Monday, January 31, 2005

Have yarn, Have pattern, NEED GAUGE


Pattern recommendations needed for the following yarns:

Tahki Chelsea Silk (wool/silk): almost 1800 yds. 4 stitches to the inch on 8s and 3.5 on 9s (recommended gauge). Doesn't knit up well at a larger gauge. Purple with tweedy fleccks of bright blue and red. Better looking than it sounds but pretty obnoxious. This yarn wants to be a pullover.

I'd like to be able to use the Chelsea Silk for Mariah but the gauge is off by 1 stitch per inch - quite alot - and there is no way I'm recalculating those cabled sleeves. Same problem with Rogue (and she specifically states in the Rogue FAQ that Chelsea Silk won't show the cables as well as 100% wool - although I can live with that).

Mountain Colors 4/8 wool. 4.5 stitches to the inch on 7s. 1500 yds. Variagated in dark reds with a bit of blue. Would probably work for Mariah except that I don't have enough yarn and I bought all there was in that dye lot. I'd prefer this yarn to be a cardi rather than a pullover. I considered a Rogue cardi but I'm not feeling it.

I'd be grateful for recommendations. It seems like every pattern I look at is either the wrong gauge or I need more yarn.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Yeah Yeah Yeah

Way back when, I was something of a punk rocker. Last Saturday, we went to a friend's fabulous 40th birthday party. There was a "Dress the Decade" theme spanning the 60s to present. I chose the early 80s. Mostly because I still had alot of the clothes stored in a box. I couldn't bear to part with the creepers, the Docs, the mesh shirts, the dog collar. I figured I'd use it for a costume part one day. I was right.

Actually, we went to another 80s party last fall, but I couldn't pull out the punk gear as the party was given by Hubster's co-workers whom I did not know at the time. I went as Madonna circa 1987...

So, for your viewing pleasure:

Ah, the days of yore revisted. Why I did "metal fingers" I have no clue. Never did that before in my life. It seemed apropos at the time.

My hair is so dark you can't really see how spiky it is.

The funny thing is that I received many compliments on my outfit. Particularly from the guys. Several people told me I should still be dressing this way. Stay tuned for a fast forward to today's look.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Note the new Finished Objects Gallery to the left! Hooray!!!

And photos as promised:

Pieces of Cate. Completed photo to come... The table and sideboard are made from longleaf pine taken from a 1910 house from Bell County, Tx. Very cool. And yes, the chairs are red - it's not just the red bias of my camera.

Noro Silk Garden scarf in alternating sections of garter stitch and mistake rib.

The Big Boring Baby Blanket. Garter stitch blanket in Sirdar Snowflake Chunky, doubled.


Hubster has continued screwing up, I mean upgrading, my computer. First, the camera would no longer talk to the computer. Now that is fixed but my photo software will now no longer talk to Blogger. So, pictures are on the back burner.

Lots of progress in stash-busting though.

I completed one of the Silk Garden scarves. This one was in a combination of mistake rib and garter stitch. One of my friends from SnB gave me the "pattern" (more of an Unpattern).

Cate is complete except for completing the insertion of the last sleeve. Sewing this sweater up has been more complicated than I thought sewing up could be. The sleeves don't quite match the armholes so there's a bit of fiddling.

The Boring Baby Blanket is 2/3 complete.

The Point 5 poncho has been frogged and turned into a lap blanket. I'm going to trim in in garter stitch in some dark cranberry Rowan - I think it's Polar but I don't remember and I haven't made the actual yarn purchase yet.

I've also started a felted bag out of various leftovers. My own design from the fuzzy dog bag but it's very similar to the buttonhole bag at Mason Dixon Knitting.

I also received a RAOK of five skeins of Patons Chacha and a pattern booklet from Chrissie. The Bean is fascinated by the fun pinks and purples and is insistent that this is her yarn. I'm thinking another mini-Harlot poncho and matching hat. She'll love it.

Back to trying to fix the !@$*&#@$*^@!*&( computer! Hopefully, I can put up pictures this afternoon.

Monday, January 17, 2005


1100 mailing labels are printing. Tonight, we stuff envelopes. Tomorrow, I knit. And knit. And knit.

Significant progress is being made on the Boring Baby Blanket and one of the Silk Garden scarves is one skein from being complete. I've beaten some of my stash into submission. Yay!

Pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

My stash is giving me hives

Talk me down from the ledge, people.

I know that most of you think there cannot be too much stash. My problem is that I feel an obligation to knit with the yarn I buy. Immediately. I don't seem to be able to relax and say, "Cool! I have options for next winter." No, I want to knit it now and get it over with. Which is not how knitting should be.

