Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy Tax Day

No I'm not delusional... today is tax day for us. We're one of those couples that wait and files at the last possible moment. That last moment will be oct 15th. So this morning we've been looking at what our accountant put together for us. The good news... a return! Money for yarn (grin).

So while watching Grey's Anatomy last night, I worked on the rope cable afghan square some more. I'm at about 5 inches in length, so not quite half way. It's not a one day project but I feel I'm making progress.

Yesterday morning before I went into work I also did a bit of knitting. Of course I didn't really want to work on the aforementioned project so instead I cast on for Fetching.

I've never done a glove, mitten, or sock so I feel I'm being adventuresome here. I have knit on DPNs before, including constructing one hat that turned out too small to wear, but this should give me some new skills.

It's almost the weekend... more time for knitting!
(Have I mentioned that my work has suffered a bit, but that my knitting has blossomed, since I started blogging?)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Kitten approved

The mice have been felted!

Of course, you’ll notice that the mouse-pack has increased. Isn’t that what they say though… you see one, there are a million around, or is it that once you have two they will procreate? We’ll anyway, there are now three and they have been felted. They are a bit hairy/fuzzy but tightened up nicely. Last step (after they dry a bit), stuffing.

No worries that the kids won’t like them either. Dylan and Issac found one of them before the felting began and gave their seal of approval.

Ah the joys of a quick project… love that instant gratification.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I definitely think I’ve created a monster… me. It was bad enough when I was just reading blogs and knitting a bit. Now I’m posting to my own blog, still reading everyone else’s blogs, and feeling compelled to knit more, and more exciting, things to put on my blog. I don’t want my (nonexistent) public to be disappointed!!

Today I visited the Panopticon’s blog and read his entry on his new love of all things kitten. I felt compelled to comment on his post and when reading through other’s responses saw that Lisa – Robb had included a link and pictures for another type of catnip mouse, the mouse-pigs. So of course I had to check that out and my, aren’t they cute. So yes, now I’m knitting green mouse-pigs for my two feline friends.

Do you like that picture of my own two mouse-pigs? I especially like the little mousehole at the back.

I suspect I probably only need one as my two brothers like to share, but I will have enough yarn for many, many mouse-pigs according to the pattern from

In one evening I finished the knitting on two mice (about two and one-half hours for the first, two hours for the second; fast for me). It was a good exercise too as I had to use several stitches I’ve never actually put into practice before (e.g., making a bobble, making an i-cord, using the Make 1 increase where you put a backwards loop on the needle, and SSK). I guess reading lots online must have soaked in because it wasn’t too hard. Of course, I would be negligent if I failed to mention the tremendous help I got from looking at Techniques w/ Theresa on Knitty and

Next step, sewing up and felting – another first! I’ve only accidentally felted before (you know washing a sweater in water that was too hot). An adventure!

Happy Wednesday knitting.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Welcome Purling Puppies

Yeah... my blog is now part of purling puppies!

Welcome to any visitors from that domain.

This is the Sterling out for a hike on Mount Baldy. Nothing like fresh mountain water for a little sniff and drink.

As I mentioned yesterday, I did cast on the second panel of the Aran Afghan from Knitty Gritty. I managed to steal a couple of hours yesterday and this morning to work on it.

Yes... without a doubt, this rope cable square is much, much faster than the braid panel I finished before. There are almost three times as many cable maneuvers with the braid as compared to this one. The bad news is that I'm a foolish beginner to start with the harder pattern rather than the one they listed first, the easier one. The good news is that this one seems EASY now. Yeah for contrasts!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Calamari Knitting

Happy Monday morning!

Yesterday was a terrifically fun day. This past week I received my copy of Mason Dixon knitting which I ordered after reading glowing reviews all over everyone's blogs for the past several weeks (and thinking that the moderne baby blanket looked fabulous!).

While sitting at the table eating breakfast Saturday morning, S picked it up and started leafing through pages. When he got to the Absorba bathmat, he suggested I should make one. He kept looking and when he got to the calamari knitting idea suggested that this looked like a great idea. I went around, looked at the book, and agreed it looked like a great idea. I think it called to both of our environmentally inclined hearts -- a way to recycle old t-shirts!

A trip to the closet to pull out needles (US 17s were the largest I had) and an old shirt and I started swatching. We liked the way it looked but decided that trying US 35s would be a good plan. After dinner that night, a stop by the store, and 35s were in hand for another swatch. Bigger bumps… good. The only question, how to fit an entire rug onto 14” long needles? Hmm… three rows of fabric, sewn together? Victory… a plan was hatched.

Sunday morning the book was still on the table and the topic came up again. I said, why don’t you go see how many old shirts you have and we can see if we can do it. After initial protests that he had work to do, a few short moments later he disappeared and then a big stack of shirts came of out the closet and onto the table. Well, my oh my, a few minutes later we had cleared off the table and started cutting “calamari” and planning our color scheme.

Fun, fun… a collaborative knitting project with S! I cut, he created the variegated yarn, and then I started knitting it up.

This is a very rewarding, if a bit messy, project (notice all the shirt flakes from where we cut the t-shirts … I’d recommend working on a hard surface for easy clean up). The “yarn” is fun… whatever color shirts you have. We decided to make it primarily white/cream with some blues and grays thrown in for excitement. S did a fabulous job creating a great irregular pattern. The giant ball of yarn is the most fun. And then the inches pile onto the rug soooo fast … very gratifying!

