29 February 2008

FO and other fun

First, my finished alpaca handspun. It ended up being 161 grams (a bit more than 5.5 ounces) and 360 yards long. Since it is a two ply, that means the two singles totaled over 720 yards (I had to discard a bit of tangled mess at the end of plying...just 3-4 grams worth). Just FYI, that is 0.4 mile! No wonder it took a while to spin!

Second, my spinning update ('m not including washing and winding the finished product):

Spin My Spindle
22 Feb to 28 Feb 2008

Activity: Plying
Fiber: Alpaca
Spindle: Ashford
Amount: 107 grams

Now, I need to decide what is going on my Ashford spindle, as well as getting back to the viscose. I'm thinking Corriedale.

Third, clue 6 for Secret of the Stole II was a bit slower than usual. I didn't finish up until yesterday morning and now clue 7 is already out and printed, ready to knit.


Fourth, last week, I went to Last Saturday Knitting and met Mrs. SABLE and her delightful son, BaxterKnits, and one other person, whose name I promptly forgot. Aaargh! I am so horrible with names that remembering two out of three isn't bad, but I still feel bad when I forget them. Beeb came with me, as I realized at the last moment that I didn't have any milk to leave with Kitty Daddy. He can't remember the third person's name either. *ETA: Mystery solved...it was Linda! I was thinking it might have been an L-word, but those random inklings are just as likely to wrong as right!*

Fifth, the sweet Beeb has been babbling "Da-da-da" for a couple days now. Treacherous little traitor! Can we just pretend that when he was saying "Gleh-gleh-gleh," he meant it in the sense of "Ma-ma-ma"? ;o)

22 February 2008


Recently, it seems as if Friday is the beginning of the week instead of the end of the week! I guess since I have a 7 day a week job, it can start and end on any day I please! Anyway, today the next hint for the stole comes out, I summarize my week in spinning, and my three busiest days start: Library day and two days with Kitty Daddy home!

First the spinning update. This week was all alpaca again, but I finished the singles, wound the second single on a toilet paper roll bobbin and started to ply. I have about a third of the alpaca plied and it seems like it is taking forever. Of course, I started out with 6 ounces of alpaca and am doing the whole thing in one swell-foop. Before this, I have never plied more than 1-2 ounces at a time and the one exception was my very first yarn, which was almost four ounces, but super-duper bulky, so the plying went pretty quickly. The alpaca is spun pretty fine, so there are miles of it! I should be done plying and have the stats for the skein next week!

Spin My Spindle
15 Feb to 21 Feb 2008

Activity: SpinningWinding
Fiber: Alpaca Alpaca
Spindle: Ashford Ashford Ashford
Amount: 23 grams
78 grams
54 grams

This is the first time I have plied with bobbins. Before I have done two ply by joining the ends and plying until the middle of the single or have done three ply using Navaho plying. So here is my fancy set up in lieu of a lazy kate:


If you click on the picture, it takes you to flickr, where the picture parts are labeled. Hover the mouse over the picture to see the label boxes and hover over the boxes to see the labels.

19 February 2008

Catching up...

First off, the various milestones:

Her diva-ness, Miss Bean Divine modelling her big-girl-that-uses-the-potty dress. We have been doing a sticker chart for big girl pottying and her reward was a pretty new dress that she is ever so pleased with. She is still in overnight diapy-pants and has the occasional "oops," but she is doing a great job and we are all ever-so-proud of her progress!

And Mr. I'm-ready-for-steak-now Beebster. Look at those two pearly whites! They both popped through over the weekend.

For the rest, we will go chronologically. For Valentine's Day, I got gifts from both of the bigger kids. Bug made me a "key" out of his big K'Nex:

Isn't that sweet? And Bean gave me a "card" (which is actually a refrigerator magnet that Kitty Daddy got from his co-workers when he left the VA for his current job):

and a rubber bracelet (that she pulled out of their dress up box). Since she doesn't read, I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt on the "card" message. We had a heart-shaped take and bake pizza from Papa Murphy's for our big, fancy Valentine's dinner.