Rather than reworking my YNBA, today I made a pile of the yarn that I know I'm not going to knit. I'm going to take some chenille to SnB next weekend and give it away. I'm going to RAOK some of it. And I'm going to give the yellow Plymouth Encore to the women who knit for baby at Parkland Hospital.

I will finish the two scarves I want to send to my friends in England. I will finish Cate (an enjoyable knit despite the poor pattern). And, within the next two months, I will finish the Boring Baby Blanket that I started when Bean was a newborn. Fortunately, she'll like it alot more now because she'll have seen me knitting it and she loves the things I knit for her.

After that, I am going to sit back and try to figure out what I want to knit rather than letting me stash boss me around. I will view my stash as fiber options rather than obligations.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Given my obsession with food, I though I might start posting recipes.

Hubster and I worship all foods spicy. The following dish can be spicy or not. This low-fat enchilada recipe will satisfy the craving for Mexican food while remaining reasonably within resolutions to diet.

Calabacitas Enchiladas

Serves 8

Calabacitas in a New Mexican vegetable dish containing zucchini, corn, and green chiles. These enchiladas add turkey to change the recipe from a side dish to an entree. If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute something like Morningstar Farms Grillers Recipe Crumbles (sort of ersatz ground beef). If you are a vegan, substitute Soya Kaas Pepper Jack for the cheese and mushrooms for the meat.

I use corn tortillas instead of flour because they have no fat in them. I also prefer the taste in a casserole.

1 lb ground turkey breast (shredded turkey or chicken is fine. This recipe is a good way to use up the last half of a rotisserie chicken)
1 medium zucchini, shredded (see note at top)
1 medium onion, diced (I have used yellow, white, and red onions)
1 tsp minced garlic
2/3 cup frozen corn (or fresh if you want to work that hard!)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I like jack, pepper jack, or sharpish cheddar)
1 (or 2) 15 oz can of Hatch Green Chile Enchilada sauce (you can sub other enchilada sauces)
1 T dried oregano
2 tsp cumin
12 corn tortillas
olive oil for sauteing the meat and veggies
salt to taste

If you prep zucchini like eggplant, it won't give off alot of water during cooking. Shred zucchini, put in a colandar and sprinkle some salt on top. Let this sit for about half an hour.

Take the corn out of the freezer and let thaw.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Saute onion until very soft. Remove and put aside. Wipe out pan and saute ground turkey. Add oregano and cumin. When the turkey is getting browned on the outside but still has some pink when you break up pieces, add the sauteed onions and the garlic. Saute until turkey is cooked.

After you add the onions to the turkey, start the other veggies. In another pan, start sauteing the corn.

Squeeze zucchini to force out as much water as possible. Rinse with cold water (to remove most of the salt) and squeeze again. Add the zucchini to the corn and saute until the corn starts to brown. Add to the turkey mixture along with 1/4 of the enchilada sauce.

Put four tortillas in the bottom of a 13x9inch casserole dish. Add 1/3 of the meat and veggie mix. Add another fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat this layer.

Top with last layer of tortillas, remaining enchilada sauce and the cheese.

Bake at 425F for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Serve with a nice green salad. I add tomatoes and corn salsa to mine and then make a dressing of two spoonfuls of ranch dressing mixed with four spoonfuls of salsa (for three people).

The leftovers freeze wonderfully.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Microdeath XP hates Firefox. Hubster updated my computer from 98 (yeah yeah) to XP yesterday and it completely screwed up Firefox. He thought he had backed up my bookmarks, but it was the wrong file. Fortunately, I have a backup from a month ago, but I had seriously reworked my bookmarks last week (of course) and am going to be lacking a few things. Ah well, if it's important, I'll find it again.

I'm using IE (hack spit) right now. I'm hoping he can get Firefox working tonight.


Friday, January 07, 2005

The Wisdom of The Bean

The Bean told me today that wool comes from "sheeps" and "cotton comes from cats."

From her 2 1/2 year-old mouth to your ears.

I'm getting better at not laughing in front of her. She gets so offended. And then there is tiny foot-stamping and tiny fury which cracks me up even more. Which means I have to run off quickly to get to someplace where I won't be laughing in front of her. I'm past worrying about whether or not she can here me.

She received a Groovy Girl doll for Christmas clad in princess regalia, most of which is purple. She's trying to come up with a name. Yesterday, the name was Prince. Given the purple, I commented that her choice in names was eerily accurate. Today's doll name? "Ariel Accurate"

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Calling Dr Love

Yesterday, I go see my doctor for treatment of a persistant cough. Rather than do what I expect, which is give me antibiotics, she tells me she wants me to have my sinuses x-rayed. OK, sire, what the heck. I've had sinus x-rays before. So, I drive over to the hospital to their lab where I find out that I am not signed up for an x-ray. No, I'm signed up for a CT scan. I'm a bit less than thrilled to find this out at the lab rather than at the doc's where I can ask questions.