In a very short time we had about half the rug completed (and discovered we’ll have to make more yarn… no trouble here, we have plenty of shirts left!). A great easy project… one I’d recommend for people with kids or someone just wanting to do something quick and easy. I’ll keep you posted as it finishes itself up.

So Sunday, a fun knitting day… inspired me to start square 2 of the Aran Afghan which I cast on this morning. (And yes, I have decided that the braid panel might have taken longer than most of the others… cabling on every other row. We’ll find out soon.)

Hope your week starts off well too!

p.s. I've applied for the Academics Knit, California Knitters, KnittyKitty, Purling Pups, and KnittyHeads rings. The links won't work until I'm accepted but have been added in prep. Thanks!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Can I be patient enough?

Morning everyone

Well last night I finished part 1 (of 16 or 9, depending on whether I can stick with it or not), the braid panel, of the aran afghan from Knitty Gritty.

Aran Afghan
Lion Brand Yarn Wool-Ease Worsted Weight, Natural Heather 98 (I was eager to start and couldn't find anything better locally in a color I liked)
US size 7 (4.5 mm) straight needles
started September 4, 2006
first square finished September 23, 2006

All and all, as my first attempt at cabling, I'm pretty pleased. (Not bad given that I consider myself a beginner still and the pattern says this is advanced). Not a quick project though (this square is 11"x11" and it took me more time than I'd like to acknowledge. Maybe this square takes more time because you cable so much? Wishful thinking, perhaps? I also knit on plastic needles. I'm starting to think that it might have been faster on metal ... a pointier point might have been nice.

It is a beautiful pattern. I suppose if I give up somewhere down the line I can at least frame it as art .

I'm going to work on my photo artistry... a goal for myself. I read blogs this morning and the photos at knitspot made me very envious.

It's Sunday... let's all knit today!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Getting to know me

Day 2 in the exciting adventures of blogging....

I thought I'd begin by introducing myself.

I live in the greater Los Angeles metro area with four fabulous boys ... my partner, S, and our pup, Sterling, (yes they are both as terrific as they look)

and our two amazing felines, Dylan and Issac.

Yes I know it looks like it's two photos of the same cat... trust me... not the case. Two fabulous brothers. They may look the same, but boy oh boy do they have different personalities. As you might guess from the pics, Dylan (the paper bag kitty) is the one always into trouble... he's also the big lap cat. Issac, hanging out with Sterling in the photo, on the other hand is the responsible, regal one -- calm, serene, stately, until of course "his hypervigilance" gets spooked, then there is frenzied dashing about the house.

I'm a gal with a new addiction to knitting and, maybe even more so, knitting blogs. My biggest challenge right now... how to balance time to read blogs and knit with life? Where do people find time?

What, you might ask, could possibly be as important as blogging and knitting?

One answer... see above... we must have time for the boys.

Beyond the "fam", my time seems to disappear with multiple things. I'm a faculty member at a small private university. I'm a spanish-learning, sometimes yoga-practicing, almost-always working feminist. S and I like to hike (although we more often walk the dog in the neighborhood), walk on the beach, take leisurely bike rides, and (after one memorable kayak ride on the big island) have dreams of taking up kyaking as a hobby. I've lived in California for just over a year now and still feel like I should be spending lots of time seeing everything and taking trips!

Like many knitters, my mom taught me to knit when I was a kid. I can remember being a very tight knitter and barely being able to get needles between loops! More pleasantly, I remember making lots of pompoms for kittens to play with.

Sometime about two, maybe three, years ago I was drawn back to knitting. I can't honestly tell you why. Maybe because I kept reading about the joys of knitting in my b*tch magazine. I went out, bought Stich n B*tch and the Dummy's Guide and off I went. Started off with the obligatory scarves and then moved onto a few more inspired creations (nothing really crazy yet). After a while I discovered Knitty Gritty, then online bulletin boards, then blogs. It doesn't take long to get hooked on blogs (or knitting for that matter) .... I have my favorites. A short list appears to the right and will be added to over time, no doubt. Once you find blogs, then of course you find books and great online magazines like Knitty. Wow... online knitting is a big world.

So now I knit and blog. Of course, I've noticed that I love to see what I can make and to find things to do, but I get distracted by new things when a project takes "too long" to finish... maybe I do need to practice yoga more hmm?

Well that's a very incomplete intro, but it's a start. More info will follow over time.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 22, 2006

A blog is born!

Welcome to my blog!

I'm Liz and I'm thrilled to join the world of blogging knitters.

I plan to share my progress (or lack there of) on various projects and hope I can find things entertaining enough to say to draw people's attention.

I live in California, Los Angeles specifically (yes La La land) and have been knitting for about 2 years now. I consider myself an advanced beginner but am foolish enough to dive into projects that are way beyond my depth.

Most of my projects thus far have been scarves, hats, and baby jackets, and (most recently) I've started a giant afghan that will probably kill me before it's done! =]

I'll post lots of pictures soon, I promise... first I want to play around with the blog page and see what I can do.

Thanks for joining my party,