone, So what is a UFO for me.................. A blanket that I just found that I had started 8 years ago before my oldest daughter was born, now mind you in this time we remodeled the entire house while living in it. lost my job. Went back to school for 3 years and had 2 more children. Now I just have to find the pattern for it and I'll be in business again. But mostly I have an issue with cast on syndrome, I have ADHD and that is one reason that I knit, it helps to calm me but then the down side is that some days I can't decide which one to work on. so that's when I start something new. Right now I'm working on small projects like dishcloth KAL and Bookmark KAL so that I have the sense of actually accomplishing a project.

Amelia's Contest Question ~ What Makes a UFO, Valentine's Contest Drawing and My Progress...

Hi there everyone! No, this is NOT ME wearing my FO (c'mon, make-up doesn't make that dramatic of a difference in my appearance and it's too freaking cold here to blow my do around in front of a fan ;> ) ... it's a pic from a Knit 1 magazine of the UFO I'm currently half-heartedly working on, using my very first handspun which is kind of funky but hey...why not? I didn't want to felt the handspun or make a boring bag out of it. I wanted it to *be* something, and I hope that I'll have the guts to wear it once it's done. I'm optimistic that this project will be done this weekend and photos will follow :) I'm probably going to have to buy a couple of plain long-sleeved shirts to go with the thing before I wear it. bummer, eh?

I just haven't been in a knitting groove at all...more of a spinning groove, really, which is good because some of my UFO's are spinning projects :)

I'm going to blog a little on my personal blog this morning about what this pile 'o funky hand-dyed, hand-combed Shetland wool became...don't get excited, it's just yarn at this point and not very much of it! I also used the nasty combing waste and actually spun that stuff up, which was weird and kind of fun. The dyed wool hung out in a grocery bag behind the couch for quite some time so it felt good to finish it. It's shocking how time consuming hand-combing can be and how little you get for your efforts in the time you spend on it but oh MY...the resulting fiber is so dreamy to spin!

Now...MUG SHOT CONTEST....I've actually written down your names and will be drawing them out of a hat (or something) and will post the winner's name tonight or tomorrow morning :) You should be excited if you posted a pic...there are only 4 of you so your chances of winning the custom hand-dyed yarn or fiber are most excellent! Before I draw names, just want to make sure I didn't miss anyone, OK? ~ I have AMELIA, LISA, PHYL AND PAM. Right????

And, our dear Amelia posed a question for us to win one of her lovely Knitting Journals so everyone....POST YOUR ANSWERS SO YOU CAN WIN!!!! The yahoo mail list is kind of slow, so I'm going to request some answers here to the blog. You can read her too-easy requirements for this contest here so read up on it before posting your answer/entry!

What Makes a(n?) UFO?

Hmmmmm.........that's an excellent question!

For me, it's hands-down starting a new project before I'm done with the one I'm working on, and that happens all the time! It's totally rare for me to finish a project without picking up something new along the way, unless it's a washcloth or ONE fingerless mitt or a bulky knit hat or a small felted bag that I do instead of a swatch to test a new wool yarn's felting properties...honestly, these are the only things I can think of that I've finished before picking up something else. Oh...maybe a scarf....but that's iffy. I can think of one, maybe.

And these are the reasons I do this:

1. The thing I'm working on is TOO HARD without taking a "no-brainer" project break (the Sheep Shawl comes to mind!)
2. The think I'm working on is TOO BORING (miles of stockinette, for example) and I need something TOO HARD to break the monotany
3. The dreaded SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) ... the though of casting on sock #2 makes me want to cry all over a new project (not normally a new sock!)
4. NEW MAGAZINES...sigh...I'm a sucker for knitting magazines and they distract me something awful
5. I LOST A NEEDLE ~ hahahahahahaha...this is a good one! Considering I own a yarn shop and this is the worst kind of cop out ever (bringing to mind the Mesilla t-shirt, still languishing in a basket....)