Friday was Knit Night at the Sow's Ear, which was very much needed by a mama with three cabin-fever afflicted kids. To add to the fun, the evening had a Beach Party theme in honor of a new book released by a local author. If that wasn't enough, one of our hog-and-bloggers brought some yummy French tarts in honor of (among other things) her birthday last week. Since this is a woman whose blog has brought me great delight even before meeting her IRL at the Ear's knit night and who introduced me to the first presidential candidate since Bill and Opus in '84 that I have been able to generate considerable enthusiasm for (Dolores's history starts here...NB: if you are drinking anything, swallow before you read or I won't be held responsible for your keyboard), I was taken by an impulse to make a hog-and-blog piggy finger puppet for her (the puppets in the previous post were the only way this one could make it out the door Friday night). [Did anyone survive the mega-sentence, parentheticals, and links?? I'll wait until you catch up, really!] All-in-all, a wonderful night out for Mama!

Saturday, we made our third trip to the annual model train show at the Alliant Energy center. Bug has been asking about the train show every time we go past the Alliant for about the last six months. The show was much the same as previous years, but Bug was delighted nonetheless and a good time was had by all (even Beeb who slept in the front-pack on Daddy)!

I think the only thing I am still behind on from yesterday's list is the Secret of the Stole. I finished clue 5 yesterday. I am now past the half-way point on the stole. I am still enjoying the design. If you click on the picture, I have the new part labeled:

Oh, and today, we did our civic duty and the kids helped me vote in the Wisconsin primary. I wasn't able to vote for Dolores, since the Fibertarians don't participate in the primaries, but she will have my vote in November:

18 February 2008

FO: Old MacDonald Had A Fingerpuppet


Yarn: Odds and Ends from box of yarn received from one of Kitty Daddy's coworkers
Needles: KnitPicks Options, US 4
Pattern: Barnyard Finger Puppets
Mods: I did the farmer, the horse, the pig, and the duck from the pattern, but did the rooster on my own. Also, I made all of them in the round instead of knitted flat and then seamed.
Verdict: They turned out very cute! I have a (very enthusiastic) request for a cow (in the original pattern) and a cat and a dog (improvised). We'll see. Maybe if I get a few things off my WIP list. Also, the farmer needs ears and hair. He may stay deaf and bald. Again, we'll see.

I also knit another pig (details to follow if I get around to posting about knit night) and another duck that disappeared before I could take a picture.

Ack. A backlog

There seems to be a bit of a logjam somewhere between my brain and the Blogger publish button these days. I think his name is Beeb, but it's hard to say for sure. First, the spinning update I missed on Friday:

Spin My Spindle
8 Feb to 14 Feb 2008

Activity: Spinning
Fiber: Alpaca
Spindle: Ashford
Amount: 13 grams

Next, a list of thing I need to catch up on postwise:
  1. Valentine's Day
  2. Another FO that has nothing to do with my to do list
  3. Knit Night on Friday
  4. Train Show on Saturday
  5. Secret of the Stole update
  6. A Beeb milestone
  7. A Bean milestone
Numbers 1, 6, 7 need picture documentation before I post them. Number 2 I might try to pop in and out and finish up while working on dinner. Number 5 is another quick post. I'll try to get a proper post with 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7 tomorrow.

Although I am truly a winter person, I am getting a little tired of the snow. We passed up the record snowfall for the season last Tuesday. Since then, we have had more snow on Wednesday, Sunday and all day today. Little ones with cabin fever don't help.

14 February 2008


She's coming to Madison (scroll down to 4/28)!!!

(Okay, everyone can go about their business now. I'll just continue freaking out in private)

Cuz we all know the best way to get malingering projects off the WIP list...

is to work on completely unrelated items, right???


Okay, it isn't quite as impressive as it looks. I started this sweater for Bean in 2005 and made a matching green one for Bug. I finished Bug's sweater, but not easily. I had to reknit both sleeves as they were VERY short and finishing has never been my favorite activity, so by the time I finished the green sweater, I was so sick of the project that I couldn't face the pieces of this one. Eventually, the pieces wound up stuffed in with about twelve mile of leftover heather green and dusty rose wool-ease and I ran across them not long ago while organizing my stash, taking pictures of yarn, and updating my Ravelry stash. Coincidentally, Beeb is almost big enough to fit the sweater pieces, so, in my deep commitment to trying to get WIPs finished up, I found something totally different to work on. I got a FO...it just didn't help the WIP list!

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease
Needles: Denise Interchangeables and some random straights for ribbing
Pattern: Bo from Rowan Babies by Kim Hargreaves
Verdict: Glad it's done, even if it is long after it was supposed to be. The color? Beeb is secure enough in his masculinity to consider himself suave and handsome in dusty rose.