I call back today and explain that I am a bit perturbed over the CT scan given that we haven't even tried antibiotics. The doc consults with the other doc and they hem and haw over several more phone calls and, finally, while I'm in my LYS getting yarn wound, they agree to try antibiotics first but if that doesn't work then I need to have the CT scan. Sounds like a good compromise to me.

My goodness did they go whole hog on the drugs. I'm on a 20 day regimen of some horse pills that cost me 50 bucks. Without insurance it would have been $250! Keep your fingers crossed that this stuff works.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Calendar Girl and wrap up

I love the half-price calendar sales. They make me very happy. I always end up with a calendar I never would have bought full price. This year's score: The World According to Mr. Rogers. Every day, there is a quote. Looking ahead to January 11th: "Honesty is closely associated with freedom."

Everyone seems to be posting some sort of knitting "year in review" on their blogs so, in the interest of all things sheepy, here's mine:

I did not knit much during the first half of the year as I was busy working at a local cooking school. I can only handle one obsession at a time. I did knit a bit on various sweaters and baby blankets, but nothing major.

The second half of the year saw a big return to knitting:

The good:
Clapotis in Interlacements superwash merino in Summer Fruits. My favorite knit of the year!
Chamomile in chartruese Rowan Summer Tweed.
Lara in red Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk.
Plum in purple Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky. Will need some minor adjustments to be truly good but it's not bad as is.

The bad:
Meddlesome sweater out of Berroco Medley. To be frogged and turned into something else. Liz+Bulky Yarn+ v-neck that ends at the waist = ick.
Part of Butterfly which is doomed to be frogged.

And the ugly:
Grace from Knitty. I looked like crap in it.
Hallowig from Knitty. I kept screwing it up and loathed the yarn so I trashed it and will try again with different yarn this year.

I also have an embarrassing number of half-completed projects intended for my daughter.

Overall, a very successful year. I learned to knit short rows which made me very happy.

The goals for 2005 are:
Learn to knit socks
Complete the projects that are currently on the needles by the end of February
Knit Color on Color from Scarf Style
I may add spinning to that list. My in-laws have two spinning wheels in their basement...

Other than that, we'll see which way the wind takes me. Happy knitting, everyone!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Meet Cate

This summer I found some Giotto on Ebay for a song. I'm making Cate from Colinette's La Belle Vita book. Colinette has some truly horrible pattern instructions. I hear people complain about Rowan patterns but the Cate pattern makes Rowan patterns look detailed and comprehensive. I'm having to rewrite the pattern for the fronts so I can actually knit them.

The instructions are given for you to do the front slope decreases and side seam increases at the same time in a manner that says something on the order of "knit the front slope decreases every other row and then every x alt rows and then x rows x while at the same time increasing the side seams this row and then every 4th row x times and then every 8th row x times." So, I wrote out all the rows for the whole front. Wish me luck.

At least the back and sleeves are straighforward! And I haven't had any problems with the yarn.

Monday, January 03, 2005

YNBA what?

My favorite LYS had their super sale on Friday. The Bean happened to let out a wail at around 5.30am, waking me up. She rolled over and went back to sleep. I got up and went to stand in line at the store. I was one of the lucky ones who got a card for an extra 10% off! My total discount was 40%. This incited me to riot of a sort.

5 skeins of Colinette Point 5 in Toscana to make a fringed wrap - sort of like a poncho but with no seamed edge. I'll put a button in at the neck. Although, if you know of a great pattern that requires 5 skeins of superbulky yarn, please give me a heads up - I may change my mind!

Nature Wool in a great chartreuse green. I made a felted bag for a friend for Christmas out of this same color and it came out fabulous. Now I can knit several more for the friends who said, "Me too!" AND, sock yarn! Yes, the Knitting Goal for 2005 is to learn to knit socks.

6 skeins of Mountain Colors 4/8 wool in Flathead Cherry. This was a last minute addition. I put back some Noro and a few other bits and bobs and got my ticket and stood in line to pay. Then I saw this yarn and HAD to have it. It is just lovely and very much my colors. Now I just have to find a sweater pattern. Although I may just end up making another Clapotis for me, one for my mom, and a hat and gloves or who knows what.

The rest of the haul includes 10 skeins of Rowan Summer Tweed in a pale pink, Touch Me in a gray to make Vintage Velvet from Scarf Style, and a skein of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in a nice orange to make a large variation on the Airy scarf from Last Minute Knitted gifts for a late Christmas gift.

I had pledged that I would be restrained. I was not. Well, I guess I sort of was - the lady in front of me bought seven (yes 7!) 13 gallon trash bags of yarn. That's alot of yarn.