OK...that's it for this morning. Nothing exciting to post about, really, except the contest :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Break from UFOs

Took an afternoon off from finishing UFOs to create a felted valentine for my spouse. Fast, easy knit, and you can find the pattern at:

Friday, February 9, 2007

Update, sorta kinda

Since I originally posted my UFO list, I've found a few others... and decided to add my WIP's, just so I get credit for something if and when I get them done! So take a minute, take a look at my list on the other blog, and tell me I'm a crazy woman for having so much started! I do finish things, really I do. In fact, here are a few things that I've finished since Thanksgiving, just so you know I'm not a hopeless dreamer:

Aqua Cashmere/Merino Ribbed Hat (I want to make a matching scarf -- maybe this should be a UFO!)
Fair Isle/Bohus Cashmere hat, toddler size
FairIsle Lace Girl's Cashmere hat
Cashmere Shawl (gift for a friend)

AND I did a small cap and baby shawl for a friend's new baby that I failed to photograph before giving it away.

All my designs (if that counts for anything!). None of these were ever on my UFO list, so they don't "count" for that, but I wanted to share anyway.

- Melissa

To FO or not to FO ...

It's up to you to decide (grin). I've finished the spinning for the Jacob Oregon Tote (with Oregonian Jacob, no less) ...

This was started, oh, about 3 years ago? maybe 4? Probably 3. This spinning was happenstance, in any case -- I sent the fleeces to the local mill to be processed, and it turned out the staple was too short for it to be considered a good quality roving, so I decided to spin it myself (rather than put it in the rare breed kit I was assembling at the time) and knit the Oregon Tote pattern -- it was very popular in our local guild at the time. Now they all look at me blankly and say, "what?" when I say that's what I'm working on.

I can tell one of the skeins is still underplied (my buga-boo when it comes to spinning!) but I'm not sure if I'll run it through the wheel again or not. Maybe. I ran one skein through a second time to firm up its plying and it looks alot better.

I plan to continue working on this one ... it's a cute tote, and it would be a nice break from the jewel-tone Lopi project (hmmm is that on my list?) -- I knit a moebius basket from a nice Emerald shade, and now I'd like to do a deeper one, more tote-like, in the rich Amethyst hank I still have. The Emerald one now houses my superwash pencil roving I'm spinning for socks ... that's not on the list, because I started it after we started this ... but it's officially a UFO now too, having been pushed aside for other things. Hmmm. What "makes" something a UFO? Cooking dinner? no. Housecleaning? no. Putting up Christmas decorations? no. Starting a newer project -- probably! LOL.

Hey, that would be a good contest -- what's a way to tell that something's a UFO? Just one way per person, please, here or on the email list (and I'll cc email list entries to the blog ... ok now I'll email the list about this great idea! hehehe)

And here's a shout-out to Leah -- it's not Valentine's yet, and that's me in the picture! with my newly completed balls of Jacob! So now I'm in the running. Let's see more of us!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Mittens of Shame Redeemed!

Oh YAY ME! YAY MITTENS! Yay for wanting to cast on Target Mitten #2!

I took the plunge today and decided to felt the Mittens of Shame (aka Target Mittens) a bit while I was test felting some yarn and contrary to most of my "try to fix by felting" projects, this one worked and so did the hat! The thumb weirdness is gone from the mitten and it fits beautifully now!

As a matter of fact the hat is Tres Cute, if I do say so myself! I even really like the little wierd flattening thing it did when I stretched it around the bowl and then set it down, (crown on the table hence the little bit of flatness) I did felt the hat a little more than I wanted, so took it out, rinsed and wrung, then tried it on my head...a bit tight but still stretchable so onto the bowl it went and I'll try it on a few more times before it's dry but I'm so pleased with both projects now and proud to deliver them to my snow-mobiling best friend ~ they're even better for her now than they were, since the felt is much cozier!

And since I can't ask all y'all to post mug shots and then bail out myself, here I am in a horrid self portrait (in a HAT no less...with no make-up...ugh ~ I'm much better looking when you can tell I have hair... and the hat is better looking on the bowl!)

I'm on a UFO roll though...I finished sock 2 of my Dad's Christmas boot sox and tossed those in the wash with the last cycle of my felting swatches, which I hope wasn't a horrid mistake and they aren't covered in felting fuzz. They're wool/acrylic blend so they won't shrink but...we'll see. I could've make a horrible mistake!