And one more pic for the winning smile:


The sweater was well timed, as poor little Beeb has a snuffy nose and is trying to break through two new teeth at the same time. There is a general clinginess going on, and I suspect that a cozy sweater feels kind of good.

And, in my continuing commitment to clearing out some of the current WIPs, I have been cranking out finger puppets. If you are in Ravelry, you can have a sneak peek on my projects page...otherwise, I'll be posting about them before long.

11 February 2008

More stole...

I am still completely taken by the Secret of the Stole. This week's clue included a lovely little plot twist...a touch of asymmetry:

It looks as though the center section will be a bit wider. I can't wait to see what other tricks DK has up her sleeve. By the way, I seem to be outgrowing my bulletin board that I am using to take pictures! With the increase in width, I have to pin it up in "landscape mode," so the length no longer fits.

I have been asked a number of times how I can possibly find time to knit while chasing three crazy kiddos. Here is one way:

We manage (at times) to integrate knitting and playing. Yesterday, while Beeb was taking a siesta, we wound up with a lovely game of restaurant. I sat at the kitchen table, while my waiter and waitress brought me gourmet meals and drinks prepared by one or both little chefs. As long as I was willing to pause regularly and sample the food, follow direction (dip here!) and heap lavish praise on the quality of the cuisine and service, I was (otherwise) free to knit away. They've seen me knit in public, so neither one of them batted an eye at the idea of me knitting at their restaurant.

As much as I am enjoying the stole, I will be glad when we are done, as I seem to be almost stalled out on a number of WIPs that are quite close to finished. By the time I get through my stole clue and get some spinning done for the week, it doesn't leave much time for other knitting! I have been plugging away a bit on them, but, boy, is progress SLOW! Plus, with Beeb threatening to get mobile, what little knitting time I have may see some sharp reductions!

06 February 2008

Year of the Rat

Note: I started this on Wednesday, but just got back to post today!

Happy Chinese New Year! The kids helped me make panfried pork dumplings and I made fried rice, so we had a small Chinese banquet!

Wishing you...

(Good Luck)




...in the year of the Rat!

Since I'm late posting this, I'll go ahead and tuck in my spinning update, too.

Spin My Spindle
1 Feb to 7 Feb 2008

Activity: SpinningSpinning
Fiber: Alpaca Viscose
Spindle: Ashford Turkish
Amount: 28 grams
3 grams

I made tracks with the alpaca this week! Viscose still going slow. And a couple of pictures of what's on the spindle (click to embiggen). First, alpaca:

and Viscose:

05 February 2008

Clue Three in the bag

I finished the last couple of rows of the third clue this morning. The pattern is just lovely and I am enjoying knitting it so much!

Friday night was Knit Night at the Sow's Ear. I took the stole with me and got almost through half of the third clue. Quite a few people commented on it and I found out just how difficult it is to explain a mystery knitalong to someone who had never heard of one! Progress slowed down considerably over the weekend though. Lots of piddley stuff (like groceries) kept me buzzing around most of the day Saturday, so we could be prepared to have our traditional family Super Bowl party. For several years now, we put together several kinds of appetizers and munchy stuff midafternoon and pick at it over the rest of the day. This year we made baked spinach dip with chips and lots of veggies, sausage bites in the crock pot, and wings. Yum!

03 February 2008

Keep on keepin' on

Spin My Spindle
25 Jan to 31 Jan 2008

Activity: SpinningSpinning
Fiber: Alpaca Viscose
Spindle: Ashford Turkish
Amount: 7 grams
4 grams

About the same as last week! Let's hear it for consistency. w00t! The viscose still goes very slow. It has a pretty short staple length and doesn't draft easily (kind of sticky feeling), so a couple of grams is a pretty big accomplishment. Fortunately, there is only an ounce, so it only takes 3 grams to make 10% of the total. I'm currently 1/3 of the way through. The alpaca is going much quicker. It is lovely and soft and has nice long fibers, so I can draft much more quickly. However, because it is smooth and I am trying for a finer yarn, it needs a lot of twist compared to other fibers.

Bleh...I actually got this started on Friday, got this far on Saturday, planned to keep going with some knitting updates, got sidetracked (HA! Imagine that!), and never came back. So I'll skip the knitting update for now and just post the stinkin' thing.