I'm going to cast on Target Mitten 2 tonight, I think, and get that monkey off my back in time for Anne's snowmobile trip next weekend :)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

My mug and a few of FO's

I I just posted my list on the other blog so I thought I'd come over here and post a couple of pictures! Here are 3 things I have finished since the beginning of the year. The socks were for my 15 yo DS. He has size 12 feet so it felt like I'd never finish! The felted bag I made to carry a sock project in the car. The little felted bowl was made from the leftovers.

I am an avid spinner and knitter and I'm hoping that I can get lots of encouragement to finish the things on my list. I have a very bad case of Star-itis! I did notice that I get about half done and then go on to something else. I'm trying to rotate throught the sweaters to work a little bit on all of them. We'll see how that works. I have projects all around the house and in the car - where ever I sit there is something to work on.
Lisa in Maine

New FO and Mug Shot

Okay, here are the finished Monkey socks (finished this morning) and my aging mug.

Confession to make — I've already started another pair of socks. (red face) Bought some Tofutsies yarn and I couldn't wait to try it out. Just casting on, and I had to go to a size 0 Inox. I've used heavier laceweight. Still, they should be great for warmer weather.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Feeling like a slacker

I just read everyone's recent posts and now I feel like a slacker (big time). The only progress I've managed is spinning a little more yarn for my sampler socks. On the other hand, the kitchen is now painted and just the flooring remains. Anyone have any ideas on getting my scarf project from my parents house before the 23rd, or my husband gets suspicious, whichever comes first.

Karen in northern MI

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Happy Groundhogs Day!

A updating post - the feather and fan shawl is languishing in a lovely bag (we've reached the empty OJ in the fridge stage). Actually, after looking at it mathmatically I decided to work on other UFOs that were more rewarding. Hence, I picked up the nubbly toes from my first handspun and have been knitting up, up and up. Following a variation of Judy Gibson's pattern. I worked them toe up because I thought I might not have enough yarn, but I think they will have nice indoor winter cuffs. More yarn than I thought. Yay! To cheer myself about the Black Bunny Crawl I do periodically go to Carol's Etsy and read dyelot names...Pixie Barf, Mixed Metaphors, Shag Carpet, and a beautiful soft Lily. And I engage in colorful dreams here Sigh.

And, for Leah, blog mom extraordinaire - my Mug Shot Appropriate because I travel all over the country and always carefully pack my coffee mug from Life is Good. It's a little piece of home.

My mug shot and pictures of UFO's for contest

Ok Leah, I guess I should get my act together and post the contest information on the correct blog!!!!! As for progress on my UFO's -- last night I got a couple rows done on my mystery shawl. it is the gray one and the yarn is 100% cashmere!!! Wish I had clue 3 done. but I was side lined yesterday with a child home from school and lots of cleaning that I've been neglecting for toooooo long. So I cleaned. I was also waiting for my new addi turbo circular needles to come from UPS. They finally showed up at 5:30 last night and let me tell you they are sooooooo nice. This is the first time that I have used them and am in love. I hope to get some more work done on the house and my shawl today. I'm so excited I get to go get my hair done tonight. That is something that I have not done in over 6 months I just may add a photo of myself with my new hairdo latter tonight. Ok long enough. I'm going to work on my shawl while the kids are occupied by dragan tails. But first I guess I should tell you what they all are. The blue blocks are 6 of the 12 blocks for my sons train blanket, made from 100% cashmere from Hunter has a disorder called SID/SPD so he likes things supper soft. The green scarf is for my sister in law also made of 100% cashmere and is half done. The start of my first sock ever is the pink varigated and let me tell you the k2p2 is getting anoying. I will stay with it because I WANT to learn how to make socks. the cream one is the candle flame triangle shawl from Dean Crane and is in 100% baby alpaca-- This is for MYSELF. and finally the gray mystery shawl its a KAL and as I said before I'm working on clue 3 and clue 4 comes out tomarrow, so I better get busy.
Happy knitting

Pam in Iowa